Counting Grace

It’s a wonder, really, when a heart bends to God and shares the joy it finds–enlarging Jehovah’s glory. He who loves, and gifts us each moment with grace, is worthy.

I am so very grateful for the spiritual challenge and continous joy tumbling as living water.

Thank you, Ann Voskamp, for One Thousand Gifts, for daily signposts slipped into my inbox and across the cyber waves–for paving a way for us all to abide ever closer with God.

Inspired by Ann’s words and challenge to count joy daily–both small and big–here is my growing account of the Father’s daily blessings. It is surely inadequate, because how can one truly list the constant blessing of God? Giving voice to growing awareness, however, grows the discipline and spreads the joy.

I challenge you, also, to join me and others as we list 1,000 blessings.

#1. Salvation! Praise God!!! I am His. No one can SNATCH me out of His hand! John 10:28,29

#2.  Quietness.  Rain. Peace. Aloneness that is not alone.

#3.  The Green of Life. It’s spring. The blanket of green is being tugged over this corner of the world, not quite reaching its limits, just beginning. Baby leaves. Beginnings.

4.28.2010

#4.  Music. To soothe, to praise, to connect.

#5.  Sunbeams through the clouds, warming the bay window, melting the April flurries.

#6.  Sleeping boys, safely tucked in their beds. Oblivious. Whole. Loved. Peaceful.

4.29.2010

#7.  Sunshine flooding my porch.

4.30.2010

#8. A responsible, loving husband.

July 26, 2010

#9   Clear, sunny, dry, breezy summer days

#10  The word of God

#11   Progress on projects

#12  Friends who help

#13  Neatly pressed seams on quilt squares

#14  Christian men and women who love and encourage my children

#15  Fresh cut cedar planks

#16  Calling chickadees

#17  Buzzing bees

#18  Raindrops

#19  Ears to hear

#20 Cabin Time: We’re all here!

#21 Sleep

#22  Good neighbors

#23 Calling loons

#24 Gentle breeze

#25 Yankee Candle—and this morning, Mandarin Cranberry

#26  Waking up warm

#27 Maturing son

#28 miniature “just enough” desserts from OG

#29 laughter with spirit sisters

#30 clean windows, sun streaming in

#31 legs to climb

#32 color and variety

November 24, 2010 (Nov. 24, 2010—only the quiet part)

#33  Breakfast out with mancub

#34  Bright sun and crystal clear blue sky

#35  A day off from work!

1.15.11

#36 Crystal wonderland etched on the frozen panes.

February 2, 2011

#37  Fat, fluffy flakes

#38 Sisters bonded through time, laughing, praying, teaching, encouraging

#39 Safe travels

#40 Kind neighbor plowing unexpectedly

#41 Quiet

#42Ticking warmth from the heat rising in the pipes

#43 New revelations every day, of God’s grace, and power, and plan

#44 A son who laughs with me, across the miles

#45 Growing son’s heart

2.28.11

#46  Bright trim on light sage walls

3.1.11

#47  Hope of Spring

#48  Time with mother-in-law

#49 Stolen summer in the midst of winter

#50 A body that moves and breathes

#51 Cilantro

#53 Smile from sisters in Christ across the sea of chairs

#54 K’s perseverance

#55 Darby’s faith and adherance to Truth

#56 Erica’s voice of praise sailing from the back to my heart and up to God!

#57 Young Gloria’s introducing herself to the adult visitor after worship

#58 Getting all the phone calls made and appointments scheduled

#59 That boy-grin, peeking out from semi-permanent adolescent scowl

#60 Heated transport on raw, late-winter nights

4.28.2011

#61-64

*Blessed trip to alma mater and college home of my children

*Fellowship with Lucy, Jim, Donna,
Shawn, Pam, Karen and Steve, kids

*Safety from tornadoes and clear path
to travel

5.28.2011

And always, His neverending grace

#65 Others hearts captured by the joy of counting grace and finding eucharisteo

#69 Ancient words like honey that soothe a weary soul

#70 sunny skies after days of gloomy cloud cover

#71 fans blowing steadyily over comfy bed

#72 Gerbera’s happy faces

#73 forgiveness in the hearts of students when words are sharp and patience is frayed

