Jessica Turner
About the Author

Jessica Turner is the author of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, and blogs on The Mom Creative. Every day is a juggling act as she balances working full-time, making memories with her family, photographing the every day and trying to be...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. I wondered this morning if a person who has a tendency towards the negative…the dark…seeing (most of) life’s moments as stress, would be more thankful for seeing all things as grace and giving thanks … I’m not certain but one thing I know for sure…weighing down my moments by giving thanks is changing the essence of my life.

    I’m so enjoying the videos…thank you.
    All Things Heart and Home

  2. Seed: Life is not an emergency–stress is a liar
    Water: Open eyes in the ‘negative’ moments and feelings–when the fires of frustration kindle–stop and recognize the gifts–the TRUTH of his grace and presence in that moment
    Grow: patience and peace–and deeper God-love for my children and the work he’s given me to do

  3. The irony of our busy, rush, worry, hurry is that we often miss life. The discipline of writing down my gratitude is something I need to take time to do. I find that it does slow me down …and there is more life and richness when I slow down. I am also finding that when I pause to give Him praise – I also pause to pray and to commune in His Word. This slowing down is a discipline – and when life swells and gets crazy – I remind myself that I am welcome back at the table of Eucharisteo.

  4. “life so full it can seem empty . . . ” Ouch.
    How true that statement is! Because my life, too, is so full of “emergency”–the bonked head needing a kiss, the beeping dryer with clothes ready for drawers, the pot boiling over, the mess on the counters, the phone ringing. I am beginning to believe that we’ve focused on the wrong issue–check the magazine rack at your local store, or maybe even your own bookshelf–and what are they full of? Advice on how to organize, declutter, simplify . . . all good things and surely a help in the struggle . . . But I sometimes have this false belief that if I were only to find the holy grail of organization, all would be peachy and I could rest in the Lord and life would be grand. So not true! Ann has captured it here in listening to the Lord (through a soap bubble *giggle*–grace!) We can’t make those things go away. We don’t even really want to! Getting more organized and less cluttered and simpler won’t even do it, because the problem is perhaps within–“could it be that we are in fact fleeing–desperate to escape pain that pursues?” Yes.

    And pain over what? I think pain over the fear we’ve eaten . . . the lie we’ve been told from the beginning: the belief that God doesn’t really love us, isn’t really good, doesn’t really care. And so the core of each of our beings cries, yearns, strives.

    Thanksgiving slows down time because we start to see the truth–HE LOVES ME! HE LOVES ME! HE LOVES ME! In every soap bubble, every robin’s egg, every harvest moon, He trumpets love and we can rest and stop running from time.

    Thank you again, friend Ann (and of course the incourage girls!) for helping us all see.

    Seed: Life is not an emergency . . . life is a gift. Time is life.

    Water: The list, growing pages at a time!

    Bloom: More hours in my day <3

  5. I love, love, love the idea of this book. Plus what a way to write it Ann – thank you. I love this idea of counting thanks so much I wrote this last night (after a tough old day!)

    Heaven’s Stepping Stones

    How do I find Heaven on this bruised earth?
    This yelling, crying, fighting brawl of a place,
    This place that I call home, for now at any rate.
    Where there is silence in place of comfort,
    And words in place of worship.

    Where love is bought and sold in magazines,
    And bitterness is served up cold with daily bread,
    Where lies are truth and truth lies old in no mans land,
    How do I find Heaven here?

    How do I keep my eyes from seeing,
    My heart from ceasing,
    My soul from dying,
    How do I keep the dove from flying,
    How do I find Heaven here?

    Let me count the ways,
    Let me count out Heaven in my days,
    From here to there, I’ll step on thankfulness,
    Count out Heaven’s stepping stones,
    One step, one breath, one thank you at a time.

    A kiss at the door, a prayer before sleep,
    The hand of a friend, unexpected grace,
    Flowers creeping from their winter beds,
    Coffee cups and spiced tea,
    A made up joke told just to me.

    Love that is courage and fierce discipline,
    Forgiving and forgetting,
    Books that tell of time travel,
    My name, your name, His name stay,
    I’ll count out Heaven in my days.

    Count until light unseen, unwanted
    This light appears,
    Streams through my fighting, biting land,
    Beauty for ashes,
    Hope for despair,
    I’ll count ‘til Heaven’s here not there.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful bubble Jessica xx

      • Claire,
        Your poem truly touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. What an ENCOURAGING way to look at each ‘thanks’- as a stepping stone to heaven. Whew! You have truly blessed me today through your willingness to share.

  6. Today I accompanied a friend to hospital, she struggling with nerves and feeling frustrated at the loud voices of others waiting. We talked to lady with loudest voice… and learned … hubby sick with cancer, she all alone having cataract surgery…. no wonder she was scared… Praise God for opportunity for giving a sympathetic ear… for lesson learned – don’t judge harshly… and for time to stop… time to listen… time to learn…. time to support my friend… Thank you Lord for your gift of time…

    Thank you Ann too for highlighting this precious gift…

  7. So, so good. What I kept thinking, as I watched the video, is that we see time as so relentlessly linear, like our to-do lists. But to the I AM, time has great depth, and as we sink into Him and this grateful moment, we feel not so much the length but the depth of time.

    My challenge for this week is that when I catch myself looking at the clock, measuring the (too short?) length of time, that i would pause and remember the depth of time, as see what God has already filled it with.

  8. In every season of our lives this truth applies. I am in the season of empty nest, grandchildren, aging, ailing parents, health problems for husband….and life rushes by when I thought this would be the season of slowing down. The days fill and I sometimes feel as though I am running to keep up with myself.
    Thank you dear Ann. There are so many moments in these days that I want to hold in my heart. And oh how I want to know His presence in those moments.

