Since starting Project 365 Thanks at the beginning of this year, only one person has been consistently posting their thanks at the end of each day, and it isn’t me. Although this project has cultivated a more thankful heart in me, I haven’t been faithful in writing all of those thanks down as I had intended. But my friend Jenn has. Every day she posts what she is grateful for on her Facebook wall with a #365thanks at the end. Her faithfulness to this project is inspiring, and I just love her so much. I asked her to write a guest post this week to share her thoughts on what giving thanks each day means to her.
Thanksgiving :: disciplining myself to slow down and open my eyes
I’m a list maker by habit—I love to cross things off my to-do list. In fact, if I do something that wasn’t on my to-do list, I add it just so I can cross it off. I’m always looking to finish something. To be done, be at a point of completion.
But in my lifestyle of go go go, I found that I was missing out on the sweet moments of joy that surround me on a daily basis. Reading Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand GiftsI found myself challenged to slow down. To open my eyes and to embrace life with thanksgiving.
At first I struggled—not with giving thanks, but trying to decide what are “worthy” gratitude journal entries. But the more I did it—the actual writing down of gifts, the more I found that there is no formula or how-to in creating a thanksgiving list. It’s simply recognizing the gifts that surround me daily. The daily beautiful, the daily hard, the daily struggle, the daily grace.
Flipping through my gratitude journal for 2012, you would stumble across the following entries:
1. new year for new beginnings
32. friends who care for me after surgery
73. teaching kids at Second Mile
90. cupcakes, decorated with sprinkles
158. rain falling gently
214. saying goodbye to a friend as she moves to another state
273. toenails, pretty ‘n pink
303. phone calls with my sisters
385. no headache today
449. holding and crying with a student whose father died last night
612. giggling with my roommate
671. sky breaking dawn, clouds like speckled marshmallows
But you’ll also find items stapled in or tucked into the pages:
I’m not perfect; I don’t record in my journal daily. And sometimes I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the busy-ness that is life that I find myself neglecting to give thanks as I ought. So I go back to these two verses, straight from the truth that is Scripture, and I remind myself of why I practice this discipline of giving thanks.
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught an d overflowing with thankfulness. (emphasis added)
I am thankful for you Jenn!