I have continued to slowly read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. I’m reading it slowly, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because I’ve had to really digest a lot of good and hard stuff. Ann has a way of writing that is inspiring and thought-provoking. I can’t just quickly skim it, think warm thoughts and walk away. In fact, I've gone back and read the first 3 chapters twice. I want a good heart understanding of what God is teaching me. I want to truly listen to His voice as I read. My word for 2011 is listen and I’m forcing myself to slow down and truly listen. I want my life to be changed when I’m done with this book.
Chapter 2 is a dissection of the word eucharisteo. Boiled down very simply, eucharisteo means thanksgiving. It envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis, but it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning joy. Ann says it like this – grace, thanksgiving, joy. “Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo – the table of thanksgiving. Is the height of my chara joy dependent on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks?” (pages 32-33).
I must be thankful in whatever He gives me. Thanksgiving is my acceptance of whatever He gives, in every situation. It is inherent to an honest salvation experience. "At the Eucharist, Christ breaks His heart to heal mine - Christ, the complete accomplishment of my salvation. And the miracle of eucharisteo never ends: thanksgiving is what precedes the miracle of that salvation being fully worked out in my life. Thanksgiving - giving thanks in everything - is what prepares the way for salvation's whole restoration. I will never experience the fullness of my salvation until I express the fullness of my thanks everyday." (pg 40). This isn't always easy, but I want to experience the fullness of my salvation.
I'm a pretty laid back, easy-going gal (most of the time!). I'm typically not a complainer. BUT, not being a complainer does not necessarily mean I am always thankful. I have deceived myself into thinking my generally happy disposition is a thankful attitude but the Lord has revealed to me that I need to be purposeful to be thankful in EVERYthing; in EVERY situation. No matter what. Not just when it's easy. Not just when it's cool. Always.
I have answered the dare to be always mindful of each gift God has given me. To keep my eyes open everyday. To make a list of 1000 blessings.
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
13. my sweet, snuggly Bella
15. quiet time to read with Abi
16. duck tape :)
17. happy daisies