I read a very interesting book about a year a go. The title of the book is “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp.
This is not an easy-to-read book, it’s more of a read and re-read kind of book. The kind of book that made me stop and think, and then think some more. A soul-searching book, full of challenge. A challenge to live a life full of joy, no matter the circumstance.
It took me a few months, but I finally finished the book, and the effects this book has had on my life, still continue to shape me to this very day.
The concept of the book is simple. The challenge suggested in the book, not so simple.
The challenge? I am to look for the “gifts” that have been given to me in my every day life. The simple things, and some times even the hard things that while I might not think of it as a gift at the time, will eventually be used to make me a better person.
The author encourages me to make a list. A list of the gifts that I have in my life. I thought about this, and after I have gone through all of the obvious things/people who I am thankful for, this task becomes a little more difficult.
It’s when I am forced to concentrate on the positive things, and set aside the negative. When I “count it all joy“, I become more aware of all the good that God has given me. And this is when the life changing effects of taking note of the gifts in my life takes place.
I have tried in the past to keep a list. I haven’t been too successful at it. I think to myself that I already know what I am thankful for, so is it really necessary to make a list? Well, it appears that there are some good reasons for it, and as noted by the author, here are just a few of them.
- Have a relative absence of stress and depression. (Woods et al., 2008)
- Make progress towards important personal goals (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)
- Report higher levels of determination and energy (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)
- Feel closer in their relationships and desire to build stronger relationships (Algoe and Haidt, 2009)
- Increase your happiness by 25% — (Who wouldn’t want a quarter more happiness!) (McCullough et al., 2002)
So, I’ve decided I am going to give it another try. I’m going to take up the challenge, and keep a list, and each day I am going to add 3 things to the list.
Today’s challenge: 3 Gifts Eaten
- salted caramel gelato
- lemon pound cake
- chicken apple sausage
Soon, I will have my own list of 1000 things, and maybe even more.