Do you ever have times in your life when God weaves a theme through everything that you’re learning? I’ve been on a journey recently where God’s been teaching me about thankfulness.
I think it began in October when I heard Steven Furtick preach at Hillsong about gratitude . He said “Gratitude begins where our sense of entitlement ends”. How much do I really think I’m entitled to? How much do I truly think I deserve?
For Christmas, I got a great book called “A thousand gifts” by Ann Voskamp. This is the story of a girl who decided to count her blessings and write a list of a thousand gifts that God has given to her, and how a lifestyle of gratitude has the power to change your life. The style of this book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I found it difficult at first to get used to her heavily poetic style but once I got over it, I enjoyed the basis of the book – that living fully only occurs when you are copiously aware of all the gifts God has given you. She describes situations in her daily life, both beautiful times and horrific times and captures the gifts in both. It’s the type of book that may well change your life. I don’t think anyone could come away from it without a heightened awareness of searching for God’s grace in daily life; whether it’s a big full moon in the garden, or a son being rushed to hospital.
I now have a gift list on my phone. Well 2 actually. The first is a list of all the things that I would quite like one day… that’s the superficial, shallow one of things I want to do, trinkets I want to buy, restaurants I want to eat at and places I want to see. But the second I think is more fun. I’ve started my own 1000 giftlist. It’s a list of all the gifts that I find in everyday situations, ranging from clean, fluffy bedding, mezze platters in restaurants, ladybirds in the garden and long chats with friends. I love taking time to photograph little bits (instagram is great for this) and jot stuff down in my phone. (I would use paper, but I’m more likely to have my phone on me than a journal or paper – there’s also a “one thousand gifts” app where you can collect your giftlist!). Sometimes it’s a challenge to find a ‘gift’ in the situation, but that’s what makes it all the more worthwhile.
So how many can you get to? Here are a few of my documented gifts….
Psalm 50:14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving