I cannot begin to express what a peaceful and yes, joyful morning I have had drinking tea and reading the first few chapters of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskkamp. I began my own eucharisteo (thanksgiving) journal today. I feel as though I am starting my day from an entirely different place–the place of here and now–and I am feeling full and content and at peace.
Is this something you long for? I certainly know that I have for so very long. I feel that I have given thanks for the big things in my life: Jesus’ gift of salvation, my marriage, my daughter, our health,…but in the midst of these big things, the little, every day blessings get swallowed up. Swallowed up by lack of time, bitterness, discontent, greed, anger, loneliness, gluttony, fear, jealousy….I forget to see the miracle of the gift of smell (which I don’t have on a regular basis), the sound of rain on the windows, the realization that I can sleep in my warm, soft bed for a few more minutes, the exuberance of my dogs when I walk through the door.
I will be updating my list as a post on a weekly basis. Below is a partial list.
I pray that you will take this quiet journey with me as we dig into the idea of eucharisteo: grace, thanksgiving, joy.
ONE THOUSAND GIFTS
1. English Breakfast tea
3 .Earthy smell of my favorite candle
5. Sounds of teenager getting ready for school in the morning-the stomping and dropping and slamming-while I lie silently in bed encouraging her independence
6. Teenager’s growing independence manifested in preparing her own breakfast and unprompted three-hour study sessions followed by a moment of hunkering down and resting into my side as if she is regenerating–drawing strength and courage from me for her next step into adulthood.
7. Words. Words flowing from somewhere deep inside of me–not my mind but my heart, my soul. Words that feel right, that satisfy, that flow onto the page not pushed but leaking out.
8. Sleepy, early morning telephone conversations with husband away from home.
9. Teenager’s long, sleek hair with each stroke of the brush a love letter to her from me
10. Grandmother humming as she works
12. Laughing with friends
13. Godson’s crushing blue eyes the color of Robin’s eggs
14. Boston Children’s Hospital
15. Medical professionals
16. Medical innovation and technology
17. Healthy hearts
19. Goofy springers
21. Firm, plump, juicy blueberries surrounded by milk in a nest of granola
22. Early morning sounds of the world waking up
23. The sound of husband’s car as it pulls up to our home after days away
24. Cat stretched out behind my neck on top of chair
25. Allergy medicine
28. Dogs concentrating on bones
29. The moment in an argument when the teenager’s heart begins to open and she reveals to me the hard thing, the secret feeling that she had buried deep within.
30. When this dark thing loses its power over us because we bring it into the light and share the weight of it with another.
31. Footsteps above announcing that the day has begun
35. Friends praying faithfully for people you love that they do not know
37. Hot water
39. Hot water heaters that do not leak
41. Connecting with old friends
42. Sweet daughter using her creativity to make me a precious birthday gift
45. The acrid smell of pluff mud
46. Seagulls cawing
47. Storm clouds gathering
48. Color popping against the darkening sky
49. Springtime with its chartreuse marsh grass
50. Boat trails in water
51. Raindrops heavy and full
52. Painted toenails in Jack Rogers
53. Blanketed by sleeping puppies
54. Teenager cleaning up after herself without being told
55. Dog-tired dog eyes
56. Surprising love words followed by long, lanky, teenage arms encircling
57. Wanting to share something I love with someone I love
58. Swirling, leaping, barking invitation to play from girl springer
59. Funny words from a friend in a text
60. Heart-filled lattes
61. Windows down hair whipping around face
62. Fiddler crabs skating across pluff mud surface
63. Click of sandals on peer’s wooden planks
64. Long, loitering walks with child-now-teenager exploring
65. Criss-crossed straps edged in rick-rack against sun-licked, peach-fuzzed back of toddler
67. Brush of sun across cheeks
68. Brothers reuniting
70. Hearts for George
71. Live oaks, lawns,…100+ years of educating girls
72. The communion of saints praying, “Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name…”
73. Sunday mornings greeting friends and strangers
74. Lowcountry landscapes
75. Trawlers resting
77. Clean refrigerator
79. Sun piercing clouds
80. Sun-baking with teenager
81. Conversation unfolding effortlessly
82. Fears, dreams, questions whispered and shared-the carrying now done by two.
84. Release of clutched, white-knuckled hands
85. Palms opening, reaching up accepting
87. Hard-packed, barren heart softening with even only a trickle of the Living Water
88. Promise of renewal
89. Night-time air filled with the bullfrogs’ ballads
90. Tomatoes ripening on kitchen counter
91. Girls’ night in
92. The splendor of being fully open to His plans and His timing
93. Fully all there
94. Milky white magnolias
95. A girl and her dog
96. Marrying my best friend
97. Being surprised after 24 years