Posted by: gcarkner | September 27, 2013

Ann Voskamp Discovers Gratitude

Quotes from Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

for the Curious of Heart

Gratitude-Gifts-Grace-Glory-Goodness-Joy-Fullness-Meaning-Blessing

Eucharisteo: Ann’s Unique Hermeneutic on the Spirituality of Everyday Life

Eucharisteo (thanksgiving) always precedes the miracle. And don’t we all long for a miracle of grace.

See also Brene Brown TED Talk on Vulnerability 

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lXYZ6s3Dfk Louie Schwartzburg, Nature, Beauty, Gratitude

Kari Jobe, Revelation Song

Book of Philippians

“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”

“Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control, let go of my own way, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy’s fire. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper a surprised thanks. This is the fuel for joy’s flame. Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will. And I can empty. I can empty because counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, passionately values me. I can empty because I am full of His love. I can trust.”

“We don’t see the material world for what it is meant to be: the means to communion with God…. There is a belief missing, that God is good and that he gives good gifts.”

“When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us?”

“He does have surprising, secret purposes. I open a Bible, and His plans, startling, lie there barefaced. It’s hard to believe it, when I read it, and I have to come back to it many times, feel long across those words, make sure they are real. His love letter forever silences any doubts: “His secret purpose framed from the very beginning [is] to bring us to our full glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7 NEB).”

“The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live…. He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything…. Saying Yes to God’s graces is the linchpin of it all.”

“Thank You, God, for the bread of now …

for your Son and sacrifice …

for the love song You keep singing, the gift of Yourself that You

keep giving …

for the wild wonder of You in this moment.”

“I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done–yesterday.”

“I have to seek God beauty. Because isn’t my internal circuitry wired to seek out something worthy of worship? …. True Beauty worship, worship of Creator Beauty Himself. God is present in all moments, but I do not deify the wind in the pines, the snow falling on the hemlocks, the moon over harvested wheat. Pantheism, seeing the natural world as divine, is a very different thing than seeing divine God present in all things …. Nature is not God but God revealing the weight of Himself, all His glory, through the looking glass of nature.”

“It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us …”

“How my eyes see, perspective, is my key to enter into His gates. I can only do so with thanksgiving. If my inner eye has God seeping up through all things, then can’t I give thanks for anything? And if I can give thanks for the good things, the hard things, the absolute everything, I can enter the gates to glory. Living in His presence is fullness of joy– and seeing shows the way in.”

“Lament is a cry of belief in a good God, a God who has His ear to our hearts, a God who transfigures the ugly into beauty. Complaint is the bitter howl of unbelief in any benevolent God in this moment, a distrust in the love-beat of the Father’s heart.”

“Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy.”

“How I want to see the weight of glory break my thick scales, the weight of glory smash the chains of my desperate materialism, split the numbing shell of deadening entertainment, bust up the ice of catatonic hearts”

“The practice of giving thanks … eucharisteo … this is the way we practice the presence of God, stay present to His presence, and it is always a practice of the eyes. We don’t have to change what we see. Only the way we see.”

“Thanksgiving–giving thanks in everything–prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ …. Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God …. The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible, makes joy possible …. Joy is God’s life.”

“We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. Because how else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace.”

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“That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.”

“Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love? That Satan’s way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus’ way? Why else get angry? Isn’t it because I think complaining, exasperation, resentment will pound me up into the full life I really want? When I choose–and it is a choice–to crush joy with bitterness, am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness? Choosing the angry way of Lucifer because I think it is more effective–more expedient–than giving thanks?”

“The true Love Dare. To move into His presence and listen to His love unending and know the grace uncontainable. This is the vault of the miracles. The only thing that can change us, the world, is this–all His love.”

“Learning slowly to not be so reactionary while inserting verbal gratitude into stressful situations is almost like being healed of mental blindness.”

“All fear is but the notion that God’s love ends. Did you think I end, that My bread warehouses are limited, that I will not be enough? But I am infinite child. What can end in me? Can life end in me? Can happiness? Or peace? Or anything you need? Doesn’t your Father always give you what you need? Fear thinks God is finite and fear believes that there is not going to be enough and hasn’t counted one thousand gifts, exposed the lie at the heart of all fear? In Me, blessings never end because My love for you never ends …. As long as there is a God in heaven, there is grace on earth and I am the spilling God of uncontainable, forever-overflowing-love-grace.”

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“I am a hunter of beauty and I move slow and I keep the eyes wide, every fiber of every muscle sensing all wonder and this is the thrill of the hunt and I could be an expert on the life full, the beauty meat that lurks in every moment.”

