Cozy new year!

Oh, North Dakota. You’ve got a mind of your own, don’t cha?

It’s snowing. The wind’s howling. Interstate’s closed. There was a 100-car pileup. Let’s just say, we’ll be ringing in 2011 from the couch. (Okay okay, we didn’t have fancy plans anyway.)

And since I’m halfway through reading One Thousand Gifts (book review to come!), I’m more than a little inspired to seek out the simple gifts in life. His gifts.

Here are 11 elements of today that I’m slapping a bow on and calling gifts. Remember: the more we celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate!

1. wrapping up tight in warm blankies

2. admiring the whipped-cream landscape outside my kitchen window

3. being surrounded by the soft hum of technology (TV, laptop, smart phone, Kindle)

4. warming my always-cold hands with a hot mug of fresh-brewed coffee

5. torturing my husband with cold-feet footsie games

6. baking ooey-gooey, chocolate-and-caramel-y goodness

7. tasting said goodness, straight out of the oven

8. and maybe stealing a lick (or two) of the raw batter…

9. rummaging deep through closets, recalling memories and eliminating junk

10. standing above a hot stove, patiently waiting for kernels to burst

11. cozying up for a movie and feeling his heart’s steady pitter-patter

I dare ya: grab a pen and paper. Write down 10 presents in the present. These gifts are in the here and now, lurking in your everyday life, just waiting for your full attention. Take some time to appreciate them.

Wishing you a happy {and warm and cozy} 2011!

I just popped my Christmas present thank you notes in the mail. My hubby rolls his eyes every time I write one, saying, “You thanked them in person; isn’t that enough?”


But there’s still something to be said for writing out a good old-fashioned thank you.

So, in the spirit of Christmas, here’s my thank you note to God, for sending His one and only Son into this world.


I’d add a “dear” at the beginning like I typically do, but doesn’t that seem kind of redundant for You? God, alone You’re enough. More than enough, actually. You’re beyond worthy of a “dear” proceeding Your name.

Your Christmas gift was truly the greatest gift I have ever received. I couldn’t ask for a better present than Your dear Son, wrapped in the soft flesh of baby skin. In fact, I’m still in awe of Your generosity. Sacrificing Your one and only Son to save me and my brothers and sisters is just – wow. No words can even begin to describe my appreciation.

I thank you for every breath I breathe. For encompassing me with Your arms of love. For granting me Your grace and forgiveness. For blessing me with countless other gifts, both big and small, of which I am so undeserving. For comforting me. For telling my soul to fear not and to faint not. For holding my hand. And for keeping my path well-lit.

Please continue showing me how to share Your gifts in ways I can’t even imagine in 2011.

Thanks for always being there. You’re amazing.



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