I recently read a book by Ann Voskamp titled, One Thousand Gifts. A dare to live fully right where you are. In the book she is challenged by a friend to begin a journal to write down one thousand things she is thankful for. Ann discovered, in giving thanks for the life she already had, she found the life she'd always wanted. As she chronicled gifts, she began to open her eyes to gratitude and began to be present to God's presence that brings deep and lasting happiness. You can read Ann's blog at www.holyexperience.com.
The exercise of writing down the things you are grateful for should not be an exercise to be "super Christian", this exercise is one that shows you that God is in the everyday; debt, drama, daily duties, heartache, betrayal. It is a way to find joy in the midst of all of those things, states Voskamp. Ann spoke at a recent conference that I attended, her words challenged me to begin my own gifts journal. And here are a few of my gifts.
1. The sound of my husband's truck pulling into the driveway, it means he made it home safely...again.
2. The sound of little boys laughter
3. Tyler's old soul
4. Josh's brilliant smile that is punctuated by a dimple on his left cheek.
5. Sarah's keen mind and quick wit
6. Daniel's God given talents, they are so many
7. My mother's voice
8. My father's kiss on my head
9. The smell of coffee as I wake to a new day
10. Afternoon sunlight as it filter's through the oak trees in my back yard.
11. Hot, running water.
12. Medicine that is keeping our aging parents with us for a while longer
15. Friendship so true and pure
I challenge you to start your list. Begin to recognize your gifts. It is so easy to overlook them in the everyday.