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One Thousand Gifts Chapter 7 from Bloom (in)courage on Vimeo.

First off, can I just tell you that I actually smiled about the toast-throwing episode? Not because it’s funny necessarily, but because I love that all moms, even the ones I esteem greatly, have moments where their children aren’t acting ideally. Can I get an Amen on that one? I know it’s a sidebar to the rest of the chapter, but I for one settled into my chair a little more comfortably as I imagined a scene, miles and miles away on a farm in Canada, that looked a whole lot like one of my days.

We aren’t so different, are we?

And what a challenge it is to express gratitude in the midst of these little pockets of frustration, where yes, it’s toast, but also it’s about us. It’s the nagging voice that wants us to believe we have failed at something God has called us to do, be, or live out, and it isn’t our first inclination to go to Him in praise. It might not be toast, and it might not be Ann’s kitchen, but it is the same heart that beats in all of our fleshly bodies. Longing to be a woman of God and yet pressed hard against the stark reality that life is often ugly.

As Ann so eloquently says, “How do I live the holy vision in this mess? How do I see grace, give thanks, find joy in this sin-stinking place?” (p.125)
This sentence resonates deep within me as I consider all the ways I fail at giving thanks, instead reverting to my initial reaction in those moments, and I love how Ann says, “Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love?” (p.126)
Anger feels so powerful, doesn’t it? Like it’s the one thing that will bring the intensity needed to cope with whatever is happening. It seems so, but in reality we have the opportunity many times a day to forego the anger, frustration, and disappointment in exchange for pure joy through improbable gratitude.

I will share with you something that I have been working on to flesh this out in my own life. I have noticed that day after day the same events happen, and each day I act like I’m surprised that the laundry never got done, or that there is toothpaste all over the girl’s sink, or that it is going to take 45 minutes at the very least to try and prepare to leave the house. My eyes see the dog hair gathering in the foyer, the buzzer for the soup ringing in the kitchen, and two of my girls bickering over a doll. It feels new every time, doesn’t it? Like you got sucker punched over and over again.
So, here’s what I have begun to do. I make a list of the things that will most likely push me to my limit that day. I literally write out all of the circumstances that will arise either with my children, Todd, my house, or any other situation, and I write them down on a piece of paper. Next to the list of scenarios, I list the way I would like to react. I think through specific things I can say instead of snapping, and ways to make gratitude seep through my reactions. For example, on my list says:

1. Kate will be dissatisfied with whatever bowl I suggest for morning oatmeal. I will try and remember that it makes her feel special when she gets the one she got to choose. I will stay calm and wait for her to choose, and then I will tell her how grateful I am to have a daughter who gets so excited over making a choice. Thank you Jesus that she is a girl who speaks her mind-please continue to shape her into the woman you dreamed her to be.
2. The girls with start to complain when school starts, and they will drag their feet (which usually ends with me raising my voice) and dawdling as long as possible before coming to the table with sulky faces. Today, when I am up against this challenge, I will set a timer and let them know that I expect them to be sitting and prepared when it goes off. I will tell them how grateful I am to have such smart daughters who challenge me to grow. God despite this momentary irritation, I am so incredibly honored to be able to home school my kids. (And so on…)
I don’t know what it is about writing all this, but for me it really helps. I’m going to go back and add Bible verses as well that relate to whatever the issue at hand is.
So for me this week, I would say my “seed” is the identification of moments that are perpetual joy-stealers. I am going to nurture this gap by making notes and using those to refer to instead of my knee-jerk reaction. I am hoping that the bloom part will be that I will have more patience through the anticipation, and that my reactions will more closely approximate the way the Lord calls me to love my children.
What are the small ways you are challenged to veer away from gratitude? It can be anything from dirty floors and piles of laundry to scheduling difficulties or dissatisfaction over a work situation For those of you who would like to share, I sure would love for you to write them here in the comments so we can pray for you. We’re in it together, friends; we would love a glimpse into your lives so we can be praying for you all…
With love,

Ang, Jess, and the (in)courage girls

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  1. 1

    Strong-willed 4 yr old boy. Enough said.

    I try very hard not to lose my cool but I get so frustrated that it just eats up my patience. I’m working on it, I am. And I know that most of the time all he needs is just him and a parent time but it’s so hard to do when I’m the only parent available most of the time for 3 kids (between work, school, and sleep, hubby does make an effort but I understand that it’s hard. I did school and parenting and that was hard enough w/o work in there too).

    Lately I’ve been praying for peace when he gets sent to his room because I need it. And I can see some good in it, but it’s hard. I know w/o a doubt that this is one of my big areas that I need work in.

  2. 2

    I love this chapter! I’ve already been thinking about these things before I got to this chapter…and it’s just what I needed to hear! I struggle every day with these same issues. I, too, tend to react with frustration and yelling when my kids don’t get along and the part about thinking that being angry will actually solve anything or achieve more than love – wow, just this whole chapter spoke to me. It was like I’ve talked to all three of you this past few weeks and you picked up our conversation here! “Domestic cloud of dust and family, I too can forget the One who sees me, but in eucharisteo, I remember…” and the part about choosing gratitude and seeing God behind the faces over anger or bitterness, etc – just this whole chapter was particularly applicable to me! Thank you for the sharing and the insight! As iron sharpens iron…

  3. 3

    I love that Ann brings up honest, difficult issues over and over again in the book. My main frustration is probably at the ever-increasing tasks God has given me to do. At a time in my life when I thought I could return to contemplative simplicity, I find myself frustrated by more tasks than I can possibly accomplish in a day. I still have to focus on slowing time down through eucharisteo. My favorite quote from the chapter is “Contemplative simplicity isn’t a matter of circumstances; it’s a matter of focus” (p. 127). So true!

  4. 4

    As a mom of 9 children who daily find ways to do the opposite of what they know is right – I have to consciously choose to do what I KNOW to be right. For the last two weeks on my blog I have been sharing about what love really is and how that becomes part of our every day life.
    Conscious – Intentional – Willful – living out what God does for us – wills the good for us always.

    God’s love is becoming my goal, my focus and my desire as a mother of this many children with various issues from adoption, pasts I have no control over and how I react to them working out in our home. It my focus as a wife to such a godly man who is my greatest teacher in this area.

    God uses each of them to show me daily the value in finding my peace and joy in Him alone! Seeking it anywhere else will leave me frustrated and even burnt out at the daily things I face over and over again. His grace is completely sufficient. AMEN!

  5. 5
    Paola Pacheco Rarick says:

    Angie, I love your practical way to acting well during difficult trigger moments. So practical and a perfect excersise for how my brain works. Thanks for sharing this with us. P.S. This book has changed my life! I am so grateful you introduced this to all of us. I am now sharing it with everyone I know.

  6. 6

    I loved this chapter! And I love your idea that you shared here, Angie. It does kinda feel like getting sucker punched over and over when it’s the same things that are stealing my joy. What a great idea to anticipate, plan an action, and think about what you are thankful for. My gratitude list is nearing 200 already, and I am seeing God easily in the beautiful and great moments. I am still working on adjusting my lens to see Him in the ugly and frustrating moments. I am still working on giving thanks and choosing joy when it seems so much easier to just be angry. But, I do see growth in myself! I am so thankful for this book. What an impact it is making in my life! Thanks, Ann, for sharing your heart with us. Thanks to all of you for the great videos! You are all just precious!!

