I heard of the book some months ago and since then have been reading the author's blog and the blog posts of others who have joined the ranks of counting gifts. Really it seems so very simple, too simple and too faddish to mean anything life-changing. But that was before I began my own list.
The cornerstone of her book is built around the Greek word Eucharisteo. She descibes it much more eloquently than I can, but wrapped up in this word are the ideas of grace, thanksgiving and joy. What a trifecta. We see it throughout Scripture, the seeing of grace, of gift unmerited and turning it into thanks and the result? Joy. So simple! Yet if you had asked me a week ago what I am thankful for, I would have stammered something like, "Uh...Jesus... family... friends."
I didn't intend to start this book and this list on the first week of 2012. I just happened that way. I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions. But I love the idea of choosing just one word, something you feel God wants to weave into your life this year. My word for 2012? Eucharisteo. Because in just one week I have tasted the joy, the oh-so-longed-for contentment that flows from giving thanks. Rather than following my human bent to focus on frustrations, my eyes have been hunting for blessing. And here's what I've found.
I don't know what if anything it will do for you to read my list. I just know what it has done for me to write this list. It has slowed me. It has filled me. It has given me fifty moments of connecting to my Father, of opening my palms to receive the gifts he has for me. I'm not saying that this week has been without it's diffuculties, it's weariness and moments of lost patience. But that's the heart of Eucharisteo, the giving thanks in all things, of seeing even the hard as...grace. Oh, so far to go! But here is my humble start.
One Thousand Gifts: My Eucharisto List
- New hopes for new habits
- Discarding discontent
- The silkiest softness of my son's white blond hair
- Tapping into the mystery of my child, meeting a need before unknown
- Morning's first hour, met without screaming
- Butterfly shadows dancing on the sidewalk
- Morning's grayness burning to blue
- Christmas ornaments, oh the memories there in, snug in their box, all settle in for a long year's nap
- The longing of hearts apart
- The wild banshees squeal, “MONSTER!” when the vacuum cleaner roars
- Little boy sneezes and big sister blessings
- The hairlike softness of new grass...yes, in January
- A neighbor's heart expressed in unabashed song
- My toddling toddler bringing smiles to stranger faces
- Children don't have to be taught to go slow and notice the details of life. They have it hurried out of them by grown ups. Maybe that's what children are for, slowing it back into you...if you let them
- My squatting boy, meowing into the bushes, on the hunt for feline friend.
- Growing beyond co-existing and competing into sibling friends
- Ellie's fascination with all things mail – envelopes, stamps, cards and words
- Though cords were cut the day they were each born, cords still are there connecting me to them. What flows out of me, seeps into them. Today, contentment.
- The little one sparking the imagination of the older one.
- Rain forests made from couch cushions. According to Ellie, “What a grand idea!”
- Ellie for the first time counting to one hundred (with help), first in Chinese, then English
- Aiden being Simon in “Simon Says.” Truly nothing could be cuter.
- Light blond streaking perfectly through dark blond. Will I ever have it in me to cut her baby-grown-big-girl locks?
- Shiny and dripping, wrapped warm and fuzzy, my two bath toweled baby burritos, “baby rito” for short.
- Connections made, perhaps another piece of the project being birthed.
- To be heard and heard well by one with whom I share the gift of years gone past. Love you, Melissa!
- A darling old pair, wrinkled hands clasping each other, grasping life, grasping love.
- A flash of color round the grocery store aisle. Velvety red swishing round ankles. She pulls it off with charm and grace.
- The little boy dimple...oh, that dimple.
- Baseball cap on, sunglasses in place, mini-flashlight turned whistle, Ellie is now...the coach.
- His turn now, cap all cockeyed, glasses askew, with the innocent look of “Why do you giggle at me?”
- Learning to open my eyes to the gifts now, in the warm, in the calm. That the habit might grow deep to receive the gifts in the cold, in the fast, in the...hard.
- Aiden counting to ten in Chinese.
- My bouncing boy on trampoline, eyes wild with delight.
- Gracious friends. Thank you, Leanne!
- Ellie still asking for her bedtime song to be, “Hark the Haver Angels Sing.”
- Love exchanged in written word
- A wee bit of baby bum peeking out of a slightly crooked diaper.
- Spontaneous picnics
- Close, cheap, good food
- The lil' slugger swinging his “beeball bat”
- Seeing progress in Ellie's obedience
- My breath catches as whirring wings dart before my eyes, the tiny beak, ever so gently sipping the sweetness of life
- Tantrums will be transformed, and in the process help me know grace
- Aiden running out with frog puppet on his hand, eyes wide and proud.“Heh-Yo!” he says waving froggy's hand.
- Ellie's dinner prayer, “And bless to Aiden and please help him to not scream at me.”
- Little arms wrapped round my neck. Oh, toddler hugs.
- A zerbet (or “raspberry” to some) planted right on my neck. Oh, toddler boys.