Who knew when I read One Thousand Gifts for the first time in August of 2011 that it would become a lifestyle for me. Off and on I have counted gifts. Whenever I stop, I seem to start again. I can’t help it. I’m better when I’m counting. This challenge has been eye opening. Count all the ways that God loves me. See all the small things and be thankful. Live a lifestyle of gratitude. There is a real change that happens when I sit down to the count gifts. I try to do it daily, but it doesn’t always happen. When I get that pen in my hand and I start recalling all the good things of the day, I am changed. I am lightened. The burdens that I have been carrying are lifted. I remember that God is good and I am always loved. I am brought low and humbled. Who am I that I should have such blessings poured out on me day after day? Isn’t one enough? And yet, they are countless. My mind honestly can’t perceive them all and my mind cannot remember them all. It’s too overwhelming. Good is so good. It’s amazing the high the comes from this kind of a love. I wonder why I don’t live with my eyes open more. I wonder why I don’t slow down and take it all in. I only have today. Why rush through it? Why scramble and why blur and why hurry? It makes no sense to choose to stress and fear over joy and trust. Gift counting brings joy and builds trust. If God has been good everyday before, why would he stop? Could his love, his gifts really run out? I know the answer is no and yet, I live like it might happen. I wake up and live in fear as if my God isn’t all powerful and able to handle to my life, my problems, my mess. Counting gifts has counteracted this natural desire within me be ungrateful. Who am I to make demands? Why raise my fist and complain when I can give thanks and receive joy. Counting gifts is far better than holding on to my festering bitterness. So again, I continue the count. I reached 5,000 this weekend and I didn’t even blink, I flipped the page and started numbering again. 6000, it’s not that many in the grand scheme of things. I will miss thousands of them daily, but I will look and try to see them all. I will try to name them and give thanks for them. I never thought I would keep going. One thousand seemed so radical at the beginning and now, well, I must be crazy. I think that is what love does to a person. It makes them a little crazy, but in a good way. I will chase after these gifts and count them despite how odd it might seem. The lesson is never learned and easily forgotten, so I keep retraining my heart to live with eyes wide open. I’m retraining my mind to let go and refuse to take on the burden of stress and fear for it leads no where good. I have all that I need in each day to be thankful. Will I choose to see it? Will you?