Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience began her Thousand Gifts blog some time ago. Encouraged, I began privately logging things for which I was thankful. Big things. Small things. Things of Him.
"I am seeing things I have never seen before, atuned and aware of this constant, endless stream of gifts from His hand. I am one waking from slumber....from the stupor of indifference and ignorance. I have sight, fresh and keen---the world is new and full of His gifts.
Too often I miss Him, oblivious, blind. I don't see all the good things that He is giving me, gracing me with, brushing my life with. True, He is everywhere, always. But maybe, before The Gift List, I thought of Him as further off, not so close. When I started to see all the things that I love bestowed upon me, I started to see Him as near, present, everywhere, showering me with good things. Seeing the things I love all around me gives me eyes to see that I am loved, that Heloves me.
It is happening to me as John Milton wrote: "Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
Everyday epiphanies everywhere, indeed: gifts....Grace.
"... the smell of the florist’s... the sound of kernels of corn streaming, tinkling.... leaves floating in puddles..." Just writing them down as they happen.
Yet my list is different than another's for a reason: God has made me uniquely me. The Gift List is about gratitude... but it is more. It is about what defines me and my own personal identity. Reflecting on The Thousand Gifts List... "...cracking open a new book... pushing children on the swing.... old men looking at cards in the stationery aisle..." I am thankful for the things on it, yes, but I am also thankful that He has given the gift of me; that God made me who I am and I am one who sees and experiences the world in a way uniquely her own. The Thousand Gifts list is about the gifts Abba gives this child every day... and, ultimately, about the very gift of self, life as I know it.
George MacDonald wrote, "No gift unrecognized as coming from God is at its own best...when in all gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things."
It is the season of lists. Care to begin a list of a Thousand Gifts? You'll find Him in all things---the very best gift of all.
Father, You are the Giver of all Good Gifts. They are everywhere. I can hardly jot them down fast enough. How You love.
Will you too begin your list of a Thousand Gifts? It will change your life. Guaranteed."
Now, in this new 2010 year, I am again inspired. A renewal. I will be keeping a list ... sharing ... a thousand things ... and more.
1. Husband who loves me far more than I deserve.
2. Six beautiful Cherubs, healthy and strong.
3. Fresh eggs every morning.
4. The scent of good hay stored in the barn.
5. Frosty "flakes" glistening outside.
6. Warm mittens and winter coats.
7. Bean soup cooking in the crockpot.
8. Fresh homemade bread.
9. Ears up, both eyes, and morning winnies (our horses morning greeting).
10. New seed packets, bags of dirt, seed trays - the promise of this year's garden.
Curious ? Perhaps consider joining too ?
Our Lord, He blesses us. Do we see ? Feel ? Hear ?
What about the little things ?
Check out the Gratitude Community (what it's all about) and join here .
** Thank you Ann, for inspiring and encouraging .. and for sharing your Thousand Gifts.