1000 Gifts - Gratitude Journal

Me & my four precious blessings from God.

I'm Grateful for:

1.          My oldest daughter, who loves the Lord and who is so beautiful, talented, kind, loving, and giving. She has battled through adversity (family breakdown & rejection). However, she excelled in the athletic arena, achieved academically, set goals, dreamed dreams and persevered and trusted God for them to come to pass. Her patience in waiting for God’s timing, not hers, has also led her to be happily married to an amazing young man of God.
2.          My oldest "prodigal son", who is strong, intelligent, loving, caring, and who has so much to offer others. He is gifted academically, musically & as an athlete; he struggled severely through family breakdown & rejection, and his inner demons drove him into the downward spiral of drug addiction. He desperately needs to accept the love of his family & God's unending love for him; and come “home” to the arms of his forgiving Mum who loves him more than he knows or understands.
3.          My youngest son, who is the peacemaker, loves life and lives it to the fullest, intelligent, loyal, loving, caring and affectionate. In spite of the trauma of family breakdown & rejection he experienced from a young age, he has achieved excellence in the academic and sporting arenas. He highly values family & friends and stands up for what he believes in. I am praying and believing that he will turn back to God.
4.          My youngest daughter who is beautiful, strong, amazing, talented, loving, compassionate, thoughtful and gentle. She has struggled through the trauma of family breakdown, rejection and is battling anorexia – the demon who seeks to destroy her. She has excelled in the academic, sporting and arts arenas. She has a heart for God and others. I am praying that she will see herself as God sees her, as everyone else sees her.
5.          My husband who is kind, loving, gentle, supportive, compassionate, selfless, thoughtful; who has not been too proud to work on his weaknesses in order to become a better father to his girls. I am grateful to have a man who truly loves me, just the way I am, to journey through life and grow old with.
6.          For wonderful parents who have been an incredible source of wisdom, inspiration, encouragement, support and love throughout my life. Even though 2000km separates us, they have always been there for me. Without their example, encouragement, listening ear, advice and support I would not have been able to parent my children alone.
7.          My best friend Natalie who, even though she has suffered enough adversity of her own, is always there to listen, encourage and support. She is beautiful inside and out, wise, thoughtful, caring, genuine and honest. She possibly understands me better than anyone I know; is always there no matter what the circumstances – always loving, never judging and willing to speak with wisdom and truth.
8.          My beautiful grandson, who I hardly know. I cherish the 5 short weeks I had with him. Praying for reconciliation with his parents so that one day the rest of the family and I can be part of his life again.
9.          The promise that each new day brings blessing and thankfulness to God for all that is in store.
10.       For breath in my body and a heart to hold those I love so dear.
11.       For the way God weaves people and situations into our lives; sometimes in ways we can't make sense of, and sometimes in ways we can step back and see very clearly.
12.       For the gift of friends & family who love, care and support – who are there through the laughter & tears, the best times & worst times – always loving, never judging and willing to speak the truth.
13.       For opportunities to capture the beauty of God’s creation with my camera.
14.       For the ability to capture joyous moments with family and friends – to allow us to keep a visual reminder of treasured memories and to enjoy them over and over again.
15.       For beautiful sunsets at the end of cold winter days.
16.       For the warmth of the sun streaming in the window on a cold winter’s day.
17.       For the gift of hearing to enjoy the beautiful sounds of children’s laughter, birds singing, worship music...
18.       For visits from loved ones & long chats about life.
19.       For the gift of laughter, even when struggling through trials and suffering.
20.       For the trials & suffering which serve to build character, faith, and strengthen the soul.
21.       For the warmth of spring days.
22.       For late night visits from adult children.
23.       For the knowledge that although all seems hopeless, my hope is in Him.
24.       For the prayers of others when we need it most.
25.       For the gift of music to soothe the soul.
26.       For fellow bloggers who inspire.
27.       For peace & rest when I need it most.
28.       For hope when all seems hopeless.
29.       For tears that flow, to allow the built up heartache to overflow...
30.       For long, warm hugs from loved ones.
31.       For the gift of life.
32.       For cool iced tea on a warm day.
33.       For warm banana bread straight from the oven.
34.       For the abundance of flowers in Spring.
35.       For phone calls from family who live far away.
36.       For best friends who listen to what you say, but also to what you don't say.
37.       The blessing of new found friendships.
38.       For beauty all around.
39.       For drives in the mountains.
40.       For laughter.
41.       For reconciliation with loved ones.
42.       For new beginnings.
43.       For forgiveness.
44.       For His love, patience, grace and faithfulness even though we don’t deserve it.
45.       For rain to soak the dry earth.
46.       For rainbows after the rain, signalling His promise.
47.       For joy.
48.       For 5 more daughters to love.
49.       For time to breathe.
50.       For time to love.
51.       For time to laugh.
52.       For time to cry.
53.       For time to live fully in Him.
54.       For blessings in time of need.
55.       Holidays on the Mornington Peninsula with my parents
56.       Beaches
57.       Summer
58.       Life to live
59.       Love to give
60.       Brothers
61.       Sisters
62.       Nieces & nephews
63.       Roast dinners
64.       Fresh fruit salads
65.       Warm Summer days
66.       Time to give thanks.
67.       Time to enjoy His gifts.
68.       Time with friends.
