I finished Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts last month. I want to devote an entire post to the book because it's one of those books that can truly affect the way we live our daily lives, not just our attitudes but our actual pace in which we go from one thing to the next in the course of our day.
Ann's book focuses on slowing down to truly SEE our surroundings. She does so with the aid of her camera lens as well as her pen, and her blog is stuffed full of incredible photographs detailing how she stops to truly SEE her world, her life. And her pen also helps her to see as she stops to jot down what she SEES with gratitude during her daily life.
I do keep a 365 photo blog, very spottily, I may add. But it's the keeping of a gratitude journal that has affected me more as I read Ann's blog and perused her book. I keep my notes on my Kindle's "Sticky Notes" program, well worth the 99 cents it cost. I always have my Kindle with me, and I need not waste paper or real Post-It notes as I jot what I thank God for throughout my week.
So, without further ado, I continue my journey to One Thousand Gifts with the Gratitude Community at A Holy Experience, even though I'm posting a day late as I thank God....
651. ...for family togetherness in dark of power outage
652. ...for eating dinner by candlelight after cooking over open flames of grill
653. ...for music of crickets in otherwise silent, cool evening
654. ...for the three-quarter moon brightening our way across the front yard in dark of late evening
655. ...for leisurely talks of life and future by candlelight, whole family grouped into daughter's bedroom, lit by white tapers during outage
656. ...for the terrific noise made by 4 AM hail the size of jumbo marbles, highly unusual in Southern California
657. ...for grey mists creeping across the meadow during a clouded daybreak
658. ...for being safe inside during the violence of thunder and hail storms
659. ...for the oldest son who helps homeschool the youngest when chronic illness and pain rear ugly heads
660. ...for support of prayerful friends when life becomes difficult and pain-filled, hands swollen and sleep rare
So thanks be to God for His good gifts, the ones given in darkness of the county-wide power outage, with power out to 1.7 million homes/business for 8-12 hours due to an employee glitch in Arizona; the ones given in surprise storm of thunder, hail, wind, and rain; the ones given when over-exhaustion becomes chronic, flaring rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. Sometimes it's against the dark, the storm, the pain that God's gifts shine brightest, words graft most poetic, and gratitude comes easiest.
Thanking God this day for gifts in the darkness,