Recently I was handed a pair of glasses that opened up a whole new way of seeing for me. I would like to say I’ve always been a grateful person, that I’ve always been a “seize the day” type of person and I think I have. The last few years I have felt drawn to be more present in the moments and be thankful for all life’s gifts. This last year especially I have been breathing in the moments and breathing out my gratitude. The more I do this the more I have come to realize that my past thanks has been only surface level and there is a deeper well of gratitude that gets to the wells of joy. Then I began to read Ann’s blog and book One Thousand Gifts. Ann’s revelation from God on thankfulness, grace and time has been a key to unlocking the door for my mind to be renewed and my heart to overflow with gratitude and joy. What this has done for me is beyond just keeping a gratitude journal or being positive as you count your blessings. It is a new way of seeing.
And that way of seeing is a gateway to deep and lasting joy. Putting on the glasses is the revelation of how powerful gratitude is, but it must be learned, it is a practice of putting them on over and over until they become your very own eyes.
Truth be told, right now my life is good. Dare I say fantastic! Better than ever! Yet in the midst of a society that doesn’t always value the role I currently live out there is a dailyness to my life that can seem so simple (just me and the kids all day long), so mundane (laundry and dishes woohoo!), so repetitive (didn’t I just sweep this floor/ change this diaper/ say “Please pick up your shoes!” 5 minutes ago??), and at times exhausting. That is when this way of seeing becomes a practice to be learned. When the world around us brings pain, confusion and heartbreak we must have eyes to see and learn thanks.
In that learning my gratitude has gone deeper. Ann asks, “Is the height of my joy dependent on the depths of my thanks?”
I think yes. I think that superficial thanks gives you superficial joy, but deep gratitude unlocks deepest joy.
Ann talks about “He gave thanks” in scriptures in the original language translates “Eucharisteo”, the root of which is charis meaning “grace”, and the derivative the Greek word chara, meaning “joy”.
This act of eucharisteo for all the daily graces really does unlock deep joy and abundant life.
So I urge you, allow your gratitude to go deeper. Today. Right where you are.
“The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be—unbelievably – possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.” – Ann Voskamp
Now that the revelation has been unlocked for me I am seeing it everywhere, not just in the counting of these gifts, but as I read scripture I see this key of gratitude has been there all this time, I just did not have the eyes see it.
For me the learning has come not in this general “Thanks for everything”, but in the naming of very specific gifts I am thankful for. And so I join Ann and her community as I continue to count my way to one thousand….
29. Voluntary kisses from my sweet little boy
30. Holding hands in the dark
31. Birds singing their sweet chorus
32. People around me that inspire me
33. That my children’s grandparents love spending time with them
34. Waves crashing on the beach
35. Sand between my toes
36. Fresh revelation
37. My hardworking husband
38. Hearing the little one grow his vocabulary, repeating “hi” “hi” “hi” all day long
39. My daughter learning to read, create and love
40. The adventurous spirit that is a 16 month old boy
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