Saturday, April 14, 2012

My One Thousand Gifts

One thousand gifts.  This is the name of the book I picked up one day while wandering around my favorite book store.  It's not the full version but the small gift size book that holds Reflections From one thousand gifts.  It was the picture of the hands holding a tiny sparrow that caught my eye.  I began to flip through the book and saw it was full of beautiful pictures of children in flower beds, stacks of journals, homemade bread, frost covered grass.  I bought it for my sister, but by the time the evening came, I'd read through a dozen pages.  The author of the book had been given a dare...

Could she write one thousand things she loved... 
                                         a thousand blessings?

Gratitude.  A heart that overflows with thankfulness.  Acknowledging God's blessings, even in the small things.

How many times have I read, "Give thanks in all things...?"  Do I?  Some days more than others.  Thankfulness produces joy in my life, so why don't I do it more?  Finding this little book reminded me that I had started a "Joy List" as I called it.  In an old journal five years ago, I sat at my desk, lit a delicious candle and started compiling an inventory of little things that made me pause and give thanks.
     *the smell of a candle burning
     *my children's laughter
     *a good cup of coffee shared with a friend
     *catching Daryl's eye from across the room
     *music without lyrics
     *an empty canvas and the dream of what it'll look like before the brush 
      touches its surface
     *the smell of a hot light bulb because it takes me back to nights when
      we would watch family slide shows
     *good jazz music and a classic book
     *eating raw wheat after it pours from the combine
     *backyards with trees to play in
     *listening to silver-haired friends tell stories of their youth
     *...and on it went
I have decided it's time to open my newly purchased journal and pick up where I left off.  Maybe you want to join in.  Let's see what happens in our lives when we open our eyes and look for opportunity to give thanks. Pause. Be thank-FULL, even in the little things.  Now, where's my pen?  My journal is waiting...

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