I was given "One Thousand Gifts" by a man at church on a random Sunday, for no special reason at all. He simply tapped me, and the woman sitting on the other side of him, on the shoulder and handed us each a copy. When this happened, 2016 was wrapping up, and I had been on a nearly year-long quest for "full". So, please understand, that I have no doubt in any part of my soul that this was pure God-grace.
The book is written by a Canadian farmer's wife who is searching for joy and fulfillment in a life of homeschooling six children and preparing three meals per day (plus snacks). She decides to make a list of 1,000 things she is thankful for...1,000 reasons to be joyful in the mundane tasks of everyday life. Not 1,000 huge, massive miracles. No. 1,000 moments of light shining through windows, children laughing and grace being poured out in the most simplistic and beautiful ways.
She writes and prays and focuses on the word "eucharisteo", a Greek word that literally means "to give thanks".
I ain't a Canadian farmer's wife, and you probably aren't either (unless you are, in which case, heeeeey), but her words and her heart are every single thing.
I don't want to be a cheeseball, but I have to be real with you. This book completely destroyed the way I look at being "thankful". Thankful is not something we should do. It isn't something we should snatch out of our back pockets for the last Thursday in November, to discuss over turkey and stuffing. It isn't a thing we should only be able to speak about when everything is going exactly the way we prayed it would.
Reading this book, praying Ann Voskamp's prayers and really taking the time to abandon my way of seeing "thankful" and picking up hers made me realize that "thankful" isn't a thing, a thought or a sensation- it's a necessity and a state of being. In fact, it's a necessary state of being if we ever hope to soak in all of this beautiful life stuff that we're promised in the books, movies and inspirational quotes.
This book never says that adopting to the state of being "thankful" in all situations is easy. In fact, it straight up says it's hard. It's just hard sometimes. But so is life. Life is hard sometimes. It feels complacent sometimes. It feels impossible sometimes. And sometime it feels like no matter how hard we work up a sweat trying to piece together the good things, do the math to figure out how to factor up the joy or work our hands and hearts to death trying to get it right- we just can't.
This book and these prayers and this heart revealed the simple truth that, maybe...just maybe (but actually, for sure) the key to all of that good stuff isn't in working for perfection, but rather working to allow ourselves to be THANKFUL in every season.
I picked 15 quotes that made me catch me breath when I was reading this book. 15 quotes (though there are a zillion more) that really made me say "Wow, dude, something's gotta give cause you're doing this all wrong. It could be so much better than this. Let it be so much better than this."
So, here they are.
I truly can’t say enough to express how much this book made me think, how much it made me dig deeper into the way my heart works and how I seek out joy and fulfillment. I finished this book right as 2017 was starting, and I haven’t been able to stop going back to some of these words since I first started flipping through these pages.
Once you start to understand that there is an abundance of joy and peace to be found by simply pausing long enough to just say “thank you for this; this is enough”, it’s nearly impossible to not come back to that place.
I don’t know what season of life your walking through right now, but I do believe with every single bit of me that it’s a season you should say “thank you” for. I think you should believe it’s enough and be grateful for exactly what it is.
You are enough. You are loved. You get to live in that, and it’s awesome.
With Love & Glitter,
(PS- If you're down to snatch this little babe up, click the photo.)