Thursday, August 21, 2014

one thousand gifts

several months ago I was challenged by my sweet friend kristen to read the book "one thousand gifts" by ann voskamp. reading this book has been life changing. the dare is to live fully right where you are in life. "live full of grace and joy. it is possible, widly." the idea is to get a journal & write 1,000 gifts that you already have. not gifts that you want. write down the common everyday things thats you are grateful for. the small things. so I began my list:

1. children napping
2. thunder booming
3. hearing birds tweet & chirp
4. air conditioning that cools

no matter what your circumstance. no matter how difficult life seems. live fully.

19. faithful friends. Sarah. Abbey. Jenn
20. new friends. Amanda. Ashleigh
21. holding Ava - anytime of the day
22. the way Ava smells after bathtime
23. God's provision 

live fully. that's what I strive to do. that's my plan. each day comes with lots of great moments and some moments that are trying. but it is me that chooses how I will remember my days. will I take for granted the small moments? the moments that may not seem to matter? in her book, voskamp says, "do not disdain the small." if we miss the small moments, which make up the big moments, then we ultimately miss out on life. we miss out.

55. kisses on the neck
56. a spirit filled church
57. snuggles that last for minutes not seconds

I had recently been finding myself complaining. complaining about Ava whining. complaining about not wanting to go to the grocery store. or about Bryan coming home late from work. and then I heard it. wake up! look around and see all that is good. all that I do have. all that God has given me. I have been blessed. Ava might be whining, but she is alive and she is healthy! I may not want to go to the grocery store, but I do have a vehicle to get me there. and I do have enough money to pay for food. I do have an amazing husband who comes home to me every night after spending the day providing for our family. I cannot forget this. I cannot take these moments for granted.

87. sand between my toes
88. the flicker of fire from a candle
89. warmth from the sun

I am blessed. I am grateful. I am thankful.

130. pruned toes after bathtime
131. hearing mama come from Ava's lips

I choose to be grateful for what we have. for what has been given to us. to be grateful even when things don't go exactly the way I desire. voskamp also said this...this is good: "as long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. joy is always possible." read that again. joy is always possible! when we choose to give thanks in all things then we will always possess joy. how amazing life would be! how it can be. but you see, this is not new. this concept isn't new. in the bible we read in 1 thessalonians 5:18, "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." God's will is for us to give thanks. from the beginning we are to give thanks. even in the deepest darkest tragedies there is always something to give thanks for.

152. Bryan's homemade chicken noodle soup 
153. a good pedicure
154. baking cookies
155. road trips with girlfriends

the next time you find yourself complaining. grumbling. suffering. unsatisfied. --- remember what you do have. remember what you are blessed with. remember to be thankful. grateful.

"being grateful for what we have today doesn't mean we have to have that forever. it means we acknowledge that what we have today is what we're supposed to have today. there is enough...and all we need will come to us."

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