One Thousand Gifts

I went from being angry to being giddy. In seconds.

I’ve been reading the book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I have been reading her blog daily for a year or more. She is VERY poetic in her writing, and sometimes that is hard for me… I am very black and white. I like things clearly spelled out πŸ™‚ But time after time I can relate to her mistakes, and I am so encouraged by her perspective Β – to keep going, to trust God is in control and loving us through all of this, to just go back and try again.

So I ordered a copy of her first book as a Christmas present to myself last month. I just got it in the mail a couple days ago… it was just released. It is just wonderful.

In the first chapter I grow so close to her. I cry with her. I know her struggles. I know her fear. I know her feeling stuck – then, her friend dares her.

I don’t do dares. Never did. Don’t ever want to.

But this one is different.

I’m not even half way through the book and I’m diving in with my whole heart. The dare – put simply is something like this… Pay attention and keep a list of things you love, or are thankful for. See if you can get to 1,000. Just try it.

OK, I will after I finish the book. After I find a nice new journal to write in… oh, I think I have some extra upstairs in the closet. That will be even better.

But then that night, I cannot sleep. It happens often. Usually I dwell on the things I need to get done, or I can’t figure out, or are really bothering me.

So I remembered how angry I was earlier in the day with 5 of the 6 kids for ALWAYS losing their gloves. Just one of each pair. We have more than 15 lone gloves – no match – no one has any idea where they could be. REALLY??? Not one match? (Well, our 12 year old did have his pair together, they were just soaking wet! So not one of the six had a matching pair of gloves to wear in the very very bitter cold.) Grrrrrrrrrr, that makes me angry.

And then I remember Ann and One Thousdand Gifts.

Pay attention, look and try to see the good all around.

And God showed me the precious little chubby (some not so little or chubby πŸ™‚ hands that fit into the gloves, paired or not. I get to be the Mom of 12 super cute little hands! And I smile. And goodness literally bubbles up inside me.

And so number 1 on my list of 1,000 is tiny cute little hands squishing into gloves.

And my heart heals just a bit. And my expectation of the potential in this exercise explodes!

Number 2 is Ann Voskamp and her love of God and words.

Thank you Ann.

Thank you God.

Can’t wait to see the next 998!

6 Replies to “One Thousand Gifts”

  1. Sound like a very inspiring book. I am going to have to check it out – and her blog as well.
    I get frustrated that I don’t look at the positive side of things more often. LIke my youngest who CONSTANTLY – drops and leaves everything in the kitchen – shoes, coat, basketball bag, backpack – in the summer I can’t count the number of times the ‘cup’ is on the kitchen table. Taking a second look – I am so thankful for his healthy body that is able to compete in sports and stay so active – and I am thankful he is still home and in a moldable age (although I don’t think I am doing such a great job of shaping and molding him – if he can’t put a single thing away … ever!) and for his tender heart and desire to serve God.
    What a great read to start my day and me thinking! Thanks!
    Valerie recently posted: January 21- 2011 21-365

  2. Ha! I feel the same….and told myself the same. “Nah. I need to finish the book first.” But then, I found myself thinking about that pretty journal I saw tucked away that I bought long ago and haven’t really used…..

    I can’t wait to get started and see what happens in my life.

  3. “And my heart heals just a bit. And my expectation of the potential in this exercise explodes!”
    Jen you are fantastic!
    I am looking forward to reading this and discussing it with you. Thank you for your ever inspirational friendship!

  4. Jen,
    Love this. I have the book on my nightstand but have not started it yet. I too have been following Ann for a few years. I am up to 500 on my list and it does change your perspective. In my house it’s socks not gloves but I think we all share the same frustrations. I’ve been catching up with you guys through Greg’s email. I hope you are getting your energy back. I’m sorry you have had such a rough road lately. That’s when listing those gifts is SO important. We look forward to seeing you all when we are in NY this summer.

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