Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Counting to One Thousand

There's this book. Perhaps you've heard of it. After all, it's a NY Times Best Seller. But maybe you don't keep up with the "NYTBS" list. (Who has the time?) Maybe, instead, you've heard of it because someone you know mentioned it. Well, if you haven't heard of it yet, you will. And soon. (Even if you weren't reading this post.) Because its content is causing a sort of holy wildfire among believers.

Especially women. And I think it's because...we women? We are generally the naggers and complainers of the population at large. We are usually the ones sad and despondent and wishing we were somewhere else other than where we are. (Or maybe that's just me.) Not that this book is written FOR women. It's not. It's written FOR perspective. In case that's what you need. And if I were a bettin' girl, I'd bet you do.

'Cause we all do.

Throughout my heart-wrenching, emotionally-grueling, eye-opening, beauty-seeing reading process, I quickly began to realize that deep down what I have always longed for is...just...joy.

In fact, I yearn to run away to some island somewhere and just feel JOY! So because it's what I want, when I observe the utter LACK of it in my life, well, that's when I want to throw in the towel. Life makes it so hard to be joyful.

What I desperately want is a JOY that is a bubbling, frothing, uncontrollably-constant movement deep inside of me that just can't be quelled, no matter what may happen to me circumstantially. And that it would be so obviously there when it so obviously shouldn't be. That I could have joy when my kids are all. screaming. at once. Or when I've been betrayed, forgotten, or disobeyed. Or when death is everywhere around me. Or when I feel so utterly alone. Or when the devastating news has been delivered. That there would be a bigger, better, much more beautiful picture I would see instead of all the little bits of dirt and grime clouding my view.

This book was SUCH a revelation for me. So incredibly profound. Where is that joy? Where is that joy when life is so hard? Or so painful? Or so dull? Or so seemingly pointless?

Joy................is found in the Eucharisteo. Which is just a fancy Greek word for Thanksgiving.

Thanks. giving. to. God.

And. Wow. When I plunge my goggled-eyes into the pool that IS my life and look around the depths, I can see clearly that this life of mine is full. Brimming full! And every drop of it has been poured out by God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Giver of Life. (This is the life He gave me. Why would he then let me drown?) How gracious He has been to me! How always and forever good He is!

How then can I not have my own list of thanks? It will take me a while. Maybe I'll share the list. Maybe I won't. But there will be growth there. And Thanksgiving. And, therefore...much joy.

This is my start.

1. Husband who loves.

2. Four gorgeous blessings: Noah Paul, Saylor Kathryn, Gabriel Isaiah, and Atticus Joseph.

3. Two sweet little lives that touched our hearts and were loved. Gone like a breath, only briefly held within. Moments of privileged treasure.

4. Fern-nested purple finches, chatting on the porch to the sun.

5. Older-body aches reminding me to go to bed...because I need reminding.

6. Night's blackness swallowing thoughts, providing rest, finally.

7. A long-burning brow, cooled.

8. A once-clean room, disorder-strewn, bearing the hopeful potential of coming clean again.

9. The process of setting it aright, cathartic.

10. Handfuls of tiny, damp socks on a trip to the dryer.

11. Salt-tears' wetness on a cheek learning.

12. Neglected tiles unexpectedly mopped clean by unsupervised toddlers creating water-play.

13. Flooding warmth's relief on frozen toes.

14. Little girl femininity.

15. Little boy destroy-and-conquer mentality.

16. Silently-wandering deer. Me, awed onlooker.

17. A much-needed hug.

18. Soft, chubby legs learning to pedal.

19. Fresh hair cuts.

20. Dry pajamas' warmth after sun-drenched swim.

21. Silky (Silkie) blankets magically comforting.

22. Wee thumbs in wee mouths.

23. Satin cheeks under lips.

24. Honeysuckle wafting.

25. Hummingbirds darting, pausing, amazing.

26. Softest hair nestled under chin. Purest love.

27. Scriptures turning, all wispy.

28. Velvety flower petal.

29. Son on a cross, obeying, honoring, loving the Father.

30. Savior on a cross, remembering, loving, saving, redeeming even me.

If you spend your days LOOKING for list items, what do you think might happen to your outlook on life? How much more in awe of God's love do you think you'd find yourself? Might I suggest getting some journals and some notepads and placing them in as many places as you frequent in your home? Might I suggest opening your eyes to the gifts God has given you? (They are plenty and they are everywhere.) And might I suggest praying that God would use these gifts for which you owe thanks and the lists you'll make to record them to soften your heart as it falls deeper and deeper in love with our Jesus?

I do suggest it.

I pray you will.


  1. great list. hope you find focus on the positives after making this list. I'll have to check that book out

  2. I loved your list...such sweet blessings! I am just in the middle of reading the book actually and have been awed by how much I am learning. Most surprising was for me to realize that though I have in the past had gratitude journals or given thanks, I have not turned that thanks towards God, the One who gives it all. I started reading the book while one of my daughters was in the hospital recently and it was such perfect timing. I am reading it slowly, savouring it.

  3. Lori, beautiful post. I will have to pick up this book. I read Nancy Leigh's book Choosing Gratitude:The Journey to Joy earlier this spring. Loved it. Life changing actually. When, as women, we begin to really listen to our own discontent and ingratitude and when we hear it in our friends...we realize why we lack joy. I have definitely noticed a difference in my life since I choose to complain less...not totally there but, just being painfully aware of it heals me. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I ADORE this book... I have the ebook version but I think I need to have a hardcopy to share with others. It's such an eye opener and her blog really keeps me going back to thankfulness in the small things. <3


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