69.       Long deep breaths to calm in stress.
70.       Hugs & good night kisses from the “man-child”.
71.       The celebration of Christmas & remembering the reason for the season.
72.       Shortbread.
73.       Fruitcake.
74.       Laughter and stories around the dinner table.
75.       Grandchildren and the hope of seeing them one day.
76.       Drives in the country.
77.       New challenges in my photography
78.       The increasing ability to see beauty in even the simplest things
79.       Creativity I never knew I had
80.       Books to broaden my knowledge
81.       Weekends
82.       My new computer
83.       Doctors with the gift to diagnose & heal
84.       My daughter's cooking
85.       Summer salads
86.       Tomato plants, once thought dead, brought back to life by rain
87.       Safety from the flood waters - again
88.       Phone calls from my Sarah just to see how I am
89.       Breakfast in bed
90.       His Word - truth, light, love
91.       Wisdom from lessons & adversity
92.       His voice in the quiet
93.       His strength in our weakness
94.       Finding gratitude in the hard stuff
95.       The man I love - his humility and willingness to get it right
96.       God's patience as I walk, stumble, learn & grow
97.       Finding calm in the storms
98.       Grace abounding
99.       "The Love Dare"
100.   "Courageous" & "Fireproof" - the movies that changed our lives
101.   Large hot mugs of Green Mint tea
102.   Day trips to beautiful beaches
103.   Waves crashing on rocks
104.   Sun, sand & the fresh sea air
105.   Red roses from my husband, just because
106.   The ability to find beauty in the ordinary
107.   Abundance of colour in our world
108.   Sweet treats
109.   Beautiful sunsets over mountains in the country
110.   Insects to photograph and marvel at the intricate details by the Creator
111.   Birds of the air
112.   Ducks on ponds
113.   Storm clouds bringing rain
114.   Spectacular sunsets after Summer storms
115.   Raindrops on roses
116.   A husband who can play piano every night & write songs
117.   Living in the "River City"
118.   Quality time with my husband
119.   Sunset reflections on lakes
120.   Resting on the grass by the lake
121.   Sunrays through clouds
122.   Waterlily reflections on the pond
123.   The beauty of flowers - all so different
124.   The wonder of capturing a bee in flight
125.   Cloudless blue skies after weeks of rain
126.   Peace restored to our home after months without it
127.   My oldest daughter's graduation from Interior Design college & a surprise award for excellence in academic & design
128.   My youngest daughter starting a nursing degree at University & a new job
129.   My youngest step-daughter is more relaxed, joyful & at peace
130.   My husband who says everyday "I love coming home to you!"
131.   People who come into our lives for just a short time, but who touch our hearts forever.
132.   The privilege of knowing a young man of God who impacted so many lives, possibly without even knowing.
133.   Not understanding why, but knowing this young man is now at peace.
134.   Being able to love, comfort, encourage & pray for friends in their time of need (just as they did in our times of need).
135.   The blessings of friendship & fellowship.
136.   Friendships that stand the test of time.
137.   The gift of memories of loved ones gone but not forgotten.
138.   The gift & blessing of a life partner just over 2 years ago, to walk through trials with me, who has not walked away when my health declined more and who loves me more each day.
139.   Discovering a new hobby (photography) to keep me occupied and take my mind off my physical pain.
140.   Trips out on Michael's days off to lose myself in nature.
141.   Someone to love & hold me when brokenness overwhelms me.
142.   The closeness of family.
143.   Photo albums to look through with my children & memories to cherish.
144.   Phone calls from adult children - just because.
145.   The comfort of Romans 8:28
146.   The promise of Jeremiah 29:11
147.   Chai Latte dates with loved ones.
148.   Turkish Delight.
149.   Blue skies & fluffy clouds on Winter days.
150.   Drives to the waterfront.
151.   Landscapes - the beauty and splendour of our world.
152.   Seascapes  - the colours and textures..
153.   Skyscapes - blue skies, clouds, sun, stormy days.
154.   Cityscapes - the city buildings coming alive at night.
155.   For family - I can't imagine doing life without these wonderful people.
156.   For my camera that allows me to capture a moment & make time stand still.
157.   For pictorial memories that last forever.
158.   For Instagram & blogging - the opportunity to meet new friends who inspire me daily.
159.   For technology - I can't imagine life without it.
160.   That 3 of my 4 children call me and visit me regularly.
161.   For the strength and will to fight, even when things look hopeless.
162.   For the beauty I'm surrounded with every day.
163.   Living  in a climate where we can still visit the beach in Winter (as long as the sun is shining!)
164.   What I see when I look up - always in awe of clouds, sky, sun, moon & stars.
165.   Twinings Green tea - with mint, lemon...
166.   Relationships restored with a dearly loved step-daughter "Because I took the time to call, talk, listen & care." (her words)
167.   For knowing that this step-daughter is now safe, back home where no one can hurt her... and the appreciation she shows for being back home.
168.   For my once in a lifetime trip to the USA, UK & Europe in 2010.
169.   For sunshine & reflections.
170.   For photographic reminders to reflect on blessings and thankfulness.
171.   For "Golden Hour" when photos just pop!
172.   For beauty in unexpected places.
173.   For flowers in bloom, signalling Spring here.
174.   For beautiful blue skies as backdrops in photos.
175.   For moonrises in blue afternoon skies.
176.   For long drives, exploring new places.
177.   For the beauty of waterfalls.
178.   For learning new skills with my camera (long exposure photography).
179.   Spring showers to water the dry earth.
180.   Warm Spring days.
181.   For boats on the bay.
182.   The end of the day; time for family togetherness.
183.   For a new camera & lens for my birthday (a "dream" realised)
184.   For "Blue Hour" and the ability to experiment further with LE photography.
185.   The power of the ocean.
186.   Waves crashing upon the rocks or the shore.
187.   Rocky coves along the coast.
