November 3, 2012

30 days of Gratitude & What I Read: One Thousand Gifts

There are some books that are just so captivating you can hardly pry your eyes away to get a break.  Then there are other books that you must read word by word.  Sentence by sentence.  Take it in.  Mull it around for awhile.  Process.  Pray.  And keep reading.  Some books, like the one I just finished, just are too good to read quickly.

I think it took my sister and I about 6 months to finally get through One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Granted, in that time she was adjusting to being a new missionary in Jamaica, and I was in the final months of pregnancy, gave birth, and then had a newborn.  But, we finished it.  And we would both agree that we finished the last page with a new perspective and challenged to live life with more gratitude.

I know I'm a little late on the One Thousand Gifts bandwagon.  People were telling me to read this book a year ago, so I know that many of you have already read this.  If so, maybe this will serve as a little reminder of the goodness you found there.

This book is so chock full of nuggets of inspiration and truth, that I couldn't possibly write a review to cover all the facets with justice.  In one word.  Eucharisteo.  In two.  Gratitude.

Here are three (of the many) takeaways I got from One Thousand Gifts.

"This act of naming grace moments, this list of God's gifts, moves beyond the shopping list variety of prayer and into the other side.  The other side of prayer, the interior of His throne room, the inner walls of His powerful, love-beating heart.  The list is Gods list, the pulse of his love - the love that thrums on the other side of our prayers.  And I see it now for what this really is, this dare to write down one thousand things I love. It really is a dare to name all the ways that God loves me.  The true Love Dare."
I am challenged to do this same love dare.  Could I?  Could I live life with thanksgiving in the forefront of my mind?  Looking for it?  How much more deeply would I understand God, if that were true of me?

"To wear his message in moments, I'll need to read His passion on the page; wear the lens of the Word, to read His writing in the world.  Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world..."
What lens am I wearing?  Am I in the Word enough to know the difference?

"God is relationship and He woos us into relationship and there is nothing with God if there is no relationship."
How are we doing, God?

That.  And also about joy. Taking life slow. Being in the moment. The facade that is worry.  The awareness of our blessings bringing us into life's holy potential.

So. Much. Good. Stuff.

And ever since reading this book, I have never been so aware of the hundreds of times we are told to "give thanks" and "with thanksgiving..." in the Word.

Just as Ann experienced, I'm convinced that if I put this into action, I'd find my heart much more in tune with the Lord.  I'd find life change.

The timing is perfect.  Thanksgiving is three (three??) weeks away.  All over facebook and instagram I see people counting their blessings, and I'm going to join them.  Every Saturday this month I'm going to post and express my gratitude from the week before.  Starting today, here.

If you are counting your blessings this month, let me know!  I'd love to follow your thanks as well.

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