I have recently found a book that is only topped by one book; the bible. I am reading “One Thousand Gifts,” by Ann Voskamp, and it is changing my life. This beautiful, poetically versed book is speaking my heart, as well as to my heart.
It is “A dare to live fully, right where you are.” She takes you into a world of
“Eucharisteo,” or thanksgiving. In the midst of the word eucharisteo rest grace (charis), and joy (chara). It is a challenge to journey to a place of understanding that “God is always good and I am always loved.” This journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, which is placing pen to paper and writing down what we are thankful for. What we love. The moments of indescribable joy.
When wondering how I could fully explain how God moves in my life, the physical, tangible things he has done for me seem pale in comparison to the work he has done in my heart. Really, it is me allowing his love to penetrate my heart, trusting every single moment that each kiss from him, each provision, growth opportunity, every additional appreciation of his world is simply the realization that I am fully loved.
Voskamp says “Why not let all of life be penetrated by grace, gratitude, and joy?” We have a choice to participate in a fully present life; she notes “Every breath’s a battle between grudgery and gratitude and we must keep thanks on the lips so we can sip from the holy grail of joy.”
Her story tells of mine; of a mother that is too often short with her children, frustrated, and wondering how to find more time in her life. She, as I, (and most mothers I know), desire to give our very best to our life, but most often feel disappointed and empty. As if we has missed our mark like a blind archer. We are left wondering how we can do more to add value, joy, memories to our lives.
The answer lies in slowing down enough to give thanks. As we learn to get into a life of thanksgiving, our hollow hearts fill with indescribable joy. We are able to appreciate the moments of life, putting off what lies ahead to rest in peace. Literally. Peace settles in beside the joy, and we worry less about the moments to come and savor the moments right now. Voskamp started her journey of a thousand miles; she chose to make it a journey of a thousand gifts- a challenge to list one thousand things she viewed as a gift in her life.
I, too, have taken this challenge, and have found a use for the beautiful leather journal I have been saving for just the right time. I think there is no better way I could use it! I look forward to filling it up with the moments of eucharisto.
Some of the things I have numbered and placed in the journal are:
-the love my daughter placed into purchasing a box of tea for me for my birthday.
-boys cross-peeing in the toilet
-the angel shape of my orchid’s flowers
-sugar sweet fragrance of ponderosa pine trees
-coupon books for Mother’s Day
-iridescent breasts of the hummingbirds at my feeder
-games of Twister with my kids
-amazing friends in my life
I could continue on and on. I will. Into a chosen life of eucharisteo. The fullness of life in communion with my loving father. Holding his hand, smiling up at him like a joy-filled, content child looks up at their loving parent.