one hundred gifts

Monday, March 7, 2011

This week I reached one hundred gifts! It is daunting to think about one thousand, but there's no way I could stop now even if I tried. I catch myself watching something, hearing something, and thinking, "Eucharisteo." In a huge personal victory yesterday, I actually used this spiritual practice in the middle of a fairly tough situation with the family. I'm humbled to see how this has changed me. I'm blessed to feel the grace. In Chapter 9 of One Thousand Gifts, Ann talks about 'going low'. This is something that I feel is just not taught well in Christianity today. I been a member (or regular participant) of a number of different denominations/streams of Christianity, and none of them taught this well. Mennonites definitely have a corner on the market, but even there, it can very quickly cross that line into 'pride' of our humility.
Ann gives a quote from F.B. Meyer: "I used to think that God's gifts were on shelves one above the other, and that the taller we grew in Christian character the easier we should reach them. I find now that God's gifts are on shelves one beneath the other, and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower, and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best gifts."

We are definitely given the impression, if not outright taught, that the way to get God's gifts is to grow towards Him, to do the things He tells us, to fulfill our obligations, so to speak. I've actually never heard anyone teach this completely - the way to God's gifts is less of us. Not more of us towards God, not more of us in obedience - less of us. I've really been thinking about this in connection with Lent. Yesterday, Len Sweet tweeted this: We have made Lent less about denying ourselves than denying something TO ourselves. Isn't that so true of us as believers? We spend so much time denying stuff to ourselves, then filling it up with what we imagine God wants us to be full of. In denying ourselves, we are emptied to be filled by Christ. Filled with Him. Not the stuff we think is God's stuff. Not the thoughts we think are His thoughts. Not the deeds we think are the ones He wants us to do. Christ Himself. Humility. Denial of self. Thankfulness - Eucharisteo precedes the miracle! (...the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory - Colossians 1:26)

Today, with humility, with thanksgiving, with grace, with GREAT joy, I count one hundred gifts.
96. my oldest so willing to help when his mama is feeling ill
97. a fast fix to further car trouble
98. the changing of the seasons
99. being so in love with my Maggie

100. broken, yet still carried to the table
101. my husband's sweet forgiveness
102. faster and newer technology, making my life easier
103. a week and half of nearly normal family life, with much less trauma than usual

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