Thursday, December 1, 2011

Heart of Thankfulness Chapter 3

Last week Nicole shared about Eucharisto, and this week we’re focusing on what is means to DO Eucharisto.
Eucharisto: thanksgiving. Grace. Joy. Full life.

But how do we take the word and turn it into what it means? How do we find the thanksgiving, grace, and joy that the word itself promises?  Voskamp talks of using eucharisto to “overcome my one ugly and self destructive habit of ingratitude with the saving habit of gratitude” It sounds great.

I, Lauren, am a woman of the fall.  I am bitter, hateful, and resentful. I have a critical eye, am hard to satisfy, and am continually discontent.  How can I change? 

When we thirst, we drink.  When we hunger for eucharisto, we give thanks.

Jesus gave thanks at the Last Supper: “He took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them”

Jesus gave thanks.

Jesus gave THANKS.

He took the bread, received it, and gave thanks.

These are the gifts God gives, and we can receive them with thanks. Paul also speaks of Euchariso:
“I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” Philippians 4:11-12

There it is. We can LEARN Eucharisto!  We can know how to be thankful, empty or full. Rich or poor. In the midst of death, divorce, debt and unemployment. It is still there.

Sips of coffee in white mugs
The sound of waves crashing

The thanks is the miracle. It multiplies the joy and makes any life large. This is what I am hungering for. There is the joy, in the middle of the thanks. But I have this habit of discontentment, and it can only be driven out by the greater and better habit of contentment.

The naming of the gifts fills the emptiness of the space. Naming the gifts. Writing them down. It changes my habit of discontentment into contentment, one gift at a time.

Friends that encourage
A bagel and cream cheese

“A name reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather its essence as God’s gift. To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.”

Bosses full of grace
Flan at a favorite restaurant

“In naming that which is right before me, that which I’d otherwise miss, the invisible become visible.”
God’s in these details, in these gifts, in every little moment of our lives.  I want the fullest life, yearn for the joy and the happiness. Some days, in the midst of the ordinary school/work/cook/clean, it’s hard to think that writing these silly little things teaches eucharisto. But I keep writing them. I want to learn.
Christmas cards

“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 first gift given: joy”
Texts from old friends
Three day weekends

“Gratidude for the seemingly insignificant plants a miracle.  The miracle of eucharisteo, like the last supper, is in the eating of the crumbs, the swallowing down one mouthful. Do not distain the small. The whole of life—even the hard—is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole”
Weekends full of rest and fun
Cuddling and dreaming about the future

The list is God’s list. The way He loves me. And in writing it I enter His throne room and fall more in love with Him.  
*all quotations are taken from Chapter 3 of 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp 

Here are your questions for the week, and Nicole’s answers:

What are you thankful for?
I am thankful for grace and the holy fire that the Lord has put inside my spirit. There is no greater feeling in the world than to be abandoned to him! 

What gifts have you been given? 
Flowers in winter
Fired up friends
Sweet texts
Warm sunshine
The sound of the coffee maker

How have you been able to learn Eucharisto?  
I have been able to learn eucharisteo by remembering to give thanks for the little things as well as understanding thanksgiving is a CHOICE. Thankfulness isn't just going to flow because that is not our human nature. I have learned that you have to train yourself to have true eucharisteo, true joy. 


  1. i LOVE the one thousand gifts book. and i love counting gifts. His grace everywhere is so amazing, isn't it? hate i missed the giveaway :)

  2. @lowercase letters--I am so glad you like the book. It's been such an important book for me! I hate that you missed the giveaway, too, but hope you'll stick around as we go through the rest of the book!

  3. @lowercase letters--I am so glad you like the book. It's been such an important book for me! I hate that you missed the giveaway, too, but hope you'll stick around as we go through the rest of the book!


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