  9. hi all,

    by now i am—as they say in England—well stuck into “A Thousand Gifts”, and it’s *awesome*. i currently have in my inbox 100 + applications from prospective graduate students i need to sort, and a mountain of 677 (!) applications for a teaching position in my department that i and the other members of the hiring committee need to chip away at. But all i want to do is read, and meditate on, and LIVE “A Thousand Gifts”. probably the best way for me to live it is to put the book down, and fold eucharisteo into the job of looking at the applications—or better, to fold the whole job of looking at the applications into an ongoing, lifelong, eucharisteo. but before trying to tackle that, here’s one of the many, many things the book’s got me thinking about, which i’ll share, even tho’ it doesn’t especially link to chapter 4, just in case someone else in the book club might find it helpful.

    the central theme of “A Thousand Gifts” (at least, so far as i’ve read up to) is about the centrality of thankfulness. i think that’s right in so many ways, and here’s one: thankfulness enables our attempts to repent to bear fruit. ideally, i guess, when we repent of a particular (kind of) sin, the story should unfold this way: (i) we gain a clear-eyed vision of that (kind of) sin as a sin; (ii) as a natural result of this new vision, we committ to doing everything we can to get that sin out of our lives and our selves; (iii) with God’s grace, we succeed; and (iv) the space in our lives or in our selves that that sin was taking up is replaced by God. So we have a turning away from blindness towards vision, and a turning away from sin towards God. If we don’t have the complete “double turning”, repentance does not bear the fruit it’s meant to. If, say, we stop at the point where blindness gives way to vision, without changing what we do, we get only the limited good of increased self-knowledge. If we do get our will as well as our mind involved, and, with God’s help, get the sin out of our lives, that won’t in the long run be much good unless God fills the space in us that that sin had been taking up.

    i’m not good at repentance. too often, in my attempts to repent, i not only see, but fixate on my sin—(pointlessly) going back to it with my mind the way someone with a cavity goes back to an aching tooth with his tongue. too often, i get wrapped up in trying to rid myself of the sin through sheer strength of will, so that my repentance is all about *me* trying to get rid of *my* sin in *my own* strength. But after reading (the better part of) “A Thousand Gifts”, i’m struck by thought that if i can just learn to repent against a background of real gratitude, all this can change. if i am always genuinely and fervently grateful to Someone who went to amazing lengths to help me overcome my sin and my estrangement from Him, i won’t fixate on the sin i want to be rid of, and i won’t lose sight of the fact that, ultimately, repentance is not so much about losing sins as it is about gaining God. I won’t lose sight of the fact that it’s all about atonement—“at-one-ment”, being at one with God (which I’m told is what the word “atonement” actually comes from).

    so, just as eucharisteo precedes the miracle, it precedes atonement (complete, fruit-bearing repentance). And if there is something miraculous about the fact that, despite sin, we prodigals can get back to at-one-ment with God, then atonement is surely one of the most wonderful miracles eucharisteo precedes.

    Like I said, an awesome book that gives all of us lucky enough to read it so much to think about…if only the applications awaiting me were one thousandth as riveting!

  10. Seed: To be present, really present in the moment
    Water: To actually look in finding my eucharistio
    Growth: I began my list of One Thousand Gifts

  11. I love God’s timing. I have been studying Galatians for over a year now. It started with the book Forgotten God through which God was opening my eyes to what living/walking in step with the Spirit should look like in my life. God led me to Galatians 5 (which really lays out what walking in the Spirit really looks like. So I decided to dig into the whole book to get the context and go deeper with what God led me to. I did this with a couple of girls that I meet with weekly in an accountability group. The week we finished, my life group voted to have Galatians be our next study, so I started the book again. Then after our Life Group finished up, my women’s bible study decided to do the Beth Moore study on the Fruit of the Spirit (which I’m still in the middle of). Do you think God is trying to teach me something? So all that to say, as I was listening to you talk on the video, where you talk about how giving thanks affects stress and how you handle a situation, I was thinking – giving thanks was causing her to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit – specifically, self-control & gentleness. I considered what you describe as your natural reaction, because that is my natural reaction too. Probably most moms and dads can say the same. This natural reaction is also described in Galatians 5 in the acts of the flesh list (fits of rage?). Here is one more thing to add to my gratitude list – the way God gently leads me and teaches me.
    Ok – so NOW I will go re-read the chapter 🙂

    • Love what you wrote here … “giving thanks was causing her to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit “. I think that is a good description of what happens when giving thanks. Good thoughts … thanks!

  12. Heavens, y’all are stinkin’ cute in these videos!

    So many gems in this chapter, but I most latched onto this idea of slowing time down by giving thanks. I don’t want to be perennially looking over my shoulder behind or down the road ahead to what I’ve missed or what’s coming. I want to live the now, and I best do this through gratitude. Thank you, Ann, for showing me how!

    Man, I love this.

  13. Thank you SO much for the opportunity to read this book and to be actively involved with other women as they read it. The best part for me is the videos and hearing Ann, Angie, and Jessica discuss each chapter. God bless you and all the women reading the book!!

  14. My husband made a flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache on Monday for Valentines day. It was the end of a decadent meal: Chocolate covered strawberries earlier in the day in the fridge, salad with made-from-scratch poppyseed dressing and strawberries, and lobster!

    I could totally relate to the story about the cake after having this meal! O man, you do NOT want to rush a meal like that! You want to taste every little thing and you never want it to be over. And it just got better, and better, and better!!! Praise God for a life like that!

    I hope to savor every moment this week!!