188.   The long expanses of white sand on QLD beaches.
189.   The contrasts of blue skies and the greens in nature.
190.   All creatures, great and small.
191.   The first day of winter.
192.   The warmth of heating on cold Winter nights.
193.   Winter sunsets at the local lake.
194.   Evening skies rich in colour.
195.   Weekend breaks on the Tweed Coast.
196.   Warm cosy beds on cold rainy nights.
197.   Fluffy bed socks on cold Winter nights.
198.   Steaming hot cups of Twinings fruit tea.
199.   Hot porridge on cold mornings.
200.   The technology of MRI's, scans, ultrasounds, and more...
201.   The ability to see beauty in the smallest things.
202.   For gratitude itself and seeking to find it in all things.
203.   The gift of new camera gear to further my pursuit of becoming better photographer.
204.   Selling my first images.
205.   Teaching my first photography students.
206.   The opportunity to sit in a workshop with Ken Duncan.
207.   Winning a photography competition judged by one of Australia's most acclaimed photographers.
208.   Photography books filled with some of the most beautiful images of Australia.
209.   God drawing my heart back to Him.
210.   Friendships rekindled.
211.   A new church to call "home".
212.   Change and the ability to accept that it's not necessarily a negative thing.
213.   Being Australian and living in such a beautiful country.
214.   Weekends away with my husband.
215.   Having the courage to accept the things I cannot change.
216.   Family gatherings in Sydney with my parents & siblings.
217.   Meeting with like minded people who share my passion for photography.
218.   New friendships.
219.   Reconciliation of another of my step-daughters to her father and the family.
220.   Going "home" to visit family and celebrate significant life events.
221.   The blessing of spending 2 weeks with my parents.
222.   Exploring Melbourne city with new eyes.
223.   Finding beauty in my Mum's garden.
224.   Autumn colours in Melbourne.
225.   The beauty of foggy days.
226.   Nights spent talking with Mum.
227.   Quality time with loved ones.
228.   Dinners with my parents and siblings.
229.   Exploring the beaches of the Mornington Peninsula.
230.   The sound and smell of the ocean air.
231.   Sunday drives with my parents.
232.   Winery lunches with family.
233.   Autumn colours in the vineyards.
234.   Night photography in Melbourne city.
235.   The ability to share my love of nature photography with online communities.
236.   The satisfaction of helping others learn new skills.
237.   Warm pyjamas in winter.
238.   My youngest daughter's health being restored after 5 years of chronic life threatening illness.
239.   Freedom of speech; a blessing in our country.
240.   The sense of satisfaction when my passion of photography brings joy to others.
241.   Family dinner nights once a week; Love seeing my children!
242.   Maintaining my private health cover for all these years, even when times were tough.
243.   The warmth of my feather/down bed quilt on winter nights.
244.   Being raised in a home where faith and morals were not only taught, but modelled.
245.   Long hot showers on cold winter mornings.
246.   Being appreciated for who I am - I still find it difficult to hear & accept positive affirmations because for so long my "normal" was the total opposite.
247.   Gifts of perfume - most unexpected.
248.   The opportunity to photograph the Humpback Whale migration (for free).
249.   Oil heaters in winter to take the chill out of the air.
250.   Being raised in a home where education was highly valued.
251.   The sound & smell of the ocean.
252.   Seeing my husband Michael enjoying playing his Cello again.
253.   The relaxation of reading novels.
254.   My new fluffy dressing gown - so cosy on cold winter nights.
255.   My daughter Bec for cooking the family's evening meals even after a long day at Uni or work.
256.   My husband's love, patience, encouragement.
257.    Michael's positive attitude to life which keeps me grounded.
258.   Weekend photography adventures with like-minded people.
259.   The opportunity to encourage my family members to embrace the "attitude of gratitude" in their daily lives - There is always something to be grateful for, even on difficult days.
260.   Heat packs to soothe injured and aching joints & muscles.
261.   Winter beach days with sand between my toes.
262.   Sunsets in winter; so incredibly beautiful.
263.   Day trips to the country.
264.   Roads that lead to the mountains, and beyond.
265.   Lavender farms out in the Scenic Rim.
266.   Kangaroos in vineyards.
267.   Days out photographing wildlife.
268.   National Parks and Conservation areas.
269.   Evenings out photographing the wonder of the Super Moon.
270.   Exploring Brisbane city and surrounds with new found photography  friends.
271.   Views of Brisbane from Mount Coot-tha in Spring time.
272.   Holidays on the Northern NSW Coast with Michael.
273.   New journeys, new places, new friends.
274.   Exploring the Northern NSW Rail Trail.
275.   Photographing tiny, often overlooked, beauty on beaches.
276.   Beautiful blue skies filled with fluffy clouds.
277.   Fabulous days on the beach in Spring... so blue!
278.   Photographing Spring sunsets with friends.
279.   Enjoying the moment.
280.   Prayers answered, long term hopes realised.
281.   My prodigal son, Daniel, is home!!
282.   Celebrating milestone birthdays with family.
283.   Dinner with my 4 children, all together at last!
284.   Seeing Daniel smile & laugh does my heart good.
285.   Canola fields and windmills.
286.   Being a part of Queensland's Biggest Instameet.
287.   Jacarandas in bloom all over Brisbane.
288.   Seeing my gorgeous grandchildren for the first time.
289.   Stormy sunsets at new locations.
290.   Capturing lightning.
291.   Roma Street Parklands in bloom.
292.   The blessing of fabulous medical professionals, too many to name.
293.   The blessings of wonderful hospitals and great surgeons.
294.   Family to care for me while I recover from surgery.
295.   Celebrating my granddaughter's 3rd birthday.
296.   Going "home" to Melbourne & the Mornington Peninsula to visit family.
297.   Two weeks holiday with my parents; love, laughter, quality time.
298.   Exploring the Mornington Peninsula.
299.   Sorrento's famous Vanilla Slice & lunch with my husband.
300.   Dinner at the winery to celebrate my parent's 59th wedding anniversary.
301.  Coming back home to family after time away.

