One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
It's not just because it was from a very special friend on a day that we enjoyed a very special meal together. It's not just because I have wanted to read it for a while and I like the cover of the book- though I do and have for a couple of years now. It's not because it is fresh off the presses, because it came out in 2010. It's not that the author is saying anything brand new really- I've been told these things often before. I have even had a 'gratitude journal' often in my life.
No, as I've thought about WHY this book is so special- I guess it's because of the 'timing'!
The timing of when I received it and when I started reading it.
I was ready.
My heart was ready to receive it's message.
My life was ready to be inspired by it's words and the challenge it offers.
My spirit was ready to 'begin again' in the new year to live with a grateful heart.
My eyes were ready behold the gifts that were given each day
My mouth was ready to voice my thanks.
The timing of the interview I heard with Ann this morning.
The author speaking with excitement and passion about a message given to her to share with the world.
...that each day is a gift.
...that when we receive the gifts in each day we enter into communion with the Giver of the gifts.
...that when we take the time to notice the gifts, we wake up to the little things, slow down enough to see them.
...that when we ask "what are gifts?" we begin to see the gifts in all things- even the hard things as being from the Giver of gifts.
...that you can't feel two feelings at the same time. You can't feel fear and thanksgiving together.
...that people who keep a gratitude journal are 25% happier.
...that when Jesus knew it was time to die- he didn't buy a ticket to go see a place he had not seen yet. He broke bread and gave thanks.
...that the only place we need to see before we die is GOD-in the here and now.
The timing of the words in the book- creative structure-
sometimes flowing, sometimes disjointed with intentionality and yet, as if random thoughts.
Sometimes the words spoke peace and hope and JOY, great joy.
Other times they were painting with great detail the hardship or pain in life, in Ann's life, in mine!
But always they were pointing to the everyday gifts that we are given each day-
- things that we have most often taken for granted.
- moments that are precious yet fleeting.
As I begin this new year, my only resolution is to live each and every day GRATEFUL! To see where God is breaking into my world and to thank Him for it!
How about you? What are you grateful for today? I'd love to hear your thoughts!