    • funny, I clipped a recipe for this cake and haven’t tried it yet. I’m going to make it today and *savor* it! That’s what this is all about, yes? Learning to *savor* every bite of life! 🙂

  15. This chapter is fantastic. Giving thanks allows us to slow down. More time! What a concept. Also, I love what Ann said on the video – “I don’t have to keep rushing ahead, what I need from God is here, right now.”

  16. “Life is dessert—-too brief to hurry.”

    I am a notoriously slow eater! I love to savor my food, but I don’t always savor the other moments of my life. That quote is one of my favorite lines so far! It brings such a pleasant image to my mind and helps me remember to slow down and enjoy all of the moments that God gives me…and not just the ones that involve chocolate! 🙂

  17. I loved hearing about the kids piling in and destroying the room because before reading this book I would have yelled etc, and not that I wouldn’t now, but most likely by the time the kids returned I would be counting moments and saying, “thank you for the coat to keep me warm, and thank you that I have arms to hang it up, and thank you for children that wear these coats. It is really hard to be angry when you are giving thanks. I am a reactor, and focusing on being thankful in every moment, has helped me not to react so fast or so dramatically. My kids deserve a thankful loving mom, and my husband deserves a thankful loving wife, and my God deserves a thankful loving servant. Eucharisteo, is life changing and life giving. Thank you!

  18. Seed: Is this really possible, this eucharisteo changing time and life? Asking the question opens me to possibility, planting the seed.

    Water: Open my eyes, Lord.

    Grow: Can this be joy? I have forgotten. Did I ever know?

    It has been years since I have read a book that makes my heart pound with possibility, with eternity, with hope….

  19. Thank you Jessica & Ann! These times with you all are real “Incouragers.”

    The “Life is not an Emergency” will be a printed quote on my wall! Maybe you should market these! 🙂 I have tabbed and sticky noted the passage on P. 67-68 last paragraph, that says, ” I don’t really want more time; I Just want enough time.” “I just want time to do my one life well.” That is the essence of it all, that and thankfulness and awareness of God’s love for us.
    Enjoying this! God continue to bless you ladies!

  20. I know I will be reading this particular chapter again & again…so much wsdom here.

    Seed: Live in every moment – there are no “do-overs”

    Water: Slow down, drink it in, when it gets tough, PRAY!

    Bloom: appreciating the moments…JOYful living

    LOVe the videos ladies! Great job!

  21. I use Post-It flags when I read to bookmark quotes and sections I especially like. Chapter 4 is filled with Post-It flags! I absolutely love the seed of thanksgiving to slow time: “When I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here….. Giving thanks for one thousand things is ultimately an invitation to slow time down with weight of full attention.” Just thinking about the concept helps slow time down!

  22. God is weaving these happenings together just for me. I can feel it. The timing of what I’m reading, the words that cross my screen, pages of books, utterances of friends known and unknown. He brings these beautiful people who smile as they approach and wave as they walk away. I didn’t know them before, and now I feel as though I do.

    I watch the photos change one by one, remembering each face as it comes, remembering even which ones come next on some frames. I know these faces, but I wish I knew their hearts. I long to read their words, all of them, to know what brought them to this time and place, their hurts and their celebrations and challenges and failings and dreams and fears.

    Why would He let them come if I am not to know their thoughts?

    I read of bubbles and light and children’s laughter and I remember. My throat constricts and I swallow pain wanting the release of weeping. Not yet.

    He gave me this time. This time, right now.

    Chapter 4 is where I started underlining. I’ve found plenty worthy of highlighting in the first three chapters, but the fourth is where I couldn’t restrain myself and my hand reached out and grabbed my pen and dove for the page.

    I was struck while watching the video by the connection between Eucharisteo and Communion. We commonly call “communion” the “eucharist”. I hadn’t made the connection, until now, between what we call “communion”–the breaking of bread and drinking of the cup in remembrance of Him–and close, intimate communication with Him. Communion. Togetherness. In the here and now, this moment.

    He said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

    I am all here right now, in this moment with Him, the I AM.

    This is where true living happens.
    This is where I learn why I live.
    This is where I am free to truly love this life.

    The rest is here:

    I love you all.

      • Love it! Right now my life is not frantic as most who are responding to this chapter. My life has slowed down dramatically from what it was 6 months ago, (I recently retired from teaching middle school – 29 years in education !!!) — so the “emergency” part I am not currently living (tho I can remember when it was!). So I love this little twist on those words — “emergent sea”. Love love love it!

        Thanks, Lisa!

        • I didn’t coin the phrase, but I love the application. I’ve often used water references in my writing, so I love it when Ann uses them so beautifully. If we pull the meaning out of “emergent sea” and use it to replace “emergency”, life suddenly becomes more open, more vivid, more promise-filled. I love living in a life brimming with promise.

          Like you, the tyranny of the urgent has slowed way down for me. Our youngest son turns 18 next month and our daughter (the youngest of our children) will be 16 in May. So yes, our days that seemed so much more like an emergency are now in the past. I didn’t know then that I would one day miss the liveliness of those days. I don’t miss the stress, but I do miss our family being abuzz with activity with and for one another.

          But this is a new season, and we are still living with and for one another, just in a bit different role. We now have the blessing of watching our children abuzz with life and activity in their own little families, and we even get to jump into the buzz from time to time! We also have time to settle back with the buzz gets too crazy and reflect and sip coffee and hold hands and re-member…let God fill all the crevices with his amazing love and grace and peace. Ah, peace. This is a beautiful time in our lives. Right here, right now. In His perfect peace.

          Much love to you, Vicki.

