I Just Want to Say: Thank You
Every once in a while, I like to take a look back at the not so distant past and see how far I’ve come, appreciate the growth and also the way I’ve handled struggles. I’ve done this in different ways, from writing myself letters to be opened at a “distant” future date (something I started in college) to simply looking back at my journal from a year, or six months before.
In the summer of 2011, I read a book that presented an idea I wanted to try. It was Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts and the idea is as common now as it seemed new then: write a gratitude list. The idea was that in the midst of hard or commonplace things, you would look around and notice things that brought you joy, that made you thankful, that lifted you out of feeling sorry for yourself or thinking your life was small or bleak. I didn’t love the book, but I latched onto this idea. I knew that I could stand to say “thank you” more. I haven’t been terribly consistent, but I’ve kept it going now for over a year.
It’s been fun, lately, to look back at what I wrote, at what made my day, on the days when I had only one thing I was thankful for (newly shaved legs, that must have been a tough day!).
I’ve always loved the way that things come around again. Each year brings the same seasons, both in the world, and in the church. All of this is designed to remind us of what we know, but we’ve nearly, almost, not-quite forgotten.
I’m as bad as anyone else when it comes to this. I’ve been known to write almost identical blog posts, thinking my thought is new, and I’m always forgetting what I know to be true. I set up reminders for myself, I surround myself with people who know and love me and remind me of these things. My gratitude list is one of my ways of reminding myself of what is true, that I am blessed beyond measure and that the best response is to be grateful.
Here are a few entries off my list:
140: live music
143: Irish accents
145: supportive and loving parents
148: remembering how fun it is to cook with a friend
150: Dad teaching me how to grill
154: reading books in the sunshine on my couch
157: laughter shared with friends
158: a day where I felt the grace of God very strongly as I walked through
161: finding the right parking spot
163: finding new things in books I’ve read before
174: how friendship can not only encourage you, but challenge you
175: playing pretend with one of my littlest friends
181: getting approved for a vacation I didn’t think would work out
183: rocking a baby to sleep
191: good friends: engaged!
195: having the courage to do something that scared me
201: meeting new interesting people
204: the beauty of snow at night
210: the simple pleasure of having my ipod on shuffle
219: fresh spring flowers from a good friend
229: long-anticipated books
232: things to look forward to
240: vanilla coconut tea
249: the fact that God is in control
270: Ginger Rodgers
What are you thankful for?