Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baking Preparations

minty icing

1000 gratitudes...

318. Being reminded of the value of this ritual.
319. Getting to sleep next to a sister, jabby elbows and all.
320. An ever-memorable yesterday on Waiheke.
321. Ferrying across Kiwi waters.
322. Conversation with strangers.
323. Oohing and aahing to no end.
324. A safe time in our rental car.
325. Smooth cooperation between travelers.
326. Beaches that never lose their appeal.
327. Turquoise water between speckled islands.
328. A view of the Sky Tower from a vineyard's balcony.
329. Breaks for tired feet.
330. Fabulous food.
331. A wonderful beginning to this holiday season.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Art

christmas printmaking

1000 gratitudes...

308. Thumbing through new unknown books.
309. Sipping coffee while reading an old but new-to-me one.
310. City streets filled with God's creativity in faces and languages.
311. Being able to give Christmas gifts out of His abundant provision.
312. Soul stretch-marks.
313. Beautifully intelligent, creative people who inspire me - friends and strangers.
314. Honoring the concepts of age and repair.
315. Conversations that stir up bursts of belly-laughter.
316. Sharing in the baptism of a girl I've come to know through the church's youth group.
317. The familiarity of a sister.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shards in Ritual


1000 gratitudes...

295. Getting to cream and chop and measure away the morning (i.e. make cookie dough) at a leisurely pace.
296. Rosie Thomas's voice and stories.
297. How this love of music was fostered in me from birth.
298. An amazing camera to capture the details of the mundane.
299. The familiar shops of Birkenhead.
300. My walking school bus routine, which has now ended.
301. The amusement of drinking an iced latte in December.
302. Hours to paint on large canvases.
303. Experiencing the application of knowledge gained in university art classes.
304. My favorite form of transportation: walking (unless the roads are in quiet countryside - then it's biking).
305. Humour!
306. Never knowing true physical starvation - bountiful provision of food each and every day.
307. The excitement held in tomorrow.

Summer Sun Within

Caffe Massimo [takapuna]

1000 gratitudes...

282. Beginning my day at my favorite cafe, skyping with a favorite person.
283. Sweet Kiwi kids (whose accents I forget about these days).
284. Lunch with a family I love.
285. Hours to paint and aspire to beauty in chaos.
286. The texture of dry paint against canvas.
287. Yellow ochre - a favorite color to see on my palette.
288. Derek Webb's honesty in joy, pain, and controversy (love all his albums).
289. Sharing art with a friend.
290. Walking beneath brilliantly red Pohutakawa trees.
291. Being brave.
292. Having so many wonderful people in my life to miss from afar.
293. Sharing Four on a Couch with friends.
294. A late night at the kitchen table, dipping fruit-nut balls in chocolate.

[I seem to have lost my rhythm here, folks, but here's yesterday's list. I'll try to pick up and get on top of this thing, as it has become a peaceful place to go for moments in the middle of my day as well as at the end of the day when my weary body needs to recapture all the beauty.]

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baking Day

fruit-nut balls 3

1000 gratitudes...

271. The giant stuffed tiger in this borrowed bedroom.
272. Missy Higgins as today's baking soundtrack.
273. Conversation with a friend who knows me so well.
274. A beach saturated with beauty.
275. Hearing the word "quid" again.
276. Having Someone to express and trust my desires to.
277. Filling a kitchen with the smell of chocolate.
278. Handy measurement conversion websites.
279. Discovering how photogenic frosting can be.
280. Gluten-free Christmas goodness for sister.
281. Funny confusion because of differing pronunciations of the word "egg".

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Adorned and Given Value

1000 gratitudes...

261. Beginning the morning with a conversation with a friend.
262. The smile that lingered on my face for a good five minutes after said convo.
263. Running in the park.
264. Finding an empty swing set.
265. Further glimpses of the next three feet.*
266. Rest and relaxation throughout the day.
267. The Christmas tree on the neighbor's lawn, in view of my window (pictured above).
268. Five days till I see my sister.
269. Missing this place the few nights I was too tired to blog.
270. Always being able to find Joy, even on the most uneventful of days.

* Ever since reading A Severe Mercy, I have loved these words by C.S. Lewis: "But to a man on a mountain road by night, a glimpse of the next three feet of road may matter more than a vision of the horizon." I hold them close for peace and patience in the times when, while a view of the horizon would be nice, I recognize that three feet of revelation from God are enough for me to walk by faith. He always provides, at least, the minimal footing.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Apple Cake

norwegian apple cake

1000 gratitudes...

249. The energy to get out of bed and into walking shoes.
250. An empty swing in a quiet park at the beginning of the day.
251. Psalm 25:15
252. Tea and biscuits.
253. A canvas that holds less threat.
254. Getting to paint a mess.
255. Walking and talking with precious young ladies.
256. Infectious laughter.
257. Surrender that becomes victory.
258. Clean sheets on my for-now bed.
259. A CV (a.k.a. resume) being closer to complete.
260. Feeling okay about all the blanks in my life future.