  23. Ann you are such a blessing!
    This chapter, if possible, is better than the rest… It seems that each one gets better than the previous!
    What I loved so much about this chapter is how it got “practical” for me. You gave the examples that I could relate to. I come of family of 6 kids, so I know exactly how chaotic things can be– and to read how you’ve been able to rise above the chaos and cherish even those moments, it’s priceless.
    Last night I had barely set the book down, and was immediately tested by two “emergencies”, and thanks to your words, and ultimately God’s grace, I met each “crisis” with a smile, and you’re soo right, time slowed.
    I am happy. Each day into this project gets easier. I am not natually an optimist, so that’s saying a lot.
    Thank you for all the gems you have given us in this book!

  24. I love the concept of how giving thanks slows time down! My default is to get frustrated and then explode with a rude, disrespectful, and angry tone with the ones I love the MOST. However, this discipline of slowing down and giving thanks allows the frustration to be replaced with sweet thanksgiving and acknowledging I AM in the present.

  25. Wow! I look forward to these videos each week. Hearing you and Ann talk about it really makes her words more real. I love the book and am trying to take it in chapter by chapter as to not miss anything. Thank you Jessica and Angie for arranging the time with Ann. It is great to hear your discussions about eucharisteo.

  26. Thank you all for sharing! I am praying for wisdom to know how to walk out this in my own life. I work in a pediatric hospital; emergencies– sudden and expected to people although known by God– are common in that place. I want to be able to react in these emergencies with the proper emotional energy without fear I’m popping the bubble– while still being slowed by thankfulness in every other moment.

    I’m grasping and praying for a modified version of “Life is not an emergency” that ministers into this daily life.

  27. Ann, Your tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1. What stirs in you is no formula thing. WHO stirs in you is just beautiful!

    The adversary of my soul stalks me to stay in the six decades I’ve just lived to rewrite them. “The regrets of a life lived amateur.” My last child of four, my too-tall-one who never fit in footed pajamas, just left for a university in a parade of pomp and passion. My barren nest cries out for bedlam and bedtime stories and bantering and bubbles. A new beginning over here and your words drop like rain on my thirsty soul, Deut 32:2. Funny, but now I have plenty of time to manage the life I already have (so I write way-too-long comments). I was good at life or so I thought. But, no more. Holiness trumps management and I couldn’t be any more grateful. We learn from Solomon in I Kings 3:9 that there is something stronger than managing a kingdom. Something stronger than managing a family. You have captured the essence, the Fragrance, 2 Cor 2:14. Praying we don’t “profane the moment” and repent humbly when we do.

    I am learning to give thanks from a good place in my heart. Luke 18:11 – even the Pharisee stood by himself and gave thanks. But he was alone in it. Look at his list. No pardoning grace.

    I will never meet your or any of the bloggers on here but the words that pour out are privilege to journey these chapters in our lives and I thank you.

    Our thanksgiving holds dependent petitions for pardoning grace to see this moment as God sees it; to see how I’m trying to manage my life well like that Pharisee. So Much Pressure to produce great marriages, great families, great ministries, great lives. Read the next book. Find the secret. Don’t live with regrets. Only one life to spend well…oooh.

    Your anointed words stop me in my tracks as few books do.
    “Wherever you are, be all there.”
    Who is stirring you?
    No formula thing.
    5 Loaves and 2 Fish.

    • Bev, you make the writer in me unsure whether to weep my eyes out or jump up and down cheering like an idiot. I just love you, my friend. I am so blessed to have met you in this big, wide world.

      Like you, I am staring “empty nest” in the not-too-far-off face. In just a few short years it will just be Steve and me, and while we are perfectly happy and content in our little nest of two, we will both miss our five “babies” more than words could describe. Like you, I miss the hubbub of a house filled with noise and wildness and busy LIFE. There is more time (and wits?) now to slow down and notice and thank, but the bustle of things to notice sure is a lot quieter. It is a new season for us.

      • Yes, a new season indeed. I’m there right now. All around me is silence and I’m soaking it in. It is taking a bit of getting used to … so foreign, this empty, quiet house where once there was chatter and busy-ness and energy and sometimes chaos. It’s a little bit scary, all this silence, but I’m realizing that it is just like my empty journal: fresh, blank pages, awaiting my list of a thousand thanks!!!

        So go ahead, and start filling it in by offering thanks. It’s just a different chapter in the same book.

  28. seed: thanks is the weighting down of time, i need the weight to tie me to the moment to anchor when i’m a thousand miles from today on tomorrow’s to do’s.

    haste makes waste…may thanks be the binding me to Him to weigh me down and thus lift me up.

    thankful for the seed, for the water and for the mercy of God to grow, asking for the growth and for eyes to see!

  29. Since I love desserts………..I like where Ann says, “Life is dessert……..too brief to hurry. Don’t wolf the joyful moment or the heart touching moment down! Slow down, taste life, give thanks and see God.” I am thankful for the joy of blowing bubbles with anyone……….oh, the joy of trying to catch them on the palm of your hand. I am thankful for being able to take the time to stop and smell the flowers. I’m thankul that I live in the country where I get to see lots of trees and when it gets warmer run in the cool blades of grass. Ann says, “It’s ridiculous how much joy a moment holds.” May we all take the time to stop and smell the daisies and really taste and experience each gift that God gives us day by day. My number 5 today is: thanks God for the warm sun coming thru the windows, melting away the ice and the snow. Let’s all savor the taste of a dark chocholate with a fellow chocholate lover! Reading a chapter than watching the video is so much fun………..thanks so much ladies!

  30. One of the best pieces of advice my husband and I were given before we became parents was to savor each moment with your child because they go so quickly… and everything is a phase… good, bad, trying, enduring… everything shall pass. And this chapter is another reminder. Life is a precious little bubble, a phase, and I love that image. It is so good to be reminded to slow with our thanks.

