1000 Gifts: A Lesson in Thankfulness

I’ve been reading the book 1000 Gifts by Anna Voskamp and it has really impacted me.  The book is her journey from bitterness, day-to-day survival, and depression to a life of meaning, grace, and joy by chronicling 1000 Gifts, one thousand things worthy of gratitude.

Throughout this process her anger and ingratitude turns to joy and thanksgiving as she learns the skill of being thankful, releasing her to a grace-filled life.

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The book has really made me think.  I am so often ungrateful for the little things and am quick to dwell on the negative.  I don’t want to be that type of person.  I want to be joyful, thankful, and full of grace.  So I began at first to look at little things, just mentally praying thank yous throughout my day for a cup of coffee, a day of sunshine, wood stacked with care, a familiar face in a crowd.  Then I heard an example in church of a lady with a lung disease which causes her horrible coughing fits and her lungs are basically failing—without a transplant she won’t live very long.  She told her coworker (who was preaching) that she was thankful for her illness.  Thankful because she would never be as close to God without the illnesses.  Amazing.

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I began to think, even of ugly things as the ugly-beautiful as Anna Voskamp calls them in her book: things that are ugly but allow us to know a deeper beautiful truth that we wouldn’t otherwise know.  I’m still mulling this over.  It is NOT natural for me to be thankful for things like a medical bill, but I can choose to see the good and be thankful in that situation. I can be thankful that I am alive to pay the bill, that although it’s not where I would choose to put my money-I do have the money, the bill could be higher-meaning I am sicker, and on it goes. I have much to be thankful for, even in the “ugly” things.

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So I have started a little thankfulness journal to record everyday things that I am thankful for—to begin finding joy and beauty in the mundane, ugly, ordinary, priceless moments that are happening everyday.  I hope to deepen my faith in God’s providential workings in my day to day life, see Him more fully in each moment, soaking in His presence and the fully enjoying the little marvels of the short days I’ll spend on the earth.

What are you thankful for today?

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9 Comments

  1. What a lovely post Kate – and by the sounds of it, an amazing book. I really like your idea of a thankfulness journal. I try to take mental note of things each day but writing them down would be even better.

    1. Yes, I would definitely suggest reading it–it’s very inspiring and the way she writes is very descriptive and beautiful. And she started out as a blogger so that doesn’t hurt either. 😉

  2. This is really a great post Kate. 🙂 Drawing near to God even in the midst of illness and sorrow is really a beautiful thing. Thank you for the reminder!

  3. I loved this book! It had a huge impact on me, as well. I’ve definitely started giving thanks daily for the little things I normally take for granted, especially during stressful times.

    1. Yes! It’s definitely a process. I was telling some friends tonight even if I can’t yet be grateful for a tough or stressful situation I am able to think “oh I could be thankful for this aspect of that stressful thing”. I might not be to the actually thankful part yet, but at least my brain is starting to recognize the blessings in the bad and I’d consider that progress. 🙂

  4. What a great post! The book sounds like something I should read 🙂 It is so easy to get caught up with negatives, that I often forget the great blessings God has given to me. I have been trying lately to live in each moment and enjoy my time instead of rushing through things and thinking of the next thing to do.

    I am thankful for my beautiful husband and children – they are amazing and I am so blessed to have them as family 🙂

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