I finally finished reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. Parts of it are tough, uncomfortable reads, but mostly it took me so long because I wanted to savor it, absorb it, appreciate each word.
Have you clicked on the tab above, "A Counting of One Thousand Gifts"? I update it often, as I create my own personal list of one thousand moments that cause me to pause, stop, pay attention, to be aware of the many, many blessings in the little things of daily life. As I look back over the list, four hundred so far, it is a happy list, full of memories, richness, heart lessons, joy, progress, surrounded by family and home.
When we lived in Central California, our house was part of a horse ranch. Our access drive wound between open fields of horses and cows. Especially in the spring when the wild mustard plants splashed their sunny yellow spots across the hills, our house became hidden, secreted away behind the tall mustard plants, surrounded in our own little secret garden. We could walk down the driveway in a narrow path walled by yellow, the mustard taller than the horse's heads.
I would think of the verse, "Therefore He was saying, 'What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree; and the birds of the air nested in its branches.'" Luke 13:18-19
Here, now, there are splatters of yellow across our dusty hills, a reminder to me of the hope and blessings, the touches of the Lord surrounding us.
As she so aptly describes in the book, life is not always beautiful or comfortable or easy. Far from it. But, even in the rocky times, the seeds of hope and beauty, peace and rest are there, if we take the time to look.
This is a book I will re-read many times as I continue on my own journey- list of one thousand gifts.