I have a group of friends that are reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I have had some emotional moments reading it so far. Oh and I am only on the second chapter, a word to live. . and die by. :)
In the beginning Ann has nightmares and she talks about how she feels when she wakes up. One of the things that speak to me, is the way she says she feels other days. She feels like a loser, mess and a failure and says this is self-hatred. These are things I struggle with a lot. There are days I feel like such a failure as a person, mother and wife. A lot of it has to do with normal activities and not accomplishing them. Anxious and afraid of failing again, she is weary to wake up and start another day. I can identify with this!
How do we not feel "not good enough?" How do we get past the feelings of inadequacy? Where do they come from? I think they come form Satan and he makes us focus on ourselves and the world's definition of a successful wife and mother. But God has more planned for us.
In this chapter, Ann Voskamp takes the word eucharisteo and breaks it down to simple words that mean a lot. This is where I have that ah-ha moment but at the same time, wonder is it really that simple?
eucharisteo - Thanksgiving
charis - grace
chara - joy
To live a life of joy and grace, we must give thanks for what is in our lives. The good and the bad has to have thanks given for it. How do you give thanks for the bad? In those actual bad times, how do you not stay there?
Ann Voskamp talks through her discovery process and towards the end of the chapter she talks about the 10 lepers. Only one returned to thank Jesus for cleansing him and saving him. Jesus then tells him his faith has made him well. This is after he has been healed from leprosy. The word sozo comes to light as being true wellness, salvation. His thanks gave him the door to see complete salvation.
Towards the end of the chapter Ann Voskamp talks about saying yes to God, but living the no. How often do we do this? I know I don't do it often enough. The living the yes part. Too often in the heat of the moment, I don't live the yes. I respond the wrong way. I live the no.
How do I live the yes? The best I can tell is to live with thanksgiving, to show grace to others. Then I will appreciate the grace and have joy. To live the yes every day, whether it's a day after a good nights sleep or one where you wake up at six two days in a row short on sleep. To see what God has given me or taken away and be thankful. Can I do this? I don't know, but I can try. God's grace is new everyday and I am glad because I need it!
Sorry for the random thoughts and poor writing, this post is more of a journal entry working through ideas than it is a complete thought.
Have a blessed and thankful day!