Monday, December 9, 2013

1000 gifts

I'm almost halfway through this series of thankful posts, 1000 gifts.  If you haven't read this book by Ann Voskamp, I highly recommend getting a copy and reading it in the quiet hours.  It's so good.  I read it a few years ago, just after Sam was born.  I started keeping a grateful-list then, but in the busyness of figuring out life as a Mom, I stopped writing.  

I know a lot of you are familiar with the book, so I won't review or recap it, but I want to explain my listy posts for those who might be wondering what they mean.

The big idea in One Thousand Gifts is that God blesses us with gifts, constantly, every day.  Once we start opening our eyes to see them, we discover them all around us.  There are big gifts, like salvation and redemption and the eternal character of God - and small gifts, like the way the light glints against my daughter's fuzzy soft hair.  All of creation - gift.  And so keeping a list of the gifts God gives is a way of doing two things: seeing and thanking.  Every item on my list is prefaced with a grateful "ahh.  I see this gift, Father.  Thank you for blessing me with this moment - experience - thing."  

It's not a braggy "look what I have" - because none of this is anything I do or create.  It's all received, given from the Father of Lights who pours out every good and perfect gift.  This series of posts is a teensy attempt to walk through the whirlwind and mind-clutter of everyday and pause when something catches my attention - pause and take it with two open hands and enjoy it and say Thank You, Father.

I used to do the opposite.  I used to grouch through the day, gloomily counting all the things that went wrong, all the ways I suffered and had to do extra work and had to give and give.  I used to think "AUGH!" at every turn.  I really focused on the bad things and I'm sure I was a real joy to be around ;).

I'm not Pollyanna or anything, but I've been growing in gladness and gratitude since I started noticing the gifts that God showers on me every day.  Some blatant, some hidden - it's a bit of a scavenger hunt for treasures, every day - looking for Him, His touch and blessing.  It sure beats mulling and stewing over the unpleasant parts of the day (and yet even those are His gifts ... and I'm learning to say thank you for those parts too).

I love my family more because of this exercise.  It shouldn't be such a surprise, but one of the things that I didn't expect was finding His gifts so abundantly in my children.  Sam and Vava - their actions, words, presence, challenges - they are my gifts from Him.  And every day they show me more of His generous gladness and goodness.  And my husband's kindnesses and love, the way he takes care of us and serves us and enjoys us - these are gifts straight from the heart of God.  I am blessed with heaps of gifts, piled up and lovely, and His opening my eyes to see them ... well, that's another gift.

I am blessed - blessed - and I will never stop saying thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I love you, sweet daughter! You are a blessing to me, a gift from a loving God. Thank you for posting all these things. They stir my heart and incite me to thankfulness as well.