  31. Ann, your blog post yesterday about time was so beautiful. I sat reading it with tears rolling down my face. You see, we are in the empty nest phase of life sooner than we expected. Our oldest daughter has graduated from college and is now living on her own. Our middle son just started college this year, and our youngest son, 16, passed away unexpectedly last fall. How my heart is filled with thankfulness for those 3! And yet how sad I feel knowing that all those beautiful bubbles of childhood are gone. I didn’t appreciate them enough! I was so often rushing like you said to get the next thing done, to have things just perfect, to make them act just the way I wanted them to. Being on the other side of the “bubbles”, I look back and so wish I had savored every moment when they were children. I miss their laughter and their energy and their enthusiasm. I miss chubby hugs and sloppy kisses and little bouquets of wildflowers brought to me just because. I miss dance recitals and cross country meets and air-soft wars. I miss all of us sitting on the bed together reading good books and so many other things. I know I did not appreciate each moment enough. The pain of regret runs deep, but I am so thankful that in Christ I have forgiveness!! His grace and mercy cover over so much!!! And I choose today to live each moment fully, with gratitude, because we don’t know when that moment might be our last. Thank you, Ann!

    • Words cant express sorrow enough to ease your pain, Trish, but I can’t help replying to your post. I’m in the next “phase” of my life too, and sometimes I miss the craziness of the days we had with our kids — the wildflower bouquets, the laughter, the hurry get ready for school mornings, the stories read, the precious moments with those precious kids. But now — with three grandkids — I am twice blessed with these things. I get to do it over again in this way. So I’m making sure I’m living my life now, with eyes wide open to these little blessings! (three of them , so far!)

      My prayer – “open the eyes of my heart, Lord!”

    • Oh Trish, there are no words adequate I find to write to you in your unbelievable loss of your son. I am so sorry. I’m so drawn to your heartfelt comment because of the way you have dealt with your regrets of days gone by where you may have “missed” moments—covered it with grace and mercy. Pardoning Grace. Relentless Mercy. And you capture words that show such a beautiful heart for and with your three children. You write from a perspective of seeing God that most of us do not have for you truly are “entering into what God does for you” (Gal 2:11 Message) as He holds you~Col 1:17~and pours out of you~Psalm 50:2~. Thank you for sharing with us. May His Full Grace be all over you, grace upon grace, John 1:16. Love, Bev

    • Dearest Trish. My heart broke when I read your comment. Our youngest will be 16 in May, and I felt this pinch when I read about your son’s unexpected passing. I just want to throw my arms around you! I am so grateful that our precious God is with us in ways we can’t even imagine at such times. Losing a child has to be one of the most gut-wrenching things we could ever live through; I am reminded of the way God chose to redeem us through the sending of His SON–what imagery, and what identification with His creations. What LOVE! I wish you peace and comfort, sweet Trish. I wish you connection and encouragement and reminders in every moment that there will come a day when He will wipe every tear from your eyes.

      All my love,

  32. So many of you have spoken of “regrets” and wishing you could go back and do things better. I’m a retired teacher (29 years in education!, but still young at 52!), and certainly I would love some “do-overs” . My kids are grown now, and the house is eerily quiet at times, except for a very noisy cat. My husband and I are at a place in our lives where we await the sale of our house and a move to another city. Oh, the waiting! I have gone from the craziness of raising kids and teaching middle schoolers to seemingly endless time on my hands. Waiting!

    At this point in my life, I find myself taking a step back to examine a life which seemed to be whirling at full-speed, out of control, just attending to what I could each day and wishing I could do better with the remnants. And tired. Exhausted. Empty. Not believing this is all there is to life, the stress, the busy-ness, the working at it but not feeling full.

    But now — now that I have all this time, how do I best make use of it? How I have WISHED WITH ALL MY HEART for this place all these years, and here it is, and what do I do with it now?

    What I find is this: God is asking me to let Him fill it. To wait on Him fully. My tendency is to jump into things I think I should do…but He only wants me. He wants me to visit with Him about it and open my heart to commune with Him. Eucharisteo is exactly the word to describe it. Grace, thanks, joy.

    So, I’m thanking HIm for this gift of time, and for the opportunity for a “do-over”. I’ll not jump in to fill the time with “stuff”, only to find myself where I was before. I want quality time with Him first. I’m just going to soak it up, looking for bubbles all the while!

    • hi Vicky,

      i can well believe you felt spent after 29 years of teaching middle schoolers–even leaving your family out of it! (my wife has been teaching in elementary school for about half that time, and she is more often than not wrecked at the end of the week). but i can also believe that suddenly having more time and opportunities presents its own difficulties. I don’t know if you’re like me in this respect, but the very fact that I’ve wished for something “WITH ALL MY HEART” (as you put it) makes me more than a bit anxious if i get it (i’ve finally got what i’ve longed for so long–will it be as good as i thought it would be? or: i’ve finally got the opportunity i’ve so longed for–will i be up to taking advantage of it?) also, we’re all creatures of habit (the habits that make us happy, but even the ones that don’t); if you’ve lived a certain way for thirty years or more, it’s not easy to stop living that way all at once, even if stopping was your heart’s desire.

      i’m really glad that you’re finding God wants you to rest in Him, and that you’re resisting the temptation to “jump into the things you think you should do” and “fill time with ‘stuff'”. i have the same temptation, and it my case, at least, it comes partly from the (not especially healthy) thought that value attaches to *what I do* rather than to *who I am*–that I am of no good to anyone, until I do something to, as it were, justify my existence.. Maybe you don’t suffer from any such insecurities (i hope you don’t), but if you do, remind yourself that *you*–and not just the things you do–are loved, by God and by others. i’m sure, tho’, that self-reminders as less effective for keeping in mind how much you are loved than the very thing you say God is asking you to do–“to wait on Him fully”.

