Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why One Thousand Gifts?

From our beginnings, we keep reliving the Garden story. ~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p 15

Grace by Laura Story

It is a shame I can't keep a journal of all my life because when I would pause to look back, I know I would see things, people, images... all being repeated over and over again.  I know this because there are times I actually do notice!  One of the repeats that kept coming my way was Ann's book One Thousand Gifts.

"I do not want nor do I need another devotional to read and clutter up my space!"

"I can only absorb, I can only handle so many 'good things'!"

"I have actually latched on to a couple of devotionals, I'm good! I don't need another!"

".....!" ...was my response to each subtle invitation.

I noticed this morning the copyright date is 2010.  God/the Universe/Spirit...whatever term you are comfortable using when referring to the Source of all life....this Great Spirit must have begun nudging Ann's book my direction shortly after it was published!  My resistance is an indication to the stubbornness within me that this blessed Creator is constantly working to sand down a bit. : )

To show how silly I can be, part of my resistance to picking up Ann's book was that I LOVED the image on the book-jacket!  I was fearful of becoming engrossed in a book for which I felt I did not have the time.  OR, another silly thought was that I would be disappointed.  The inside would not match the pull of the image on the outside.

Long story short....I finally did purchase the book and was pleasantly surprised by how it fed me, how it challenged me, and how it encouraged me.

While I was at first hesitant to share some of my thoughts as I read through the book again, today, I am actually looking forward to the challenge.  Last Sunday I began a new study for adults at the church using the book of Job.  I've never studied Job before and have felt a sense of enthusiasm as I have begun making preparations for the class.  This morning, reading the first chapter of Ann's book, "an emptier, fuller life" I was struck by how the words she used to talk about an early tragedy in her life sounded similar to Job's friends.

"Ah!" I thought, "another layer I can use when reading both books!"

Ann begins early on with the theme of the entire book.

Ann introduces her theme with a single word, eucharisteo, with means "he gave thanks."

Eucharisteo is the word that is used in Luke 22:19 when Jesus gave thanks for the bread at the Last Supper before he served it to his disciples.

You might be thinking, "yet one more book on gratitude..." and you would be right.  I had the same thought which was one more reason I did not pick up the book.  Yet, Ann offers at times a gut-wrenching honesty which gave her words more strength and power than other books I have read on gratitude.  Stories and words shared are not simply words offered by someone who has not known, or is not willing to share her own struggles.

The thoughts and insights from this book have been pulled from life experiences...from real life struggles.

I wish I could continue writing, I feel as though I have much to journal, but I've a budget meeting to prepare for in a couple of hours!  So....hopefully I will have an opportunity to post more tomorrow.

Before signing off I do want to offer a praise by how I have been blessed today!

I enjoyed a wonderful brunch with a group of women within whose space I rest.  They offer me and one another a sacred space to "be". Later I visited with another woman from the group who was not able to participate.  Again, it was sacred moments spent sitting side by side in her living room.

I am grateful for the gift of sacredness...for the gift of love that was offered to me this day. I am so glad I made myself available to receive the gift.  Funny thing love, moments like today, it is so easy to reach out and touch.  Still, other times, it is some times discovered in places we would not expect.... Love is Here by Tenth Avenue North.'s a gift, it is sometimes a challenge to receive.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. Time with friends like that is nourishment for the soul. Glad you were able to enjoy that gift. blessings ~ tanna