This week, I'm busy working on retreat presentations. Our topic for this year is from Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts: Daring to Live Fully Right Where You Are. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. One of the main points of the book is learning to see what God is placing right in front of you as a gift from Him. All of life is a grace that is meant to be received with gratitude. Eucharisteo is the Greek word that breaks down into three: Eucharisteo = thanksgiving, Chara = joy and Charis = grace. Such a power-packed word. I'm learning to look around with new eyes. I look for the beauty of the ordinary; a rainbow, a sunset, a child's smile, a piece of bread. I look for the joy even in the hard things as Jesus did - but for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.
This looking for the God-gifts is not easy. It takes deliberate effort, practice. I've been trying to make a list to 1000 for quite awhile now. I must admit. I haven't been adding to it lately and I miss it. As I look over my previous posts that have a portion of my list, I instantly feel the joy that came along with those entries. Counting gifts makes me feel God's love for me. That's a view that I will always enjoy, right where I am - no hiking necessary!
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:15-20 NLT