“One Thousand Gifts” and an Invitation

One Thousand Gifts

Enter with the password:  “thank you!”

Make yourselves at home, talking praise.

Thank Him.  Worship Him.

Psalm 100:4 MSG.

Here we are entering into November and the verse above reminds me that this is the month of Thanks, the month where we are to take the time to give thanks for the past year for all the blessings we have been given, the bits of joy we have seen, but what if its been a year that hasn’t been full of blessing, what if it has been a year that has been empty or worse felt as though it has emptied us?  Then what, how do we find the joy, the beauty, when really all we remember because all we have seen seems dark and has left us feeling empty.

In her book One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp says;

“That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond.  To Him.  To the God whom we endlessly crave.”

Ann’s book is a challenge that began with a friend daring her to count 1000 things she loved.  She took the challenge and before she knew it her thankfulness began to change her.  Through counting, and hunting daily to see the ways God loves her she has been ushered into what she calls a fuller life, a life of joy.  Now tell me who doesn’t want that?

What I love about this book is that it isn’t all about the good stuff or the easy stuff the “no brainer” of course I am thankful for that kind of stuff, sure she has those but more importantly what I learned reading this book is that even in the dark, the deep dark hard, rip you to pieces times of life there is still beauty because God is still there.  There is not a day that goes by that as children of God we are not loved by Him and showered with grace and love and these two things offer a life full and beautiful when we choose to see it.

So for the month of November we challenge you, to dig deep and count the ways He loves you and blesses you in the good and the hard, He loves you and His love is real and present, never failing.  Share the ways he loves you, share them here, share them when you meet together, when we share how we are blessed, the things that we are thankful for, those moments that stir our soul and bring us to tears others are reminded of how they are loved and blessed and thankfulness becomes a way of living instead of just a time of year.  How amazing would it be to come together a year from now and share our lists.  Share the way He has loved us, how we have said Yes! to His grace and how we have entered into the full life of Christ.

“We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks.  Because how else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives.  Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! To His grace.  Thanksgiving – giving thanks in everything – prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ.”  Ann Voskamp

About joymsteed

"This is the day the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:4 I love this verse but the problem is I, more often than not, spend so much time rushing through the day that I don't think I really embrace what God is telling me through this verse. So, I am deciding to stand still or at least go slow and enjoy the days and the blessings that come, all of them; the ordinary and the extraordinary, the hard and the good, catching the moments wrapped up in each and giving thanks for the journey I am on. I am blessed to venture forward with my husband of 20 years and our two daughters, life has been hard and good and taken us places we never imagined we would go - both standing still and moving. God has been good and now as we enter a new stage, that point where our family road begins to have forks that are leading our girls to begin chapters in their stories that are separate from our story and although this excites me it also makes me wonder what's next for this mom, where do I go from here and what will this next chapter look like for me? I don't have the answers yet, what I do know though is that God is good and I know that He is going to lead and I will obediently follow, leaning in, standing still and rejoicing in the days ahead, the good and the hard days, the ordinary and the extraordinary days and the blessings wrapped in each. Thanks for stopping by and joining in my journey!

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