Sunday, January 15, 2012

One Thousand Gifts

Some time last year someone mentioned the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  The title intrigued me and I picked it up thinking it would be a great read.  Although it was a great book to read, it was much more than was a challenge to "live life fully right where I am".  It is a challenge to look at life differently, to see the little things in life that are often missed and to give thanks in them. 

In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 we are instructed to:

"Be joyful always;
pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

In giving thanks it changes the focus off of me and puts my focus back on God.  In giving thanks it causes my heart to grow in contentment rather than in discouragement or complaining.  My list of gratitude has not been just words scrawled across a page in a journal, but in a transformation of heart.  Thankfulness is transformational.  Looking at all of life as a gift is a gift in itself. 

My list of One Thousand began with...

  1. Blue sky peeking through the clouds
  2. Hugs from children
  3. Laughter
  4. Flowers waiting to be born
  5. Trees waiting for spring to burst into bloom
  6. Eyes with which to see (and read)
  7. Children learning to read
  8. Sharpened pencils
  9. My husband
  10. God who has blessed us with His Gift

At the beginning of 2012, when I decided to do things a little differently with my children, I got them journals too and together we are recording the things that we are choosing to be thankful for.  What a treasure it is to begin our school day with 5-10 minutes of us taking time to reflect on and record the gifts in our lives.  To me, it has been an incredible gift to treasure these moments with my children and to encourage them in giving of thanks.  To see my children growing in thankfulness is a GIFT! 

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