The Gratitude Notebook Project

17201185_10211910260290162_3410934332183799557_nI pride myself (too much, sometimes) on being a big idea person. I like to talk big, think big, and live big. I focus on big goals and want to do big things.

But what if living in grace requires thinking small?

I’ve just finished Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Voskamp made a list of (literally) one thousand gifts, where she detailed the things she found beautiful in the everday. She hit me over the head with both conviction and thanksgiving with her simple musing, “when I realize that it is not God who is in my debt but I who am in His great debt, then doesn’t all become gift?” Yikes. That one was a little hard to read. I so often am thankful for big things such as family, finances, and opportunities, but it’s hard for me to be thankful for something as small as a moment of quiet or a well-brewed cup of tea. By honing in the skill of thankfulness with the small things, an attitude of everyday humility and thanksgiving can be created.

Journal o’ Joy

While I have yet to reach One Thousand Gifts, I’ve designated one of my notebooks for moments to still my soul and record small lines of thankfulness. If you also struggle with everyday thankfulness (don’t we all?), try to make a little list of your own this week. Try not to focus on output of the specific words you chose, but on taking in as much of the world around you with a spirit of joy. Your list will most likely be entirely different, but use this little one to hopefully spark some ideas about the little moments you also have found beauty in.

  1. morning light dancing in sunflowers
  2. bundled up blankets on cold mornings
  3. a fresh pot of coffee
  4. happy bird pillows
  5. handwritten notes
  6. slow, sleepy mornings
  7. book pages turning slow
  8. honey wood catching morning light
  9. early hours with books and coffee
  10. mugs picked with care
  11. fresh oatmeal with tupelo honey
  12. sleepy Caleb before noon
  13. dark underlines in creamy books
  14. a million colors in glass
  15. moody cats
  16. clouds reflected in deep blue
  17. fuzzy socks on long days
  18. the laughter of shared stress
  19. more time to think
  20. tea stains on mugs
  21. fresh clothes
  22. treetop nests
  23. five minutes of silence
  24. homemade lunches
  25. unexpected dinner dates
  26. careful words
  27. a full house
  28. shared stories and hearts
  29. hands wrapped around steamy mugs
  30. bookmarks moving forward
  31. running into old friends
  32. an hour hour in PJs
  33. clean, crisp sheets
  34. warm hands in prayer while driving
  35. cheerful hellos
  36. early morning runs
  37. the texture of handmade pottery
  38. the long wick of a new candle
  39. five more minutes in bed
  40. fresh produce in a turquoise bowl
  41. the anticipation of a date
  42. friends who ask “how are you, really?”
  43. time to ask friends the same
  44. lazy Mondays
  45. freshly washed curls
  46. the glow of a room full of lamps
  47. soft lavender baths
  48. two jobs and friendship
  49. impromptu coffee dates
  50. condensation on fresh apples

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

-2 Corinthians 4:15


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