"I am a hunter of beauty" - Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p. 71
(I am late to the table on completing chapter 4, but I am here.)
The practice of being fully attentive in any one moment, is not an easy one. There is so much we feel, think, are pressed to do....our stress list.
After all, if I don't do it, who will?
The practice of hunting for the gifts God gives all around us, in all moments, and being thankful for those gifts, does not erase my to do list. What it does, is change the way in which I do them...most of them....and it does eliminate others.
I am finding, the contentment that comes from eucharisteo, thanksgiving, has an impact on what I think I need to do. Tasks that got on my list in an attempt to fill a hollowness, or discomfort inside me, are no longer needed.
But really, the transformation happens on a different level. The mundane becomes "dessert". My awareness of this time, this season, this moment with my children is heightened, savored, appreciated, ..I am grateful. And the gratitude is like a cycle, that makes the moment more enjoyable, and enjoying it more makes me more grateful and on it goes, rolling down the hill.
This chapter (four) reminded me of the verse: This is the day which the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. PS 118:24
I remember once, studying the original Hebrew, behind the words in this verse. The word "day" actually can mean a day, a moment or a season. What Ann is sharing in her book, One Thousand Gifts, echos this verse. We find joy, when we are fully realizing God is in this moment, now...this season with my kids...this day I am walking. When I thank Him for each of the gifts each moment, my joy increases...and my stress dissipates and my time if full.
I walk this life, this season, aware....
items on my list:
children reading on the way to school baseball caps on boys a teacher walking the hill for a student giving books safe music...my children love newspaper hearts hand embroidery cupcakes my brother on facebook pellet stove warmth Mary's scribbled name girl giggles at bedtime words, Ann's words reading and underlining my little son asking me to tuck him in
O God, I have tasted Your goodness,
and it has both satisfied me
and made me thirsty for more.
I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace.
I am ashamed of my lack of desire.
O God, the Triune God,
I want to want You;
I long to be filled with longing;
I thirst to be made more thirsty still.
Show me Your glory, I pray,
so I may know You indeed.
Begin in mercy a new work of love within me…
Give me grace to rise
and follow You up from this misty lowland
where I have wandered so long.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Some would gather money Along the path of life Some would gather roses, And rest from worldly strife. But I would gather children From among the thorns of sin, I would seek an ebony curl, And a wide and toothless grin. For money cannot enter In that land of endless day ,And roses that are gathered Soon will wilt along the way. But oh, the laughing children ,As I cross the sunset sea, And the gates swing wide to heaven ,I can take them in with me! ~Author Unknown~
“God wins us, not by shouting, beating us up, or starving us into submission, but by asking for an invitation to enter.
We are loved into surrender. The more we accept that he operates out of love for us, the more we will entrust ourselves to him.
Fénelon expresses this truth beautifully: "God is not a spy looking to surprise you. He is not an enemy lurking in the shadows to hurt you. God is your Father who loves you, and wants to help you if you will but trust in His goodness."