I have been reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts this past week, and I can say that the Lord is using it to help transform me. I am encouraged to look for the gifts of each day, that were indeed hand made for me by our loving God Almighty. My whole perspective is beginning to change on how I live ~ how I accept this thing called life.
Today I ran across these words and I had to stop ~ because I knew I wanted to share my thoughts on this very thought shared by Mrs. Voskamp.
"God is not in need of magnifying by us so small, but the reverse. It's our lives that are little and we have falsely inflated self, and in thanks we decrease and the world returns right. I say thanks and I swell with Him, and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all afoot."
"This act of naming grace moments, this list of God's gifts, moves beyond the shopping list variety of prayer and into the other side. The other side of prayer, the interior of His throne room, the inner walls of his powerful, love-beating heart. This list is God's list, the pulse of His love - the love that thrums on the other side of our prayers."
When I sit down and really consider the things that brought gratitude to my entire being this week I realized an amazing thing. With true thanksgiving, gratitude, there comes a pure joy. A joy that can't be taken away. A joy that draws me closer to God, and willing to look at each moment of my day as a gift, and a way that He is leading me into intimacy with Him. God is truly a personal God, and by embracing these "gifts" each moment, I am seeing Him in ways I never did before. I see the beauty, the care He put into the simple thing such as grass, and the way leaves begin to drop and whither as their time on this earth comes to an end. I see how little things mean more to me then anything of monetary value could. My life begins to have more meaning.
With each gift I recognize, I begin to see that this thing called life is so beautiful. There is so much more to living it and embracing it then simply sitting back wishing for "it" to happen. I am, day by day, finding more satisfaction in this life God has given me, taking time for things that bring me joy ~ rather then spending so much time online "searching" for more. Day by day as I read more into Ann's book, and allowing myself to be opened up ~ to simply embrace each moment for what it is (A GIFT), I have no desire to be so involved in things that are not life giving.
Before reading this book, I was looking for more. I was wanting MORE. Now? I see how blessed I am. I see the joy that just permeates this house ~ my inner being because I am so blessed. I am finding joy in cleaning my home, taking care of the every day things,and for once NOT finding it to be monotonous. I am finding joy in the dishpan! Finding joy in a sink full of breakfast dishes!
As we are ending one week, and getting ready to embrace a new one, I am so full of joy that I could almost burst. I see new beginnings coming! A shift change for my husband is coming very soon, and I am ever thankful. I am losing the grip on my facebook habit! After taking a couple weeks off of my run training, I am ready to begin it again ~ and build strength in this body for what I face each day. I am ready! For whatever comes next. For once! For once, I am okay with opening myself up to whatever God has for me ~ with no expectations!
With Deep Gratitude,
Coming soon for October: "31 days of Living with No Expectations!"