It’s a new day! It’s a New Year! It’s a new beginning.
This morning Dan and I awoke later than usual on this Sabbath day…the first day of the New Year. We had travelled in the car for eleven hours yesterday and were travel-weary and glad to be in the comfort of our own beds, in our own home.
Sundays are very special to us. It is a day of Sabbath; of rest and recuperation from the busyness of our week. We read and talk and rest on Sunday mornings. We take the Sabbath seriously and find that, in doing so, our weeks go more smoothly than if we made that special day just like any other.
Right now I am reading an incredible book that my long-time friend, Vickie, gave me a week ago for my birthday. I wasn’t familiar with it but she said she knows I will love it. And she is so right. The book, by Ann Voskamp, is titled One Thousand Gifts….A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.
I am so blessed to have been given this book right at the beginning of a New Year. Reading its pages has helped me to formulate something I want to do this coming year. The writer talks about her struggles to see God in her life. She has weathered some terrible storms and has faced the doubts and fears and anger and grief that most of us have faced or will face at some point in our lives.
The book speaks of understanding true joy by being more aware of the gifts inherent in our lives every day. And in the turning of pages I am thinking of all the many gifts I am given that I simply take for granted……and often don’t even think of as a blessing or a gift.
I am challenged by reading this book to see more gifts in my every day. And not just to see them but to actually write them down in a journal. In doing so I know I will find more joy and comfort in knowing that God is with me in every moment of my day……..
1. Savoring the holiday flavor of a cup of fresh-brewed tea. A gift from my sister, Margie.
2. Sitting in my armchair discussing what we are reading with the love of my life.
3. Napping in the afternoon.
4. Listening to instrumental praise music on Pandora on-line.
5. The warmth of the sun on a cool winter day.
6. A friend (Vickie) who knows me well enough to know what I would love to read.
This is the beginning of my list. I will carry a little notebook in my purse and in my car to jot down incidents that are my gift of the moment. I don’t think it will be hard to fill the year with a thousand gifts. This is a challenge I feel privileged to embark upon.
Voskamp writes as she begins her list, “That is the beginning and I smile. I can’t believe how I smile. I mean, they are just the common things and maybe I don’t even know they are gifts really until I write them down and that is really what they look like. Gifts He bestows. This writing it down—it is sort of like….unwrapping love.”
Unwrapping love…..I love that concept…….because I know God loves me and that in the essence of each day He provides so many gifts I miss………buried in activity, obligations, appointments and……………busyness.
What gifts are you missing each day? Perhaps you could start your own list and continue it all year. By keeping track in this physical way, I believe I will not only become more aware but I will also gain the blessing of saying “Thanks!” to God in a tangible way that is in line with living my life as a prayer.