Do you ever lay awake at night with your mind racing? You want so badly to sleep, but your brain just won’t let you? I have spent many a night tossing and turning as I attempt to solve all the world’s problems…and a few zillion of my own.
Well, I have changed.
A few years ago I read a book that changed me, in a forever kind of way. In a way that even my husband noticed. The book is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. A sweet friend strongly encouraged me to read it.
I was ready for a new book, so I plunged in.
Ann wrote the book about the journey she started when a friend of hers challenged her to write down a list of 1000 things she was thankful for. After I read the book I took the challenge, bought myself a cute little notebook (for some motivation), and started a task that I thought would be easy peasy.
Write down 1000 things you are thankful for. Go!
I started with all the obvious things. I listed all my family members and the provisions I am blessed with and then at about #38 I had to think pretty hard to come up with something.
I can hear you now. You were just thinking to yourself, “Oh, I would have NO problem whipping down 100 things right off the bat!” Well, try it. It’s way more of a challenge than you think.
The challenge is the great part about it. It forces you to think differently. Writing down the list is like receiving (unwrapping) gifts. After you have listed all the obvious stuff you have to see God in the not-so-obvious stuff. Like,
# 67 a hard day so I remember what a good one feels like
# 98 enough $ in the bank
#143 sock bunnies
Then something happened. I started to automatically see God in the ordinary everyday, simple, AND profound. My gratefulness and thankfulness took on a new depth.
The years before taking this challenge had been the most challenging and scary of our lives – by a landslide! My husband lost his job…and a dream, I walked away from a dysfunctional relationship and into brand new territory, and our finances plummeted into a deep hole. I had reason to lie awake at night, heart pounding.
When I started concentrating on thanking God for all His gifts and seeing ALL things as gifts from Him, then my heart laid down. I succumbed. I stopped trying to figure it all out. It happened as a result of being grateful…no matter what.
I know it sounds too simple. That’s what I thought too.
I can’t tell you about it and pass on the revelation. YOU have to make the list. The miracle and the change come when you start the looooong list of thanking. Ann says, “It really is a dare to name all the ways that God loves me.”
I dare you to read the book and start the list!
Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: email@example.com
Bethanie Tayler: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: email@example.com
Chrisleigh Heller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Molly Pontius: email@example.com
Debra Kirby: firstname.lastname@example.org