One thousand gifts
I picked up and began to read my new book, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp about an hour ago. Already I've cried. Twice. And I've realised that I need this book because I need gratitude. I need joy. I need contentment. And I need to live fully, without bitterness.
Like many of us, Voskamp is a Christian who said 'yes' to God's grace for salvation, but lived 'no' to God's grace in everyday life. Her unspoken question (like mine is so often) was: "Is God really good? Can I really trust him?"
Voskamp wanted to find the full life, the grace-filled life, the life which left her content and gracious. She found it in eucharisteo, or thanksgiving -- for the small things of every day life.
Her challenge to herself was to list and write down 1000 'gifts' God had given her. In finding small, everyday delights, her outlook began to change. After four months of writing her list, her friend said, "You've changed."
I'm going to take the challenge, and blog it here. Hopefully in four months someone might say to me, "You seem nicer." (Don't say it unless it's true!) If you haven't read the book, I sincerely recommend that you get a copy and join me.
Here goes, with the first ten of one thousand gifts.
1. The ice-cold deliciousness of plunging into a blue ocean with a gold sun above.
2. Generosity of friends to send my daughter on a three-day horse camp. She came home beaming from ear to ear.
3. The diffused freckles on Max's nose, and his smile of delight when he likes something.
4. The liquid brown eyes of my soft-furred dog.
5. An under-stairs closet for the shoes and bags which keeps the mess out of sight.
6. Bright Eyes' uninhibited giggles when he enjoys something.
7. The fact that hardly anyone else has my name.
8. The colour green. Grass, plants, trees and my lounge room walls.
9. Clean drinkable water in the taps.
10. My own computer.
Know what? Just by writing out ten specific things that God has given me and by naming his grace, I actually feel happier. Wow.