Welcome to our gratitude community ~

As discipline of seeing, of paying attention, of growing joy, this space is my foray into a kind of gratitude community inspired by Canadian friend, homeschooling mother of six, farmer’s wife, writer and photographer, Ann Voskamp (aholyexperience.com).  We’re trying to pay closer attention to our lives, giving voice and name to 1,000 graces for which we’re grateful.

The Gospel is good news of life, here, now, and also then.  And blessed are those who stand and live for a culture of life.  For human and cultural flourishing, everywhere.  Feel free and invited to join our attempt at lives being shaped by attention ~ and thankfulness.

Kelly Monroe Kullberg

1,000 Gifts ~  I see these gifts, Lord, and give thanks ~

Advent and Christmas 2011

Family home for hours and hours, even if never enough.  

Quiet hours lost in the writing of a screenplay.  A rare gift.  David’s novel done, for real and for good.

Stories read to children, Papa “speaking whale,” and Pooh and Piglet.  Awe of the story, “The Three Trees.”  

Mom regaining strength after a fall on her walker (chasing Dottie on her motor scooter).

Autumn, 2011

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Trinity Forum with Cherie Harder, Os Guinness and Al McDonald.  Washington D.C., Corocran Museum of Art.

The Belfry and authors, niece Alezah there and on to PA to meet Bill & Jeanie Haas and children.




Summer, 2011

The Belfry in the Virginia, Shenandoahs with Anne Grizzle and IVP writing friends.

Napa Valley wedding of friends Ken Miller & Kim Kreiling ( another “Operation Emma” victory)

spontaneous road trips to Yosemite, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, Muir Woods and Stanford with the man I can be around 24 hours a day and be at peace.

Gardens and renovations and a new baby on the way at home.

Montana for an econ conference and hikes, by which we created “Christians for a Sustainable Economy” or (CASE4America.org).  With thanks for creative friends in the midst of national crisis of leadership and biblical wisdom.

Orcas Island off Seattle for the beautiful Kindlings Festival!

Winter, 2010-2011

Again to the gorgeous E. Shore of MD, Trinity Forum’s Osprey Point with Bill Edgar, Nigel Cameron speaking on technology and culture.  A long Sabbath walk on a long pier with lovely friend / astronomer Jennifer Wiseman.     

A day in Boston with Veritas staff: Rebecca, Dan, Chris & Miriam.  Such a privilege to work with them, with Veritas in 100+ universities in the U.S., Canada, Europe.

Ice storm, February, three days & night near the fireplace for light and warmth, like winter camping, inside.

Snow globes shaken by little hands.  Fixed attention.  Joy.  (Even stops the pain of teething : )

Sledding on cookie sheets (and slides) at the park with Papa and boys.

Fires on snowy mornings as he reads his Bible.  And stories to the boys.

Brothers and family, mother and father, together at Christmas.  First time in decades.  Wholeness.  Peace.  Singing around the piano (Marge can play anything )

Another visit with new girlfriends, on the ocean, S. California. Talk of faith and art.  And the clear art of their faith and lives.

Mother surviving infections and hospital visits, yet again.  Her miraculous memory that forgets emergency rooms and remembers reading books to children.

A writing retreat with Susan, Hannah, and David.

A horn festival in the living room, with Stephen, Nathaniel (2) and Isaac (1).

Autumn, 2010

Walking into hidden gems in New York City.  The Alonquin Hotel and Harvard Club, old stories, old wood, warmth in cold November wind.

The kindness of strangers on a train from NYC to Long Island (I was a conspicuous tourist).  And then seeing Kim, the one to share Good News with me 35 years ago in our Ohio high school by inviting me to a passion play.  I said “thanks but I’m busy.”  She said, “It runs for ten nights.  How busy are you?”

Throwing little boys on our bed, Isaac the bird, Nathaniel the plane, David, well, Superman : )  The giggles.  Then Winnie the Pooh for bedtime.      

Two old chairs and a table.  Thanks, Dad!

The crispness of autumn air / leaves.

My mom waiting for her Emergency Room visit until the night I was home, after my 35 days away.  And all went well.  (blood sugar came back down).

Moving back home.  David, Josh, Matt, Bill, Leo & Joe, John & Stephen, Keya’s patience with electricians and plumbers, the little boys, all of you ~ thank you for filling the house with working water pipes, appliances, roof, fireplaces, electricity … love.  7 under the same roof now : )    

For this providential serendipity / pure gift:  going for a 1 hour beach-walk turns into 48 hours in a beach cottage with deck overlooking the ocean, Crystal Cove state park, near Corona del Mar.  Worked on screenplay.  (Usually requires a 6-month advanced reservation but I happened upon a rare cancellation).  Wonderful 1950-esque retro novelty.

