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gratitude in the face of grief

your encouraging notes, emails, and tweets have born us through a difficult anniversary. thank you.

we will never be the same for being Elli’s family, and i’m finally able to say that this is a good thing.

if you haven’t read “One Thousand Gifts” yet, you must. Ann writes the road through the darkest dark and out the other side. She doesn’t fall back on simplistic answers or tired meaningless cliches as she traces the contours of grace, in simple beauty, in irritating every day, in gut-wrenching and incomprehensible pain. Her book pours healing truth over hearts wounded in life. I highly recommend it.

Ann, your book has been a key part of God’s work in my heart to push me past my bitterness so I could see the grace in the hard things that have been handed to us. I could not find it in myself to be grateful for them. Your words gave me the prayer I needed — “please help me to truly see.” Thank you for writing the story God gave you for others to read.


111. the book “One Thousand Gifts” from my husband

112. soaking up the sun on the porch swing

113. a february day that didn’t require a coat

114. my daughter asking if I’d play Barbies with her

115. casting off a pair of socks I made for my husband and watching him wear them after 2 years of waiting

birthday socks

116. a new project

117. a new laptop

118. our church home-away-from-home

119. perfectly-folded tortellini

120. a shared bowl of ice cream with the love of my life

121. birthday cards through the mail

122. “happy birthday” song by my family

123. first manicure

124. the dance of red, green, yellow, and purple-black in homemade salsa, spooned generously over salmon

125. the memories my husband and I share of our first baby’s birthday

elli's birth day

126. the doctor whose keen ear heard a heart murmur no-one else did

127. the home-care nurse who insisted that we take elli to the doctor the day she came

128. the general practitioner who sent us to the emergency room, despite my irrational resistance to taking my newborn where who-knows-what-kind-of-germs were to be found

129. the person who answered the children’s hospital phone when we got lost, figured out where we were, and gave us good directions

130. the nurse who recognized the deer-in-the-headlights look of a new mother facing the worst news she’d ever heard and took me under her wing


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