This last week I finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. It was a fantastic story and journey of a woman seeking the joy, thanksgiving, and grace in every day life. She has a very creative writing style which illustrates the way she looks at life. Her focus throughout the book is finding the Eucharisteo in every situation. The word Eucharisteo is the Greek word meaning thanksgiving. The root word of Eucharisteo is charis which means "grace" and the word chara means "joy."
Toward the beginning of the book someone challenges her to make a list of 1000 gifts or things that she is thankful for and through the making of the list her eyes are opened to seeing things in a new light. Finding the joy in little things, in the mundane, the simple, and the challenging. She finds grace in the trials, the pain, and the sorrow. It is a journey of seeing God's loving hand at work in our lives in a way that we do not normally stop to think about or recognize as love and grace. Often it's hard to see Christ's love displayed though the pain of a friend's suffering, or the grace in the blown tire, or the joy in a cup of spilled milk, but as Ann writes down things she's thankful for she begins looking for moments and opportunities to thank God, she shares the Eucharisteo moments with her children, and life becomes a cup of joy and grace instead of the tiresome and crazy life of a mother with a half-dozen children.
I am taking up the challenge to begin a list. To stop and recognize the blessings and gifts around me. To search for the hidden treasures. To reform the way I look at life and to see it through the eyes of Eucharisteo. I encourage you to read the book if you have a chance. It's wonderful!