One Thousand Gifts

dappled sunlight on artwork
Dappled sunlight danced across my artwork in the studio this afternoon
In her book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp says that to some, it might seem "Offensive, to focus the lens of a heart on the minute, in a world mangled and maimed and desperately empty."  

But she believes that giving thanks for small things actually helps to heal the world's wounds: 

"How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is joy that saves us?  Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering.  The converse does.  The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world" (58).

I have started my list, counting all the way to 1,000 gifts--the small moments of joy that make me stop and catch my breath:

1. The sick baby who can sleep only while lying on my chest.  She stirs now and then with a congested whisper, "Mama," and settles back to sleep.  

2. Frozen strawberries, pulled from the freezer as a surprise snack.  Eowyn's mouth formed a perfect little "o" as she raised her eyebrows in excitement.

3-4. The day after a terrible flu, windows open to air out the sickness.  Food tastes amazing and the simple joy breathing is tangible.

5. A fridge full of groceries and a sparkling kitchen...which magically appeared while I was napping.  My hubby is a tall, German elf in disguise.

6. The frozen strawberries (see #2) continue to be a special gift--they are Eowyn's favorite snack and can cheer her up when she is in even the grumpiest mood.  She asks for them like this: she balls her chubby hands into perfectly cute little fists, brings them up under her chin, curls her shoulders around them like she's shivering, and says "cold strawberries" in a lilting, baby voice in which "cold" is pronounced like "code."  On another note, it is the word "cold" pronounced like "code" that sparked my realization that sometimes the reason why Eowyn cutely mispronounces words is because this is the way I pronounce these words when I am using my "mommy" voice.

7. Dappled sunlight dancing across the table as I paint.  Today it was so mesmerizing that I lost interest in my watercolors and spent 20 minutes watching the light instead!  Too bad I'm a painter and not a photographer, or else I might have better captured the image ;).



  1. Such a wonderful list Sadee! I hope your little one is feeling better. A tall, German elf in disguise... fantastic gift! :) Mesmerized by the light, what a wonderful way to spend a few moments. Love your painting too!

  2. Thank you, Jennifer! I have so many gifts, but yes, I think the tall, German elf is probably the best one ;). And our colds are all better now that spring is finally here!

  3. Mmmmmm. I love open windows in the spring...fresh, crisp. A gift to be counted, indeed. :)


Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!