1,000 Gifts: My List

It was several months ago, that my friend Lora@MyBlessedLife introduced me to Ann Voskamp. Not in person, mind you, but in the blogosphere.

I’m always intrigued by what Lora is reading. One of my lifetime friends, she is also a fellow book-junkie. So when she first posted about the book, I was interested.

I quickly realized this was one I needed to not just read…I needed to devour it. I needed to read, put it down, step away, and truly meditate on what was being said. It challenged me like no book has in quite some time.

Ann is an exceptional writer, but it was more than that. Her message…of giving thanks in everything, for everything…is what I needed to hear at the time.

Having experienced the pain of personal tragedy at an early age, Ann learned to do what we all do so well…busy herself with the day-to-day to the neglect of what is truly important, what is truly life-giving.

While I cannot relate to the deep pain Ann and her family experienced or the “soul-hole” as she calls it that it left, I can relate to her longing for something more, for a deeper purpose, a higher calling. Who hasn’t wondered if there’s really more to life (especially a mom’s life) than folding laundry, wiping noses, and cleaning messes. Sure, we all know on some level that motherhood is “the highest calling.” Let us not forget we are molding and shaping the minds and spirits of the future…yeah, that’s the pressure I need on 4 hours of sleep!

Ann discovered it…the “it” we all search for, she and revealed it in her book. Thanksgiving. Not once-a-year-family-gathered-to-eat-turkey-type Thanksgiving. No, daily….truly…thanking God in everything, for everything. In her own words,

“Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace…thanksgiving is necessary to live the well, whole, fullest life.”

And isn’t that what God wants for us…life to the fullest? (See John 10:10). So, won’t you join me in The Joy Dare? It’s simple, really. Find 3 things every day to be thankful for. Three things. That can’t be too difficult, too time-consuming, right? If you need a little help getting started, check this out. What better way to prepare our hearts for this time of year, than to begin to give thanks a whole month early!

0001.  a surprise lunch with my husband

0002.  crisp, Fall mornings

0003.  God’s amazing grace

0004.  snuggling with my boy

0005. kisses from my girl

0006. amazing friends with whom to “do life”

0007. worship music

008. a home to share with friends

0009. lazy weekends with family

0010. birthday celebrations

0011. food made with love

0012. kind words

0013. inspiring conversations with friends

0014. an outpouring of love and support from family and friends

0015. a sovereign God

0016. watching the “light bulb” moment when my kids are learning

0017. listening to my daughter practice piano

0018. watching my kids tackle their dad when he comes in the door

0019. chocolate

0020. bike rides and neighborhood walks

If you’d like to join me in The Joy Dare, leave a comment and link directly to your list! You can also link up at A Holy Experience (but please leave me a comment and let me know you’re in it with me!)

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Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

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