For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
I got a report that my list of regrets was too heavy and not something anyone wants to think about. They don’t bug me that much (well, except for my meanness to that college boyfriend to whom I ought to apologize) because I know that in God’s eyes, they are forgiven and I am free of those regrets. But, just to make up for that list and any angst it may have caused my handful of readers, here is a list of my favorite things. In no particular order:
2. Dobermans who beg for their sweatshirts on cold winter nights. Other than a few years of Rottweillers and Vizslas, we have always had a Doberman in the house. I will be sad when our current two pass on because we will not have any more. Those rotten evil money sucking insurance companies will keep us from owning any more of this “vicious” breed.
3. A pink morning sky. Though I often long to sleep until I wake up, the reward of early rising and trudging out to the barn to do chores is turning back towards home to see a painting in the sky.
4. Books so good you cannot put the down once you start them. Stories that remain with you long after the last page is read. Especially ones that come from the library so they don’t cost anything to enjoy.
5. A pile of wool sweaters to felt. Who ever knew that I would become a hat maker? Who ever knew it would be cold enough in Florida for everyone to want and wear a wool hat?
6. A Beth Moore Bible Study. She is an excellent teacher with ways of communicating truth that change people’s lives.
7. Making things of glass. The fun of putting colors together. Of working out a design in my head and seeing it come together. The joy of giving a piece of glass to a friend.
8. Silver cloth. Do you know about this miracle of modern invention? My mother taught me about silver cloth when I first got married and received a ridiculous amount of silver tea sets, platters, pitchers, casserole holders and silverware. Left exposed to the air, these silver items tarnish and turn black. Wrapped in silver cloth, they stay bright and shiny. My sister-in-law gave me a small piece a few years ago to store my silver jewelry, and I appreciate it very much.
9. Words of encouragement from someone I love. Written words speak to me strongly. A dear someone who stayed with us over Christmas plastered my house and barn with cards and notes of encouragement. I am still finding them, and they give me great delight.
10. My new to me blue sweater. I found this cotton sweater at Goodwill. It is the first piece of clothing I ever bought at Goodwill to wear and not shrink. Once I got over my squeamishness and put this sweater on, I decided I would wear it everyday if I could. I love the color, the neckline and the three quarter full sleeves. If it is possible to adore an inanimate object, I adore this sweater.
What do all these things have in common besides the fact that they are among my favorite things? They are all gifts from God. I didn’t earn them. I wasn’t owed them. I don’t have a right to them. I am not worthy of them. Just like God’s miraculous grace, salvation freely offered to all. I just have to open my hand and accept them.