Film analysis course at USC with brilliant teacher, Bobette Buster.

Happy fruition & celebration of my notorious match-making tendencies, Claremont, CA.

Meals with film-makers / writers / artists in L.A. ~ new girlfriends.

Two days at Pepperdine in Malibu with such impressive students, alumni, staff and profs.  Wow.  Thank you!

Up past midnight in conversation at the L.A. Film Studies Center monthly thought bar.  What is the nature of love?  How do we know what’s real?  What kind of character do we want to be, and play, in the story of our actual lives?

An hour talk in a Laguna Beach church that becomes a six-hour visit and dinner and room full of new friends.  Kindred spirits everywhere.

Listening to the brilliance, being in same room, with Hillsdale President Larry Arnn, and his knowledge & respect for the founders of America.  And then brilliant Arthur Brooks and Fred Barnes at the “Free Market Forum.”

The growth of Belmont University in Nashville, and the love Todd and Joy Jordan-Lake have for its students.  And to celebrate a baby, in utero, with Kristyn and Keith Getty!

Friend (and marvelous violinist), Mary Irwin, thank you for letting sick me crash in your guest room for 48 hours of sleep in middle of a 5-week trip !  (This saved me for all the travels!)

Trinity Forum Academy, Chesapeake Bay, MD, Fellows, with John and David Kullberg.  Thank you Covingtons, Powells, and Fellows, esp. for the pottery lesson, music recording lesson, and English lawn party!

Four girlfriends together, from grad school, in Lincoln (near Walden Pond)!  What’s ten years?  I felt like I was thirty, again.  Thank you, Becky, Kay and Poh Lian.  StillWater Circle : )     

First sight of changing leaves, greens to golds and reds.  Maine.

Visits with New England (old Cambridge) friends. And two days with Veritas regional coaches.

Even the thought of moving back home after renovations.  And seeing the craftsmanship of friends who apply hands to wood and stone.

Reading the galleys of Ann Voskamp’s awesome book, One Thousand Gifts, due in January 2011!  

Breakfast with Dad.  Just the two of us, and treasured conversation.

My mom’s earnest need to watch the Ben Hur chariot race for the 22nd time (but fell asleep in the middle of it).

Spring & Summer, 2010 (# 1 – 25 )

Renovation of the den and house, finally!  Making space.  Adding beauty.   Thanks to David, Josh, Matt, Brandon, Bill the excellent Builder and others.

Full moon boat ride with Armbrusts last night.  Chris Rice’s song, “Hallelujahs.”  

My Mom’s smile, once again, so many times, and always so dear to me.      

Wood Chip at Cedar Campus.          

Hannah is home from Italy, writing poetry and sharing stories.  

July 4th, 2010, Kullbergs and Armbrusts together.  

My niece (Michelle Monroe’s) beautiful wedding in Athens, Georgia.  June, 2010.

Driving from 95 degree Georgia up to 75 degree Highlands, NC, and two days of galleries and hikes with lovely friend, Betsy Phillips.

Watts Barr Lake, near Knoxville, and friends Julian & Melanie Reese, Steph Powers.

The Appalachian arts of Berea College, KY.  What a gem of a town.

Learning to convert & baptize memories ~ from wistful nostalgia to hopeful gratitude.  

Nathaniel and I on tree swing, and after he pulled each petal off an English rose, he lamented, “all gone.”  Thankfully a rose is more than the sum of its parts.

James Taylor and Carol King in concert last night.  Wow.  40 years of music in an evening, not quite “eternity in an hour” but a sense of it.      

a day of planting flowers, with my mom sitting near, in soil David already weeded

Susan and 6 (of 9) kids’ drive-by last night: full moon rise and Graeter’s ice cream

My Dad and step-mom back in Columbus for the summer  

Our new son-in-law, Matthew Niemie. (photo of April and Matt).

my niece, Michelle, in Georgia, on her birthday today (May 29)

a full and glorious view of the waxing moon and rising stars last night

my mother’s voice, her way of saying “honey.”  Its childlike tenderness.  The fact that voice comes from heart.  Her Wisconsin accent still strong after all these years in Ohio.      

guitar again with Michelle, by campfire, and hearing her voice

falling asleep to his prayers

Nathaniel loving to water the flowers, his shoes, the dog and lamppost    

My brother Dan’s visit, and nephew Cory, from the Wishing Upon A Star (WUPAS) ranch in Montana

Josh’s piano recital, and his gift for music and his reputation in school as “the nice guy.”

Keya’s choir concert, (the youngest member of the Lutheran church choir) and how she loves to sing

The fruit of his labors of love, parenting for 32-years.      

Calling to mind:

“Do not conform to this world … but be transformed, by the renewing of your minds.” Romans 12:2

“… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

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