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3.15.2013

one thousand gifts - chapter one.

welcome to the first book club post!
if you stopped by last week, you know i've teamed up with beth of until only love remains.
would you join us, share your story, and your heart?
i was so excited to dive into chapter one this week. and if you can judge a book by its first chapter, i'm pretty sure this book is going to be really good for me.

first of all, wow. ann's story, or at least the part we have heard so far, is a tough one.
full of pain but full of grace.
we all have experienced pain in our lives. some on different levels than others.
i think that is something to be aware of and why i really love this quote. we each carry a suitcase full of hurt and heartache. and we need this reminder to be gracious and compassionate to others and to treat their stories with care.

so there's a lot of good in this chapter but i really like this little bit where ann said:

"where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do i fully live when life is full of hurt?  how do i wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when i must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?"

i know the feeling and i've asked the questions countless times. how do i hold on to hope when life keeps taking the wind out of my sails? how do i find joy when my dreams are taken away from me or put on hold for the twentieth time? when the ones i love most have walked away from me, my family, and jesus? how do i keep trusting that God still wants good things for me?

when we go through something painful, we have a choice. we can choose to be angry and bitter or we can choose to trust God through it all. i'll be honest, there are many times i've chosen to be angry. it's so much easier. but it's also unhealthy and allows satan to have a foothold in your life. but jesus' grace never runs out and he always pulls me back up out of that pit and into the light of himself. and he reminds me of his love and faithfulness. 

the answers to my questions? my hope is in jesus, so i hold on to him. my joy comes from jesus, so i spend time with him. i keep trusting in jesus because i know he is faithful and he calls me precious and honored and loved. how could he not want good things for me?? 

and jesus has shown me those good things this week. instead of selfishly focusing on what i don't have, i've challenged myself to look at what i've already been blessed with. so many gifts!


one thousand gifts. a beginning.
1. best friends who seek me out and include me in their lives, even from far away
2. time given to spend with my mama
3. a puppy who loves me with her whole puppy heart
4. worship sessions/dance parties in the car
5. road trips to see old friends
6. sunday afternoons in starbucks
7. meaningful conversations
8. 65 degree days that promise spring is around the corner
9. friends that make long distance work
10. rain to make the flowers grow
11. coworkers who sincerely care
12. pink sunsets three nights this week
13. quiet moments to hear jesus speak
14. learning something new from verses i've read over and over
15. injuries that force me to slow down in a fast paced world
16. physical therapy to make me stronger
17. healthy foods that make me feel good
18. blue skies and fluffy white clouds
19. free coffee on a rainy day. what what!
20. a city i've called home for twenty-four years
21. phillip phillips performing [gone gone gone] on american idol. does that count?? i love that boy.

did you get to read along this week? 
have you started your 1000 gifts list?
share with us!

4 comments:

Heather Burris said...

Love this book too! Can't wait to see what other books you guys pick for your book club :)

Kellie said...

I've not read this book, but both my mom and sister have been talking it up. Thanks for sharing this! Love you blog, by the way! So fresh and inspiring!

Elizabeth Mayberry said...

girl. you have one of the most beautiful hearts in the world. i loved this post.

and you make me excited to search for these blessings in life with you!

gretch said...

I love this. I started reading this in China but it quickly got pushed aside. Today, I shall restart and follow along :)