  7. 7

    Wow… what a great idea Angie! I think this could really be revolutionary throughout my day. I will start this list right away and begin to work through some things. Isn’t it funny how we just expect things to fix themselves? Whew…
    So, for me…
    1. My son, who is not yet two will not like what I fix for dinner every single night and will refuse to eat it willingly. My husband wants to use logical consequences instead of a disruptive fight every meal. No eating dinner, no dessert, nothing else the rest of the night. In stead of being irritated by this method every time, will let my husband carry this out and pray and trust and give thanks for a husband who engages in parenting. Exhale. :)

  8. 8

    Thank you for your offer of prayers Angie. I loved this chapter too….so real!! That’s what I love about you Ann…it’s all real, alive. Right now, by biggest joy stealers are mild depression and a job that involves getting called into work sometimes in the middle of the night (so I can be home during the day to homeschool youngest dd). My husband is out of work with no unemployment benefits and we are relying on God and my part-time income. I also have a 21 yr. old son who is does not care to have a relationship with God…he tests me often. I really want to be grateful amongst this mess…I just don’t know how. I have started a gratitude journal as well as praying the Psalms but some days…it’s just not enough. I am open to suggestions and I keep going back to this wonderful book for inspiration.

  9. 9

    This chapter resonates deeply with me. Anger, for me, is a deep residing force within my being always creeping up and rearing it’s nasty, bitter, ugly head. I feel as though I’m constantly trying to push it back down and too much of the time it surfaces when I’m overwhelmed with the mountain of laundry or when my kids are swinging fists at one another. Mostly I give into these sinful feelings of anger when I am on the run or in a rush which is unfortunately all too often. Running out the door to take the boys to hockey while shoving a sandwich at them to eat in the car on the way…or trying to catch up with my husband in passing while the kids are acting like animals. I need to SLOW down!! Wake up earlier, organize a little bit better…

    When Angie brought up in the video how when she sees her children acting out or disobeying, she tends to blame herself and then in turn gets angry at her children when it really is herself she’s upset with….that was HUGE for me. I think that is exactly what I do. I love the comment that Ann made about replacing the nail with another nail. The discipline of eucharisteo. Replacing anger with gratitude. I am going to try today to start this very practice.

    Words cannot describe how very thankful to God I am for this book and you wonderful ladies. Thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedules to make these video blogs to further the kingdom. God has been working in my life as I look for and number the countless blessings in my life! May God continue to bless you!!

  10. 10

    Angie,
    I am a grandmother of 4 grandchildren, mother of 3 and mother-in-law to 3. I totally understand how it is for you, but you have one saving grace – you know the Lord. I didn’t really know Him back then. My anger was dangerous. My control was unending. After letting Jesus into my heart and into my whole life I changed. So much so that a friend of my youngest commented, “What’s with your Mom, she’s different”. What a blessing that statement was.
    I found a peace that was unattainable before – I found what Ann calls “Eucharisteo”. I pray that each of your young mothers finds that – and with His help can keep peace in her heart in the midst of the storm. Blessings to each of you,
    Jan

  11. 11

    A huge lesson I learned when my sons were tiny and I got so upset with them not behaving was that my anger was a result of the fear of not being able to handle them – and how it would look to other people. As a young pastor’s wife, we lived so much in the fish bowl! It really helped when I stopped to ask myself why I was angry – what was I scared of and was it a valid fear. Usually it was not. My sons are adults now, and the frustrations are different, but I am still responsible for how I handle them. In everything give thanks…. erm… even in the frustrations…. yep…. thank you Ann for reminding me.

  12. 12

    Thank you ladies for choosing this book for the book club, and thank you Ann for writing it. I’ve said about this book what Elisabeth Elliot says about her life and all that we go through, “Anything if given to God can become our gateway to joy.” It really is a leaning into the ugly giving thanks.

    Eucharisteo is now my life. I can’t imagine living my life any other way. “One thousand gifts: A dare to live fully where you are,” is my period. I feel like I have all that I need now: bible and gift book.

    Most of my situations haven’t changed, but I have. I now look through new lenses and I get His teachings, what He wants me to learn. I’ve to give thanks in all things…just like He has said in His book. Seeing it though through the words of Ann Voskamp has made it more plain for me.

    I’m on a life hunt of gifts and giving thanks as it has transformed me…calmed me, made my seeing more keen. I too long to know Him, know Him intimately and the power of His resurrection. I’ve had it before, but let it go due to becoming angry over situations…feeling “unjustly” treated. But now…now, I want it back. I’m looking searching for it. Writing the list is giving me that again.

    My husband tells me that through my blog writing (I only write now about thanksgiving changing my life…it’s always there) I’m helping Him tremendously.

    You blogging ladies all help me in one way or another and I’m so thankful to Him for giving us such a community to build and encourage one another. Yesterday I went to Ann’s blog and found the video, “Give me Jesus.” I put it on my blog and last night when we had our Bible reading and song time…we kept replaying the song by Fernando…(I hope I got his name right). It brought tears to my eyes…I was so thankful and aware of how we who blog are getting His message out…touching lives…doing His ministry and not fully being aware of the lives we touch.

    Thanks to all three of you wonderful women!

    • 13

      Angela, you described my heart as well. I carry my Bible, Gifts, and my Thankfulness Journal with me in my purse. My sweet husband even bought me a bigger canvas purse so I could carry them along with me all the time. :)

      • 14

        What a great husband! Yeah, I know that kind of purse…been carrying them around out of habit —have 7 kids. I do keep my journal and gratitude book in mine too!!!

  13. 15

    The first time I read this chapter I was awestruck at how Eucharisteo opened the gate for God to come in and turn this battleground into a well. My thought was, “can this really work?”
    This week I returned to these pages having failed miserably at giving thanks. I was angry, disappointed and losing ground. I felt like I had been in a maze and couldn’t find my way out.
    I’ve been battling food allergies, a digestive issue complicated my a pancreatic issue from birth and numerous other physical problems. All culminated a few years ago when hormones shifted.
    This week I was so excited about traveling 3 hours to spend a few days with my daughter and her new baby and my older granddaughter. I no sooner arrived than I came down with the flu. My son-in-law drove me home the next day. Now I know everyone gets the flu but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. I shut down, empty, hopeless.
    I read pages 130 and 131 over and over again. Is there a well here that I refuse to see? Or refuse to accept?

    My seed: Silencing of questions and rote prayers
    Nurture: Eucharisteo once again
    Bloom: my eyes open to the well, yielding, God invading my space

  14. 16

    Seed: To hold my peace and embody Christ; a more beautiful state
    Water: To live love and deny anger
    Growth: To see self beyond brokenness to thanksgiving–to giving

  15. 17

    Yes I too have been embarrassed by my children’s behavior, and instead of looking to myself, looked toward heaven and asked “why?” As the mother of 3 boys, I have found that praying to Our Lady has helped me in the past. I remember distinctly asking her if she was ever embarrassed by her son’s behavior. I know that sounds weird, but I have asked for her to bless me with her strength and have learned to “give it up” to God to help me see the light in all that is dark and murky. I love that Ann chose to seek gratitude instead of giving in to the power of anger. I know that it was God who gave her the strength to stop, lay her head down and pause. Angie’s question to Ann about whether she thought God was watching her deal with the situation made me stop and think. That is a powerful image for me. I am committed to pausing before “throttling” , and will continue to look for the grace in the mundane acts I perform everyday. Prayers to help me be a better daughter, wife and mother would be appreciated. Thank you.