“Thanksgiving creates abundance.”

“God reveals Himself in rearview mirrors. And I’ve an inkling that there are times when we need to drive a long, long distance, before we can look back and see God’s back in the rearview mirror. Maybe sometimes about as far as heaven — that kind of distance.”

“The joy of small that makes life large. Hadn’t I personally experienced it before too, that vantage point that gave a sense of smallness before grandeur? At the tip of the Grand Canyon, peering into the carved earth, the vastness of the hewn and many-hued chasm. A late June night peering into the expanse of heavens nailed up with the named and known stars. A moon field. I hardly dare brush the limitlessness with my vaporous humanity. But the irony: Don’t I often desperately want to wriggle free of the confines of a small life? Yet when I stand before immensity that heightens my smallness – I have never felt sadness. Only burgeoning wonder.”

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“When service is unto people, the bones can grow weary, the frustration deep. Because, agrees Dorothy Sayers, “whenever man is made the center of things, he becomes the storm-center of trouble. The moment you think of serving people, you begin to have a notion that other people owe you something for your pains …. You will begin to bargain for reward, to angle for applause …. When the eyes of the heart focus on God, and the hands on always washing the feet of Jesus alone – the bones, they sing joy and the work returns to it’s purest state: eucharisteo. The work becomes worship, a liturgy of thankfulness.”

“The work we do is only our love for Jesus in action” writes Mother Theresa. “If we pray the work … if we do it to Jesus, if we do it for Jesus, if we do it with Jesus … that’s what makes us content.” Deep joy is always in the touching of Christ – in whatever skin He comes to us in.”

“The cynics, they can only speak of the dark, of the obvious, and this is not hard. For all it’s supposed sophistication, it’s cynicism that’s simplistic. In a fallen world, how profound is to see the cracks?”

“The sages and prophets, the disciples and revolutionaries, they are the ones up on the ramparts, up on the wall pointing to the dawn of the new Kingdom coming, pointing to the light that breaks through all things broken, pointing to redemption always rising and to the Blazing God who never sleeps.”

“Jesus embraced His not enough … He gives thanks … and there is more than enough. More than enough. Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle. And who doesn’t need a miracle like that everyday? Thanksgiving makes time. The real problem of life is never a lack of time. The real problem of life – in my life – is lack of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving creates abundance; and the miracle of multiplying happens when I give thanks … it’s giving thanks to God for this moment that multiplies the moments, time made enough. I am thank-full. I am time-full.”

“I glance back in the mirror to the concrete bridge, the one I’ve boldly driven straight across without second thought, and I see truth reflecting back at me: Every time fear freezes and worry writhes, every time I surrender to stress, aren’t I advertising the unreliability of God? That I really don’t believe? But if I’m grateful to the Bridge Builder for the crossing of a million strong bridges, thankful for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust Him again.”

“Eucharisteo, remembering with thanks, this is the bread. We take the moments as bread and give thanks and the thanks itself becomes bread. The thanks itself nourishes. Thanks feeds our trust …. Manna with thanks, eat the mystery of the moment with trust, and I am nourished another day – or refuse it … and die. Jesus calls us to surrender and there’s nothing like releasing fears and falling into peace. This is what I have always wanted and never knew: this utter trust, this enlivening fall of surrender into the safe hands. There is no joy without trust! “

“The gift list is thinking upon His goodness – and this, this pleases Him most! And most profits my own soul and I am beginning, only beginning, to know it. If clinging to His goodness is the highest form of prayer, then this seeing His goodness with a pen, with a shutter, with a word of thanks, these really are the most sacred acts conceivable. The ones anyone can conceive, anywhere, in the midst of anything. Eucharisteo takes us into His love.”

“Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living.”

“I’m Peter on the mountaintop, stirring to see The Glory in all its God-radiance, stammering out that it’s good to be here; let’s build shelters and never depart. But there’s always the descent from the mount. The meeting of the crowd, the complaining, the cursing.”

“I am blessed; I can bless; I can do this; I can become a current of blessing in a river of grace that redeems the world.”

“Gratitude is the most fruitful way of deepening your consciousness that you are a divine choice.”

“Here you can enact eucharisteo; here you can become a current in a river of grace that redeems the world! Here I can become the blessing, a little life that multiplies joy, making the larger world a better place.”

Read also the theme of joy and thanksgiving in the biblical book of Philippians.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,   His faithful love endures forever.

Thomas Merton rightfully notes that resentment is one of our deepest human problems. Gratitude is its opposite.

See the journey to joy and meaning in The Great Escape from Nihilism

https://ubcgcu.org/new-book-release-the-great-escape/

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