This exercise of writing down one thousand gifts has been an eye-opener. In her book One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp chronicles the journey of learning to say thank you to whatever God gives--even the gifts that are hard.
The practice of saying thank you for the little pleasant gifts prepares her to say thank you for the difficult ones.
I almost feel as if I am having the reverse experience. I find it easy to find the gifts in the difficult, but not so simple to notice the lovely and rejuvenating.
The past several years have been full of difficult experiences. In the fight to maintain my joy as most of my idols of security have been stripped from my life, God has given me much practice in saying thank you for what hurts. I have even felt victorious over the last couple of years, sensing such a confidence in God that I can shake my fist at trials and even say, "Bring it on!"
It wasn't until I began counting my one thousand that I realized that perhaps I have lost something in the process. Something God wants me to get back.
In my determination to look for the blessing in the trial, I have neglected to notice the simple beauty that He showers me with in good times and bad. God uses hard things to bless us sometimes--but He also uses easy things, beautiful things, noble things....
I have been on a quest to see how God is good even when my circumstances seem bad.
God is reminding me that although that's true, I need to realize that He is just good.
I have learned to praise Him in the storm, but I have been blindsided this week by the fact that I have begun to expect only storms. Only storms from the One who sent the rainbow as a promise! It is tantamount to ingratitude.
Taking the time to count my one thousand and beyond has caused me to open my eyes to the love that He lavishes on me every moment. To thank Him for the storm, but anticipate a rainbow.