Monday, January 24, 2011

Speaking of Gifts

In the last post, I mentioned that sometimes the simplest gifts can be the most profound. Recently, I stumbled upon the book, "One Thousand Gifts", by Ann Voskamp. I could tell that reading it would be a gift, so I bought seven copies! One for myself, and some to give away. If you haven't heard about it yet, you will. If you have, then you are assuredly reaping the rewards of Ann's gifting. She is an amazing poet. So, I must admit that sometimes her use of language seems elusive to me (my problem not hers). However, when I take time to really drink in the words, they settle in and find a place to grow! Oh! To be able to communicate with such beauty. Alas, I do well to get a sentence out without completely butchering the English language, not to mention punctuation!?

In the book, the reader is challenged just as the author was, to begin a list of one thousand gifts. Not to be left out of this adventure I have started my own list. As many readers of the book are doing, I will share it here on the blog. Giving thanks is an attitude-changing experience. For when you are giving thanks, your mind is not as likely to be engaged in lesser activities (ie., grumbling, complaining, doubting, etc.). It does take some discipline (as all things good for us do). You will find it well worth the effort. The more you practice thanksgiving, the ease and joy with which you do it may surprise you! So, here's the beginning of my list....

1. the sacred ability to give thanks
2. the fresh-baked aroma in the house after the girls baked some cakes.
3. background music
4. the gift of one more snow day (a day off from school for happy kids and spouse)
5. the glittering dance of sunlight on ice-covered trees
6. those first few moments of quiet after everyone has made it out the door for school and work
7. breathing in and out all without a thought from me
8. the chatter and laghter of four 5th and 6th grade girls in my van on the way to Math Olympics in Vermont
9. holding hands with my sweetheart as we watch our firstborn and only son perform in his first High School musical
10. the beautiful smile on aforementioned son's face during the curtain call
11. a father/daughter Sunday afternoon walk
12. a Sunday afternoon bike ride with friends for the firstborn
13. a few moments of quiet time for the mom
14. reconnecting with an old friend (on Facebook) from my Focus on the Family days
15. relaxing on the chaise with my baby "Em" and she asks me a question about Heaven...
16. conversing about Jesus' return, she expresses her hopefulness that He will come back soon...then falls asleep still snuggled up next to me
17. Though I am inadequate, He is All-Sufficient, and He lives in me.
18. Though I am incomplete, He lacks nothing, and He lives in me. In Him I am complete.
19. Divine intervention. God in the shadows - the lost being found, a reminder that He hasn't forgotten me...
20. the UPS truck arriving to the delight of three prcious daughters who have been sick for days
21. happy girls with favorite-colored streamers in hand praise and worship joy-filled though still sick
22. finishing another good book
23. the faithful who have walked the narrow path before us
24. two new tunes (for free) on my ipod
25. hearing the rolling thunder..."Thy power throughout the universe displayed"

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