#74 laughter from the same students at their teacher’s silly spelling sentences

#75 eager writers, even when school’s been hard and the year has waxed long

#76 access to healthcare

#77 son is home when appendicitis comes

#78 watching the mancub be a man in hospital bed

#79 motorcycle mornings for husband

#80 sung into a new day by chorus of happy birds

#81 health

#82 happy 19 year old son who wants to go to a movie and play games with his family

#83 progress in packing up the classroom

#84 helpful son and daughter who pack and copy

#85 friends of the heart who invite themselves over for cards

#85 May-time sitting on the screen porch eating and laughing

#86 a husband who knows how to fix the plumbing. again.

#87 music filling the house

#88 healing of husband, walking the journey together

#89 daughter who comes and lays down on the bed for a bit…just to be

#s 90-96 (but really, so much more each day!)

ruby-throated hummingbird at the feeder, generous helping and positive attitude of daughter, sunny and hot weather for Field Day, safety from violent weather, kind doctors, warm and sticky summer weather, bare feet

#97-116

First motorcycle ride of the season
with her guy

I love being a mother

appendicitis waited until Eric was
home from college.

Eric out of surgery. All went well.

Field trip to Shaker Village: no
black flies! mesmerizing fog over the fields, well-behaved children , an
important reminder: Hands to work, hearts to God.

daughter and son’s helping hands

vibrant flowers to nestle in a pot

sounds of summer

sun and heat after a long cold season

abundance of food

healthy ears to hear neighbor
rooster’s boastful cries

days granted to be at home and
listen to Mr. Rooster instead of being at work

selfless and serving daughter who
spent 3 hours helping pack up my classroom to move when I called for help
because I was overwhelmed

the opportunity to dust off my Spanish and
serve the Lord this evening

last day of school!

my little sister
Kaylee’s discerning eye of God’s physical grace

for a crazy, mixed-up, organized
chaos kind of day?…”Thank you for teaching me.” and a sweet
smile…from a tough nut to crack.

#117-121   sweet strawberries picked in the sun with church family, clear blue skies, guacamole and blue chips with friends, spiritual sharing with PC, really great cantaloupe, lifting and healing spirit

#122-129 for Monday, June 27: sociable loons, red-winged black birds, cribbage and float time on the lake with Sweet Sister, growing blue rose, calm waters, blue sky, staring contest with a deer 🙂

June 30, 2011 #129-144  Time-I have enough time
in each day, all the time He gives…Cecilia and her passion for Christ and His ministries…Jamy and her desire to know God…Lynn who looks for Christ every day…work for daughter…avocadoes…sweet cantaloupe…joy and belonging of eldest mancub…hope…Chacos and painted toes!…aloneness with Him…gardening…the burdens He carries…sun’s rays glinting through transparent lilies…youngest son’s willing heart to help out with smelly garbage and fixing grandparents’ porch windows

July 15, 2011 #145-148 God’s glory shown in wide expanse of azure blue, bald eagle soaring overhead on a determined journey, and full moon watching over me all the way home. But most of all, Glory is shown in His work with my eldest son’s heart as he works happy and grows strong as a counselor at our beloved church camp

#149-156 Baptisms of young hearts who choose Jesus, giggling with friends; sunny, windy drying days; orange moons; starlit skies; energetic counselors who shepherd hearts

#157-163:
God knows me and knows this about me already! Caroline’s cheerful help, rain
all day yesterday, last precious moments with Steven and David, tie-dying with
Nikki, Ellie, Kayla, and Caroline, active hummingbird feeder, shingles for the
barn roof

#164-167  November Eucharisteo:

1.A generator that gives heat, hot water, and flush toilets during lengthy power
outages.

