Thursday, January 19, 2012

One Thousand Gifts

How thankful are you? No, really. How many times do you purposefully put a stop to whatever you're doing and give thanks for the beautiful things in your life, or even just pause a moment to take in the joy of everything that is around you? I know that I've been unforgivably ungrateful for far too long, and 2012 is the time to change that. 

Enter Ann Voskamp. She's an amazing woman who has written the New York Times Bestselling book One Thousand Gifts (she also blogs over at, which is "a dare to live fully right where you are." It's a book about the gifts that God gives us every day--too many to count--but she's trying to count some (1,000 per year, to be exact), and she's got a few thousand people doing it with her. I'm doing it too. 

She has recommendations for what to look for every day (download her creative ideas here), and if you follow her plan you're going to "collect" 1,000 gifts in a year's time. I got started late, but I've committed to writing down the gifts I'm given on a daily basis. Here's what I have so far:

Three things about myself that I'm grateful for: I have a great metabolism. I can spell very well. I can write creatively.

Something inside: My ginormous window seat. Something outside: Horses frolicking in the pasture. Something on a plate: A very creative meal when there was no food in the house

Lines I Overheard That Were Graces: "I love you, Abby." -Aaron; "Thank God for work." -Rod

A gift in my hand: Mrs. Joyce's camera. A gift I walked by: This apple pie. A gift I sat with: My laptop

Something sour: a bright orange tangerine that pops with flavor on my tongue. Something sweet: a conversation with Mr. Byron. Something Just. Right.: A bright green pine tree drooping over the road, covered in pine cones

3 Things That Strike Me As Fresh Mercy--Yellow sunlight: lighting up the dark parts of our world and bringing joy. Reflective yellow lines on the road: the promise that God will guide us through the night. A yellow microfiber cloth: God will wipe away our yesterdays and prepare us for tomorrow.

A gift above me: My brother and a friend having fun upstairs. A gift below me: A light dusting of snow like powdered sugar on the ground outside. A gift beside me: My darling mamage!

3 sounds I hear-- Singing over the vacuum cleaner. Pandora radio. Laughter at 1:30 in the morning

The Startling Grace of God: Having the love and respect of my family. The resting of winter. The tiny details of creation.

One thing I wore: My beautiful coat. One thing I shared: A word of encouragement with Mary

Three ways I witnessed happiness: Hank bounding through the fields like he was going to explode. A horse neighing in greeting. Pictures of happy pregnant women. 

One gift that made me laugh: Little Kaitlin cavorting around the room. One gift that made me pray: Red streaks of morning sunlight staining the tips of the trees. One gift that made me quiet: A delicious cob of corn.

Will you join me in my adventure? 

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