I am reading a book called "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are," by Ann Voskamp. This isn't an easy fiction read like I'm used to.
I'm a fiction reader. I love getting lost in the made-up story. I know it's lazy and trite. But I crave the escape.
This book is real. Real life to the fullest. This book is helping me escape right into my own life. I'm loving every moment. I would highly recommend it! Even though I am only on chapter 3.
This morning I was reading the book, a chapter delving into thankfulness, when Emma came down the stairs. It was 7:02am. Her hair was puffy and tangled and her eyes were scrunched as they decided from sleep to the lightness of the day. Her groggy voice said, "I slept right 'till seven." She has always been our clock-work kid with her self-imposed schedules.
She came close to my chair to look at the book in my hand.
"I'm reading about thankfulness. What are you thankful for?"
Without hesitation she said, "I'm thankful for my mom and dad."
"And I'm thankful for you." I said it with a smile while looking right into her eyes. Instead of looking down shyly like I was sure she would, she stared hard at me. Her eyes asked, "Really? Do you mean it?" And I responded back, "With all my heart, down to my toes. My socks are knocked off with how thankful I am for you."
"What else?" I probed.
"My brother and sister."
"I'm thankful for our warm house," I said. We were off and running on this game.
"I am thankful for the night." She said looking out the window beside us into the darkness. I pointed to the other window across the room where light was pushing through on the horizon.
"I'm thankful for the new day."
It was her turn now and she excitedly said, "I'm thankful for Christmas. But not because of the presents, but because of Jesus' birthday and we get to have a party. Jesus came to save us."
Where did that come from? It's February. But I loved hearing about what was on her heart. What she thinks about. Emma has never been a communicator. She started talking at 3 and a half years old and even now she doesn't share a lot with me. This peek into her mind was beautiful.
There in the glow of a new day's sunrise I felt thankful. And not just like an aura around me like the temperature of a room... sure to cool at the slightest upset. Then the "thankful feeling" would fade. This thankfulness that settled over me was like putting on a cozy sweater. No matter if things get crazy, the warmth will be with me all day.