I am starting a series that I hope to do every week for 52 weeks (one year). This is an adventure series inspired by Lily, as I’ve watched her for the past 52 weeks take adventures and record them in her blog! She was inspired by a fellow blogger named Brenda who had taken her own 52 weeks of adventures too!
In turn, I hope to inspire you to look at life a little differently along with me! My goal in this is much the same as both of them- to make the mundane adventurous and see the fun in everyday life. My biggest goal in this is remaining Thankful for the everyday that He gives and remaining faithful toward one goal. I may not get all 52 weeks in, but since my word of the year is Faithful, I am going to try- even if I fail His grace covers me. Faithful and Grace go hand in hand, but that’s a discussion for another day!
So without further ado, i will start…. with Week 1!
Week One’s Adventure goes back to November 2014. In November 2014 I read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Ann, a farmer’s wife, who has lived a really hard life when her sister died at a very young age, crafted a book about thankfulness. Eucharist. Her words flow like poetry as she explains, page after page, line after line, that Eucharist – thankfulness- happens in the mundane and in the simplicities and especially in the hardships of life. And that’s what makes life fully lived: thankfulness to Him who gives gifts for us to unwrap.
She beautifully demonstrates her point by describing the Lord’s Supper. The night Jesus was arrested and beaten, He sat around with His friends, including His betrayer. He took bread in His hands, He gave thanks, and broke it. He gave thanks. He Thanked God for His body being broken hours before His body was broken. He took the wine and gave thanks by blessing it and drank it. He gave thanks before His blood was poured, for His blood being poured. In the hard. With the sweat and the prayers and the tears that came later. Can we, too? In our hard? Can we see His gifts? Can we give thanks even through sweat and tears and blood? Through loss?
Ann started to count her gifts one by one, and through the numbering and the counting, her perspective on life gradually shifted as she saw every moment as a gift… and her world went from stressed and hard and frustrating to… thankful in and through the stressed and the hard. Through the book she dares each one of us to “Live fully right where you are” by numbering gifts He gives, we unwrap, and express thanks for.
I started noticing, numbering, opening, unwrapping, and giving thanks for gifts He gives on November 3, 2014. This week on January 8, 2016, I reached 1,000 gifts. The adventure in this week is not that I made an achievement by counting 1,000 gifts, that I became more thankful, or opened 1,000 gifts to give thanks for. No.
The adventure in this life is that He’s given me 1,000 gifts and in that, there’s 1,000 more to open, no matter my circumstance. In each gift there’s grace. In each grace, there’s thankfulness. And each thankful moment is every moment. Grace after grace. Gift after gift. One thankful heart after each thankful moment.
What an adventure. I can’t get over it. I can’t fathom.
Some gifts He’s given are simple and light and adventurous:
- Golden hue of Fall leaves in the sunrise
- Erratic fingers across the keyboard
- Yarn sliding through my fingers
- A roommate that makes me laugh
- A kitchen clean
- The dew on summer grass
- Dancing in the kitchen…
- Frisky puppy playing with new toys
- Smiling eyes
- The bursts of blueberries in my mouth
- The laughter of students learning
- Challah made with small smooth hands
- Wet puppy kisses.
Sometimes His gifts are in and through pain
- For heartbreak
- Friends who “Store treasures in Heaven”
- Repentance for my wicked heart
- Loneliness that lets me lean on Him
- Peace in my restlessness
- Admitting my lack of faith
- Broken and pleading prayers
- A faint smile through pain-soaked tears
- Saying goodbye to a friend
- The art of letting go and open hands
- He sympathizes in our time of weakness
There are so many gifts… countless.
Will you use the adventure of life to see them? Will you be thankful with me? Even if it’s something silly like wet puppy kisses, wild hair in the mornings, or red berries on green bushes… Eucharisteo and thankfulness is an adventure because a thankful heart is what He wants and commands (1 Thess 5:18).