Monday, August 20, 2012

one thousand gifts

I started reading this book, one thousand gifts, a couple of weeks ago. Immediately, when I started it, I knew that it wasn't going to be a book I could casually read. It was going to be a page by page, word by word process that I would have to be patient with. I am not a speed reader as it is, more of a learned lover of the written word. I had to condition myself to become someone who read for pleasure. I am more than happy that I did devote the time to reading because it is something for me, it is my escape, my mental time-out that allows me down time when I wouldn't normally take any. With this book tho, I still get that mental check out time, but it isn't a mindless one. This book gives purpose and thought to who I want to be, how I want to spend my days compared to how I am actually spending them. It is a challenge. A look into why we are always wanting more? What is it that ultimately leads us toward wanting more and how that want, lacking in thanks, is what condemns us into a life of eternal yearning.
I am the typical, grass is always greener kinda girl. All my life I have always looked forward instead of looking at what is right in front of me. A person striving to be better, never truly giving thanks for what I already had.  I am sure we all get that way through our lives, but for me I feel like it's been a constant theme. What's next? Who has something better? How can I get what's over there? When do we move on? What can I do that other's are doing? Where's all this going? Why can't I be like her or them? Questions and want always filling my head and consuming my heart. To a point, most would say that you have to be a person who strives to succeed in this world, you need that constant want to move ahead in life. But what about being present in what you already have, what you have already been given? How can you ever feel fulfilled if you never pay homage to where you are right here and now? Doesn't the constant need to step up demean the steps in life's climb already taken? In the last couple of years I have purposefully taken myself to a place of awareness... by blogging, by cherishing music, by who I surround myself with, by how I spend my days, by reading... Many things, subtle changes to allow myself growth, healing, a chance for peace. This book keeps that theme going. It preaches thanks with every word. It forces you to see where we all fall short in being present in your own life...
I am not even halfway through this book... Did I say it was a challenge? I can't go but 2 or 3 pages before I have to set it aside and think, digest, process what I just read. Not the easiest of things to do, especially for an admitted learned lover of books!!! But I plug along! It may take me twice as long to get it read but I keep at it! Mostly because when I do, I read things like this:
'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. In a world with cows to buy and fields to see and work to do, in the beep and blink of the twenty-first century, with it's "live in the moment" buzz phrase that none of the whirl-weary seem to know how to do, who actually knows how to take time and live with soul and body and God all in sync? To have the time to grab the jacket off the hook and time to go out to all air and sky and green and time to wonder at all of them in all this light... 
I just want time to do my one life well.

Pretty powerful words to ponder? I am still learning... soaking it up as best I can. I will probably forever be learning and adjusting! But I think that's what we should be doing, no? Being present, being thankful... slowing down so that what is given is cherished and not brush aside while we extend our hands for more. I may fail and fall short most days, but I pick myself back up, and begin again! One way I am doing that is by picking this book up and reading, rereading, soaking it up... Trying again!

Always - Abbey

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