I read a book last year that really made me re-evaluate the spirit of thanks giving. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp is a beautiful lyrical lesson, thick with Christian values and a focus on God, so I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone. Not everyone drinks the same cup of tea, but I think we all can learn so I’d like to share a lesson on thankfulness here.
Voskamp’s story started rough: she watched her sister get crushed by a truck as a child, resulting in a psychiatric hospitalized mother and a dark father. She has known suffering since her beginnings but refuses to count the grains of grit above the granules of goodness. So the farmer’s wife and mother of four decides to start a list of all the gifts she’s thankful for in her life. She counts them throughout the book and it reminds me so much of the simple sweetness in my own life: the smell of my own bed, painted finger nails, sunlight through my window, homemade soup in a steaming bowl, waking to rain drops, a freshly mopped floor and vintage tile in my kitchen. In this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted.
Now I count my own blessings regularly. I can’t say I do it every day, though I know I’d be a much happier person if I did. But simply stopping here and there to identify and appreciate all the gifts in your life inevitably shifts your focus to the positive, or rather, puts a positive light on all that’s already in front of you.
So my wish for you this Thanksgiving, is to carry the mindful, heartfelt appreciation that we stop to focus on today with you throughout the rest of the year and into the next. Start a list if you so dare, but try to remember to slow down once in awhile and count the many gifts in your life. I guarantee you’ll wish less, and be genuinely happy more.
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