Monday, March 14, 2011

Becoming grateful... living a life overflowing

It's funny how something will be on my heart and filling my thoughts for a time, and then the coincidences (or what I like to call "God-incidences") start happening.  For a few weeks I have been pondering the importance of giving thanks in all circumstances.   Then somehow, a treasure made it to my hands... the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

I haven't finished it yet, but the poetic lines about living a full life of gratitude haunt my waking hours and challenge me to seek out my many gifts... big and small.   

Ann writes: 
"From all our beginnings, we keep reliving the Garden story.  Satan, he wanted more.  More power, more glory... Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude.  Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave.  Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins?  Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives.  We hunger for something more, something other."

I believe this is so very true... At the very heart of sin is the focus on what's lacking rather than what's being blessedly given.  

We forget to notice God.

Being thankful, even in the small things… ESPECIALLY in the small things… fills the heart with a bit more God joy.  Taking the time to notice every gift in the moment fills the heart til overflowing… and when the heart is overflowing, the God gift of joy spreads to others.

As the world is facing the horrific tragedies of earthquakes and tsunamis, lives lost and death feared, I can do my part to notice the good and gracious gifts…. The things that fill my heart to the brim.  And maybe then, I can impart some of that joy to those who may be suffering, carrying the hope when they are struggling to find it. 

I want to live fully.  To live a lifestyle of gratitude and praise... grace and fullness.  I want a heart overflowing joy.

Time slows today as my heart fills with the joy of the small things. The things that would go unnoticed if not for the looking…. The rainbow orb of light shining on my staircase… the warm tingling on my face from the sun peeking out of clouds…  the joy of the simply noticing. 

I'm making a list of my 1,000 gifts.  I'm going to live intentional moments of thankfulness.

And so the list begins...

1... Prayers, soothing soul and cleansing spirit
2... The kind words of a professor that show deep caring about how and who I am rather than what I am or can do
3... Sunbeams making a rainbow of surprise through the peephole on my door
4... Empty journal in need of blessing words and God gifts to fill pages
5... Books that challenge me to live a deeper, fuller life (The Prayer Dare by Ron Kincaid; One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp)
6... Birdsong in the air thwarting the winter long dormant... a hope of spring to come
7... Feeling sun warmth on my face despite still present winter chill... MORE hope of spring!
8... Spring break memories made and laughter shared with loved ones... and the pictures to help remember... (a few pictures will come soon... promise!)

I'm well on my way to 1,000, don't you think?  Do join in on the fun.  Don't you want an overflowing heart and life?  Let's live a lifestyle of praise.

What has blessed your heart today?

"And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
~Ephesians 5:20~


Meadows said...

Thanks for reminding me that even on the darkest days, I have so much to be grateful for! Beautiful expression!

elizabeth said...

So happy that your are beginning your gratitude list, and so happy that you are following my blog too! God bless you!

Ashlee Gadd said...

That sounds like a great book. I'm going to add it to my to-read list! Thanks ;)