One Thousand Gifts (#1-18)

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"When gratitude is bound by circumstances, lives are bound to bitterness." - Ann Voskamp

I stumbled onto Ann Voscamp's blog several months ago, although I can't quite remember how.  I found myself back there again on Monday and was immediately struck by the very first line on that day's post (quoted above).

Her words hit me right between the eyes.  

I began to ponder the concept of gratitude.  Out of curiosity, I decided to look up the word in the dictionary.  Webster's definition was simply, "The state of being grateful."  

In every single one of the examples given, the term gratitude was used to express thankfulness for a gift, favor or selfless act that one person did for another.  The implication seemed to be that our expression of gratitude is directly tied to our circumstances and what other people do for/to us. 

The whole idea bothered me, although I have to admit that the people at Webster's seem to have their fingers on the pulse of humanity.

As humans, it is entirely too easy to get bogged down in the daily tasks life... jobs to do, children to raise, school to attend, homes to maintain, errands to run, bills to pay...  Add on a hardship or two and it can become nearly impossible to feel thankful for anything, let alone express it.

I will confess that I too fall into this trap and forget to be grateful for all of the many blessings in my life, both big and small.  My mood is too often altered by how good or bad I perceive my day is going.  It is something about myself that I desire to change. 

As I read Ann's entire post, I noticed that it was part of her Thousand Gifts list that she started back in 2006. It occurred to me that by keeping my own ongoing list of thanksgivings, my entire outlook on life would be altered as a result. 

I grabbed a pencil and a blank composition book and got started on my own One Thousand Gifts list.  Below you will find the first batch that I wrote as I sat in the pick-up line at my boy's school.

One Thousand Gifts #1-18

1.  My hubby.
2.  My son.
3.  My dog, Brick, who faithfully follows me around the house every day.
4.  Crisp fall air.
5.  The beautiful rolling hills of Tennessee.
6.  Having the time to volunteer at my boy's school and at my church's food pantry.
7.  How hard my hubby works to provide for our family.  He is such a good man. 
8.  The smell of spaghetti and meatballs simmering on my stove.
9.  Crossword puzzles. 
10.  My boy's amazing red hair.
11.  The smell of clean clothes. 
12.  My Dyson vacuum.  It makes vacuuming up Brick's shedding hair a joy.
13.  Our church.
14.  My car.  It's safe, dependable and roomy and best of all, it's paid for.  
15.  The smell of fresh brewed coffee. 
16.  That I got to spend time with my hubby's Italian grandma and learn all of her recipes.
17.  Listening to my boy's make music together.  They really enjoy spending time together.
18.  Flannel sheets.
I plan to post more of my One Thousand Gifts every so often here on the blog. I hope they encourage you to look for things to be thankful for in your everyday life.   

For more lists of gratitude, head over to:

holy experience

4 comment(s). Leave yours!:

kathleen said... Best Blogger Tips

It reminds me of the "Gratitude Journal" that Oprah promoted years ago. When you focus on the good, the bad is diminished.

Just for the record....I'm grateful to have you for my daughter. You've brought incredible joy to my life :)

Michelle said... Best Blogger Tips

Welcome to the Gratitude Community! So glad you've decided to join us all!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm grateful for me.

http://www.promotional-products.org/ said... Best Blogger Tips

THANKS! That's wonderful idea. I enjoyed reading of your post. Indeed, this is the best post that I ever read. Hats off to you. Thanks a ton :)

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