  16. 18

    Moments that steal joy, hmmmm… They seem to be the ones I loose focus on His face and focus on the problem instead of the Provider. The moments I lurch into false responsibility and try to fix things in my own strength instead of throwing up my hands like my five year olds would and say DADDY FIX IT. Lots to fix over here. I often need reminding WHO is doing the fixing. Hint, it shouldn’t be me.

    Little things too like our crazy hairy lightening fast spiders or when the rats eat food I have been saving. But I am learning NOTHING can steal my joy unless I give it permission to. Not malaria, not sickness, not loss of loved ones, not nibbled food, not money issues, not anything can separate me from the Love {and the Joy} in Jesus. Nothing.

    I don’t know about the rest of us, but making gratitude a love quest for me is a military posture in taking it back! JOY from an unpaved and a bit bumpy road in Sudan-Michele

    • 19

      Michele,
      Honestly, I am so blessed by your comments. I think God uses you in my life as a real life example of Philippians 4:12. You are in my daily prayers my forever sister. :)
      Sharon

    • 20

      Thank you Michele for your beautiful words you sent me, a fellow Texan! It meant much to me! From the slums of Calcutta to the unpaved roads of Sudan, the world is not worthy of people like you, Hebrews 11:38.

    • 21
      all shall be well says:

      “The moments I lurch into false responsibility and try to fix things in my own strength….” Wow, that sure resonates wtih me.

      And I am praying about the spiders and rats, ewww!!!

      Blessings, karen:)

  17. 22

    This was a great chapter. I see so much of myself in all three of you ladies. We really are all the same deep down. The constant “sucker punch” each day with the same frustrations over and over- like the idea of Angie’s of writing down before hand how to react. Gonna try that one.
    Seeing our kids acting up and then being mad at myself… oh yeah, that is me and then it sends you into that spiral of “I’m such a failure as a mom”.
    The modeling of how we should respond and live is convicting. How can I be mad at the kids for doing something I, myself, am not doing? I need to be reminded of this every moment of my day.
    Seed: not giving into the daily things that make me frustrated
    Water: practicing not lashing out and giving thanks instead, even verbally
    Bloom: overcoming being sucker punched daily.

  18. 23

    I’ve loved this book so far…something you wrote it your post is what spoke to me the most in this chapter.

    “This sentence resonates deep within me as I consider all the ways I fail at giving thanks, instead reverting to my initial reaction in those moments, and I love how Ann says, “Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love?” (p.126)
    Anger feels so powerful, doesn’t it? Like it’s the one thing that will bring the intensity needed to cope with whatever is happening. It seems so, but in reality we have the opportunity many times a day to forego the anger, frustration, and disappointment in exchange for pure joy through improbable gratitude.”

    What are the small ways you are challenged to veer away from gratitude? There are so many, for me its the busyness and constant chaos at my work, working with 50 kids in an inner city after school program, means everyday is fill with moments where being angry seems easier than being thankful. I’m like many of you though, trying to practice being thankful and looking for job instead of being angry.

  19. 24

    Hello! I am a bit behind but catching up. I just finished reading chapters five and six. The Lord knew I needed to be behind. I needed to hear about giving thanks in the hard things and being able to see life through his lens and not the way the world would see it. I needed to be pondering these things as I went to church this morning. Thanks so much for this book club and for encouraging us to give thanks even in the hard things. It came home in my heart and soul this morning in the house of the Lord!

    I blogged about it here
    http://lynnpottenger.blogspot.com/2011/02/giving-thanks-in-hard-things-too.html.

    Please be in prayer for this family who is experiencing this hard, horrible, evil time. Pray for them to see God’s grace even in this!

  20. 25

    This was my favorite chapter so far (I think I say that about each new chapter!) – what a beautiful glimpse into real life, and the options we have in hard circumstances. I’m realizing lately that I allow joy to be stolen by disappointment. It happens at work, when things don’t go as I expect. It happens with our family, when getting pregnant hasn’t gone as I expect. It happens with friends, when they don’t react as I expected. And in all those I choose disappointment. It covers up any joy that God might have for me and my eyes are focused on the negatives, on MY expectations, on myself & selfishness….and I need to re-focus on God, and the joy He has for me in the process.

  21. 26

    This chapter really brought this discipline into vision for me. The toast incident is such a typical situation around my house, and unfortunately I do often take the easy-angry way.
    “It’s my own face that obscures the face of God” (p124). If enough of these situations happen during the day, then I get stuck in the anger pit. I have been asking for a long time why this happens to my emotions. I heard a “that’s it” in my spirit when I read “because you believe in the power of the pit” (p 125). I reached my end with anger about a year ago and every day since; desperate for change; seeing the damage it does. “You can’t positive-think your way our of negative feelings…Feelings work faster than thoughts…The only way to fight a feeling is with a feeling” (p136) This has been a BIG deal to me. It finally occurred to me how and why I was making bad emotional choices. This is my seed. My “water” is moment by moment to choose gratitude and joy instead of anger. I’m hoping to “Bloom” a heart that can see beyond self comfort to the joy in Christ.

  22. 27

    When I first read this chapter the other day, I cried through most of it. That morning I had to discipline my older boy for an altercation with a sibling and when I went to talk to him, he was so closed off and said I never understand. My heart was broken, and I started saying those same things that Ann expressed, “Where did I go wrong?…Heart that once beat under mine, how did we get here? How did I fail you?” I wept at Ann’s words, and took some comfort to the fact that I wasn’t alone in this feeling, as Ann had expressed the feelings deep in my soul at that moment. Yes, we are in a mess, and yes, he finds it difficult to talk to a mom that has been angry and has spewed guilt on him in the past for his actions instead of grace and love.

    But I do not despair, I have hope, as God is continuing this work in my heart that He has begun through the discipline of eucharisteo, and I can feel it and I can see it in my journal. This morning, a friend who teaches my daughter on Mondays expressed to me that she has seemed so peaceful these past few weeks in class….now I weep, not from shame, but from another moment of grace that my Lord has showered me with. My daughter’s peace is no doubt from the fact that her mother is finding peace and joy these past few weeks from counting and naming God’s gifts. That little eucharisteo board in our living room, where we are counting God’s gifts as a family; the victorious moment’s where I responded with thanksgiving and joy where I would have been angry and frustrated; He is doing a new thing in our home and I am so thankful and look forward to how we will be transformed…..through the daily struggle, and His endless grace.

