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For the Ways We Live Now is the Way We Live | Ann Voskamp

For the Ways We Live Now is the Way We Live | Ann Voskamp

Dear friend…

Haven’t we met before?

I’m the lady around the corner trying to keep up with all the kids and the laundry and the bills and the dishes and who can never find the last library book that was due yesterday, the one finding the planet all spun a bit so fast that life can make her dizzy.

You too? Small world.

Maybe you too are looking to really, fully live, right where you are?

We have got to find ways. For the ways we live now is the way we live.

Life isn’t an emergency.

Can I tell you what I did, that changed my life? In the deepest, most meaningful ways? I wrote a book about the whole radical journey and what really happened… (One Thousand Gifts is celebrating its 10th anniversary next year) …

But this is how it began… and it’s sort of crazy, and it seems ridiculous, even trivial. I named daily blessings, literally counting everyday gifts – all the way up to one thousand – more!

This is how the change started:

  1. Morning shadows across old floors
  2. Jam piled high on toast
  3. Cry of a blue jay high in the spruce

I know. I didn’t think I was fixing anything in the beginning either. But this literal counting of everyday gifts — all the way up to one thousand — more — what if it’s this wildly simple way to move our focus beyond burdens of life to the blessings of now?

I’d no idea that that this making a list of blessings it’s actually guaranteed to change your life. I mean — if I told you that that doing this one thing increases your happiness, improves your physical health, and is exactly what God made you for — would you do it?

Researchers said of those who do this one thing of keeping a gratitude journal:

“Participants who’d kept a gratitude journal felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the future … they were a full 25 percent happier than the other participants.

They sleep 1/2 hour more per evening, and exercise 33 percent more each week and felt more joyful, enthusiastic, interested, attentive, energetic, excited, determined, and strong.”

That’s exactly what writing down 1000 gifts did to me. It woke me up to really living.

This dare to count a thousand gifts from His heart, it became the ultimate love dare, counting all the ways He loved me.

So this is the thing, friend: What if finding love is as simple as recording 1000 gifts? We may be weary. We may be wounded. But we are wooed. Who doesn’t long to be loved, to be treasured, to be showered with gifts? A thousand — more!

Oh friend, just begin – and wake to find yourself loved.