When I began writing out my list of one thousand gifts, one thousand things, small and large to be grateful for, I imagined reaching the thousand mark with a sense of accomplishment and completion. This week, I reached that mark, and found instead that it was one more signpost on the journey, a viewpoint, a vista overlook to stop and admire the scenery before continuing on.
This list is not completed, rather just beginning as I learn to take a moment, pause, and savor the cup of life brimming over with blessings and gifts – tiny things like the steam rising from my coffee, or huge things like job and relocation decisions. I am still retyping the list, lost in cyberspace a few weeks ago, copying from the notebook where I have kept a duplicate hard copy list. (Click above on A Counting of One Thousand Gifts to see my list)
Even on days when my emotions are running rampant and the tears flow; when the day’s complications leave a storm of confusion and chaos; when the bustle hasn’t left many moments for contemplation, writing this list opens a door to the opportunity to pause, to recall the joys (interesting word: re-call, to call them up again, review them happily), and to face the challenging moments.
In Ann Voskamps’s book, One Thousand Gifts, she uses a word, eucharisteo. Jesus, as He breaks the bread and says grace (eucharisteo), expresses gratefulness and gratitude for the sustenance of life. He also gives us a vivid illustration of Himself, broken and given as a blessing to us for the sustenance of our lives now and eternally. Writing this list, one thousand and beyond, causes me to pay attention, to be aware, to understand how many, many opportunities there are to “say grace” throughout the day. Each time I jot down something I see or hear or appreciate, or, each item on the list that marks a difficult challenge, a tough lesson, a signpost has been placed. The view changes from overwhelming dark clouds, to a cup brimful of blessings. The grace, the light glows through the dark clouds and I find the peace in the pause of “saying grace.”