  23. 28

    Angie, I did this same thing about 5-6 weeks ago! I called it my “battle plan”. On my list I have the typical challenges that “get to me”, and next to each of those I wrote down the following things: 1) What lies am I believing? (I realized that much of my anger/frustration was being exasperated by the Enemy’s lies, which I was listening to.) 2) What is the TRUTH? (This is POWERFUL) 3) Scripture to encourage or empower me 4) Action plan (how I want to respond) 5) Remember (this part was a reminder of an encouraging phrase or quote that applies to the situation

    This past week, I neglected to meet with the Lord in the morning in prayer, and I neglected to pray at midday, and I neglected to start my morning by reviewing my battle plan. And I had a bad week that went to worse, all because I did not gather my manna daily. I’m starving, I’m not strengthened by His word, and I’m not prepared for Battle. Every day is a battle with the Enemy who prowls, and when I don’t prepare for that battle by reviewing the plan, I fall. Over and over again, I fall. And it hurts us all.

    I don’t comment much here, but I’ve been watching the videos every Sun/Wed and it is my favorite part of the week! God has used this book to change my life, and I am so thankful for that!

  24. 29

    Angie,
    I thank the Lord for your willingness to share your frustrations. It is so encouraging to know that I am not alone in my daily struggles. Even when my head knows that, my heart often secretly doubts it. So hearing the same circumstances I struggle with come from another godly mother is so encouraging. I homeschool my four children, whom I adore. But many a day, an hour, I am tempted to ‘run away’ attention-wise to escape from all that I am incapable of in all that the Lord has called me to do. I feel just like Ann, how am I supposed to walk this walk in this sin-stinking place?! And you know what? Really, all He is calling me to do is be fully here with Him. Just like Ann is exhorting us to do. We die to self when we give Him thanks. We are capable when we stop and focus on who He is and how He is here, willing and able. Giving thanks is a blessed way to die to self and move on to resurrected life. If I can find one thing to praise Him about in every circumstance, I am grounded. When finding myself grumpy or aggravated and in need of giving thanks, looking for the praise-worthy is the very best way to come back to His presence and peace. I need it desperately. I am called so many times, simultaneously, to respond and provide for at least four people, if not seven, at any one time. This can only be done in Christ. Please pray that when I have to go to the bathroom (bad), and the toddler has pooped all down his leg, and the 7 yr. old and 5 yr. old are fighting and the 4 yr old is jumping on the couch, and really we should be doing school, and I just have to go to the bathroom(!), that He would carry me through it all, moment by moment as I seek to find Him there. The enemy loves to distract and discourage, to overwhelm and destroy. But greater is He who is in me that he who is in the world. Please pray for focus, dedication, and inspiration. Jesus can raise these four wonderful seeds to bear fruit for Him, I know He can. I just pray I’ll blossom, too, when it’s all said and done, and most importantly, now, here. He is so good. The one sentence I came away from reading your book with was, “I want Him to be famous.” Yes, indeed. My heart echos your sentiment as I sit in peace and quiet. May it ring when I am in battle as well.

    Much love, and In Christ,
    Carmen

  25. 30

    Thank you Jen, Angie & Ann, again! This is so good!

    I went to my book after watching this video to see what I had sticky noted, to see what had grabbed me most out of the chapter ( this first reading anyway, I am on my second reading now ) and it was on page 132 at the top of the page where Hagar said, “You are the God who sees me.” And, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi which means, “well of the Living One who sees me.” Gen. 16: 13-14.
    This is so comforting to be reminded of as with Hagar, who thought it was the end for herself and her son, she had assurance that God sees her and her circumstances. Many women reading the book can draw strength from this truth from God’s Word in ‘whatever’ circumstances they find themselves encountering. Powerful and comforting is God’s Word and thank you Ann for writing about it.

    Angie, I see another book in the making in what you shared here today. This idea is ripe with possibilities. I really like the adding scripture to it idea!

    Again thanks Jen for sharing your insights today. Very good and all three of you are “Incouraging!”

    God Bless You!

  26. 31
    Patricia says:

    Ann, Jessica and Angie,
    What a great chapter ~ I’m finding that I am looking for the beauty in the ugly. The joy and blessed gifts that come from the hard stuff. I am changing, because of this book! I need to let you all know this. Sitting back, breathing, thinking in those moments and finding the joy. I’ve read through the book and am rereading as we go along here. I’m finding that every chapter is turning into my favourite.

    This has nothing to do with the chapter – but – I find I can’t keep my eyes off that necklace that Ann is wearing. If she can, I’d love to see it up close. Maybe in one of the webcasts she can hold up to the so we can all have a look. Maybe she can let us know where she got it. Just admiring it from afar.

  27. 32

    This is such a great chapter! And, what a brilliant idea to prepare for the daily challenges before they happen. You Jesus girls so challenge me to do/be my best.

    Nothing seems small. I mean.. when I see tons of laundry still waiting to be done from the day before, or cleaning up after my family (again) or putting another role of tp on the thingy (again!) or picking up the dirty kleenex on the floor that everybody has stepped over (again), it all seems big and yes, like it’s new to me. Crazy. I know this is ridiculous. I am not dealing with cancer or kids on drugs, the big stuff. But I choose to allow my small stuff to be a joy stealer. “Am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness?”

    I need prayer for time management, disorganization in my home (am reading Tsh’s book) , and health so I have the energy to ‘make’ my home..because I am a homemaker. I want to make my home a peaceful, God centered place regardless of what doesn’t get done on schedule or the imperfect people that live there called family.

    Thank you so much for your prayers and for sharing yourself and idea’s with us! :)

  28. 33

    Every chapter of this book has its “Boom!” moment for me, and this time it was, “All is well.” I’ve long loved the T.S. Eliot quote from Four Quartets, Little Gidding: “All shall be well, and All manner of thing shall be well.” From now on I will have the added grace picture of the well in the wilderness — the joy well that is always there, but we have to open our eyes to see it. So many gifts in this book. Thousands. :)

    For years (ever since my own wrestling and tearing of the hip) my story has been, “God is good, and everything He gives is a gift.” The Lord of stories opens many doors for me to share our family’s journey from brokenness to beauty, from self-pity to acceptance, from an earthly perspective to a heavenly one. But, as I’ve read this book, I’ve realized there’s been a note missing from my song. I’ve encouraged women to trust that God is working out His perfect plans in their lives. I’ve reminded them that the fire is necessary for refinement, the pruning shears promise fruit, and the pressure of the potter’s hand is kindness. I’ve assured them that suffering serves God’s good and loving purposes, and He only allows that which is for our very best, but I haven’t encouraged the obvious response. I haven’t seen eucharisteo hidden everywhere in plain sight. Until now.

    This weekend I spoke at a women’s retreat about finding God in all the ripples of life — especially the ones set in motion by suffering. I shared many of the stories I often do and the lessons God has taught us as we’ve leaned into Him, but this time I added the missing note. I also reminded them we have a choice. The bitter “Why?” or the “Thank you.”

    Over the course of the weekend I heard many stories from attendees (story begets story), but at the very end of the retreat when we were all about to go home, one woman approached me with tears in her eyes. “I’m not there,” she said. “I can’t get to ‘Thank you.’” She told me her daughter is carrying an unborn baby that has no skull. Doctors encouraged her to abort, but she chose to give her child as long a life as God desires him to have. He’s not expected to live more than a few hours after birth.

    I looked into this woman’s eyes and thought, who am I to tell her to thank God for this? But then a beautiful thing happened. Eucharisteo preceded the miracle. As I prayed in my heart for her, the next words that came out of my mouth were, “If you can’t thank God for this, what can you thank Him for?”

