What makes the list
So if I’m going to count blessings and make a list of things I am thankful for, how do I decide what goes on the list?
Is it only things I see as good?
Is it only things that make me feel good?
What about bad things, or things that I wouldn’t necessarily see as blessings?
Ann VosKamp says ---“All is grace. God is always good and I am always loved. Everything is eucharisteo” Because eucharisteo is how Jesus at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things-take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness…….All is grace because all can transfigure.
Eucharisteo is a word that Ann came across during her journey to 1,000 gifts. It is what prompted her to want to live more fully. It means to give thanks.
Even in the midst of something we wouldn’t consider a blessing, there is always God’s love for us. He is in everything, His hand always upon us. We may not see it at first, we may be confused or unsure, but it is there always.
I may not enjoy the job that I am doing right now, but I know in my heart that there is a purpose for it. I know there will be blessing from it somehow someway. In the midst of all that is swirling around me, when it is often too difficult to focus on anything let alone God, I know He is still there. And sometimes when I take time to just sit and align my thoughts with what I know is true, that’s when I see it. That’s when the blessing becomes clear. That can only happen when my focus is where it should be, off myself and on Him.
I’ve had a few of these moments recently.
A few days back I wrote these words, “And it breaks my heart that I feel this way”.
Later that day I was reminded of a thought I had one day in church. We were singing a song, I can’t even remember all of the song or even the name of it, but there is a line in the song that says “break my heart for what breaks yours”. I remember thinking that I couldn’t relate to that line. I felt like I didn’t really feel that way. My heart wasn’t broken for the same reasons that God’s heart is sometimes broken. At the time I felt guilty because I thought it meant that I didn’t feel for people the way should. That I didn’t care about poor people, or sick people or the homeless the way that God does. But a few days ago, I finally understood what it meant. When I wrote those words, when I realized that my heart was broken because I couldn’t be thankful for the gift God had given me, I finally knew. I knew what that line in the song meant. God’s heart was broken also because I couldn’t be thankful for the gift He had given me. And now so was mine. This has stayed with me ever since.
Also, one of the things I was upset about was that I wasn’t able to put any effort into my writing. But have you noticed that I have been posting everyday so far for the month of October? When I took on this challenge of posting for 31 days I had originally planned to write some of the posts ahead of time and schedule them to go out. I was able to do that, but only for the first 7 posts. At that point I panicked. The thought of failing in this was depressing. So far I have had time and inspiration every day and have been writing the posts one day before they go out. It’s not as far ahead as I would have liked, but it is working and I am accomplishing what I set out to do.
Two incredible blessings that I would not have noticed had I not looked for them. If I were just making a list of blessings or things I’m thankful for then these two events might not have made it. On the surface I wouldn’t have considered them blessings. It’s only when I take time to focus on what truly matters do I see that they would and should be on the list.
So I guess the answer to the questions at the beginning of this post, is everything goes on the list.
Not literally every single second of my life, but all that I see, do, hear, experience that inspires me to turn my heart toward God in any given moment.
Because that is what makes the list.