Friday, 22 April 2011

glimpses of God

This morning I was reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. And while her theology is different than mine, I can definitely learn a lot from it. With beautiful writing, she talks about thankfulness - noticing the little details of our lives that may be glimpses of God and writing them down. She speaks of the change in her own life when she started keeping a list of these gifts - all the way to 1000.

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.
So I have a new project. To look for glimpses of God - become a detective of divinity - and write down these glimpses everyday. Glimpses of good things, of things for which I'm deeply grateful, even though they seem like small things. And we'll see what happens.

Here's the list that I started this morning:
  1. a woodpecker waking me up by pecking persistently on the eavestrough (beak on metal! I found this very funny, even at 6:30 am)
  2. the smell of Easter paska yeast bread rising
  3. the small(er) hands stirring the dough and licking the spoons
  4. the sounds of spring birds in the backyard
  5. skipping ropes and my girls' laughter
  6. a clean kitchen counter top
  7. piano keys plunking out blues tunes by my 7 year old 
  8. lunch prepared for me, not by me
  9. a leisurely day and time to read
  10. 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

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