I read an incredible book by a woman named Ann Voskamp. I had never heard of her, but instead found her in an Amazon search of "being at peace now". The book's title was, "One Thousand Gifts." Something about the cover (a girl holding a nest with two robin's eggs in it) touched me and I was reminded what I was looking for: that simplicity. I knew the irony of ordering yet another book, but I did, which just shows how badly I was wishing for a little calm; a little time to breathe.
Admit it. Whether we have due dates at work, play-dates at home or errands to run, there is hardly any time for women to take pause and realize the good all around us. This book was about that.
First of all, the prose of this woman was insane. I don't know if it was because she was writing about what I'd been looking for or that she was just another mom looking for life's answers too, but I felt every word she used. I'm not kidding, this book spoke to me from the first page.
I find it pompous to try and tell you what to read. Please don't think I'm doing that. My opinions of reading are very personal. This is not a college course and I certainly appreciate everyone's personal interpretations of books.
This can be somewhat of a thin line though, because I don't mind at all telling anyone if I loved a book (or not). Still, I would never be as bold as to say, "This book changed my life! It will be the best read of your life! All your dreams will come true if you also read these words! GO! Run like you never have before, and purchase this book. You'll find it on the shelves under "Miracles!" You also won't hear,"Sure, pick up the book, it will make a lovely doorstop.." Nope.
This book did strike a chord with me. The author describes a life full of terrible loss and ingratitude towards the world. Even as she was older, Ann lived her days as if she were numb. It all turned around when she started writing down small things she was grateful for. As she continued on, she started to work toward a goal of being thankful for 1000 things. Obviously, there were things she chose like her husband and kids, but beautifully simple things started showing up too, like watching bubbles pop while she was doing dishes, or the way the moon shown bright when it was full. It was gratefulness like this, that also strengthened her personal relationship with God. With each entry, Ann became more and more grateful for the little things she already possessed. It helped her understand the gifts of grace as well as the strength she needed when coping with immeasurable grief.
I closed the book with tears, and with hope that I too would find that gratitude in my everyday life. I know it's there; I nod to it every now and then, but have never quite broken it apart so that I could gaze over it; so I could savor it and acknowledge every bit of what I am blessed with.
No, this isn't a book review. It is me sharing with you how much I needed someone to remind me of the things I should be thankful for, even in a room all alone. I read a sign on Pinterest (where else?) that resonated with me. It said, "If you woke up with all the things you thanked God for yesterday, what would you have?"
I know many of us have different beliefs. The book may not be for your path, but it does give all of us some common ground: The reminder that there is absolutely nothing wrong with finding gratitude in every part of our lives.
I'm not sure if I'm suppose to be blogging on Sundays during Lent, but for these next few, I'm going to share with you some "little things" I'm thankful for. Just the opportunity for me to put them out there is going to help me every time I start pouting about all the silly, unimportant things in my world. How about five things?
Please, share with me your thoughts. Leave me a comment of something small you are thankful for.
Here are mine:
1. Being able to feel the warmth on my face from the afternoon sun. If you close your eyes and sit in just the right chair at just the right time, You can feel summer-like heat on your skin. It's marvelous.
2. Listening to the clicks of a computer keyboard behind me, because it proves that my youngest is feeling well enough to build rooms on "MineCraft."
3. I'm thanking my stars for my Keurig machine, which pumped out apple cider and tea over and over for the many sick members of my family. Oh no, I'm not forgetting the Carmel coffee either..Mmm
4. The pure excitement I feel when I visit a previous Blog post and see a new comment.
5. The fear I overlooked this evening to pick up the phone and gab with an amazing Kindergarten teacher, who is also my mother-in-law. I despise the phone, but never the conversations.
Happy thankful Sunday, friends..