She talks about the Greek word "eucharisteo" - giving thanks - and how it is used in the Bible. And that this inclination towards thankfulness, even when times are excruciatingly tough, can lead to a life of joy. I've said a resounding YES to the popular living-in-the-present-moment, attitude-of-gratitude kind of psychology, but it hasn't led to real change. But this one feels a bit different. And inspiring. And doable.
A couple of things this book reminds me of:
- Bryan Moyer Suderman's song "Detectives of Divinity" - that if we're looking carefully, like detectives, we'll see God's activity in the world around us and join in. Great song.
- Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project. I read this book quickly last fall, devouring its pages. Gretchen kept a gratitude notebook as part of her year-long experimentation in becoming more consistently happy.
Here's the list that I started this morning:
- a woodpecker waking me up by pecking persistently on the eavestrough (beak on metal! I found this very funny, even at 6:30 am)
- the smell of Easter paska yeast bread rising
- the small(er) hands stirring the dough and licking the spoons
- the sounds of spring birds in the backyard
- skipping ropes and my girls' laughter
- a clean kitchen counter top
- piano keys plunking out blues tunes by my 7 year old
- lunch prepared for me, not by me
- a leisurely day and time to read
- love notes delivered to me in 4 year old handwriting
Some great quotes from Ann's book:
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. -- Sarah Ban Breathnach
If you want to change the world, pick up your pen. -- Martin Luther