This week marks a year of me keeping a record of gifts. I started because I had been reading this blog for a while and figured I should just give it a try. With that amazing attitude, I was a little surprised to find myself diving in to this new habit, happier than a mole in soft dirt. I read Ann’s book and realized even more how I needed to do this.
So for a year I’ve been keeping a list not of things I want, but things I have… celebrating moments, undeserved blessings, big things, hard things, everyday things. Like allergy medicine (my very first gift on the list! haha), hope, clean water to drink, laughter with friends, love, frustrations, grace, sunshine, weaknesses, the smell of soup, an aching head.
I have changed. I am still just beginning this habit, and beginning to realize how gratitude to God opens my eyes. One thing I’ve noticed is that I am more content and accepting. Complaining is less of an impulse. More steady, more trusting. Giving thanks for this moment has grown my faith for stepping out into the following moments. More light shining through.
I haven’t been very good at the “counting” part. After all, I’m more of a words girl! So I usually jot down gifts for days or weeks, then eventually add them up.
Several weeks ago I got curious to see specifically when I had hit the 1,000 mark. So I went back through my little notebooks and did some counting and… wow. Here it is:
“1000. Jacob… wrestling with God… His face. (One Thousand Gifts pg. 136)”
Aha.Yes. This counting gifts has been part of the process, breaking stubborn me down at the tough parts, the dry heart, so that God can have His way of blessing.
“Like Jacob, we ask, breathless and heaving, where He is, who He is, for His name here, the only real blessing. ‘Please tell me your name.’ We have named the graces and there found His name, Glory, and in the face of man we have seen the face of God. Then Him, the blessing, God, joy-water in the desert.
“But wells don’t come without first begging to see the wells; wells don’t come without first splitting open hard earth, cracking back the lids. There’s no seeing God face-to-face without first the ripping. Tear the thigh to open the eye. Wrench the socket of the hip, the tough grizzle of the heart, and heal the socket of the eye. It takes practice, wrenching practice, to break open the lids. But the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.”
-from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Heading into another year of discovery…
2992. Tired eyes
2996. Oatmeal in the morning
2997. Christmas socks!
2999. Eating ice cream and watching Next Iron Chef w/ Val and Skip
3000. Roomie’s beautiful piano music, filling the house with Christmas carols while I hot glue things
3001. Hot tea
3002. Funny Facebook comments from Dad
3003. Lots to do at work