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July 10, 2013

A Life of Thankfulness

Over the past few months, some ladies on our team have been reading through A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp.  Since then, we've decided to each do our own "gifts journal" and it has been such a GIFT in my own life, that I wanted to share some of that with you.  I encourage you to read the book if you haven't - her writing style is quite different but I absolutely love it.  She is real, honest, and doesn't ever say that her book has any answers - rather she points you towards the Giver of every good and perfect gift and His infallible word.  Throughout the book, you take a look at her quest for seeing His beauty each and every day.

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" - Psalms 118:24

One of my favorite parts of the book is when she refers to those things that take our breath away - those magnificent scenes that would make the "10 places you must see before you die" type lists.  To which she begins to wonder..."Isn't it here?  The wonder?  Why do I spend so much of my living hours struggling to see it?  Do we truly stumble so blind that we must be affronted with blinding magnificence for our blurry soul-sight to recognize grandeur?  The very same surging magnificence that cascades over our every day here.  Who has time or eyes to notice?" (pg 31)

"And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy."  Psalms 107:22

Her book then focuses in on the word "eucharisteo" which means "thanksgiving" in the Greek.  The derivative of "chara" meaning "joy" - and so begins her personal quest to find the joy in every day, every moment and her verbal/written expression of thanksgiving to the Lord for these gifts.
Of course it all sounds much more elegant in her book - but I hope you get the gist of it.  So, that has become a part of my day to day - vocalizing out loud my thanks, writing down the gifts of every day in my journal.

"O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!"
 - Psalms 95:1-2

I just wanted to share with you what a daily transformation (hopefully) coming before His throne with offerings of thanksgiving has made.  Anything that might seem easy to give thanks for - from hot water in the bath, tiny fingers holding mine, true & deep conversation, laughter, facetime, ginger gum (morning sickness anyone?), and helping hands - to everything that Ann calls "finding the ugly beautiful" such as the gift of being able to demonstrate forgiveness after a crayon finds its way to a wall, grace when Ryleigh wants to "do by myself", sickness because that means I know what health is, and the list could go on.

"It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High" Psalms 92:1

My plan is to continue to update you as this list continues - He is already using it in powerful ways in my day to day walk with Him and I know He will continue to...

"Oh, taste and see that he LORD is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" Psalms 34:8

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