Monday, August 6, 2012

Counting 1000 Gifts

Eucharisteo -- thanksgiving -- always proceeds the miracle. ~ Ann Voskamp

At my church's women's retreat last February, the book One Thousand Gifts came up in a group discussion.

A couple weeks later, a friend recommended a blog to me called A Holy Experience.

That same day, a different friend posted a link to said blog on Facebook.

I visited the blog and read that day's posting. It fit me -- where I was at and what I was going through. And I realized then it was the author of the book I kept hearing about: One Thousand Gifts.

I thought maybe it was a sign. Now, before you dismiss me as a mystic, this is often how God speaks to me -- through repetition. I haven't quite perfected the skill of knowing it's him the first time he says it.

I decided to pick up a copy of Voskamp's book. And then I forgot. And then I remembered. And then I forgot. And then I remembered -- you get the idea.

Finally, a couple weeks ago I sent a message to the woman at my church who recommended the book in the first place and asked if she had a copy I could borrow. She said she did. Conveniently, she lives right down the street from me, so I walked over that evening to pick up the book.

So I'm finally reading it -- and, as is typically the case, I think it's even more perfect for me now than it would have been six months ago when I first heard of it.

God has been pruning me this summer, molding me more into what he wants me to be. He keeps trimming and chipping off the clutter. And as I see the dreams and wishes get cut away, I find myself wishing for what was.

Voskamp reminds her readers to walk in gratitude -- in eucharisteo. She recounts how writing a list of 1000 gifts God gave her changed her perspective on life. I'm challenged to change my perspective as well.

I'm tired of being distracted by all my have-not's. I want to be truly grateful for what I have. 

So I'm beginning my own list. Like Voskamp, I'm looking around at the daily gifts I so easily take for granted.

1. An evening reading spiritual nourishment with my mom and sisters.
2. Unexpected answers to prayer.
3. Natural light shows.
4. Wind in the trees, blowing in rain.
5. Lending hands to keys, evoking praise to God from his people.

I'm looking forward to seeing where God leads me through this practice of thanksgiving.

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