Wednesday, June 23, 2010

One Thousand Summer Gifts

As so often happens, I was led to just the right thing at the right time.

A friend of mine sent me a link to a post she found helpful. She rarely reads blogs, so I thought I'd better go see what she was sharing with me. After reading that encouraging post by Ann Voskamp, I happened to notice her sidebar link to a Gratitude Community page. Curious, I clicked on it. Some time ago, Ann decided to start counting gifts in her life, things to be thankful for throughout her day. Her comment about her spontaneous experiment of keeping a gratitude journal? "Giving thanks for a thousand graces has changed my life -- to glorify Him in all things!" She shared the idea and many others have been blessed by participating in their own way. She includes her count of blessings at the bottom of her blog posts on Mondays.

holy experience

Well, it just so happens that for the past few weeks I have been intentionally noticing and journaling details and moments for which I am thankful, in keeping with my goal of Not Missing Summer. The blessings in things big and small, unusual and common, spiritual and earthy, pleasant and painful, planned and spontaneous, intentional and unintentional. The blessings in common things to clean, organize, eat, wear, enjoy, plan, play, create, mend and replace. The blessings related to the family I hug and hold and kiss...and clean, dress, feed, bandage, comfort, teach, and more. The rare things I find achingly beautiful–poignant reminders of a greater beauty. Reminders of the hope I deeply feel of a new heaven and new earth in which the redeemed will live, in glorified bodies strong enough to bear it, in the very presence of God. All the things the Lord has woven into my life right now. The daily gifts He has chosen for me. Once I started looking, it was like gathering in a ripe harvest of blessings all around me.

Writing it down helps me see God's story in my life–what He is teaching me, and how He is loving me. I write out half-formed prayers asking Him to let me live it well. My hope is to walk through my days with a heart of gratitude, practicing the presence of God right in the midst of busy daily life. Realizing that any steps I make towards this hope is by the grace of God, I like to write about seeing that grace, too. On my own, and very often, my senses and my spirit are quite dull. I'm sure those most often around me are surprised to hear I'm thinking these thoughts at all!

I've been enjoying keeping track of these Summer moments so much that I've started grabbing my journal and throwing it in my bag so I can remember and scribble in spare moments in parking lots and parks. I'm finishing most of my days jotting a few things down just before turning out the light for the night. For whatever reason, the Lord has blessed me with an upwelling of gratitude and peacefulness. I came into the Summer a bit desperate for some rest and deep cleansing breaths, and indeed rest has begun to seep into my bones. Gathering up blessings to write down has helped. Reading that others have been helped by keeping track of One Thousand Gifts was fun, too. Personally, I think it will be hard to stop at One Thousand.

Counting my Summer blessings...One Thousand Gifts or more.


1 comment:

ali @ an ordinary mom said...

Taking the time to notice the many things I have to be thankful for every day has been such a blessing for me the past few months! It's been one of my favorite weekly activities...

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