You might know from previous posts, on Avoiding the Gimmies, that nurturing an attitude of gratitude in my children is something of utmost importance to me and my husband. But, unfortunately, I guess I needed a little lesson on that myself. So it's no surprise that a book about living a lifestyle of gratitude and thaksgiving would really touch my heart.
In the book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp explains that a dear friend of hers challenged her to write down a list of 1,000 gifts from God. Her writing is artsy, almost poetic. Lovely is a good word to describe it. And, although I was not totally comfortable with one chapter of the book, I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a book to reach deep inside of you and stir up some serious perspective changing gratitude for every moment that God has given us here on earth.
Yes, I know what you are thinking...you've heard of gratitude journals. But this is different. Way different. I've had a gratitude journal before and, yes, it was great and helpful but, well, it's hard to explain other than to retell you the whole book--which I won't. But I do want you to watch this...
It all started with a duck... but through this series of events, God has opened my eyes to the moments that have been passing me by. Things get clouded by the rush of life, the hurry of getting things the way they are "supposed" to be, and allowing myself to get lost in focusing on all the struggles of this world for me and loved ones. Where is the joy in that? Can you find something for which you are not really looking? Sometimes, yes. But most of the time, the joy that I'm looking for is staring me right in the face, like that lost container of jam that is top shelf center in the refrigerator, but I'm in such a hurry...I don't see it.
So anyway, like I said, this book has been all a buzz on the internet and now I know why. And even though our duck has left its nest and we never even got to see any ducklings, I'm so grateful she was here long enough to be a part of how God is answering my prayers for contentment. Who would have thought that a simple duck and her nest could lead to all this?
Preparing for our celebration of Easter. What better time to stir up some serious gratitude to God for the gifts He's given us, big and small? So off to Target I go...on a mission to find each member of the Seven Shoes a unique, new notebook to start their own list of 1,000 gifts (and a little bit of chocolate). In hopes to teach my children that all the chocolate bunnies in the world could not rival a gift as special as a notebook full of joy-filled moments captured in the handwriting of a child on wide-ruled paper.
So, amongst the fake plastic grass and a little bit of chocolate, tucked in each Shoe Easter basket was a new notebook and a bright color pen to record their own 1,000 gifts. And so they have...
What a gift in itself to see my children and their excitement for keeping count as a way to acknowledge the precious gifts we receive from God each day. A blessing to me from God to help them in their "quest" to one thousand.
And since I (and a jillion other bloggers/people who have read this book) have started my own 1000 gifts list, I'd like to try once a week to share some of my list (and maybe some of the children's, if they don't mind) with you. I invite you to join me in capturing the joy by starting your own list. If you have your own list (or decide to start one) and would like to share your list with others, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments section below.
May your eyes be opened to the gifts God surrounds you with today.
Psalm 118:29 (NIV)
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.