I learned to stay out of malls as a newlywed.
Considering I worked in one it wasn't easy. At first it seemed like a dream job. A beautiful gift shop full of things our young budget could not afford. But at least I could look. And if I got to wrok early or stayed late, I could walk around the mall and look at the stores and all the other pretty things I couldn't afford.
It wasn't long till the enjoyment of "window shopping" faded. "Window shopping" . . what a joke. "Let's go window shopping." Code for "We don't have any money, so let's go look at all the things we can't have." Sounds fun.
One day Jeff challenged me, "If you can't walk out of the mall as content as you walked in, you need to stay out." And so I did.
I also started cleaning out my closet. I went to work polishing belts, shoes, ironing clothes, putting outfits together, taking inventory.
As I began caring for and enjoying what was mind already, I discovered a new appreciation for my belongings, and my contentment increased.
Today is day ten of "Thirty Days of Thanks." Over the last week and a half the traffic here on my blog has increased a lot! As a blogger that's exciting. As a writer it's wonderful. Writing into cyberspace can be intimidating, since you don't know who's listening. If anyone's listening. So thank you so much for reading and for your encouraging comments!
But I hope you aren't just reading. I pray you are counting. Counting and giving thanks for the specific ways God is blessing you each day. If you're not, you're going to get annoyed.
Annoyed. Or depressed. Or angry. Definitely discontent. Not because my life is "all that," but because reading about how God is showing His love to someone else without considering how He's loving you is like window shopping.
So if you haven't already, please go check out your "closet" this weekend. And one by one start counting, and enjoying, and thanking God for the gifts you find.
And on Monday would you consider sharing with me and the others reading here what you found? For those new to blogs, you just click on "Comments" and post at the bottom of the page that comes up.
As an extra incentive for your search, I'm going to be randomly choosing someone who comments to receive a copy of the New York Times bestseller, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp.
47. words of faith and insight spoken by the kids
48. praying together for friends and family
49. how Sam's smile and laugh can make even playing the card game "War" un-monotonous
50. Ben helping Joe with math (Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity. ~Ps 133:1)
51. strong hands, a sore back, and lavender oil
52. an hour and a coffee shop
53. Ben's first basketball game
54. great coaches and men in my boys' lives
55. skyping with Daniel!
Labels: 1000 gifts, family, Thirty Days