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The weekly reckoning...
172. Military miscommunications
173. Getting groceries at not-the-nearest Kroger
174. Finding new ways to get places
175. Shared discoveries
176. Dempsey Bakery and a dedicated gluten-free facility
177. Finally spotting someone else wearing a baby
178. Unexpected texts from distant friends
179. Forgetting about a scarf, then rediscovering it - it's like getting a new one, but free!
180. Encountering someone we know from Fayetteville while walking at a mall in Little Rock
181. A baby who knows how to sleep in (9:30am!)

The written word has always had a huge draw for me - but better still is the handwritten. As nice it is to have my Facebook wall written on, or even, more personally, to receive an unexpected text, nothing encourages me like someone taking the time to write their thoughts by hand. I love the personality that comes through in each person's unique penmanship, and the extra effort involved when there are so many quicker and more convenient ways to communicate is deeply meaningful to me.

Two people blessed me with the handwritten word this past week - and it got me thinking about an aspect of gifts and gratitude that I often overlook. I was given an amazing gift, but if I just write it down and glean my moment of happiness from it, then that happiness will quickly fade... unless I do something to make it last. Because when I'm given a gift, I can choose to hoard it, choking the life out of it in my clenched fists, then either forget it and let it fade, or dwell on it until it becomes a creature bearing no resemblance to its original form and, in a warped way, begins to cause discontent  - or I can give it to someone else.

That's the best part about the daily gifts: the way they can be "paid forward." Because unlike ordinary objects, a single unwanted thing that can be regifted from person to person until it finally gets thrown away or donated and is gone, blessings multiply. When you bless someone else in the same way that you were blessed, it doesn't take your blessing away - it makes it bigger, better, stronger, and then it shares it with someone else, as well.

Which is why I share the gifts I'm given - in a small way, here on this blog, so that maybe others will be encouraged to look at the events around them differently, and when I can by passing on specific gifts of encouragement that I'm given.

184. Adam spending an evening cleaning the kitchen with Brooklyn while I quested internet for a blog post
185. A whole day of homemaking with Brooklyn
186. Adam getting out of class an hour early
187. Online sermon audio
188. and Pandora, for when iTunes malfunctions
189. Extra sleep after staying up late

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Grab a notebook or journal (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us in a weekly link-up to encourage each other by sharing all the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts, add your own below (please stay relevant to the topic when linking up!), and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

Please check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other!
   Kayla [at] Renown and Crowned
   Dolly [at] Headed Home
   Kelsey [at] Faith Fun and the Fergusons


Kelsey Ferguson said…
I love the idea of regifting our blessings or using our blessings to bless others. You never know just how far God will use it! :) Thanks for sharing your heart on this!

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