2.Sweet red-headed student that writes me notes to see if I was okay during the
power outage.

3.  Grace all the time.

4.  Kind neighbor dressmaker mentoring the
wedding dress process. 🙂

#168-174 sun-streamed clear blue sky, time, full refrigerator, Spirit-clothing, time for worship, health, rest

#175-180
Warmish November day, encouraging parent of student, helpful and capable ED500
student, hot stew, soft bed, working husband.

#s 181-185 tomato juice in the
fridge when we needed it, students who love me, helpful and fun to-be-with
coworkers, safe travels of daughter to Chicago, veterans past and present who
gave up time, family, physical abilities, and lives to keep our country and
others safe and more peaceful.5. My parents, who stayed together and provided me with
that security

6. Other parents, who dig in and work hard to live
out their commitment to each other and their children

7. 18 precious and loving third graders

8. Cinnamon Dunkin’ Donuts coffee

9. Beauty in my surroundings

10. Cheerful and loving nurses who care for my Dad
and others who are not their family, like family

11. Those who take the time to study God’s word
deeply, pursue wisdom and instruction, humble their spirits, and break the
Bread of Hope to the rest of us weekly, daily, and year after year. Thank you, Park Linscomb, Preston Cottrell, Shawn Daggett, Ryan Lloyd and every
Bible teacher and preacher, guest speaker, friend, brother and sister, that has
done that for me!

(#s 185-196)

1. Each and every selfless warrior, past and present, male and female, that
served and serves our country in the military

2. Moms and Dads who share their most precious ones who choose to serve our
country in the armed services

3. The freedom to choose, to speak, to laugh, to work, to play, to worship, to
live.

4. Abundance 5. My parents, who stayed together
and provided me with that security

6. Other parents, who dig in and work hard to live
out their commitment to each other and their children

7. 18 precious and loving third graders

8. Cinnamon Dunkin’ Donuts coffee

9. Beauty in my surroundings

10. Cheerful and loving nurses who care for my Dad
and others who are not their family, like family

11. Those who take the time to study God’s word
deeply, pursue wisdom and instruction, humble their spirits, and break the
Bread of Hope to the rest of us weekly, daily, and year after year. Thank you, Park Linscomb, Preston Cottrell, Shawn Daggett, Ryan Lloyd and every
Bible teacher and preacher, guest speaker, friend, brother and sister, that has
done that for me!

5. My parents, who stayed together
and provided me with that security

6. Other parents, who dig in and work hard to live
out their commitment to each other and their children

7. 18 precious and loving third graders

8. Cinnamon Dunkin’ Donuts coffee

9. Beauty in my surroundings

10. Cheerful and loving nurses who care for my Dad
and others who are not their family, like family

11. Those who take the time to study God’s word
deeply, pursue wisdom and instruction, humble their spirits, and break the
Bread of Hope to the rest of us weekly, daily, and year after year. Thank you, Park Linscomb, Preston Cottrell, Shawn Daggett, Ryan Lloyd and every
Bible teacher and preacher, guest speaker, friend, brother and sister, that has
done that for me!5.
My parents who stayed together and provided me security

6.6. Other parents, who dig in and work hard to live out
their commitment to each other and their children

7. 18 precious and loving third
graders

8. Cinnamon Dunkin’ Donuts coffee

9. Beauty in my surroundings

10. Cheerful and loving nurses who
care for my dad like family

11. Those who take the time to
study God’s word deeply, pursue wisdom and instruction, humble their spirits
and break the Bread of Hope to the rest of us daily, weekly, and year after
year. Thank you Park Linscomb, Shawn Daggett, Ryan Lloyd and every Bible
teacher and preacher, guest speaker, friend, brother and sister that has done
that for me.

