Part of why i keep this blog is that it not only serves as a place to show off my wonderful clients and their images, but it’s also an online journal for the things I’m learning. and these days it seems like I could do more post on the life lessons God is teaching me than anything else. Like I mentioned before I recently read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and after finishing it I decided to take her challenge and write down my own 1,000 gifts. She explains how she tried to figure out how to find joy and contentment in the craziness of every day life, and came to the conclusion that it has to do with thanksgiving. eucharisteo. the word that combines joy, grace, and thanksgiving all in one. Being thankful in the little things.
“on a whim, a dare, i scratch it down: Gift List. I begin the list, not of gifts I want but of gifts I already have. I mean, they are just the common things and maybe I don’t even know they are gifts really until I write them down and that is really what they look like. Gifts He bestows. This writing it down- it is sort of like… unwrapping love. Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy.” – Ann Voskamp
Its all the seemingly insignificant moments that when I choose to see them as gifts, when I choose to take time to name them and write them down as gifts, it changes the way I see my day. It puts my attention and focus back in a mindset of thanksgiving, which always leads to joy. You’d probably laugh at the majority of the things I’ve written down so far. New running shoes. The delicious combo of pb and banana. Flower head bands. but i’m thank-FULL. Thanksgiving leads to joy. Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle. He gave thanks and broke bread. Thanksgiving is scattered and commanded all throughout scripture, and is usually followed by God showing up in a big way. Do everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving… Eucharisteo. I picked out a little blue notebook and its about the size of my phone, and the two usually hang out together, mostly so that I never forget the journal as i move through my day. So often throughout the day I’ll think of something to write down, and if I don’t put pen to paper right then it will slip my mind by the time I finally sit down to write. I want this to be something that becomes a natural part of my daily routine. I’m at 320 gifts so far, and just reading back over the past 300 is enough to put a smile on my face. Joy. Thanksgiving. Contentment. Peace. Grace. Hallelujah.
2) good lyrics … 4) Shelby’s 2 year old curls … 14) dreams about white dresses and little churches … 17) time to think in the desert … 27) delicious new pinterest recipes … 33) quiet mornings … 40) picture frames filled with memories … 46) oreo milkshakes … 51) the way my calf muscles ache after a run … 73) disney stamps on letters from my godkids … 83) lessons learned, even if the hard way … 105) car worship sessions … 111) roots & a church home … 123) new babies growing inside of dear friends … 131) summer rain … 140) provision on stinky days … 147) energetic kids shouting praise and worshipping their maker .. 154) flirtatious 4th grade boys who pull your hair … 162) freedom in my business … 174) handwritten journal entries and 81 ‘thank you for’ statements … 184) country lyrics and the way they soothe my soul … 191) history in the making … 201) the way a grand piano sounds in an empty sanctuary … 203) reminders that there’s a soprano buried inside and hitting a high Bb like its nothing … 211) having ministry leaders who are easy to respect … 217) craft time with Katie … 232) new baby smell … 249) running 1.5 miles without stopping … 251) an aunt who sends me handwritten notes … 282) new nail polish … 297) mud on my cowboy boots … 310) Psalm 27:13 … 316) spiced chestnut candle making my home smell like fall … 318) friends that see potential … 321) zero empty chairs in KGB.. fill up that room, Lord. “The practice of giving thanks…eucharisteo…this is the way we practice the presence of God, stay present to His presence, and it is always a practice of the eyes. We don’t have to change what we see. Only the way we see.” – Ann Voskamp
Happy Monday :)