    She stood there in silence a moment. Then she said, “My daughter has never been this close to God before.” And in that instant, her countenance changed.

    When I asked two hundred women if they’d heard of One Thousand Gifts this weekend, only one raised her hand. That’s no longer the case. The ripples continue, Ann. In my life. In so many lives. And all the Glory belongs to God.

    All is well.
    Jeanne

    • 34
      Patricia says:

      Wow, Jeanne – that must have been such a gift to you to have that experience with this woman. Shivers and goosebumps all over. Glory be to God!

      Blessings

      • 35

        It was a precious and holy moment for me, Patricia. I received an email from her today, and God is definitely working in her heart. She said she’s still “not there,” but she knows she’ll get there. She told her husband, “If God is using this to refine us into silver, I think I’d rather just stay a piece of junk!” (Sense of humor is a good sign!) I hope anyone who reads this comment will pray for her. Her name is Debbie, and her daughter is Holly.

        Another interesting twist. Debbie spoke to her other daughter and found out that she and her husband both had my husband as a professor back in the 90s, and he had an impact on their lives then. Small world filled with God-orchestrated connections! How lovely when the veil brushes back a bit and He lets us see.

        • 36

          Praying for them both and thanking Him for His precious servant..you.

        • 38
          Robin Troxell says:

          Jeanne if you are still in communication with her by email I would recommend the site perinatalhospice.org for their family – it is all about parenting an unborn baby knowing their prognosis after birth is guarded or lethal (like anencephaly). I would also highly recommend Angie’s book, and another called Waiting with Gabriel (you can find that book’s info on the perinatalhospice site).

  29. 40

    Thank you Ann, Jessica, and Angie for studying this book. Thanks Ann for your openness in sharing the very real things in your life. It’s so much easier to identify with what you are teaching when I also see you struggle with the day-to-day things that many of us face. I love watching the videos so much that I can’ read the book without hearing your voices and laughter. God is blessing this work that you are doing.

    What I find most profound in this chapter is “Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love?” Why do we let satan take the away the joy? I’m going to push back against him on this one. I’m learning a different perspective on giving thanks. Eucharisteo.
    God bless you all.

  30. 41

    If you have air in your lungs, you have sin in your heart. Yet, I think that I think way too shallow about the sin in my own heart when I bump up against the sin in those I love and do life with. Chapter 7 was such a redemptive piece, a redemptive piece of toast all about Romans 7! For me, this week it was quesadilla and I was the “sinner at dinner”—my sin spewed out of my empty mouth like water bursting out of a fire hydrant and I couldn’t get the words back, Prov 17:14. Can’t get this sin out of my flesh either—like getting chlorine out of water. Grace ever-transcends. What He did for you and for me on the Cross is my hope for my sin. Covered. Your toasted words invite me to repentance and worship. There are not many books that lead me this way. Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s liminal quote about being a blasphemer touches deep places in me. Your quotes meant much: Do I “believe in the power of the pit?” “Does my anger achieve more than my Love?” What is most alive in me? Is it Col 1:29, the Energy of Christ to Love or my own energy to do life well? What corruption is beneath my sin compulsions? I want understanding—but do I want it more than Release of the Spirit of God through me and Trust even in the midst of veiled understanding of hard things. Loved your “take” on God opening Hagar’s eyes, Gen 21:19, and the LORD was on the boy’s side and yet HE left them in the desert. Never allows any more suffering except for our good, Jer 24:6. This book club disrupts, delights, draws, and disturbs. I will save this dog-eared chapter because of its call on me to repent and deal with what stirs in my own heart as I move to love. You called out of your boy-man the young man-boy God intends for Him to be. No formulas. Eucharisteo. Full Moons and even Flying Toast: “Everything Leads Me to God,” another quote by Jean-Pierre de Caussade.

  31. 42

    I like what Ann says on p.136….”Feel thanks and its absolutely impossible to feel angry. We can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose………which emotion do we want to feel?” Amen to this truth. I too homeschooled children and spent more time feeling frustrated/angry over joyful or thankful. The discipline of eucharisteo truly is in the writing down of the gifts that God gives us each day. Now I get to practise this on my husband the most. Choosing to thank God for a husband who loves Him as much as I do. Choosing to thank God for a husband who helps me with cooking and cleaning when he’s tired from his day of work! It takes work to yell and feel angry……….I know one Mom who chose to spill her milk when one of her kids did………then they all laughed and cleaned it up together. Choosing to feel angry wastes our time and it does make us feel powerful……like Satan……and yes, then we become blasphemers. If I could go back and do it over with my children, I would work on making a point to laugh daily and then some of the annoying things wouldn’t have seemed so bad. I like how Ann humbled herself and allowed the Holy Spirit to empower her so she could gently talk with her son and ask him where he was finding happiness. Pray for me that I will feel thanks over feeling frustrated.

  32. 43
    angie smith says:

    thank you for all of these comments!!!! i have loved reading them and have been so inspired tonight by all of your words…thank you for being a part of this community, and know that you are heard and appreciated…

    with love,
    angie

    • 44

      Angie…I love what you said about being intentional with how you will react to different situations. I posted farther down this list of comments about how I feel like I’m failing. Failing hard. Losing my cool. Feeling consumed about the kids’ constant complaints. This chapter, Ann’s story, your list. Thank you. All of you for all of this.

  33. 45
    all shall be well says:

    Seed: “In the domesic cloud of dust and family, I too can forget the One Who sees me, but in eucharisteo, i remember. I cup hands and all the world is water. ” – “There is always a well-All is well.”

    Water: I love this part, and it goes right along with what Angie was talking about, I so often default to my natural tendencies, worry, guilt, shame, fear……….. but to live in the moment and remember eucahristeo, and think about it before the day begins will be huge help to me.

    Bloom: That my vision would be clear, so I can “see through the glass” , see what is really going on………………

    The way I veer away from gratitude is either comparing things and myself, either to others, or to what I want life to look like (nice and tidy and beautiful and calm and safe, etc.), And the other is regret, fear, feelings of failure, especially in relationships. I was just reading a book by Ruth Graham Bell, talking about prodigals, and she said it helped her to realize that she could do the possible, but it was God Who does the impossible, and that is so true, and “Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle. ”

    Thank you!
    karen :)

  34. 46
    Bethany says:

    Does anger achieve more than love?

    This is what I’ve been asking myself ever since I read it. What am I accomplishing if I get mad? Glorifying Satan? Pretty powerful stuff.

    I continue to seek God in every moment, big or small, and remember that All is well, because ALL is Grace!

  35. 47
    Sallie Howell says:

    Angie, the list you make to be proactive about some of the joy-stealers. This was just what I needed. As I read your writing, I realized that our blow up here this morning was just that something that happens often and yet I’m shocked. It also resonates with what Ann says on page 124- “A parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child-teach.” God has been working with me on Scripture memory and applying it to situations that might distract me. So why shouldn’t I proactively look at home (my job) and see those things that drive me wild, then have Scriptures to bring me to Eucharisteo. Thank you ladies… You lead me to thinking, praying, growing and eucharisteo -the miracle!

