Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1,000 Gifts, Chapter 2 and 3

I'm reading One Thousand Gifts with the Book Club at Incourage. I think I'll be re-reading this book in the summer, as I am too distracted right now to give it the attention it really deserves. I'll need this book in the summer; it's focus on gratitude will help refocus my heart when the desert heat soars. Summer in the desert is like a winter without any cozy holidays. The weather is intense, we stay indoors as much as possible, and there's a long break from women's Bible study.

Yet as I read the book now, even in my distracted state of mind--planning my participation in two women's retreats and the book I'm writing and the small group meeting in our home and the laundry that is reaching new heights in the hamper--I am being encouraged and challenged.

Let me share with you a quote from chapter 2:

As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning--now; wherever, meaning--here. 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 sorrow, joy might be--unbelievably--possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now. (page 33)

Joy is possible. Right here, today. I am not in the place of sorrow the author wrote from, but joy is certainly possible in the bustle of my day-to-day life. Today I will choose to be joyful. I will praise God for the Greek coffee perfuming my morning, the clouds rolling in with the possibility of rain in our desert, and my daughter singing "Spoonful of Sugar" in the bathtub.

And from 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 good to strengthen the heart. (p. 44)

That is the main theme of this book so far: a determined will to plant gratitude and grow a grateful attitude. The author describes gratitude as "the language I've got to learn to speak." I agree. With God's help, I will learn this language and teach it to my children. It will strengthen all our hearts.

Ann Voscamp is blogging about the practice of time. I've had such a hard time keeping track of time lately...moments are just slipping away from me. I lose the whole month of January every year, I think. It vanishes. Now here we are halfway into February, I'm enjoying several creative projects that do take a bit of time, but I'm not sure I'm capturing this time and savoring it. This week my goal is to savor time with my oldest child. My little ones tend to crawl in my lap and spend time with me, but I need to be a little more intentional in spending time with my oldest. She likes to do a bit of her schoolwork independently now, and dash off to play when it's done. We do need to do a bit more discussion of said schoolwork, so my plan is to make a pot of tea and make our schoolwork discussion a bit of a date with Mama. She's due for a spelling test too, and the reward for a spelling test is always nail polish. Twenty words on the spelling test...twenty fingers and toes to paint.

How are you savoring the moments of this week?

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