Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Counting to 1,000 Gifts

If I said to write down 5 wonderstruck moments, I bet you could, right? What if I said 100? Could you do that? There's no time limit. You could collect them over days, weeks, months even. Now imagine listing 1,000 wonderstruck moments. Again, no time limit. Just an ongoing list of wonderstruck goodness. What a list that would be!

I just finished my second reading of Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts in which she describes her journey of thanksgiving. A friend challenged her to find 1,000 gifts from God... and she did. In fact, now she's several thousand deep. Ann's book follows her practice of giving thanks in good moments as well as hard moments, and what she learned about grace in the process.

After reading One Thousand Gifts the first time, I became more mindful of my surroundings and my attitude. I even started my own list of gifts, though I wasn't great at keeping it up. I chose a separate journal for my gifts, but it never seemed to be conveniently located. I have also used her app on my phone (yes, there's an app for that) to collect photos when I'm on the go.

This second time reading, I noticed that Ann mentioned keeping her main journal by her kitchen sink, another on her nightstand, another in her purse, and she keeps a master list on her computer.

Aha!

If I wanted to make it to 1,000 I was going to need a better approach, so as of now my master list is on my computer and I'm tracking daily wonderstruck moments in the margins of my planner. To date, I'm up to 93. It's a far cry from 1,000. But, really, I'm almost 10% of the way there.

Here are some of the items on my list:

7. Sweet scent of honeysuckle impossibly indoors (husband's shoe polish?)
11. The shadow of a bird in flight
25. Fresh baked brownies
31. Days when I feel like I have it all figured out
36. Teenage stepson saying, "Thank you for dinner"
45. Time to refresh
63. Fresh breeze blowing sheer curtains
75. Walking around in soft socks

Having a list of wonderstruck moments is a gift in itself. Reading the list reminds me of special times and brings me back to a state of mindfulness. Wanting to reach 1,000 keeps my eyes and ears open for more.

Count them as gifts from God or simply gifts from the universe. Just count them.

What is on your list?

7 comments:

  1. Lovely. Simply lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this idea!

    I read a sample of One Thousand Gifts at one point. The author had had such terrible tragedy in her life, it was hard for me to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The first chapter is very tough. The second chapter has a little tough, though not as graphic as the first. After that it's much easier to read. The tough at the beginning helps put things in perspective as you read the rest of the book- it makes you realize she isn't just a Pollyanna type person for whom counting gifts is easy. She works hard to find grace. If you can get through it (or maybe even skip to chapter 3), it is well worth reading.

    ReplyDelete
  4. [...] referenced this in my post earlier this week, Counting to 1,000 Gifts. As you can see in the photograph, I’m not the only one who enjoys breezy [...]

    ReplyDelete
  5. [...] things turned worse as I sat down to update my list of gifts. Last month I started a master file on my computer to collect wonderstruck moments as I count to [...]

    ReplyDelete