I just finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She has such a romantic, poetical style of writing. Something you don't see anymore. She talks about her journey to find true joy. She begins a list of 1000 things she is thankful for, not just family, food, home, clothing. She digs deeper. Here are a few of her 1000 gifts...
- Jam piled high on toast
- Moonlight on pillows
- Hot oatmeal tasting like home
- Bare toes in early light
- Cackle of crows high in the limbs, iridescence on wings
- Boys humming hymns
- Click of a seat belt
Here is an excerpt of the book that really spoke to my heart...
"...What of all the memories where Christ seems absent? When the bridge shakes and heaves, when "how will he not also?" reads more like "he will not".
Trauma's storm can mask the Christ and feelings can lie.
I draw all the hurting voices close and I touch their scars with a whisper: sometimes we don't fully see that in Christ, because of Christ, through Christ, He does give us all things good -- until we have the perspective of years.
In time, years, dust settles.
In memory, ages, God emerges.
Wasn't that too His way with Moses? "And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen." Exodus 33:22-23 (KJV, she used NIV)
Is that it? When it gets dark, it's only because God has tucked me in a cleft of the rock and covered me, protected me, with His hand? In the pitch, I feel like I'm falling, sense the bridge giving way, God long absent. In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams. But maybe this is true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can't see and our world seems to be free-calling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is more present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake. Then He will remove His hand. Then we will look.
Then we look back and see His back."
When I first read this, I thought how can writing down blessings bring joy. I decided to try it. I have this pretty pink journal book that I've been waiting for the perfect things to use it for. Here are a few of my 1000 gifts...
- 1. Early morning snuggles
- 3. Yuma sunsets
- 7. Memories of my pappy
- 12. Worshipping with the Navajos
- 15. 45 children hearing the Gospel today...some for the first time
- 22. People bragging on God
- 28. Sweet smelling babies
- 36. Friends that encourage
- 37. New mercies everyday
- 38. A phone call from my dad
I add a few everyday. This is really powerful. There are times when you struggle to find joy in day to day living, but it's there, friends. When times are dark, it's those times when God has you in the cleft of the rock, He hasn't left you, He's protecting you. Awesome thought!
Here is another excerpt...
"I walk in our back door to candlelight still flickering, hang the keys on the hook, and look around at the steep mountain of laundry there in the mudroom, the shoes scattered, a coat dropped. The mudroom is grime ringed. Fingerprints smear across the mirror. I laugh the happiest wonder. In the afternoon's drizzle, I give happy thanks for the daily mess with a smile a mil wide, because this is again my chance to wholeheartedly serve God, to do full-bodied eucharisteo with the hands and the heart and the lips. I can count each task a gift, pure eucharisteo. Grace! This work --the thousand endless jobs --they each give the opportunity for one to become the gift, a thousand times over! Because with every one of the thousand, endless jobs, I become the gift to God and to others because this work is the public God serving, the daily liturgy of thanks, the completing of the Communion service with my service."
I would love to share this book with you. I am giving away my copy. It is read, but in great condition. I take good care of my books! By the way, I will ship overseas...so anyone can enter! I'll announce the winner next Monday, August 15th.
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment with one unusual thing you are thankful for today.