Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One Thousand Gifts


A word that now lives on my lips and pounds hard on my heart.
It's a word that I didn't even know existed until a couple of weeks ago,
when I got my hands on a copy of Ann Voskamp's beautiful book "One Thousand Gifts"

Friends, this book is changing me.

It's teaching me how to live.
In Eucharisteo.

So, what is eucharisteo?
It means thanksgiving.
It's a greek word that is used to describe what Jesus did on the night he shared his last meal.

And he took bread, gave thanks {eucharisteo} and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19 NIV

In her book, Ann digs a little deeper and teaches that the root word for eucharisteo is charis- grace and also comes from the greek word chara- joy.

Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy.

Is the secret to finding joy truly found in thanksgiving?

Is it that simple?
or perhaps,
Is it that hard?

To receive every moment as grace. As a gift from him. To give thanks and then find joy. True joy. Lasting joy.

Can I learn to be thankful?
Can I learn to see Him in the everyday?
See His beauty.
Receive it as grace.
And find fullness of life?

If ever there was a book that had the potential to change my life this would be it.
And it is.

Back in January I wrote about living a better story.
About being a better character.
And at the time I had no idea how I was practically going to make that happen.
I had the desire.
But I wasn't sure how to move from having the desire to change my story to truly changing it.

This book is the practical road map I needed.
It's written like poetry.
It's packed with God's truth.
It's teaching me how to give thanks.
In all things.
To physically write out gifts.
To tangibly see what He has given me.
To take notice.

And I am learning.

Through practice.
And more practice....

I am learning to see Joy.

#4. Newborn hunger cries.
#7. Little toes in the shower.
#8. Big fluffy snowflakes.
#11. Girls in party dresses.
#15. Encouragement from a friend, telling me I'm doing a good job as a mama.
#18. Midnight feedings.

1000 gifts.
That's the challenge.
To record 1000 gifts from the Father. The big and little.
To learn how to live in His presence.
How to enter His courts.
With thanksgiving.
1000 everyday moments that I can receive as grace. Give thanks. And breath in Joy.

Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy.

Can I really train myself to be thankful for everything, in every circumstance?
Will finding joy in the everyday teach me to find Him in those hard moments?
Will it bring me into deeper intimacy with the One who truly is Joy?
Will I be able to see through this lense of thanksgiving and see Him?

I am uncovering that Yes.
And YES!

Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy.

I want to live fully.

To find the beauty that is all around me.

And to see Him in all my moments.

#2o. Pigtails bouncing down the hall
#22. Mommy & Daddy sneaking kisses
#30. Bath time in the kitchen sink
#33. New socks.
#36. Hide and seek at school pick-up.
#40. Hot showers...

And my list will go on....

1000 gifts.
1000 thank yous.
1000 joys.


  1. <3 it. thanks for sharing. i have started documenting 1000gifts as well. it is quite eye opening!

  2. Sara! Thanks for visiting my blog today. It looks like we have a couple mutual blog friends, Denise and Kristen.

    I am going to have to get this book! Your post is beautiful!

    I can tell we are going to be great blog friends!


  3. What a great book! Thanksgiving is something that transformed my life while Kev & I were engaged & he was far away in the military. I had a thanksgiving journal too; and every day I would choose to list 5 things I was thankful for. They had to be different every day. It changed my saddness to joy! It's something I try to do even now (without the writing; although maybe I should...).

    I am constantly amazed at your time management! How do you do it all? I find it difficult to find time to read. I started ordering books on cd's. They come this week.

    Hugs! You truly inspire me, Sar!

  4. I have been meaning to comment on so many of your posts, but with these four littles and a baby always in my arm, I *struggle* to find the time (and two free hands) to leave anything meaningful. So here are a few of my (WAY OVERDUE!) thoughts:

    1. Eucharisto - it (and Ann's voice) has changed me, too. (I've got a copy of this book to give away soon. :) And, I hope that word changes someone else's life and view of the world, too!)

    2. I love Ellie. I love her half-smile, her precious girliness - she is so adorable and yummy. I know you must be on cloud nine!

    3. We are having a broccoli cheese soup tonight. Jack loves it, especially, and there are never any leftovers here either. (it got colder here this weekend, too - we were in the 80's last week. Boooo is right!)

    4. Your photography is so wonderful. Your style is so distinctive and full of light and I love it!

    5. Four - it's fun, isn't it? I see them - paired up - two by two on a roller coasters in a few years. Warms my heart.


  5. Awww my precious friend Sara- this book is changing MY life too!! Actually I got the audio on my computer and play it in the mornings. As a mama to four littles, it keeps me present in this schedule/life and I cannot wait to get further into the book... God has so much more for us than we can imagine. We'll have to compare notes in a bit.


Thanks so much for leaving your comments. I absolutely love hearing from you :)


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