As I was driving into town today I was thinking of all the things that I enjoy about summer time. Living in Northern Minnesota really makes you appreciate summer, as the winters can sometimes be unbearably long and cold. Now, I’m sure there are some who live in states where their summer’s are HOT, like much of my extended family who live in New Jersey, that may say that our high 70’s – low 80’s is a bit chilly for summer. But it suits me just fine. I have also been savoring the changing of seasons here more, knowing that when I am in Senegal the seasons will be much different then I am use to.
To change the topic of just a moment…I’m sure many of you have heard of the book One Thousand Gifts – A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are At by Ann Voskamp. I first heard Ann speaking about her book on one of my favorite radio programs, Chris Fabry Live.
Here is the publisher’s synopsis of her book, “Drawing heartbreaking beauty out of the simplest of details, Ann Voskamp invites you into her grace-bathed life of farming, parenting, and writing—and deeper still into your own life. Here you will discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of living that is fully alive, and a way of becoming present to God that brings you deep and lasting joy.”
Last winter I read most of the book and while it was very good, I’m embarrassed to tell you I didn’t finish it. I have a bad habit of reading most of a book but never quite finishing it (unless it’s a novel). Another thing that slowed me down a bit was Ann’s writing style it very poetic and that made it a little hard to follow at times. But, that being said, I still really want to read the whole thing sometime.
Anyway…ever since reading One thousand Gifts – A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, I have been making my own list. But, so far this summer I’ve been very lax about actually writing anything down. So, I’ve decided to share some of the things I’ve found myself being thankful for this summer. Feel free to leave a comment with things you thankful for today! The more we look for the beauty around us the more we see and know God!
1. The lush green of the fields, forests, ditches, yards, and gardens
2. The smell of strawberries fresh from the garden…I really wish I could bottle that smell for the cold winter days
3. A swarm of bees flying overhead, looking for a new home
4. The smell of dirt after a rain
5. Potlucks with dear friends
6. Hanging wash out on the line
7. The warm clothes just off the line that smell of summer and sunshine
8. Evenings spent with friends sharing how God is at work in my life…drawing me to Africa
9. Phone calls with a “little” brother far away
10. Watching my niece profess her faith in God by being baptized
11. Eating perfectly ripe raspberries out of the garden
12. Moments of working together with my Mom
13. Drives to work in the morning with my Dad
14. A perfect sunset
The list could go on and on…but to be perfectly honest, I have had to stop and consider what to write here. God has given each of us so much to be thankful for, even when life is hard, but so often we take it for granted. Or, at least I know I do. I have been trying to soak in the little moments of joy that come my way so often, to acknowledge the gifts God sends my way every day. Even when I am pulling weeds in the garden, washing dishes or mopping a floor, there are things to be thankful for.
I would truly love to hear some of the things you are finding to be thankful for…please take a minute to share!