Somehow reaching that next 1000 sneaks up on me. I realize it’s coming and then all the sudden it’s here. That’s what happened today. I honestly thought I would finish later this week, but as usual, gifts surprise me and there are always more than I expect and the counting goes quickly. I have counted One Thousand Gifts six times. I thought it would get old – it doesn’t! I thought it would take a decade to fill a journal – it doesn’t. In fact, it hasn’t even taken two years to fill this journal. I’ve learned not to stop counting. It’s a good habit, so why break it? I always think I’ll want a break after counting 1,000, but I miss it. I crave it. Counting gifts has opened my eyes to the small things. It makes everyday life special and unique no matter what. It takes my dark days and reminds me that there is a silver lining. It’s been a process of retraining my brain. I don’t often look for the good in things. I know that sounds un-Christian, but I’m not weird to think Pollyanna thoughts. I’ve never been good at that sort thing. I’m frank, to the point. I’m glass half empty and what’s wrong… I wish it weren’t so. How I would love to see the good in things. This is precisely why gift counting is something I feel compelled to do. It makes me more like the person I so desperately want to be. It helps me to see past my hang ups and hurts and to see how much I am loved. Each day I have the opportunity to open my eyes and see God’s hand at work. Each day I have the opportunity to acknowledge the gifts and say thank you. Will I take that time? Will I really look for them? I want to say yes, so I will keep on counting. One journal might be filled, but don’t worry, I have blank journals just waiting for their pages to be filled. How many will the next journal hold? 7,000 gifts? 8,000? I’m excited to find out. It’s amazing to me how simple it is to find joy and contentment when you’re looking in the right direction. It’s all a matter of focus. I can focus on the negative and it will grow bitterness in my heart. Or I can focus on God’s good gifts and stay thank you. This brings the spark of joy back into my heart. I can be content because I know in the smallest ways I am seen and I am loved.