I just recently read the book One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp, and absolutely loved it.

I have always been a thankful person, even more so in the last few years. I make sure every day to think about and thank God for all that I have, to try and find joy in the simplest things in life. But this book opened my eyes up even more to the beauty around me. And that it's all a gift from God. Grace upon grace upon grace.

The book is about living fully right where you are, being thankful in all things. Not just the good. But in ALL things. That's exactly what Jesus did at the Last Supper. Knowing He would soon suffer terrible pain and agony on the cross, Luke 22:19 says that He "took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them..." The word used for "he gave thanks" in the original Greek language is "eucharisteo". As Ann explains:
"The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.” Charis. Grace. Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. Chara. Joy."
Everyone in this world is seeking joy, yet so many just can't seem to find it no matter what they do. We think we'll find it in bigger, in better, in more, more, more. But the thing is, joy is not found in discontentment and ingratitude, always seeking something more or better to make us happier.  No, it's found in eucharisteo, in giving thanks, right where we are. That's the ONLY way to experience true joy.

"Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy.”

I started my list of a thousand gifts a few days ago. It really is amazing what happens when you really start looking for things to be grateful for, how it changes your perspective.
That word, eucharisteo, just keeps echoing in my head. Over and over and over. I'm seeing things in a new way, learning to live fully in the moment, even in the mundane, day to day moments. I'm appreciating things I that I've often overlooked or even complained about. And I'm asking God to keep opening my eyes to the beauty and the gifts around me.

“...when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.” 

 I want to LIVE FULLY. I want to live eucharisteo. I want God to grow within me. Don't you?

Blue skies, warm sun on my face, colorful leaves falling, his hand in mine, a steaming cup of coffee, those dimples, wet dog kisses, hot showers, a warm robe...all gifts. All that fur and those paw prints on the wood floor? A gift. Those dirty dishes piling up in the sink? A gift. That pile of laundry waiting to be washed and folded? A gift. Because I have a home to clean, I have food to eat, and I have clothes to wear. And for that, I'm thankful.

It's not always easy to choose gratitude. Yes, there is hurt and pain and so much evil in this world. So much evil. But no matter what, there is always something to be thankful for. We can trust that God is a good God and that He is working all things for good. Ann talks about this, the hard eucharisteo, the "ugly beautiful"; how we can give thanks even in those things, just like Jesus did. Because we know that God is there, even in those hard, painful moments, and we can trust that He is a good and faithful God.

“...the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.” -Ann Voskamp

I know I'm a little late to reading this book, but if you haven't already-I encourage you to do so. Do you think  you can come up with one thousand things you are thankful for?

“Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content."
Phillippians 4:11


  1. Thank you for this. I'll have to pick up this book!


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