Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I've been reading, very slowly, through this book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I'm just now to chapter 11 - though, I could have very easily finished it in a week because of how good and jam-packed with truth it is. If you haven't read it yet I'd recommend getting it on your "to read" list soon. It's worth your time.

Something Ann talks about over and over in this book is "Eucharisteo" - giving thanks. Giving thanks when things are hard. Sounds so common and easy. Yea, pray over your meals, be thankful around Thanksgiving time, etc. But my mind has been so opened and challenged as to what this word really means. Every day choosing to find joy and give thanks and obey the word of God, "Give thanks in all things." All Things. Lately, the struggle to give thanks has been a 10. As in, on a scale of 1 to 10 how hard do you find it to give thanks? 10. Honestly. Though, now and again I'd catch a glimpse of the silver lining and just glow in it... things have been tough. I shared an email this week with some close family members and friends letting them know just how tough things have been - because I feel so weak. So alone in dealing with them. And, hindsight now is... isn't that exactly what the deceiver wants me to think!?

- Hubs car is on the slow death trail

- Every bill seems to have gone up

- Expected tax money now non-existent

- Child going through weird transition
- Emotional prego woman attempting to love people as a pastors wife, failing.

My personal list goes on, really. And then I stopped and realized - it's because I'm keeping a list that it feels so overwhelming. It's because in a way I'm comparing the bad list with what I think I deserve that I get down. When truth be told - I have it SO good and really deserve nothing. Don't we all deserve nothing?

Ann keeps an ongoing list. She started with 1 thousand. One thousand things to be thankful for. It didn't even occur to me until yesterday that while reading this awesome book - I'm actually doing the exact opposite of the point of the book. I'm keeping a list too... only, a list of all the things going wrong. Things I fret over. Things I cry over. Things I'm terrified of dealing with.

Then yesterday happened. My phone rang and rang, but I still missed the call. Thankfully a voicemail was left - someone offering up kiddo clothes, wondering if I could use them. And I could. In a big way. I hung up and just sat there in sheer conviction. How silly of me to doubt and wonder IF God would provide. He always does. So, I grabbed a yellow post it note and wrote it down, " 4/18/11 - Got a call about FREE clothes for Ava and possibly baby. PTL!"

That afternoon I got an email from a family member. Always so truthful with me. Reminding me that the one thing I had always dreamed and asked God for was true in my life - Full time, paid, ministry. I'm there. Serving alongside my husband, after waiting so long. So I wrote another note, "In full time, paid, ministry. PTL!"

Lastnight we sat with loving, caring, godly parents of teens who want to support and encourage a young youth pastor and his imperfect wife. They bought us soup and cookies and tea. We talked about ministry and for one of the first times in a while... felt encouraged and rejuvinated, even. I got home and wrote out another yellow note, "Parents on board & supportive". My desk is starting to look like a joy zone of praise notes. I have so much to be thankful for if I see it.

Today I'm choosing joy and looking for things to be thankful for - even in the hard times. I tried to catch some on the camera already...
Hot pancakes and turkey bacon for breakfast. Just enough coffee left over for one more pot to start my day. A dishwasher I can throw everything into afterward.

And, my girl. While we transition and learn each other - she's still so precious and so important and another something I praise God for.



Lindsay said...

Thank you for this post. I always need this reminder!
Consider making a blessings jar! I just finished decorating ours and am going to post about it soon.
Praying for you!

TheMillers said...

I would like to read this book, too,though I am getting the idea of it from other people and it is also reminding me to be thankful for all things!

And p.s.- your morning would've been even better if you'd bought REAL bacon, not TURKEY bacon! Just kidding.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Ok...you convinced me. I NEED to read this book. I honestly wasn't really sure what it was about, but I've heard everyone raving about it...it's exactly what I need to be reminded of over and over {and over and over and over...}