  36. 48
    Patricia says:

    Oh, ladies, this chapter spoke right to my heart! And then to watch the video…wow. This is where I struggle the most, especially with such a strong willed 6 yr. old daughter. My favorite lines that I have committed to memory are: “A parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child teach”…YES!!! And I must discipline myself to do this every day. But YOU ladies, and the book and these comments are helping me do just that!

    Also, “The only way to fight a feeling is with a feeling”…brilliant! I actually put this one into practice yesterday as we walked to church & our daughter was in an extremely crabby mood. I asked her if she could think of just 1 thing that she was happy about or felt thankful for…she thought about it & a smile spread wide on her face & shouted “swimming!”. That led to a very happy conversation about her swimming lessons & how much she could do now. YES!!!

    “What are small ways you are challenged to veer away from gratitude?” Angie I just love your practical advice on this one. I have been there so many times and am shocked every time…so, my homework? To become more proactive on this front. I know what buttons of mine are pushed, so if I can come up with small coping strategies coupled with thanksgiving, I do believe it will help greatly. THANK YOU ALL for this…it is surely changing my attitude, my perspective & my life!!

    Patricia/nyc

  37. 49
    Ellen S. says:

    Angie,
    What a great idea to come up with responses for those frustrating moments that constantly repeat themselves. I’m definitely going to try that again today. Oh, and I too am relieved to know that Ann has “toast” moments too. Wishoo.

  38. 50

    seed (truth): “All of this globe is but glass to God. And eucharisteo washes the glass.” (pg. 128)
    water (nurture): Look harder, record more. Keep my eyes on God and don’t throw stones.
    grow (fruit): A quieter heart the reacts to its heavenly upbringing instead of its earthly one.

    More here:
    http://www.onedaycloserblog.com/2011/02/one-thousand-gifts-chapter-7.html

  39. 51

    Sometimes it’s just about getting thru…finding joy in the journey…
    We are hangin’ in there. Aren’t we all?
    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight

  40. 52

    I have wrestled with the fact that I am not content where God has placed me right now. I’m almost 2 years out of college and still do not have a job that would utilize my skills. I feel stuck in the blue collar workforce and often get angry at God.

    The example of Hagar really resonated with me. She couldn’t see the well until God opened her eyes. I want my eyes to be open to the wonderful things God has placed in my life, rather than focusing on the ones He hasn’t.

  41. 53

    Trevor and Matt were probably 10 and 8, and they were messing around and horse-playing like boys tend to do. We’ve always ignored the advice of others to allow their horse-playing to escalate to fighting, letting them “duke it out” and settle their differences, like they would be better for the altercation. So this time, when things did escalate to a shove and a hit, I came onto the scene with shock visible on my face.

    “What are you doing?” I looked from one to the other, both heaving big, angry breaths.

    They explained that things had just heated up from their horse-playing and they got angry.

    “Angry enough to really hurt one another?” I couldn’t keep my voice from shaking. Their faces mirrored my sadness as they realized how deeply their fighting had affected me. I swallowed hard and looked at one boy. “You shoved my son. Why?” He dropped his head. My gaze shifted to the other boy. “You hit my son. How could you do that?” Eyes pooled and lip quivered.

    “Sorry, Mama.” They both muttered together. I explained that it was God they needed to apologize to, and then one another, but that I appreciated their contrition and hoped that would never happen again because that isn’t the way we solve our issues or process angry feelings. There was discipline to follow, but now ten years later they still say it was the look of horror and sadness on my face that shook their hearts and made them never want to hurt one another again.

    The truth is, we have had a relatively easy time of it with regard to our children’s behavior overall through the years. With the exception of our firstborn (who has turned out to be a fine young man who loves and serves God, just for the record), there hasn’t been much in the way of rebellious or defiant behavior. But then such behavior is but a small part of the central point of this chapter.

    http://momentsfullyalive.blogspot.com/2011/02/ch-7.html

    Love to all,
    Lisa @Write, Pray, Love

  42. 54

    I too have thoroughly loved this chapter – lots of “underlines”! I can’t thank you ladies enough for stepping out in obedience as the Lord has asked you to write and speak. It has truly blessed me, and I’ve also enjoyed reading how the Lord is multiplying those blessings. I appreciate the challenge in thinking about those daily activities that I know bring out the ugliness in me. We prepare for so many other things, why not these small, yet important moments. I’ve found that in speaking gratitude in the mundane tasks, my heart is free to rejoice instead of harboring bitterness. With my children, I seem to catch the edge in my voice when things don’t quite go my pre-planned way. Yet, it’s been in these moments, that God’s plan shines an outcome so much brighter than the one I originally planned. My area to “bloom” will be to practice the art of speaking Eucharisteo out-loud, not only for me but for my children, and anyone else God ordains. What a powerful message, what a beautiful perspective – when we bring our struggles into His light, we no longer walk in the darkness with them alone. Thanks again ladies!

  43. 55

    The Lord has been teaching me and peeling back layers of my soul with each chapter. I’ve had to look back over my life and ask, “what have I not given thanks for?” Many years ago, I discovered my husband had an issue with internet porn. Even through the years, I have found signs that have shown me that it is still an issue. Although I thought I have forgiven and moved on, I am still walking wounded. I still subconsciously hold the person responsible for the hurt. Although I love and have moved on, there’s a part of me that died inside. One thing I have not been able to do is to recognize, that this too was from the loving hand of my Father, not necessarily just from my husband. I have held him responsible and have held on to the hurt and anger and resentment, though it’s been so deep that I didn’t even know it still existed. I’m grateful to the Lord for showing this to me though I don’t know what to do with it yet. I don’t know how to heal. But to hear Ann saying back at the beginning of the book that maybe through giving thanks she could experience healing…that spoke to me. I pray my heart follows my list. I pray I can release my husband of the wounds and dare to truly trust again despite whether they are worthy of my trust. It seems so beyond me. I know that it is not humanly possible for me, but I know that all things are possible through Christ. Part of me feels that I’m too damaged, too “dead” in deep areas to ever hope for healing this side of heaven. I gave up this hope 11 years ago. To dare to hope again has also resurrected some of the hurt all over again. Can I hold it all in my hands, in all its ugliness, in all the damage it did, in how it destroyed my trust, in how it continues to haunt me, in how it continues to be an unresolved issue, and see it for what it is and thank God for it and release him from my hurt? Although things seem good and that this is all in the past, how can I ever know if it really is? I don’t want to falsely accuse, but I’ve been so devastated when I thought things were over and they weren’t. I do want to move one but I’m stuck. Can I be thankful anyways? Till now I have not thought it possible and honestly have tried not to think of it at all, but the Lord has revealed it to me and I know He is working in it somehow. I pray that God continue to gently shepherd this fearful, wounded sheep and that I can someday leap the heights with Him and experience true Eucharisteo, and true healing for my marriage. Thanks for these videos and the book. I know the Lord is using them in mighty ways in my life.

    • 56

      I pray for you today….as I pray for a friend who only just found out. She is devastated and clinging moment by moment to the cross.

    • 57
      Patricia says:

      ~ Praying for you Anita ~ Praying for you to hold close to the truth to trust in Him to carry the burden for you.