      have a wonderfully restful weekend!–


      • Well, Chris, you’ve got a webcam focused on my heart, it seems! Yes, these things are a struggle for me — feeling that I had been defined by what I was doing: teaching, running a school library program, raising my own kids, leading a ladies’ bible study…all things I’m no longer doing, for now. And it feels very awkward to not be doing something right now. It’s been 9 months since I retired, and with the end of my work-life I also pulled out of some ministry-work because of the expected move to a new city. How did you know that I had *wished* *prayed* *begged* God for all this — a change of job, house, church, everything? I really felt a need for all things new in my life, and I got what I wished for. (not running away from anything, mind you) Now what do I do with my wish granted? Yep, that’s where I am, and its apparently right where God wants me. I am not settling for anything less than what is sincerely and genuinely of Him this time around. I know in my heart that that’s what He wants of me — so Im just biding my time, listening, reading, praying, spending time with Him. Compiling this list of 1000 gifts is my work right now. Thanks so much for your response and encouragement.

        • hi again Vicki,

          –sorry i spelled your name wrong last time! you’ve got not just my encouragement, but my prayers that all the awkwardness involved in learning to just wait on God will melt away, as you find ever more peace in Him. also good luck with your gifts list. i’m the sort of person who’s so anti-list that i don’t use one even when i shop (tho’ i do most of the family’s shopping). but i’ve decided it’s foolish to let my issues with ordinary lists keep me from this one, so i’ve started…

          have a great sunday,

  33. Call me convicted…page 64…
    “…, the busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life.”
    “God gives us time. And who has time for God?”

    And giving thanks is a great “excuse” to slow time down with the weight of full attention. p. 69

    And then the issue of time pops up again on 72…
    Not a lack of time but a lack of thanksgiving.
    Does this sting anyone else?

    And then as if I needed to really get it, third time is the charm, on page 76 Ann writes “the fast have spiritually slow hearts.” My real life beating heart keeps a good rhythm. If it slows down significantly I am nearly dead. I want my beating heart and my spiritual heart to be in tandem. Appropriate beating, anything but slow.

        • Hi Elizabeth from behind, really?? Here we are blogging with some author in Canada and you’re sitting a couple of rows away. I was with Holly and Hollie and Donna and Tiffany and Janelle at Beth’s taping last weekend. I know your name from somewhere?? I live in Austin but spent 31 years of my life in Fort Worth. I really was intrigued with your comment. Delighted to meet you.

          • Yep! I chatted with Holly briefly during a break. I missed Melinda as I had to scoot out right when it was over.

  34. Such deep truths fill this chapter!

    “That life is so urgent it necessitates living slow.” AMEN!

    Noticing the Presence of God in our moments is to slow and live the moment to it’s fullest, indeed! This is the practice to learn and it is done best in the giving thanks for each gift. To both enjoy it’s taste and savor it long.

    Here’s hoping my coffin is not heavily weighed down with regrets.

  35. I’ve been lingering over other desserts at other tables this week and just now had the opportunity to sit down and savor this. Such a feast! Thank you, thank you. I love your honesty, Ann — the beautiful image of the iridescent bubble juxtaposed with the head-bonking reality of the mud room. Reality doesn’t change with eucharisteo. Dishes still have to be washed, coats hung up, boo boos soothed, and messes set in order. Reality doesn’t change with eucharisteo, but eucharisteo changes the way we engage it.

    And I love, love, love the beautiful truth that nothing surprises God. Life is not an emergency. It’s a love story, and YHWH breathed it, each word chosen with purposeful design. If I skim whole chapters of my life, always looking ahead and wishing I could skip them, I miss the divine poetry on those pages.

    Life is a beauty hunt, and beauty is found everywhere in so very many simple things. Even in brokenness. This was already my story, lived and learned. Now eucharisteo is giving it wings.

    Love to you, dear Ann. And Jessica, you are simply a doll. Blessings on you and your precious little family.

    Love, Jeanne

  36. Being fully attentive in the moment and being grateful for this moment has started a cycle for me…. being grateful for this moment, I am aware of how good this moment is…consequently, I enjoy it even more…and enjoying it even more…I am even more grateful for it….a snowball effect.

    Add to all that the realization that this is a gift from God, that He is in it….and it is, as Ann says, a dessert…to savour. It made me think of the verse n Psalms 118:24, This is the day which the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. The Hebrew word for day, can also be translated as moment or season. It fits in so well to the thoughts of this chapter.

  37. Oh wow…I appreciate the honesty of this chapter and video because honestly…I wasn’t sure if I could find eucharisteo when my 3 young boys were all screaming at the same time…but now I see that I can be thankful for the voices, the passion, the lungs that power those screams…oh so much more to be thankful for than I ever imagined.

    My favorite line from the video…I had to pause it to write it down properly:
    Giving thanks keeps me present to the presence of God.

    Seed: the intent of this is to slow time down.
    Water: I’m taking more pictures and writing down my list
    Bloom: I’m more patient with those 3 screaming boys (not perfect, but patient)

    thank you for planting this seed in my heart

  38. Like Ann said, Christians, of all people, should have time for God and His gifts! There are many times when we’re so busy with the “big” things in life that we completely miss the “little” things because they’re “insignificant” and get swept under the rug. If we were actually taking time to see, and give thanks, instead of rushing, we’d realize that those things we miss that are “little” are really the big things because they make life more meaningful.

