So I've been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and let me just say that she has totally knocked my socks off. She is now my new favorite author. (besides God, of course) If you haven't read this book yet, you must. Go to Amazon and order a copy. Like right now. You won't regret it!
I've been posting bits and pieces of her book all over facebook, but in case you have missed out, let me enlighten you:
"It was a dare, like a love dare of sorts, and I take it one clear November morning, not at all unlike that long ago November morning that her blood soaked the ground and I can never forget. It is the beginning of list season. Lists of holiday menus, lists of handmade projects, lists of have-to buys. They're scattered and stacked across the counter, around my desk, when a friend's dashed-off digital line blinks up on the my screen. She dares me, and I don't even blink. Could I write a list of a thousand things I love? I read her line again. As in, begin another list? To name one thousand blessings-one thousand gifts-is that what she means? Sure whatever.
It's not like I thought that this is the carving, the flying, the healing of my wounds. Sometimes you don't know when you're taking the first step through a door until you're already inside.
I grab a scrap paper....Across the backside, on a whim, a dare, I scratch it down: Gift List. I begin the list. Not of gifts I want but of gifts I already have.
1. Morning shadows across the old floors
2. Jam piled high on the toast.
3. Cry of blue jay from high in the spruce
That is the beginning and I smile. I can't believe how I smile. I mean, they are just the common things and maybe I don't even know they are gifts really until I write them down and that is really what they look like. Gifts He bestows. This writing down-it is sort of like...unwrapping love."
After reading this and more from this amazing book, I decided to start my own list...a list of things that I am thankful for...my Eucharisteo. I just had to see what all the fuss was about. I mean, come on. How can writing these things down make someone as joyous and satisfied as it seemed to make this talented author in her book?
Well, she explains that too. To summarize, you must live by this motto: "Wherever you are, be all there."(Jim Elliot) And by taking the time to truly stop and think about what you are thankful for, you force yourself to "be all there". While giving the babies a bath, instead of rushing through, you stop to take snap shots in your mind of the dimples and rolls and cheeky grins, and toothless smiles....all things that you are thankful for. And you can't help but to have joy. You are "all there". And then you repeat this process with each task or duty that you face all day, everyday. You will be surprised at what all you are thankful for but never really slowed down to realize this much. And what joy this brings!
So this is a glimpse at what has brought me joy today:
1. chubby baby cheeks
2. little hands tugging on mommy's leg
3. fresh air blowing through open windows
4. the still, quiet of nap time
5. how the trees dance and sing of His glory
6. the way the boys warm the bed
7. Josiah's nap head
8. the twinkle in Elijah's eyes
9. the changing of seasons
10. "I love you" whispered in darkness
11. The husband's strong embrace
12. Hot chocolate with milk
13. Amazing Grace
14. songs of worship to the One worthy of all honor and praise