‎ 5. My parents, who stayed together and provided me with
that security

6. Other parents, who dig in and work hard to live
out their commitment to each other and their children

7. 18 precious and loving third graders

8. Cinnamon Dunkin’ Donuts coffee

9. Beauty in my surroundings

10. Cheerful and loving nurses who care for my Dad and others who are not their family, like family

11. Those who take the time to study God’s word deeply, pursue wisdom and instruction, humble their spirits, and break the Bread of Hope to the rest of us weekly, daily, and year after year. Thank you, Park Linscomb, Preston Cottrell, Shawn Daggett, Ryan Lloyd and every Bible teacher and preacher, guest speaker, friend, brother and sister, that has done that for me!

#s 197-202 new mornings, an extra day to the weekend, cinnamon spice coffee (again!), enough food to share,  Smartwool socks, the strength of prayer

#s 203-207 (More on the 12th…can you believe it? He just keeps giving!)

snipping the practice wedding dress, fresh-baked Mrs. Field’s on the counter, the sound of busy chainsaw in the yard, father and son working together outside, tunes on Pandora…ahhh! 🙂

For the 13th and 14th, #s 208-215 a son who calls home, doctors who take care of a precious (@Laura Newberry), Earl Grey decaf, elders who care, hugs from third graders, books to read, how smart and hard-working Noelani Hillhouse is, teenage son’s laughter

#s 216-222 my crock pot, the smell of fresh rosemary, puppies safely arrived, a husband who faithfully goes to work despite his constant discouragement and frustration, a valuable trip to Chicago for daughter to learn about other faiths and religious practices, positive changes and growth in my dad’s nursing care facility placement, caring and positive caregivers

#223-226 unexpected afternoon phone call from Caroline Apgar, violin lessons and wonderful violin teacher, smooth parent-teacher conferences

 

#227-233 coffee with my husband, a washing machine that works, the Susie Gray Peacock (Gray) and Karen Lowery families that provide a place in their hearts and at their tables for my Eric Apgar and Caroline Apgar, safe travels for all, apple bread for breakfast (and snack, and dessert!), the opportunity to serve a sweet sister, the assurance of heaven

#234-35 blue sky, warm puppy

#236-242 eighteen children who are counting 1,000 gifts with me!, a husband who comes home every night, enough money to share, things to laugh at (right now it’s the Allstate Mayhem commercial!), comfortable shoes, choice, baby animals

#243-253 I am thankful for a peaceful day, a productive doctor’s appointment, submersible pumps for wet basements, leather gloves, gas for my car, people who pray for me, color, sound, eyes to see, ears to hear, the smell of celery and onions being sauteed

#254-258 Blessed day with family; missing those not here, but enjoying those who are; phone calls from far away offspring; leftovers; quiet evening by the fire

 

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About An Earthen Vessel--Terri Apgar

Wife of one, mother of three, so grateful for God's grace--that's me. I'm just tucked into my bay window, opening my heart to God and trying to be brave about letting Him use all that He has crafted inside me to His glory.
This entry was posted in Counting Joy, The Walk, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Counting Grace

  1. Cora says:

    “Aloneness that is not alone.” That really struck me today. Sometimes we seek it, other times it comes when we don’t want it. Yet, it is always from Him and He speaks in the stillness. I loved your remarks today, and your listing. Thank you!

    • I am thankful for your visit! Never truly alone, that’s a beautiful blessing! By the way, I stopped by your place…good luck with the gardening (I find God brings me so many lessons while poking in soil and growing things!). Also, I am having trouble figuring out how to copy the actual graphic button to Ann’s site and the 1,000 Gifts linklike you have. Could you please offer me some advice about how to do thisif you have a moment? I’m new at this. 🙂 Thankful for you, Terri

  2. craig says:

    I’m here from Ann’s – and it’s Thursday – but there were a ton of Grateful linkies to read – and I love reading them. And it took me this long to get to yours. And her book is a a little miracle isn’t it?

    When I read through the lists I like to think about it a little and pick a favorite – my favorite from yours was #49 Stolen summer in the midst of winter (I’m not sure if I liked it so much because it is true – or because you worded it so well – but this one – this is the one) {smile}

    I’m really glad I read you today.

    God Bless and keep you and all of yours

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