Monday, April 4, 2011

1000 Gifts and a Free Box to Boot

(This is a long one, but hopefully worth the read)

This is what I read today in my devotions... it's from the Message Bible.

Matthew 6:22-23"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!"

I read a book recently and it goes so well with this passage. This book has really changed my life. The title of the book is, "1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are." I didn't know it existed until my friend Jenny posted on her Facebook page that she had ordered it and couldn't wait till it arrived. I have been friends with Jenny since we were in youth group together. I love her style and I really enjoy reading her blog and soaking in the beauty of all the pictures she posts.

On a whim I ordered the digital version of the book for my Kindle. I figured I already liked most of the stuff she talked about and I would probably like this book as well. I was right. As I read the book I cried happy tears and sad tears. I couldn't believe I had finally found in Ann Voskamp a woman whom I could really connect with.

For instance, it's fine for an author who drops her kids off at school for 6 to 8 hours a day to exhort others like her to be more involved in volunteering. I have my children with me 24/7 and can't volunteer unless they are allowed to come with me. Many Christian books heap loads of guilt on homeschool moms for not acting like stay-at-home moms of traditionally schooled kids.

So anyway (sorry about all the rabbit trails, but that's just how my mind works)... I read the book and it was AMAZING!!! Unfortunately as soon as I tried to implement what she suggested my flesh got in the way.

I am a perfectionist, and instead of just writing down the things I'm thankful for, I wanted everything to be in a centralized location, numbered, formatted, etc. I had to have a special book to write things in, and when I didn't feel like going and finding that journal I didn't write things down.

I loved the book so much that I gave away copies to a few of my best friends, my mom, and one of my sister-in-laws. As I discussed the book with each of these ladies, I brought up ways to implement the recording of our 1000 gifts.

My mom suggested that I keep a box handy to put papers in so they will at least all end up in one place, but not necessarily all in one journal. I thought this was a great idea, but as soon as I read her suggestion my impulse was to find the perfect home-decor-worthy box. I also wanted every paper that went in the box to be the same size, weight, and color. Seriously... it's awful... I know.

Well, here is my solution, and I'm so glad my friends gave their suggestions, because I love the result.

Of course, the flowers aren't part of the box... they're just one of the things I'm thankful for. My hubby bought them for me last week when I wasn't feeling well.

Here's a close up of the lid, and a little place on the side that I made for holding pencils. This way they're always handy when I need them.

The other great thing
about the box is that I'm getting my family involved. This was at my friend Jill's suggestion. Of course, she didn't intend it as a suggestion. Rather she was commenting on how she's making her list and mentioned a big silver trophy that they've used in the past to put notes on. They're planning to start writing down their "thanks" and put them in the trophy.

Then, my friend Jodie surprised me with a gift. This little box of papers. She knows me so well that she didn't even tell me what the papers were for. She just handed them to me and I knew.

The box is just a shoe box, covered in some Victorian wrapping paper I already had on hand. even the rectangle on the lid is made from an old file folder and some card stock I had on hand. I didn't pay one penny extra for anything I used.

I told my family about the box last night and they're already putting papers in. One more thing to be thankful for: Cheerful Participation. I had everyone write their name on whatever they put in, so we know who wrote each one.

I hope the box is filled up soon. when it is, we will read through some of the things we've written down to remind us of the goodness of God.

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