Sunday, July 31, 2011

 Gift number one thousand and one

Several months ago I began hearing alot about a book.

I read excerpts on blogs, and some made me teary.

After the name of this particular book came up over and over in my sphere of influence, I decided that it must not be coincidence.

So I bought it.

"One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp "A Dare to Live Fully, Right Where You Are".

Sounded like something that could really help with my perspective. I can't tell you the number of times that I have disengaged with my boys... my responsibilities... life around me... because I just wanted to wait for the hard parts to pass. There is so much wrong with that. I know that hard will never go away. And I know that sweet is so closely entwined with hard that you totally miss the best things of life when you shut your eyes and turn from hard. I am learning how important these things are. Right now. I am learning it now.

In reading through this book, I began to learn how better to live in each moment and find thankfulness. Making lists of what I was thankful for. The joy this can bring is amazing! I deeply appreciated the message of Ann's book.

Here's a little quirk about me; although I am very aware that you can't judge a book by its cover.... I do base some of my attraction to particular books on their visual appeal. And this one... well, I loved it. Something about hands cupping a nest...sweet robin's eggs, that perfect shade of blue....

As I was reading it, I began to mentally form a plan of how to display this book in my home.

A book stand that can hang on the wall,

vinyl letters...maybe spelling out "inspiration" or "thankful" above it,

somewhere that I would glance at it often and be reminded {live fully in this moment, engage, be thankful!}.

And then I found him one day...

the littlest one,

with a pen,

and the book.

Look at the pictures above again. Yep.

Here's a closer look.

He's been hard lately.

Really hard.

How quickly boys of a sweet, innocent, laid back temperament can become

aggressive, stubborn, defiant ones.

He's closing in on two...

I looked at him,

and the book,

and the pen.

It was hard. You may say, "it's just a book! No biggie."

I know. Really, I do.

Usually I am pretty good about letting things go. Things. They aren't important like people.

But, I am not proud to say, this just upset me.

I really liked the book.

I liked the cover.

I liked my idea to display it...

I felt overly warm and frustrated. I let him know how unhappy I was.

-How careless he was.

His lip quivered....

There we were - a mama and a little boy. The little one beginning to exert initiative,

creative expression,


Yes, obstinate stubbornness as well, BUT....

He is young, and he is learning.

He stood there, lip quivering - vacillating between not fully understanding his teary eyed babbling mama,

being sorry,

and wanting to draw some more.

I stood there, fingers pointing, frustration growing - wavering between knowing better,

giving in to my anger,

and just wanting to hug him.

Then both of our eyes were just drawn to the item being under such scrutiny...

The book.

"One Thousand Gifts"

"A Dare to Live Fully, Right Where You Are".



Eyes shut, reaching for him, cradling him close for the half a second that he would let me,

then slowly letting his squirming body go free.

Running around, chubby cheeks moving back up - pushed by his grin.

When he slowed his running in circles around me I talked to him, much more gently, about the appropriate places for writing and drawing, but then told him I loved him... and I was sorry.

Gift number 1001: a small boy who cares to express himself creatively

Books to read

Lessons for this mama to learn

Living in each moment fully, and taking the good with the bad...

No question; this book is going on display in my home.

I will glance at it often and I will remember my gifts.

* This post is dedicated to my friend Hayley, who after hearing all about this particular story, said "You need to blog this". :) She gets me.


Dawna said...

I'm reading this book right now, and I love the cover, too. I have been struggling through pain to find patience, and I'm sure I would have been frustrated to find my beautiful book scribbled on. (I bought the book to read in the hospital, and when I finally felt like picking it up... a month later... I found that someone else had been reading it... and HIGHLIGHTING in it... in the hospital and I struggled enough with that!) But on the other hand, I think what he did makes it so much more beautiful. What a perfect illustration of what is important in this life! I'm glad you are my friend, Wendi, because I learn so much about beauty and gifts from you. Thank you for sharing this story! Blessings to you, sweet friend!

Beth said...

I keep raving about this book to everyone! Isn't it amazing the perspective you learn from her concepts!!?!?

All Things Brittany said...

My birthday is fast approaching. I am going to put this book on my wish list. I don't always take the time to read your blog but want you to know it is one of my favorites. In advance please know I have the privledge of nominating you for the "Versatile Bloggers" award. You can come on over to All Things Brittany (my blog) and capture the jpg there for your blog site. I'll be posting more information about this on my blog!
God bless you, I so enjoy your writing. All Things Brittany

Katarina said...

Glad you are still going to display it. So much *more* meaning behind that cover now that there is some *stubborn creativity* attached to it.

Stacey said...

I haven't read the whole thing, yet, but I tried a journal. I'm just not very good at consistency...I chose to be more thankful for Lent and I try every night to be thankful for something...Definitely improves your outlook on life and all of its blessings and glory.

Cheryl said...

I blogged through this book. And through every chapter I could really relate. Ann expressed so eloquently the struggles I was experiencing. I hope you enjoy it and are changed by it.

SharonB said...

Wow! Excellent post! Love it. I too keep seeing the book around, maybe I need to read it?

Ashley Cumings said...

I totally understand your post, Wendi! I, too, was immediately drawn to the cover... now I will remember your newly graced edition as well. Ann continues to minister to me in so many different ways... loved (& was deeply convicted by) her book and will be reading it again soon.

Jenn said...

Yes! What could be more beautiful than that! Little boy art on a book that shouts thankfulness!

Beautiful post, Wendi!

Rachel said...

I am so glad you shared this story, and I look forward to reading this book. I am so there right now - in the middle of the hard times of life, learning to see the beauty. God has been showing me so often that if I just wish this time away because it is hard, because there are challenges, I will miss SO much, so many amazing moments. Sometimes the days with two little ones are so long, but I don't want to live for naptime and bedtime! There is so much to be thankful for, so much beauty in the difficult. I really can't wait to read this book! I love that you pass along what you're learning - please keep doing that :)

Jodie | Velour said...

where's the 'like' button on this thing?!

isn't that whole scenario exactly what the book is about. i think i need to pick mine up again. i need a refresher. lately i get stuck in irritation/frustration. i was those more easily gave way to gratitude. eucharisteo. it is my aim, and just having the awareness, i think i'm getting better. it's difficult for a curmudgeon like myself, but i suppose it IS possible. :) i leave words for myself around the house to help remind me... i like to think they help me. some of them say things like: 'be here' and 'grace wins' and 'enjoy' and 'giggle'. maybe they don't help, but i like to think i'd be much worse off without them.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Just now reading this...and wow, so good! I've been wanting to get this book for awhile -- I need the perspective -- every single day!