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I recently read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.  It was one of those books that kept popping up here and there on my radar. Over my lifetime I have probably read thousands of books.  Some I remember, some I forget, and every now and then one changes my life in some tangible way.  

I found this book, or should I say, it found me, just when I needed it the most.  Homeschooling this winter has been tough.  We have had moments of sheer brilliance, but also a few tears (mostly mine) and we needed to figure things out and shift our focus and create a new path.  Parenting this winter has been tough.  My children are my joy and my life’s work and parenting an 11 and 13 year old is much different than parenting a 7 and 9 year old.  We had to figure some things out.  My relationship with my church has been strained this winter (really since the fall) due to religious education decisions that were made that I am not in agreement with and left me wondering the future of our little church by the sea.  All this left me in a state of disequilibrium, my balance was off, and I knew I needed to find a way to set it right.

One Thousand Gifts is more than just keeping a list of 1,000 blessings or gratitudes, or gifts.  It is about giving thanks to God for each and every one of those gifts.  If we incorporate Eucharisteo, being thankful for everything we have, into our every waking moment, then we are actually living in a state of Grace.  It’s hard.  But then it becomes easier.  One gift becomes two, which becomes three, and then you realize you are into the 100s, and still going.  

I carry my journal with me always and I try to sit with my journal once a day, but sometimes I don’t and I am okay with that.  I take it with me and when the girls are off in their classes and I have uninterrupted quiet time I take it out and I start writing.  With a pen.  Not on the computer, not on my phone, but on a piece of paper with a pen.  It is slower, gentler, kinder.  I love it.  I have not kept a paper journal in years and I had forgotten the joy of hearing the sound of a pen connecting with the fibers of the paper.  A paper journal seems more permanent to me.  A blog can be erased with a server malfunction.  A word processing document can be deleted by human error or computer malfunction.  The delete key wipes out thoughts and words as if they never occurred, which is not so easy to do in a journal.  

I was very inspired by a mother I follow on Instagram who spends time each and every morning with her Bible, her journal, and her coffee.  She fills her journal with words from the Bible and posts her daily copy work on Instagram.  One day I asked her what her routine was.  I like a routine, a to-do list, a set of directions.  She replied back that the Holy Spirit guides her and by listening, she finds what her soul is seeking every day.  I was using my Bible App on my phone to find Bible passages that matched up with my gifts that day.  She encouraged me to take out my Bible book, connect with the written word on the page, not the computer or phone screen, and let God lead the way.  So now, when I am done with my gifts, I randomly open the Bible and read until I find something that resonates with me, something that connects the words on the Bible page to the words on my page, and then I write.  I copy the scriptures word for word.  When I copy them, I remember them.  I may not remember them well enough to quote them verbatim, but when I get hung up in a little moment of anxiety in my day, I can recall Matthew’s words in 6:25, reminding me that life is more than food and more than clothing.  How by worrying will I add a single day to my life?  Then my worry, my anxiety does not seem like such a big deal, and perhaps I can then find the Eucharisteo in that moment rather than dwell on the hardship.

Eucharisteo.  A word I never knew before.  I word found in a book that I am so grateful I read.


  1. I have heard so much about this book and meant to read it. I may need to break down and get it plus the Trim Healthy Mama book that everybody has been gushing over this past year.

    1. I have not heard about Trim Healthy Mama......I'll have to look that one up!

  2. This post is lovely. I love your handwritten journal. Perhaps one day I will get back to paper. I do everything on my phone. Reason being is that when we moved to CA we came for 1 year. We came with the simple life in mind. That means I got rid of my old bible study books and journals. I have only the smash type journal I started back before I ever got married. I have read the book. And I'm glad I did as well. It's a beautiful book. I keep my list in the app. Your beautiful pages inspire me to start a paper journal. Even if I didn't keep it forever it's the beauty of making it more than the keeping it I think.

    1. The time I take to make it is my quiet time, my reflection time. I add the doodles later or when I am listening to talk radio or even when I am talking with one of my friends. It is very relaxing. It keeps me sane on these crazy snow days when I wish I could sit in the sun and relax at the beach.....

  3. And now I remember why I haven't posted much before. My husbands account always takes over my life. I've got to figure this out. :) His google stole my YouTube account, too! :(

    1. Ha. I just figured out who 'you were' from the Land. ;)

  4. As you know I read Ann Voskamp awhile ago. I started my list and kept it for awhile. I read this post of yours Monday morning and yesterday 'restarted' my Thankful journal. I also took yours and Kim's advice and used my actual Bible. I do what you said, just thumb through until something resonates with me. Unfortunately mine isn't gorgeous likes yours although I did draw a little wooden cross that you can 'almost' tell what it is. :) As always, thank you for your inspiration!! <3

  5. I read much of that Voskamp book; I struggled with the flowery language a bit. The word eucharisteo really resonated with me, though. I have a spiral notebook where I like to write many of my thankful moments and having those all in one place is a blessing. The discipline of writing my blessings down helped keep me sane through my husband's heart transplant. Now being able to flip back through those pages reminds me of the journey and the blessings that have slipped my mind.


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