It was about a six month project, and one that has continued on since I recorded my 1000th item last March.
It truly is remarkable the way that a situation can experience such change by simply focusing on thankfulness- turning thoughts to the Lord and his goodness.
Here are a few thoughts I recorded back around that time...
I think the most unexpected gift I was given through the practice was TIME.
Ann speaks in her book about how we can learn to see time for what it is- a gift, each moment a gift- and that our constant grasping for more of it can in a way be satiated just through thanksgiving.
I have lived this now and know it to be true! I am newly a stay at home mom, and I am so incredibly grateful for the priveledge of being able to be with my children. However, I've been feeling the pulls, the grasping, the feelings of inadequacies and guilt for perhaps not doing enough, not being enough in this quite all-consuming job.
I have been so very blessed the past few months by making time to SEE God, His love and his goodness, in the smallest moments with my son and with my housework... allowing myself to forget about what life "should" look like and just rest in His presence enjoying what He has put right in front of me, embracing each moment. Stunning!
One of the thoughts I appreciated most in her book was regarding the poor, and our ability to still give thanks even when there are the starving and suffering. Kristian and I have feel strongly about the importance of loving these people, and I had been thinking about this very question before I came upon it in chapter three. I almost felt guilty reading a book on gifts and thankfulness when there are so many urgent needs all around me. One of my favorite lines in the book: "Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering. The converse does..." After reading this I felt such freedom. (And why had I not thought of it before??)
I have absolutely love the habit of thanks that is taking root in my heart. Something wonderful happened the other day. I was trying to do too many things at once and within a moment I dropped a cup of milk, glass shattering, big sigh escaping my lips. As I immediately bent down to clean it up I found my mind racing to find something to be grateful for in it. I thought for a moment as I cleaned and honestly could't feel much thankfulness in the frustrating seconds, but then I realized!... a gift was that my mind was so in the habit of thanks that I was sitting there cleaning spilled milk searching for the gift. What a beautiful thing!