      Blessings

  44. 58

    (Anita-I am praying for you in this. May you find peace and joy in God alone)

    I’m hosting a book club of a few close friends & tomorrow we meet. I am giving each a copy of the book and I covet your prayers for three in particular: one lost husband to cancer less than a year ago; one is divorced from husband for reasons I cannot tell other than that she is humiliated by his life-choices; one grieves the recent suicide of her 21 year old son. Another I’m hoping to give the book to was just told that her husband has from 3 days to 3 months to live ( after a 4-year batte with various things). Pray for hope of joy amidst the suffering for all these faith-filled dear friends of mine… I think this book’s message is going to be hard but grace-full for each of their wounded hearts. Please pray?

  45. 59

    I can’t wait to see Ann on Good Morning America…explaining this! I see it coming!!! And you heard it here first on: “incourage.me”

    That will be the day we will all cry tears of profound joy!

  46. 60

    Angie,

    I LOVED the way you practically explained the process you have gone through. I passed it along to a dear friend who is daily dealing with recurring issues that cause much anger to burst forth. Putting things in black and white instead of just carrying them around in our head, brings clarity. THANKS!

  47. 61

    Wow this is JUST what I needed to read today….what a wonderful idea to write it all out…then we can’t be surprised. This morning I am pretty sure that I told my 7yr old Gabriel again that I was so frustrated that he wasn’t listening to me….

    As I think back on it I know that when I say those things it squashes his joy….do I want to do that to my child?! His teacher told me that she LOVEs having him in her class because everything they do he finds joy in. When she gives him a sticker for getting 100% on his spelling test – he thanks her…even when she says he earned it…he feels HE is getting the gift.

    The things that I have to learn from my children right?! Is my life reflecting the fruits of the Spirit….peace, kindness, gentleness, PATIENCE and self control? Um no….

    Wow I feel convicted today…but also encouraged that I am not alone and there IS an alternative way to live…fully in Christ and grateful for ALL things.

    Thanks Ann for the book and Angie for sharing a practical way that you are putting this into practice in your daily life!!

    Blessings, Kristin

  48. 62
    Charity says:

    Thank you Ann, Jessica and Angie,
    The ten minutes with you while kids are napping is enough to alter the rest of my day…such powerful lessons threaded through every chapter so far! Seeing how Ann pounds out the daily discipline of “eucharisteo” through the incident with the toast is so REAL- so right here in my world as well and I’m so grateful for the practicality and holiness all mixed together.
    The moments of anger, frustration, feeling overwhelmed and the sigh of feeling like a failure are too common for me in learning to be a Mom. Seeing how Ann chooses to practice – GIVING THANKS- even when food is flying (which happens often in my house with an 8 month old:) helped me oh so much. I am going to try to BLOOM joy in these moments that come my way and thank God for the precious souls He has entrusted to me.
    Learning Grace,
    Charity

  49. 63

    Caring for my 96 (almost 97) year old Mama as she lives out her days in a nearby nursing home tests my patience sometimes. I love her no less. It is not Mama that I lose the patience over, but it is the disease of dementia that shortens my fuse. Dementia takes my parent away from me gradually and in harsh, ever-changing ways. Some days, Mama is clear-minded and in a sweet spot. Other days, she is confused, or angry, or short-tempered. She is not upset with me, but upset with her condition, her world. I cannot care for her at home as my health, my back, won’t allow it. I cannot lift her. Mama wears diapers now. Mama sleeps alot; she is vibrantly alert; she is A.D.H.D. I never know who I am going to find when I arrive to see her.
    When I leave her, I often have tears. She is leaving me, but she doesn’t know it. Sometimes, I am so ready, although I will miss her terribly when God takes her home.
    Gratitude for these things is hard some days. Other times, I can find the smallest piece of her life, our relationship, her words, and am able to offer up Eucharisteo. I am thankful for those times.
    Help me, LORD Jesus, to find them, to look for them, more often. Amen.

  50. 64

    I am praying for you, Linda. May God grant you peace and patience during this difficult time. Praying that you continue to find gratitude in your moments left with your mama and strength for those trying, hard times as well.

    I lost my grandma who also suffered from dementia this past autumn. I always thought that I would be so relieved when she finally made it to her real home in heaven but find myself missing strange things like the way she folded her wrinkled weathered hands in her lap and fidgeted with them when we would talk.

    I can’t imagine the hardship you must be facing watching your mama dwindle away but if I can encourage you to hold on to each moment you have with her. Sending up prayers this very minute for you! May God Bless you Sister in Christ!!

    Emily

  51. 65

    Angie,

    You made me smile! I have an issue with one of my daughters complaining about what plate she gets. It has become this big thing and I get frustrated. I am happy to know I am not alone and I like how you are handling it! Thanks for sharing!!!

  52. 66

    On my list today I include my fellow book clubbers because with only my fancy schmancy smartphone I cannot watch the vimeo recordings so your comments give me the extra ponderings that would I miss out on until I get back onto a computer. Thanks Ann, you are changing the world one heart at a time, many blessings on you and yours!

    DV – NMV

  53. 67

    This chapter brought so much to the surface for me. Again, Ann is writing a chapter in the book of my life. I am Jacob wrestling God for The Blessing. I am not there yet. Just this week my children, enough said. Then, I was watching a video of a christian man who was thankful for cancer. I screamed NO. How can he be? I lost my dad and my mother in law tragically to cancer. I am not there. I am still practicing. Pray for me. Eucharisteo.

  54. 68

    I loved this chapter. And, while I know that the love between a mother and son and all the dynamics that go along with it was secondary to the main point of this chapter…I appreciated it. It resonated so with my own situation…as I parent my sons, one almost a man at 17 and his brother, almost 10. The wrestling…that we all do….so evident in their raw responses. This was such a great reminder to me…stop, look… look for God in the faces around me. Give thanks.That is so perfect. And, exactly what is needed.

  55. 69
    Teresa C. says:

    I love this!!! This could be my house, except for the calm reaction part. ; ) I’m still “practicing” with my list. I’m not living the grace or joy part yet in connection with the risk….must need to keep practicing.

    Seed: God is in all things, even the sin-stinking parts.

    Water: Keep practicing seeing the beauty and making the list. Remember to self-preach first!!!

    Grow: Know that it takes time to grow and give myself permission to grow on my own time frame.

    Grow:

  56. 70

    SEED: Making choices to choose gratitude in the midst of the frustrations , stresses of life
    WATER : Thirsting for The Water , drinking from The Well with eyes wide open
    GROW : A Fountain of Living Water that is bubbling over with Joy… With Glory, Glory, Glory

  57. 71
    Kristen says:

    This was a great chapter. I’ve been given permission to give thanks even for the “ugly” and “normal” things in life. So often I stop to think “ok, what can I give thanks for in this moment” I look around and see something normal or ugly and think “Oh, I can’t write that down”, but yes, I can. I need too. Those “things” are going to draw me closer to the one I desperately want to walk close with. Thanks Ann, Angie and Jess for being normal in front of us.

  58. 72

    Angie, writing down those joy-stealers and your BETTER response is genius! You’re right, the problem is that we feel like every single affront to us is something new. Every time my kids disobey I’m shocked for some reason! Ha!

    I read this chapter like a starving person. I so need to hear and see and understand how to look for God in parenting, to self-parent and to lead my kids away from the skin of sin I live in. Two parts stuck out to me: in the beginning of the toast scenario Ann asks “How do I fix this?” and Jesus responds, “What do you want?” And she says, “I want to see-see You in these faces.” Oh, that’s what I want! To see Jesus in their faces.