*This is a Norwegian Apple Cake that I made a while back. It is the next item in the queue for me to blog about over on One Hungry Soul, so keep an eye out. It'll be worth it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An Abundant Day


1000 gratitudes...

231. Waking up before my blaring alarm clock.
232. Finding room to spread a yoga mat on my bedroom floor.
233. Soggy, nostalgic Weet-Bix.
234. Love and pain in safe places.
235. Lunch at Castor Bay.
236. Brilliant blue saltwater.
237. A mixture of soft grass and sand to spread out on.
238. Massive sprawling trees, rich with age and character.
239. Orange paint on a dry brush.
240. Free, energetic brush strokes across a promising canvas.
241. Finding "new" music in my iTunes library.
242. Sharing popcorn and M&Ms with friends at the movie theatre.
243. Laughter and freedom.
244. A beach at dusk.
245. Feet in cool ocean water.
246. The first stars of the night.
247. Light in darkness.
248. And I could go on and on...

* I'm dealing with a very slow internet connection, so I'll be including photos from my Flickr archive until things are moving faster. The one above happened to be the fastest to open tonight. I took it in Oslo, Norway, at Vigeland Sculpture Park, in November of 2005.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Corner of My Room

details of home

1000 gratitudes...

220. More than I could ever ask or imagine.
221. Breakfast at the beach.
222. Sand beneath my feet.
223. Sea salt in the air.
224. Waves brushing the shore at Browns Bay.
225. A view of endless ocean.
226. God's perfect timing.
227. Orchestrations across timezones.
228. Others' hospitality, providing me a peaceful, quiet today.
229. Feeling welcomed back to my other home.
230. Hope.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Perfect Day for Picnicing

1000 gratitudes...

208. Energy for an early morning walk.
209. City views from tops of hills.
210. Strong, healthy legs for enjoying the outdoors.
211. Yoga stretches for an achy back.
212. A special child dedication service at church.
213. Hearing God being worshiped in Shona.
214. Bonding experiences like walking through sinky mud and spiky shells on a beach at low tide.
215. The dependence in my current circumstances...it forces a lot of humility.
216. Singing in worship with others beneath a summer sun - the freedom to do this so publicly!
217. Having a Peace-Anchor for all this threatening anxiety.
218. God knows when my loan payments are due too.
219. An exciting future, both in the seen and unseen.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Signs of Christmas

christmas cheer

1000 gratitudes...

196. Getting up early for breakfast at the church with lovely ladies.
197. Short but vital skype calls.
198. Warm sunlight.
199. Sandals for summer walks.
200. This gratitude habit.
201. Other, new habits.
202. Enormous bright-white cloud puffs.
203. Purple flowers outside my window.
204. Jon Foreman's EPs.
205. A two-year-old's birthday party.
206. A Christmas tree decorated by a five-year-old.
207. Laughing till my stomach hurts.

Friday, December 4, 2009

After a Rain Shower

1000 gratitudes...

186. John Piper's sermon archive.
187. The still-pounding rain.
188. So many to love.
189. Lavender lotion.
190. A plentiful water supply for warm showers.
191. A new box of white tea awaiting my morning cuppa.
192. Friends to help carry the load.
193. Silly youth group games.
194. Photographs from other life seasons.
195. A God who is good. All the time.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Through the Basement Window

1000 gratitudes...

173. Advent thoughts.
174. Hot milky tea.
175. A raincoat.
176. My dad (seventeen years ago today, in this very timezone, we celebrated his memorable black-and-white 40th).
177. Prayers across oceans.
178. Canvases holding images not yet revealed.
179. The imagination.
180. Each and every kid on my walking school bus.
181. An unexpected quiet afternoon.
182. Psalm 25.
183. The smell of clean washing (not laundry).
184. Uncomfortable inner squirming that reminds of a place for growth.
185. Pounding rain on a glass window.

Even Among the Rubbish

even among the rubbish

1000 gratitudes...

167. The joys of children.
168. Friends that become family.
169. Timing.
170. Tears.
171. All the too intimate ones.
172. Isaiah 58:11

(I was too tired last night to create this post. You'll simply get two today.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beyond Another Door

what door knobs are for.

1000 gratitudes...

156. Dreaming.
157. Emails with the right words at the right time.
158. God's Word to help me navigate this life each day.
159. Fresh air through a window.
160. Grace.
161. A porch to sit on under the summer (officially!) sun.
162. Catching up with two very dear people.
163. Friends to make Christmas plans with.
164. Freedom of transport via my own two feet.
165. Perspective.
166. Hope for tomorrow.