Jan 20, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Chapter 3

I may have always known that change takes real intentionality, like a woman bent over her garden beds every day with a spade and the determined will to grow up something to strengthen the heart.

I may even have known that change requires more than merely thinking the warm fuzzy thoughts about a door and a way through and that Greek word, eucharisteo, holding the mystery to the full life and ever after.

But none of that at all meant that I knew what to do.

How...do I learn to practically pick up eucharisteo, the word that I had underlined as a firm foundation to lay down under all my days?
How...do I learn to use eucharisteo to overcome my one ugly and self-destructive habit of ingratitude...with the saving habit of gratitude that would lead me back to deep God-communion.

If we thirst, we'll have to drink.

Philippians 4:11-12
I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.

I would have to learn eucharisteo.

To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God.  To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.

So...this thankfulness thing has to be intentional.  I have to practice it, to learn it.  I have to make a choice every minute of every day to be thankful in ALL things.  It won't come naturally for my sinful nature will fight it.  I will have to choose to overcome my sinfulness and make the right choice to be thankful in all things.  

I don't think that this means that hurts won't hurt.  BUT that I will see God's hand in even the hurt and be thankful for what He is doing in my life.

  God is in the details; God is in the moment.  God is in al tht blurs by in a life-- even hurts in a life.

And knowing this, that God is in everything, that even the hurt does not happen outside of His will, makes it a little easier to be thankful. 


I just had an opportunity to practice what I just wrote.  I went to the kitchen to start some lunch.  As soon as I got the last of the cabbage in the skillet for fried cabbage, I was hit with one of my lovely 'throwing up' migraines.  How can I be thankful for this?

  • I am thankful that I was at home.
  • that I made it to the bathroom
  • that the bathroom was empty
  • that Sarah was able to watch the stove for me
  • that David was able to bring me a cold drink
  • that I hadn't just eaten

Sure, I had to really think to find the thankfulness.  But that makes it more meaningful to me.  The fact that I had to dig deep to be thankful means something.  It means I'm not being flippant but am taking this seriously.

How much more is there to be thankful for?  Voskamp challenges us to count 1,000 things.  I hope that it won't end there.

One Thousand Gifts

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