What if I told you that you could be the happiest person on earth, starting today. You don’t need a 10 step process, a lecture series, or even large sums of money. It’s something you can start right away, it requires nothing more than a shift in focus. Allow me to explain:
I’m reading One thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp. It is a VERY inspiring book. The author has walked through her fair share of hardships. When her sister died when they were both children, she saw tragedy crumble their family’s faith. As an adult, she became a humble farmers wife with six little ones. Life felt chaotic and mundane. Lies of fear and inadequacy filled her head. Most of us can relate.
Christ promised the abundant life to his followers, so why do many days I feel frustrated and overwhelmed?
Ann studied the scriptures and something kept coming out repeatedly….THANKFULNESS
And a lack of thankfulness when something goes astray.
In the very beginning, in the garden, Adam and Eve had all they ever wanted. Life was perfect, yet they were discontent. They thought they needed more.
What if we lived in a PURPOSEFUL way ACKNOWLEDING all of the many blessings around us?
Voskamp does just that, she started a journal of “1,000 gifts” journaling all the small and large blessings she saw around her everyday. It is truly life changing when you take the time to notice all of the gifts you never even noticed before.
I started this experiment myself just yesterday. With a 3 and 4 year old in tow we traveled to preschool with a mission, to notice all of the things of which we are thankful.
The short 15 min drive changed my whole outlook on the day. Here is what I discovered:
1) I am thankful for a car. There are many people who don’t have this luxury.
2) Roads for the car to travel. Smooth roads are a blessing. Just ask our friends in JInja.
3) With two little ones in the back they were thankful for everything that was their favorite color. My favorite color is red, just then two red trucks passed, one of the drivers was wearing a red hat. Something I certainly would have never noticed before.
4)As we got close to preschool I noticed the water tower downtown. I am so thankful for clean drnking water. And the thoughtless miracle that it flows freely from 5 faucets in our home (plus hoses outside!)
5) As we entered preschool the scrolling marque read, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
1 Thessalonians 5:17-19
I walked away from preschool with a smile you couldn’t shake off. With a simple perspective shift I now realize I am overflowing with gifts and blessings everyday.
The one thing that I have learned is that it is extremely difficult to be discontent when I am actively thankful. –Gracefull mama
“Today, when stress mounts, I pray to dismount it with gratitude. I can only feel one feeling at a time, and I choose to give thanks at all times. Fight feeling with feeling!”- Ann Voskamp
The idea of the book is to change our perspective. There is soooo much to be thankful for that we never even notice, unless we put on a new pair of eyes. It is a practice, something I will have to discover and grow in everyday. Gratitude is contagious. And I am so thankful for this book to help open my eyes to all of my many blessings!
What are you thankful for today?