how to really wake up to living

There’d been no knowing that I had been dead all day.

There had been the plugged toilet, there was no getting around knowing that.

We all knew that  needed definite attention, a toilet in a house of 8 always requiring an immediate resurrection.

After that, there had been the mad dash to music lessons. Lots of frantic movement, sure, and yes, flailing — but really?

I’d been numbed right through, just going through the motions.

And after that, there was the burnt soup, just because I failed to stir. Is that why we die in a thousand ways everyday? Because we fail to stand near the heat and stir ourselves awake?

It wasn’t till she pulled those two kitties into her arms, that I knew that something in me had been the walking dead all day, that something in me opened wide.


The way those bundles of fur purr deep into the crook of her arm, so quiet. She turns to them and laughs, so full of life, and something stirs in me, so loud.

Maybe it’s the way her tendrils fall that make me see it: that I had fallen asleep all day to the glory, and everywhere.

That I had missed my life because I had missed the graces and I didn’t want to live like this and isn’t that what Robert Louis Stevenson had wrote? “The man who has forgotten to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.”

The toilet fail, the music fumbling, the soup flounder — a woman can forget in a thousand ways.

She says it tickles, the way his tail flicks her nose. She says it and her eyes, they laugh with all this light.


She tilts her head so the kitten’s in the crook of her neck, tail waving happy, and the way she half smiles, it upholds everything, and, this purring, it’s so perfectly loud. She’s tickling me awake. A heart can murmur gratitude with it’s every beat wide awake beat.

I have known it, and I know it again, the love crawling all up and over her: intentionally purpose to give thanks, look for ways to give thanks, dare yourself to give thanks anyways, and it’s the setting of an alarm and you could wake up to nothing less than your life.

Set out a gratitude list and there it goes again: an alarm set off by the startling grace of God.

Giving thanks, this is an awakening — the breath of God upon the face, close and warm.

She says the whiskers, they tickle too.


When we fill the dish, you can hear it, how they drink. She lays right on her tummy so she can hear it.

“Hear them, Mama?” Her eyes dance indigo sky, all uncontained, all alive.

That is what we are doing: she and I smiling over spilled milk anyways.

She and I waking up…  this lapping up of life.



“Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart —  transforming the disposition and the whole character.

Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit—before it can become a fixed and permanent quality.

An occasional burst of praise, in the midst of years of complaining, is not what is required. Songs on rare, sunshiny days; and no songs when skies are cloudy—will not make a life of gratitude. The heart must learn to sing always.

This lesson is learned only when it becomes a habit which nothing can weaken. We must persist in being thankful.

When we can see no reason for praise—we must believe in the divine love and goodness, and sing in the darkness.

Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.”

J. R. Miller, 1912

Counting more of the endless, One Thousand Gifts… endlessly awaking…

Thank you, Lord…

#2831 … for men walking down main street wearing their honest farm dirty jeans

#2832… for my mama wearing that red knitted scarf, smiling that her pneumonia’s ebbing into memory

#2833… for the Farmer roasting almonds and leaving a bowl of them out, love treat

#2834… for the joy of checking in on all this stream of thanksthe app making life application & this movement of making thanksgiving everyday and waking up to life.

#2835… for the boys saying thanks for the corn pone, that they like the corn pone, and when will I make the corn pone again?

#2835… for  this song as loud as the speakers will play

#2836… for planting bulbs and beginning the beautiful wait of Advent

#2837… for the studies on how to raise grateful kids because they’re healthier: the benefits of 365 days of Thanksgiving

#2838 … making waking up a habit


kaileaves.button onethousandgiftsbutton

the book button


Free Printables to wear the habit of Joy

NOVEMBER’s Free Gratitude Calendar

Picnik collage

Write down 7 gifts, 7 days of the week, 1 sheet of paper :

(folding instructions for booklet here)

Picnik collage

Will you join us? And happily change everything by keeping your own crazy list of One Thousand Gifts? Please, jump in, make your life about giving thanks to God! — Just add the direct URL to your specific 1000 gift list post… and if you join us, we humbly ask that you please help us find each other in our refrain of thanks by sharing the community’s graphic within your post. Give thanks to the Lord! His Love Endures Forever!