A few hundred gifts of thanks
November 23, 2011 in: Book Reviewsseparator=, &Devotions
This year I’m giving thanks, a little bit at a time.
I have been engrossed reading The Hunger Games Trilogy thrilled to find it really is as good as promised. The main character is a teenage girl who sneaks under a barbed fence to hunt to feed her family. I’m in the middle of Book 2 – Catching Fire where a rebellion is building because the people are starving. By contrast, my biggest challenge in preparing the Thanksgiving meal was fighting off the hordes at the grocery store.
The last few months, I have been keeping a gratitude journal, inspired by the book One Thousand Gifts and my Connection Group Bible Study leader.
Author Ann Voskamp writes a lyrical and challenging book, urging us to combine the divine and the everyday and to discover that thanksgiving always precedes blessing. The challenge is to keep a list of 1,000 things for which you’re thankful.
My list started with simple things:
Friends who pray for me
I realized most of these things made me sound like a spoiled brat. Am I blessed because I am an American and can afford luxuries? I started to look deeper and realize that the best gifts are really moments.
Remembering the words to an old hymn
Talking about the corn crop with my dad
A friend sharing a Scripture during class
Hugs from a three-year-old
My list is only up to #263 and can’t believe how many blessings I have discovered. The most amazing thing is that gratitude stops time.
I have found the secret to defy time.
By stopping to savor this moment, a chilly November afternoon when the bare trees stand silhouetted against the gray sky and squawking geese fly over in a vee shape, I give thanks that I am alive to experience it. I’m not thinking about moments I’ve missed in the past or what might happen in the future. I may never get married, I may never have children, I may never publish a book, but by the grace of God I get to see these trees and hear these birds and feel His touch upon me. Stop the clock and build an altar right here in my heart.
The Lord used this book to change my life and I highly recommend it. It does move slow, particularly at the beginning. It took me about three months to read. Even at that, I skimmed the last chapter. There’s a brand new free app to download to your phone. I’m looking forward to using that.
I’m counting my gifts every day.