The secret is in the…


“How I want to see the weight of glory break my thick scales, the weight of glory smash the chains of desperate materialism, split the numbing shell of deadening entertainment, bust up the ice of catatonic hearts.  I want to see God…” (p. 110)

These are the words of Ann Voskamp in her book One Thousand Gifts: A dare to LIVE FULLY right where you are.

Those words, they resonate with me. It’s what I want in my quest for an abundant life more than just the ordinary, the daily, the empty.  I long for meaning in the ordinary, purpose in the daily, fullness in place of the empty.  I want to see God in it all.

But how?

In her book, Ann Voskamp proposes that it’s in the thanks – thanksgiving – giving of thanks.  She began a quest to document her thanks – just scribbles really.  Words on a scrap of paper.  Soon she found that those scratched out thanks were changing her from the inside out.

I won’t give it all away or try to rewrite her book.  She did a lovely job.  You should read it.  I don’t say that about every book I read.  In fact I’ve read about fifteen book since the start of 2011 and I’d only recommend a few.

Ann writes in script, every fancy line of cursive letter swirling into words…sentences.  She writes with softness, flowers, heart on every page.  Her book is poetry.

I don’t usually read books like Ann’s, but I cannot stop reading hers.  I’m taking it in slowly, in bites.  One little section at time.  I’m allowing the truths to sink deep.  I’m becoming thankful.

  • my little girls laughter
  • opportunity
  • the feeling of God calm
  • a sit in the sun

I find myself underlining portions of her book, taking notes, and jotting my ideas in the margins.  It’s like I’m in school again and ready to learn.  I want to live an abundant life, fully right where I am.  Right now.

  • my super-magnified mirror
  • an open window
  • a tent in the sideyard
  • nail polish – robin’s egg blue

I want to be thankful, joyful…full.

  • flowers in pattern
  • hope
  • fun with Wii movement
  • intervention before error
  • advice from a friend

So one night about a week ago, I grabbed my twenty-five cent notebook off the floor near my bed and started my very own list of thanksgiving.  I decided to give God thanks for my days, for the little and ordinary.

  • for the tenacity of a child
  • lessons learned
  • mercy new each day

At first I didn’t notice much, but as each day passes, my list grows.  I had to bring my notebook downstairs to catch the thanks throughout the day, before I forget.  Seventy-seven, that’s what number I’m on.  There are no numbers really, just gratefulness – an eye seeing – a heart feeling – a hand recording.

Honestly I didn’t think my list of thanks was a very big deal.  Not until this morning.  I faced my son in a battle of odds.  I was right.  He should see that, be made to know I am right.  But, is being right so important?  Was it really that important in my moment?  I didn’t know, so my head bowed, I leaned over the counter and offered a prayer.  Not for wisdom, not for help, not to show my son, but a prayer of thanksgiving.

I didn’t mean to be thankful.  I really didn’t.  It’s surprised me as much as it must have surprised God.

I let my son go without another word.  It was enough for me to be thankful.  Not two minutes later my son found his lost Epipen case.  Right where I said.  Lesson learned for him, but for me the lesson was greater.  Thanksgiving changed things.  It changed me.  Already.

  • a call from my husband
  • the quiet of now
  • a kiss on the cheek
  • movie theater pop-corn

Since this blog is me, my life, I wanted to incorporate thanksgiving.  I want to be thankful in my heart, in my notebook, on my blog.  I want to encourage you to be thankful – to live fully.

This is my first Thankful Thursday, but I pray it won’t be my last.

I’m linking to Thankful Thursday already going on in blogland.  If you prepared a post for Thankful Thursday, please leave your link in the comments and then go link up to Thankful Thursday HERE.  Also visit a holy experience for more great posts!

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20 thoughts on “The secret is in the…

  1. Pingback: Book Review – One Thousand Gifts Devotional | the domestic fringe

  2. Jocelyn (Godsgalnj)

    This post was incredibly beautiful! I love the quote – I love your list – I love that your son found his lost Epipen case – I love it all! God bless you and may you have a blessed, thankful weekend!

  3. Deb

    I’m thankful you posted about this book. I’m going to get me a copy. 🙂

    I’m thankful for cuddly puppies.
    I’m thankful for a warm wood fire.
    I’m thankful I don’t have to get up early in the morning.
    I’m thankful for my blogging buddies.

  4. Judith C Evans

    Beautiful post! One thing I have learned from Thankful Thursdays is that gratitude is a powerful choice. Thank you for reminding us of the miracles in our everyday lives. Have a blessed week!

  5. LaughingLady

    Practicing gratitude DOES change the heart! I started a prayer journal last summer and around Thanksgiving (in October here in Canada), I added a thankfulness page each day. Every day, I sit down three times to write out 5 things I’m thankful for. They range from the everyday and inconsequential to great theological truths. Everything. This practice has significantly changed my outlook on life and virtually eliminated my bouts of depression. God is an amazing God and has blessed us with SO MANY things that we so often take for granted.

    I trust this new exercise will be a blessing to you as it was for me!

  6. Charming's Mama

    I’m thankful for internet friends, who are thoughtful and encouraging.
    I’m thankful for Gods provision.
    I’m thankful for little boy arms around my neck and a kiss on my cheek.
    I’m thankful for a husband who does the breakfast dishes.

  7. Cindy

    What a wonderfully written and grateful post. I enjoyed reading it so much. Ann’s book (her blog as well) has been a great source of encouragement to me. Glad your enjoying her book.

    Looking forward to coming back next week.

  8. Stefanie Brown

    I must get this book! I recently watched an interview with Ann and was overwhelmed by her peaceful and content demeanor. What an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.
    By the way, I am your newest follower, signing up to receive your posts via email.
    Have a blessed day!

  9. Gretchen

    I feel exactly the same way about “1000 Gifts”. I’m getting ready to read it once more savoring each bit as you described! Thanks for the great post!

  10. Carol

    Enjoyed your post. I heard an interview with Ann Voskamp on Christian radio and was moved by her testimony. The quote that you began the blog with is beautiful.

    I’m glad you have joined Thankful Thursday. Have a great day!

  11. Mom

    I am thankful you posted this today. This describes my recent prayer life. I want to have the abundant life too. I know that is what God wants for me because Jesus said so:
    “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
    John 10:11
    I think I will get this book!

  12. Whidbey Woman

    Greetings! I really enjoyed reading your post. I love Thankful Thursdays. Sometimes it seems like our burdens are breaking our backs. But when we stop and count our blessings, we realize that they outweigh our problems!

  13. Laura

    I’m thankful for 3ply kleenex with lotion
    I’m thankful I have a comfy bed to sleep in while I’m sick
    I’m thankful I have a hubby who willingly offered to sleep on the couch tonight so I can really rest.
    I’m thankful for campbell’s chicken soup
    I’m thankful for peanut m&m’s
    I’m thankful for puppies
    I’m thankful for Nyquil.

    Thanks FringeGirl for making me take a minute and realize how thankful I am for thoese things!

    1. the domestic fringe Post author

      Laura, sorry you’re not feeling well. I’m going to say a prayer for you as soon as I finish typing this! Thanks for being thankful, even though you’re feeling lousy. Feel better soon!

  14. marytoo

    YAY! I can still comment!

    I love this. We all want to do/be/have something great, but in reality, greatness is in everyday-ness. Greatness is made of small things done with love and awareness and, yes, thankfulness. There is nothing greater than an ordinary life done well.


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