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

Monday, November 7, 2011

Grated Cheese - Grateful

A lifetime of sermons on "thanks in all things" and the shelves sagging with books on these things and I testify: life-changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time. ~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p 57

Ann writes that there are days her camera is a hammer.  I certainly appreciate that analogy.  So many times I have run inside or back to my office to grab my camera.  I want to capture a moment that has reminded me of God's faithfulness. [you can imagine my sorrow when I realized my camera was not working when I grabbed it from my bag on our way to Wisconsin on Friday....I'm still working on the blessing of my broken camera. : ( ]

Anyhow, the Farmer walks into the kitchen just as Ann is focusing her camera to get a picture of a plate of grated cheese,
I like finding you just like this...You being happy in all these little things that God gives. It makes me very happy. (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p 56)
Happiness and joy.

Joy is part of living life to the fullest, and joy is always given, never grasped.  God gives gifts and I give thanks.  It is in the giving thanks that I receive and unwrap the gift of joy.

I want the spirituality, the peace, the joy of the masters....yet, I must learn, I must Ann I do this by finding blessings in something like a plate of grated cheese.
Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant - a seed - this plants the giant miracle...Do not disdain the small. The whole of the life - even the hard - is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole...There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up. (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p 57)
 Ephesians 5:20 says, "And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Like Ann, I have read this, I have used it in sermons...yet I struggle.  I struggle to find the blessing in small things like a broken camera.  I REALLY struggle to find the blessing in bigger things like young mothers battling cancer, failed crops, physical pain....

Yet, by sitting with the frustration of a broken camera or the fear and uncertainty of cancer...I miss the sign of Life and Love that is around me.
But in this counting gifts, to one thousand, more, I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving over everything in my life leaves me deeply thankful for very few things in my life. A lifetime of sermons on "thanks in all things" and the shelves sagging with books on these things and I testify: life-changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time. (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p 57)
Little nails and a steady is this that will rebuild my life....will build transformation of peace and joy.

Eucharisteo precedes the miracle.

It is with this insight that Ann snaps a picture of cheese.

I have been putting off taking several steps that would lead me to emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health.

One, posting on this journal helps to keep me focused on spiritual health, but this time then pushes aside the exercise I desperately need for my physical health.  November is the month in which many of us focus on gratitude, and this November....I want to make some changes in my life so that I can better embrace the many gifts God has showered upon me.

Small steps... Small steps when I want to be running a marathon! : )



One small step....I guess it is time to get out of the boat!

I'm not sure how becoming more serious about exercise will affect my blogging small step.... and trust that Spirit will lead me as I strive toward I strive toward a life lived fully.

It is only through your Spirit that I can "Surrender All".  Yet, as I struggle with my issues of control, fear of letting go....As I read and as I desire to live fully in You...I know you love me for my desire to live fully in hope, peace, love and joy....and that you will always be near to guide me and encourage me.  Thank you. Amen.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi


  1. I am struggling with finding the time to exercise too, Sandi. I will be sending you warm wishes for success in that endeavor. blessings ~ tanna

  2. Sandi...control.....I find that the times I am able...actually able to open up my hands and let the Universe guide...that is when I get more and more glimpses of the Holy....
    I exercise every morning at 5 am....and then do weight training three days a week in the afternoon....IT SUCKS...but if I don't....then emotionally and spiriutally.I feel the effects.
    sorry about the camera

  3. a beautiful, uplifting and thoughtful post as always Sandi. just what I need to begin my day. happy week to you!