    Then after she says her first audible eucharisteo she describes it as speaking “the unseen into seeing”. It’s the things we WANT to see in the situation (like Angie’s list) and making them REAL. And isn’t that, “the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” (Romans 4:17) What a beautiful word picture of God using our audible thanksgiving to bring the MIRACLES we need in our lives.

    LOVED this chapter! Thank you, ladies!

  59. 73

    Similarly to you, Angie, I literally sighed when I read the beginning of this chapter. I can relate so much to choosing anger in a situation, smothering my own joy.

    Angie, thank you for sharing what you are practically doing with your lists of perpetual events that trigger your veering away from ingratitude! That was so helpful! In this season, with my second pregnancy going by so quickly, I can easily become stressed out and panicked day after day over to-do lists, and I tend to be an unhappy task driver. :) That is the biggest, overarching scenario in my life that is veering me away from ingratitude.

    As I wake up tomorrow morning though, I want to try a list like yours Angie. Bless you all!

  60. 74

    I am behind in my chapters….but still faithfully moving along… I read this chapter last night and then tonight got to live it out with my kids.

    Oh how good God is….givng the gifts even in the unrecognized moments.

    http://sandeefamily.blogspot.com/2011/03/finding-gift-in-this.html

  61. 75

    I’m behind, catching up on the chapters so I hope you’ll still read and still pray.

    First, I just want to say that it’s so refreshing to know that Ann and I are quite alike. Makes me want to pray more for her. To see the beauty blossom out of the ugly in us is so amazing!

    Angie, I laughed out loud at your EUCHARISTEO PRECEDES THE MIRACLE! So ME!

    I suppose the daily struggles really aren’t that different. Maybe the scenarios look different. Different homes, children, etc. But it’s really not that different, is it? I love, Angie, the list you shared. Such a deliberate way to counter in advance, to prepare the heart for Eucharisteo in advance in those daily struggles.

    Please pray for me. My struggles, the ones that may look like yours—are so very real to me. But for now, aside from the daily frustrations, there is an overwhelming situation with loved one. Addiction, possibility of return to prison walls. God has worked and there’s been a breaking free even while behind those bars. But there’s still struggle and it is hard. So hard. Hard to watch the children hurting, hard to watch the loved one struggle. Hard to make the decisions that I must make that will determine her very near future, that possible return to prison. Please pray.

    • 76

      Rena, I’m late with the chapters too. I”m feeling the failing and weight of all we are responsible for in raising these souls. I’m praying. My family (my siblings and mother) has been through a lot. My brother is just 6 months out of jail. It hurt us all so to have him there to let go of what we could not change. God had him in there. He’s a new person today. Seeing him sit at my table for a birthday party for my son was just an amazing answer to prayer. God had him even when we couldn’t see it. Anyway….just sharing and praying for you.

  62. 77

    I’m praying for you, Rena. I am behind, too and I am so glad I read your post. My family has been where you are, so I relate to your struggle. Thank you for posting.

  63. 78

    I’m a few chapters behind the book club. This chapter really spoke to because I feel like I’m so struggling with my children and their complaining. It feels like that sucker punch Angie describes. New every time. They complain about everything. Everything. And it feels soo defeating to hear the constant dissatisfaction in their words. I kinda lost it on Thursday. With teary eyes I pleaded with my 8 year old to just be grateful for one thing, any thing. I told my 6 year old I wasn’t making lunch because he was just going to complain about what I had to offer. I want to be a better example but I so often fail and resort to complaining about their complaining. I feel desperate. I feel like I’m losing everyday. How can I do this better?

  64. 79

    I want to learn how to see God’s face in everything in life.

    The first situation that comes to mind is getting everyone ready to go! The three older kids are capable of getting done by themselves, but rarely do they do this without direct supervision, but I can’t be in 3 places at once!! And time after time we are late because I have to corral them over and over.

    http://purplemoose.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/1000g-chapter-7

  65. 80

    I am behind, but was so desperate tonight..seeking some hope in my hopeless feelings. one child with adhd that no meds are helping with out side effects she can’t handle, another so antagonist to all around her, two others thrown into the fray and a momma overwhelmed…. I feel hopeless and lost. someone I trust…told me that God no longer divinely intervenes…hardly ever…that consequences are ruling are present age….I don’t know if that is true, but it took all hope of prayer away at a time when I needed to believe in something desperately.

    so I picked back up my 1000 gifts, after weeks away…and after reading the toast chapter, came to hear the video. We all have overwhelming, incredibly frustrating struggles, don’t we. And I have been choosing the way of anger. I am hoping praying I can choose the way of thanks… I desperately need a miracle.

  66. 81

    I am so glad I found this discussion! I thank you Jessica and Angie for doing this video book club. It is such a good idea! And thank you for leaving them here for us to discover them later. I loved the book 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It is such a joy to listen to her comments about the book, and about what she was going through in certain scenes. Amazing! Thank you Ann for agreeing to do these video discussions. I know it took precious time away from your family. I am so blown away by the discussions you all are having. I don’t know anyone personally who has read this book, so hearing and reading the discussions makes me feel that I am at the book club, and getting to know you as Christian friends, and it so expands my awareness of the expansiveness of the Body of Christ. Thank you God for these women willing to share their thoughts and feelings with all of us.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] favorite chapter thus far has been number 7.  In fact, I jumped over to the bloom site, at (in)courage, and I watched a video of Ann and two other ladies having a short discussion. [...]

  2. [...] liked what Angie said about making a list of the common frustrations.  I, too, find that the common and normal and [...]

  3. [...] And these kids we’re raising, they keep falling, a lot like their mother.  Parenting’s this way of bending over in humility to help the scraped child up because we know it takes a lifetime to learn how to walk with Him. [...]

  4. [...] And these kids we’re raising, they keep falling, a lot like their mother.  Parenting’s this way of bending over in humility to help the scraped child up because we know it takes a lifetime to learn how to walk with Him. [...]

  5. […] 506. Early morning fog filling and defining the valleys507. an early rising son who still wants to climb into my lap and snuggle508. brown giving way to green509. brilliant blue peeking out of cracks in clouds of gray510. Ps. 31:24511. texted messages filled with biblical encouragement512. Noah Webster’s Christian Character513. Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary514. gray low lying clouds fleeing, leaving behind bright blue open skies515. thin, dark orange ribbon, flanked by the darkness of horizon and low clouds516. a home with clear views of each sunrise517. that His mercies are new every morning518. pancit delivered to my doorstep519. sunlight making the mercury climb above 60〫F520. an anticipated trip521. thick fog522. sugar cookies523. a gift counting daughter524. Is. 58:12525. Confidence in knowing God’s will526. Burdens lifted, stress relieved527. Ps. 139:17528. a humble, gracious, loving husband and pastor529. special friends willing to strive with me in prayer530. God answers prayer531. His grace and mercy are beyond measure532. the sound of migrating Canadian geese over head533. open lines of communication534. focus and clear vision535. clear vision, he can finally see536. clear vision, he can finally see             yes, i meant to type that twice537. Son snuggled up warm and safe538. health539. One Thousand Gifts, Chapter 7 […]