This chapter began the application process of what has been read thus far. I really enjoyed getting into the "nitty-gritty" of the book. Ann talks about the start of her "list" of one thousand gifts, and I was so challenged to begin my own. I can't wait for this heart of gratitude to take over my life as I accept this gift of joy that He freely gives. At the end of these chapter posts I am going to start adding some of the "gifts" from my list. I challenge you to begin your own list. Put them on some sort of portable journal, so you can have it with you at all times.
On page 48 Ann says, "Thanks is what multiplies the joy and makes any life large, and I hunger for it." This is pretty self-explanitory but so profound at the same time. We all want more joy in our life. Without the over-abundance of thanks we can't get it - plain and simple. So why is it so hard sometimes?
On page 54 she goes on to say, "In naming that which is right before me, that which I'd otherwise miss, the invisible becomes visible . . . God is in the details; God is in the moment. God is in all that blurs by in a life - even hurts in life." Again, such a good word. God is SO in the details. I have had conversations with people (Christians, in particular) that don't believe God is in the details. They would say He is only concerned with the "big stuff," but that is absolutely not true. He cares about it all - big or small. He is right there as I change Ethan's 5th nasty diaper of the day. He is there as I wash my dishes. He is there as I discipline George. He is in it all. It is up to us to recognize it.
Lastly, my favorite quote from this chapter is on page 57. "Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy." Don't you want that gift? You just have to "open" it. You just have to receive it. You just have to recognize it. That is what the list is all about.
My gifts list:
1. Dance parties before bed
2. Family (as in whole family) dinners
3. 4 year old fingers running through my hair
4. Air conditioning
5. Brothers sleeping in the same room
6. Baby smiles at 7am
7. Being awakened by soft kisses at 9am
8. Reading in quiet - even for a short while
9. Baby's morning nap
10. Baby's first steps
11. Going to Nouna's for dinner
12. Whitney's help around the house
13. George jumping up and down as he plays Wii
14. Food in the freezer for meals to come
15. Naps with the 4 year old