Thursday, January 19, 2012

Counting Your Blessings

Not too long ago, my neighbor lent me a book (which I ended up winning in a giveaway, something which in and of itself proved to be a blessing) that I'd been hearing a lot about and wanted to read, "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I fell in love with it almost immediately. Or rather, through the things it shed light on in my life, I fell back in love with God.

In this book, Ann talks about her own journey discovering the "hidden" power of giving God the credit He deserves. In using your life as a "thank you" to Him in any situation. About unclouding your heart to see the all the wonderful gifts that He's placed right in front of you that you so often and quickly take for granted. She describes her self-induced goal of writing down one thousand gifts that God has given her that she is thankful for. It is a beautifully written book and it has so severely opened my eyes and in turn, my life has taken an incredible turn.

I ended up downloading the "One Thousand Gifts" app for my iphone and let me tell you, this alone has made a huge difference. If you're like me, your phone is always near at hand. Anywhere and everywhere. This app is wonderful because not only does it have inspirational quotes from the book, a streamline from twitter so you can see all the things that other people are saying about the book and their "gifts" but you can also "track" or keep your own count of your one thousand gifts. I find myself updating it all the time. For anything and everything that comes to mind that I'm thankful for. You can even take pictures and use those as a numbered gift. It's great. I love being able to quickly type something in and have the list always at hand as a reminder to be thankful and also for what God has already done for me.


This last week has been pretty rough. With out going into any details, we've experienced some seemingly outrageous set backs. My husband and I joked yesterday that our family motto should be, "When it rains, it pours" or "Go big or go home, even with the trials and tribulations". Not really a joke but we had to find some kind of humor in our current situation. I found myself thinking about all the things that COULD have happened to make the situation worse. Which in turn made me so much more grateful to God that He saved us of the added pain. This realization led me to continue to pray and thank Him for His goodness and graciousness in our lives. It just kept coming. I seriously couldn't stop it. God's mercies just became more and more evident as I kept thanking Him. As soon as this started happening, our situation started changing. Things that we figured were going to just drag us further down all the sudden worked out better than we could have hoped for. God started blessing us more and more abundantly. He alleviated our burden and filled our hearts with hope and peace and joy. It almost literally knocked me to the floor. It was so obvious that things began to work out by His hand and He was SO merciful to us that it made me speechless. I really can not describe to you how strongly I have felt His power in my life these last few days. The power of His love.

Through this recent experience, I can not express strongly enough to you, the incredible power of acknowledging the work of God. In giving Him credit for all the wonderful things you have in your life. Even when it seems like the world is against you, finding joy and happiness in the little things like the way the sun shines through the window or your child saying their ABC's properly for the first time or the smell of freshly cleaned clothes. Anything. It will change your life. God will change your life. If you let Him.

I highly recommend to everyone here to read "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp as well as downloading the app if you can. And if you can't download it, start your own, handwritten list. Count your blessings. Acknowledge God for EVERYTHING that He has given to you because He loves you. I promise that you will see a change in your life.

Here is a link to the book on Amazon:

4 comments:

  1. I picked up this book a few months ago after seeing you mention it and as soon as I finish Faith Deployed I'm on it! Sounds even better than I thought :)

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  2. Abby, You made me cry. I can't tell you how proud I am of you. You are amazing. You always tell me how strong I am, I think you are surpassing me. I also can't tell you how much it makes my heart sing to hear you back in Love with God. It answered many many prayers that Dad and I have said since you walked out our door into the scary cruel world and we knew we could no longer protect you. I thank God for his wonderful blessing to us in you. Abigail means "Source of Joy" and you have brought me great joy today.

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  3. Abby, I read this book also and loved it. I also have the app on my phone and constantly update it with the many many things I have to be grateful for. It does truly make a difference. I've even been doing my countdown on my blog on Monday's and then link up to Ann Voskamp's A Holy Experience blog each Monday. (extra traffic to my site from that link up has been an added bonus!)

    Blessings to you my friend,
    ~Rosann

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  4. Hi Abby, I am currently reading this book too. She has a great website AND I love the app. Fun to add gratitude pictures to it, and great for flipping through later.

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