so i've been reading the life altering book one thousand gifts by ann voskamp. if you haven't heard of it please watch this clip...
i was fortunate enough to have learned to be thankful, for both little and much, from a very young age. however, this book is teaching me to be purposefully thankful even in the difficult, hard to breath kind of life as well. to actually stop and put to practice a type of self control i have never known existed. in emotions, and weather or not i will choose to let them run me over or stop, and give thanks for the first thing i can think of, in that particular situation, to choose to find joy in the difficult places, in the every day life, in every single God gifted second that i breath.
in this practice of thanks i have this running list. it sits where i am. on the kitchen counter, on the side tables in the living room, on the front stoop outside our house, in the dirt of our garden, under the covers while i sleep, pen in hand listing listing listing, until i list myself to sleep. in fact, that is one way i used to help myself to sleep as a child, not by counting sheep - i could never see them - but to count my blessings. to recall all the things during that day that i was thankful for, grateful for, blessed by.
this book definitely takes it multiple steps forward in that it's not only things i am thankful for that i am counting, but that in giving thanks, i am choosing to see the joy gifted to me from the Maker of Heaven and Earth - Creator of All that is seen and unseen. i am counting the ways He loves me.
oh how high i spiral in the thanks and joy and Love!
if you need a way to find the joy in life, a way to refocus your eyes on what you were created for, if you need to get free from anything that weighs you down, may i suggest that you read one thousand gifts and take the dare from ann voskamp, farmers wife and mother of half a dozen.
psalm 50:23 he who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that i may show him the salvation of God. thank offerings. in my minds eye my blank book (filling quickly) is the alter, and in it - on it, are my thank offerings,
#79) flowers that push up dirt
#81) bounce dyer bars, ready and waiting to add fluff
#99) for peace that lands in my heart when prayer is whispered to dark threatening clouds
#107) for the gurgling rumble of tractor shifting earth
#109) for the sight of sun kissed curls dancing on heaven sent breeze
#119) for toddler girl dumping every single pretzel and granule of salt out of bag with the look of purposeful work on her face
#120) for small boy dipping fingers in salt only to lick them clean and whisper "mmmmh...salt."
#153) for crumbs under the table and all around, a reminder of my children and the all important job of training them up
#155) for strawberry jam, ruby colored, seeds suspended in sweet gifted spreed
#160) for sticky honey nut cheerios spilled over in my favorite red chair
#163) for sky fire beaming down on moist air, heaven kissed vapor
it has become a hunt. a once very simple list of "i am thankful for's" has turned into a "eyes wide open" experience and i am full of long sought after joy. my table of thank offerings is smeared with wonderful home made strawberry jam, dappled in sunlight filtered through radiance and covered in crumbs that used to make to sweep like a crazy lady, and now, at the mere sight of them, i could cry tears of joy. time has slowed to a snails pace and i can see moments happening inside moments captured and i am finding holiness in everyday life, the beautifully and the ugly - this - this is amazing! this is truely a holy experience.