    That’s something my husband has recently discovered. It used to be that he’d be in a hurry to get somewhere so that we could get things done so he could come home and do more things. But now he’s started to realize that that stuff doesn’t matter as much as spending time with the kids, or me, or whatever. Yeah, he’s still working on it, as am I, but it’s a start. No matter how many times I tried to explain it to him, he didn’t get it until he figured it out on his own. I think part of what helped him was my doing it. So, you never know just how much you might be having an effect on someone by learning to be thankful for those “little” things they seem to miss. 🙂

  39. Time is like faith… we can’t grasp it
    Too much, too little, too soon, too late, not enough, more than enough…

    Where did it go? When will it get here? A thousand years… one day… a grain of sand
    Moment by moment… It came to pass… In the beginning… For all eternity

    We measure time in moments, we treasure time in memories… remember when?
    We plan, prepare, put in order – yet never quite ready… next year… tomorrow… one more day… one more time

    A thief in the night… a tear in a bottle… a blink of the eye… who are we to know when it is time?
    God put eternity in the hearts of men, time is in His hands… and so are we

    Susan H, 2006

    As I reflect on a poem I wrote five years ago, I would today continue the poem from Chapter Four:

    Mingle with time, slowed in the palm… live fully in the moment
    Embrace your not enough… give thanks… and there is more than enough

    Eucharisteo bridges eternity… giving thanks for the memories… this moment… for what is to come
    And I savor long whatever time holds, because I know the One who holds time

  40. This book is rocking my world. I had long been sensing the need to slow down and savor the time I’ve been given with my husband and children, and Ann’s words have given me direction to do this.

    One thing that really struck me in this chapter was “when I am present I meet I AM.” As I pondered this notion, I realized that I have put God in a box – my way of operating has been to meet I AM in my private prayer time, when all is quiet and children are sleeping and no one is disturbing me, and then go on about my day. As I realized this, it was as if God was saying to me, “Do you really think I am so small that you can only meet Me during your private prayer time?” Ouch! Why on earth would I try to limit my encounters with the Lord, with He has said that He is with me always, and will never leave me nor forsake me? Why wouldn’t I choose to be PRESENT in the midst of a toddler clinging to my pants and urging me to hold him, or my four year-old twins leaning into me as we read together, my husband teasing me about setting off the smoke alarm AGAIN while cooking dinner…and meet God in the midst of all of this?

    I want to meet Him all day, acknowledge Him all day.

  41. I keep a thousand gift list, and I began by trying not to repeat. But as the list got longer, I would literally have to do a document search to see if I’d already listed that thing, and it took too much time. So, I finally decided that if I was thankful for it again, it was okay to put it down again. Now, if it comes to mind, I just put it down and don’t worry about whether it’s a repeat, and I don’t do the searches anymore. If I know it’s a repeat, I list it that way. For example, one day I knew I had put my husband down before, but I was thankful for him again that day, so I put something like, # whatever: “Barry, over and over again.” And now, any time I add his name again, I list it like that.

    By the way, I found Ann’s blog accidentally, and snapped up this book as soon as it came out, because (for one thing) Ann’s story so correlates to mine. Ann’s sister was crushed by a truck at age 2. My sister shot herself at age 37. Ann found gratitude after that loss via a rather theological and experiental path. I found it through Veggie Tales. Ann’s mom spent time in a psychiatric ward due to the loss of a child. My mom spent years there due to the loss of a marriage. When I found Ann’s idea of a 1000 Gift List, it was so in tune with my spiritual markers, that I jumped right in.

    So thanks, Ann, and may God bless you. You had me from hello. 🙂

  42. Yes…most definitely life is crazy. I have been pondering this very concept lately, as I look around at so many people discouraged and bogged down with the heaviness of this world, missing joy in the frenzy of the busy schedules and daily demands. I have wondered….”Were we created for life at this pace? Is the fact that we were not created to live this way a reason why so many are plagued with depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction?”

    This book is helping me to slow down, even in the busy….to reflect and notice the gift of right now….to give thanks to my heavenly Father….to look, really look in the faces of those I love. Last week, I was speaking to a small group of women on coping with grief, and I shared about the gift of gratefulness. How taking time to be grateful frees us from the bitterness that steals joy. Gratefulness sets us free…and lifts our eyes from the giants of grief and sorrow to the One who is able to comfort, to the One who holds our freedom. I love the simplicity of it…and the intricate, powerful way such a simple thing can transform a life. That’s how God works.

  43. Haste makes waste. Life is not an emergency.

    Words I am soaking in and living by.

    I also feel like my counting of gifts has made me a better mother, because each situation I look at with a different lens, and it’s not so bad, so serious, or so messy that we can’t fix. This concept of filling my time with more, I just love.

    Thanks to you and love to you all!

  44. Wow, Thank you, ALL of you. This has been an amazing experience (the book, bloom and the community) and I’m loving that God has led me to so many WONDERFUL new friends.
    LuvNHugz~SupportNPrayerz~from Iowa
    Deo Volente

  45. There are no emergencies!! God has it ALL under control!
    Notice the bubbles before they pop.
    Love it!! 🙂
    Seed: SLOW DOWN. Live in the moment and savor the moment. And when things are “too slow,” MAKE moments, CREATE moments.
    Water: live life slowly. Quit rushing. TRY to make my boys smile, plan a fun outing, infuse life with fun!
    Bloom: Get out from behind the camera and actually LIVE the moments. Be in the now.