302.  A new place to call home; although it's not our own home, we are finally back in a house!
The beginnings of restoring relationship with my youngest step-daughter, and her return home
304.  Summer days at the beach.
305.  Summer sunsets on the Coast with family and friends.
306.  The privilege of being selected to attend a photography meet with Gold Coast Tourism.
307.  My youngest son Ben's University Graduation.
308.  A new Pain Specialist to add to my current medical team; new treatments, new pathways, new hope.
309.  An early diagnosis of a chronic heart condition thanks to my Cardiologist.
310.  The unfailing love and support of my husband, Michael.
311.  Celebrating my 50th birthday over the next week with family.
312.  A wonderful trip to Los Angeles, Seattle & an Alaska Cruise; thanks to my wonderful parents.
313.  Autumn sunsets at the lake.



Michael S-B said...

Liz, I am grateful for having you in my life.

Unknown said...

What a beautiful heartfelt sharing. I feel grateful to have discovered your delightful posts and look forward to hearing of your continued journey.

Stasha said...

You are so beautiful and have such joy for life and profound gratitude for it. I would love to share a cuppa with you on the porch and talk for hours. But this blog is the next best thing!

GOOSE said...

I came over from See Beautiful. And they are right this is a beautiful place to be. MOM and I are looking forward to following. Love your list of Grateful to God for.

Michael S-B said...

I have just been reading over your gratitudes again. It's always an encouragement to look at these. I love you, Liz, and many of these lines touch my heart too. xoxo

Michael S-B said...

I am most grateful to share life with you, Liz <3 <3 <3

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