I have just finished Ann Voscamp’s book A Thousand Gifts.  Shelli Kratzer gave it to me when they came to visit (thanks, friend!).  I knew it was a popular book (a New York Times Bestseller), I knew it was about gratitude, and I knew I should read it…but you know how it goes.

I am thankful that with limited options here in Burundi, that “need to get around to it someday” list seems to be more attainable.  No TV distractions, internet may not work, and you find that once you are on the other side of the world, facebook gets old faster because everyone is sleeping and nothing is being added.

So, I read the book.  I am challenged.  I am pondering.  I am amazed that it could be that powerful when the lesson is as old as the sun.  Be thankful.  See, what I mean, nothing.  “Say thank you.”  How many times have we heard it.  But to live a life of seeing the gifts, naming the gifts,  and accepting these overtures of Almighty God.  That is not a lesson in manners.  It is not about being polite anymore.  Rather it is awakening to the reality that is your life, the beautiful gift from the beloved Giver.

Thank you, Jesus, for a washing machine!  For clothes dried in the sun.  Thank you for small hands that learn and grow as they participate in the hanging and then removing.  Thank you for grass green and tropical flower radiance.  Thank you for hot dogs and little boys smiles and shouts of glee.  Thank you for their Daddy who surprises them with the things their little hearts miss in this foreign land.  Thank you for little friends and slumber parties with stories and flashlights and giggly girls.  Thank you for pouring more than enough into our lives today.  Thank you, Jesus.  I love you.  I see your love and I name it!