I pre-ordered Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, after reading her blog nearly a year ago. And before I finished the second chapter I began recording those thankful in the hurried moments throughout the day.

After hearing Ann speak at a conference last weekend, I came home energized, eager to encourage my children to do the same.

The next day we sat around the kitchen table, white lined sheets staring back at us, waiting to be filled.  

I’m finding emptying out gratitude is easier on some days than others. I witness it as I watch my son and daughter mull over flimsy spiral notebooks, pencils tapping and eyes wandering. They’ve written the obvious, they are thankful for their home and each other, their health and their grandparents, their church and our harebrained dog, Caroline.

I stare at my own red leather journal of thankfulness. And the words don’t spill. They don’t pour out onto the page.  Instead what gushes out naturally is:

 the air conditioning in our van is out … again

 the roses in my flowerbeds are dying an untimely death

 another school year is looming and I question if I have what it takes to teach those same subjects all over again

This is what the spring of my soul flows fluid.

I say it aloud to my children, but more so for myself. “Thankfulness is a choice that we stroll past or we pause to appreciate.”

We’re learning this lesson together. And for that I am thankful.


7 thoughts on “thankfulness

  1. I know I have so much to be thankful for but sometimes when I sit to write the thankfulness doesn’t come easy. I find myself disappointed in me — with all these blessings the gratitude should pour out. I too often stroll right past it. I’m learning to pause and appreciate.

  2. Hey Amanda,

    I just started reading Ann’s book myself. Love the way she writes.

    Also, I just finished another very practical book on gratitude by Nancy Lee DeMoss. It’s called, “Choosing Gratitude – Your Journey to Joy.” I highly recommend it, and you can use it with your kids.

    Thanks for sharing a good word and the photos of your kids. Cute. Cute.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


  3. I find it a lot easier to be thankful for the big things – life, salvation, family, home, health – than I do for the day to day grunge. I struggle a lot with staying positive for all those little things, but then I think of Eccl – to enjoy one’s labor under the sun is a gift from God.

  4. It is hard sometimes! Sometimes I write the same things over and over. I find that when I keep the journal open on the counter, I can jot down things as they come instead of forcing myself to write everything at once.

  5. You have a wonderful way with words, Amanda! I started numbering my “thank yous” to God a couple of years ago in my prayer journal. I find I’m more grateful now after I “lost” my energy and couldn’t climb the stairs, after I couldn’t even sing from breathlessness, after i couldn’t talk when I had a mouthful of canker sores. There are so many things we take for granted! Now I’m appreciative that my fingers are complete, that I have eyelashes to keep away the dust, things like that! I appreciate the lessons God taught me and is continuing to teach!

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