12 February 2013

One Thousand Blessings

I'm missing my blog. I haven't felt very inspired lately. Grief does that to a person, or so I am learning. I'm not going to go on and on about sadness right now. I want to tell you what I'm reading that is uplifting to me rather than focus on the ins and outs of this journey of mourning on which I have been unwillingly tossed.

I'm reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, but let me back up a little.

I went to our local Christian bookstore a few Saturdays ago. It is this tiny little store that I have loved since I was a young girl. I looked at every single book they had on the shelf labeled, "Grief." Some seemed to be trite. Some seemed to be overtly sorrowful. I know, I know. Books on grief might contain a little sorrow in them. It's part of the game, right? Still, I want to get through this without having to feel weighted down by what I'm reading, especially by authors who admit in the first pages of their books that they've never experienced the loss of someone especially close to them, a parent, a spouse, a child. 

Why in the world are they writing books on grief? Tell me, please!

Maybe three days after my little journey to the bookstore, I received an email from my dear friend, Sarah. She was just checking to see how I was doing and suggesting this great book she just read. She continued to explain that the author had experienced the loss of a sibling as a little girl and that this was the tale of her journey back from that, her journey and search for thanksgiving in the everyday. That's all she really said, and then she told me the title, which I have already mentioned to you. One Thousand Gifts.

Of course, this is the book I should be reading right now. I began reading it last fall, and I put it down when Mom got sick. I already owned it when Sarah suggested it! It is a book that requires thought and concentration. I felt incapable of offering the book justice as my brain stopped functioning normally that day on which Mom made her decision, the one that changed all our lives, the one that meant she knew she was ready to meet Jesus face to face. No chemo. Not any more. So, I put the book down.

I am now reading chapter three in short increments, thinking about them, digesting them, living them. I decided not to wait until the end to start my list of 1000 gifts, or, as my list states, 1000 blessings. I think I will share them with you from time to time and maybe share some thoughts about the book along the way too, though I make no promises. Commentary isn't my greatest strength, but I can already feel this book changing me. I used to think I was a rather grateful person, but now I see how so much of the way I think is bogged down by selfish desires. I have so much to learn, so much to change, so much healing to do. 

So here are a few highlights from today's list (which, incidentally, is rather lengthy)...

1. The elastic pull of a good morning's stretch
6. A project completed together in peace
8. The drawing closer of God's wooing love
12. Mis-matched outfits that make me smile
13. Children's gleeful longings for the words of a book
14. Willing and eager helpers
19. Reminders of Mama
21. Ward and June Cleaver...inspired laughter
27. Frog and Toad

Thanksgiving can be found in anything. I've always tried to to find thanksgiving in the little and the big. Now I shall make it a habit. 

How about you?

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