  46. SEED: Time is a Gift And God IS in The Moment
    WATER: To slow down…. Enough to breathe…His Name
    GROW: Thanks-is-Giving…and Receiving— Here— Now

  47. Every time I read the words in this book and/or listen to these videos and/or read Ann’s blog, I find hope. The more transparent she is (“default to angry mommy syndrome”), I find myself weeping that joy above joy there is hope for me and that maybe, just maybe God will “restore what the locusts have eaten” and I will live in joy rather than black.

  48. Seed: The fast have spiritually slow hearts…Life is not an’s a gift.
    Water: Trying to catch the eucharisteo in the moment rather than after the fact in reflection. Trying to slow down even with 24 students who demand my every ounce of attention and find the gift in the moment.
    Bloom: Seeing the thanks and gifts actually soften my heart to the never ending satisfying love of Christ. Grace.

  49. Oh, Jess, thanks for the comment that giving thanks is kinda like scrapbooking. I totally relate to that. I look back at a year’s worth of scrapbook pages and I get a slow motion replay of life with my wonderful family. Scrapbooking does slow life down and enables me to savor a moment in time. When I look at a page, I can smell the smells, hear the giggles and feel the activity of that “slice” of life again. I am so very thankful for this way of crafting that brings such joy. Ah, I must add this to my list
    #31 for scrapbook pages of the past and for those yet to come

    Love you, Women of the List,

  50. What hit me about this chapter was that “life is not an emergency”. I tend to live hurried and stressed. I’m not even sure sometimes what I’m hurried and stressed about. I can hear God yell “STOP” sometimes. This chapter helped me grasp “be still and know that I am God”. Slow down and see the I AM.

    In the video, when Ann talked about this exercise being a coping mechanism for life. DING! I bend towards being the angry mom frustrated that what was just accomplished has been undone. Thanksgiving replaces, saves me from my sinful default. A mind and heart renewal.

    So, now I’m giving thanks for you.

  51. I really feel like this chapter changed my life. “Wherever you are, be all there.” is now a mantra for me. It’s easy for me to go to 2 extremes–meandering through life hoping for exciting/inspiration/amazingness to hit OR going crazy and missing out on every single everything.

    Instead, the SIMPLE idea of being present with I AM. When I am with I AM, I have his creativity, I have his eyes, I can have His mission and choices. Being present with I AM.

    I wrote about this, too:

  52. So much to ponder on here. The idea of weighting time down by filling it with thanksgiving, to slow it down with the weight of our full attention and our abundant thanks and in turn be able to savor it and delight in it and be IN it – monumental.

    “In Christ, don’t we have everlasting existence? Don’t Christians have all the time in eternity, life everlasting? If Christians run out of time – wouldn’t we lose our very own existence? If ANYONE should have time, isn’t it the Christ-followers?”

    Ouch. And yes.

    “Thank God for the time, and very God enters that time, presence hallowing it.” By thanking Him, we bring Him into the moment beside us (He’s already there, but we become aware of His presence.)

    Love the image of Grandma Ruth. Smart lady!

    “In Christ, urgent means slow. That in Christ, the most urgent necessitates a slow and steady reverence.” In my mind, urgent = important, so this made total sense but was something I hadn’t been practicing.

    I am a list maker – a to-do lister. This chapter was especially meaningful to me because I realized I’ve been making lists of the wrong things, for the wrong reasons. I should be listing my “have dones” (God’s and others and mine) instead of my “to do’s.”

    Seed: Gratitude and attentiveness weights time down and allows communion with God, others and the ourselves.

    Water: Replacing my “to do” list with a “have done/been done” list – replacing my “to do” lists with lists that remind me of what has been done already – gifts and presents to put me in the Present with the I Am. And I think this will make me a better wife and friend as well.

    Bloom: I will be less stressed. I will be more intentional in my relationships. I will be more focused on God in the moment and not allow worry to gain a foothold. And I will enjoy and savor. I will live this one life well, and have memories of time savored, not time missed.

  53. Just wanted to say hello to this community! I have been writing in my gratitude journal for over a year now– writing on Wednesdays a dozen or so thanks. Since reading the book, I have been inspired to write my thanks daily. In the dailiness of this life, I give thanks. Love the genuine desire of all of your hearts to tend to your ‘seeds’ and watch them grow! God bless Ann and this beautiful Bloom group!

  54. This book is wonderful and true and is changing my heart, but I wish it was written years ago! I am mother to four wonderful kids, three of whom are young adults, the last one with only one more year of high school. I hurried through all of their growing up years, always trying to “get things done” at the expense of enjoying the gift of being their mother. It happened so quickly, so suddenly it seemed that they were grown and independent and leaving the nest. All I ever wanted to be was a mom, but when God gave me the desire of my heart I squandered so much of the gift with my rushing around, preoccupied with other things. Too soon was I clearing out my son’s bedroom and my daughter’s after he had married and she had moved away to school. It was all just a blur. I didn’t stop to enjoy them and I didn’t thank God, in the moment, for the high privilege of mothering them. I loved them but the things I regret are things undone, that could only have been done if I had slowed down. God is good and kind and has blessed me in spite of myself, but I would do it all again…but slower…in a heartbeat!
    Ann, thank you so much for the gift of this beautiful book. Sometimes the truths you share touch me so deeply I can hardly contain myself!

  55. Amen. Amen. Amen.

    I wish that I were reading this with all of you, but alas it has taken me several months to be able to find time to read! (Ironic, I know.) I’ve been keeping a list since being introduced to it in reading Ann’s blog, in November 2008. I am up to 700-something.

    Reading this book and watching these videos and reading all of these comments has been so good. So helpful!

    I too am an empty-nester and I too wish I could have read this book 20 years ago! But I am seeing new purpose in teaching others to learn from my mistakes!