I joined a group a couple of weeks ago that started the study 1000 Gifts. It has really got me thinking. That can be dangerous at times, but I think this is a good thing! What is it about the little things we have around us, that given we would quiet ourselves, we love to enjoy? For me, I have many colorful glass or crystal pieces in my home that I love to watch the light reflect off of, or through. I have red crystals that hang from my kitchen window curtain, and it gives me great delight to watch them reflect shimmering lights around my kitchen as the sun hits them. I look around my home and I have so many memorable items that bring memories of my grandparents, parents, kids and grandchild. It makes me happy to have them. I consider each of them my gifts. I also enjoy being outside to smell the fresh air, or taking a walk again, watching our flowers and trees budding up, or an extra cloudy sky that reminds me that no matter what chaos I may be going through, I have someone who cares, and never leaves me. You see, I think all of those things are gifts…every day.
As we were reading, all of our moments shape us one way or another. However, we do have moments that may stand out, and other feelings that we experience. It might be looking at something that strikes a chord deep in your heart, or even something that was not a very enjoyable experience. How do I handle a day of disappointments? When chaos comes, how can I turn it around? We all have minutes, and they are experienced and lived in different ways. So I asked myself once again on Friday afternoon, “How do you spend your minutes?” To be honest, I found that there were certainly areas that I could handle my minutes much better than I do. There are times I need to stop, and just sit and enjoy what I see or what I hear. Or maybe, I need to listen to something that is uplifting. I might need to encourage someone who God puts on my heart. Maybe, it’s that you have a day planned one way, and something else comes up to side track you. Maybe God is taking you on a completely different path for the day. How do you handle those times?
Whatever it may be for you, taking advantage of all these minutes that God gives us, is what it is all about. I think her study is a prime example of how to learn to see life through a totally different lens; the lens of grace, thanksgiving, and gratitude. As you may have read in previous posts, I have kept a gratitude jar, and I find that concentrating on the things that are right in my life, or that are good, or that make me happy, is the way to put my focus on the right track. It might be as simple as a reflection of light as I stated above, or it may be something as sweet as a lunch with a friend. Maybe the sun shining through your window as you have breakfast. But it has purpose in your life and God wants to use those gifts to cheer you on, bring you joy, and lift your spirit.
What is one gift you can think of right now? Leave it in the comments. Because I am in this study, there is a monthly calendar on her website that helps you look for those gifts around YOU. So, for the month of March, or while I’m in this study, I have posted a picture on my Facebook page of three gifts each day of the month of March. God says, “I AM.” That means He is present always. Ask Him to show you. Try writing the gifts down. Try the jar. But DO give it a try. Living in thankfulness, grace, and joy is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. Once you do it, it will become a stronger and stronger influence in your life. It WILL change your life.
Walking the journey with you…