On her traumatic, stressful road to joy Ann Voskamp came to recognize trust as “the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow, built with planks of thanks.” Eucharisteo, remembering with thanksgiving, became her mantra, her discipline, her bread of life. A woman on Renovare’s Facebook site recommended One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to LIVE FULLY Right Where You Are. Happy to find it in our county library, I’ve been savoring Ann’s grateful, childlike trust all week and am eager to get my own copy. Also to check out her website and blog.

Humans are created to be in communion with God and one another. God created us with the capacity to appreciate all the wonders of creation, to delight in each other and to enjoy the Creator Godself. Thanksgiving and trust come naturally, right?

Then why is it often true that the more we have to be thankful for, the less thankful we are? And the closer to God people think or say they are, the more fear-bound and worry-flurried they seem?

  1. God, who is love personified, gives us way more than we need every day.
  2. We start taking everything for granted, assuming human self-sufficiency.
  3. We take risks, we mess up, people fail us, trust erodes.
  4. We turn to our gods–education, health, achievement, wealth, religion.
  5. God, our Loving Parent, keeps on giving each of us more than we need each day, no matter what.
  6. In God’s good timing we hear: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
  7. As for Ann Voskamp, the Holy Spirit awakens us gradually to the joy of gratitude that builds trust.
Lasting transformation from anxiety, disillusionment and frustration to carefree trust must be nourished daily with thanks-fullness. For more years than I can remember I’ve kept a prayer journal, every year with more “Thank You for…” and “I trust You for…”.  Thousands of mornings: “Thanks for good (sometimes deep, sound, long, great, dreamy, wonderful, childlike, renewing, revitalizing, or sweet) sleep. Hundreds of wakeful hours: “I trust You for the rest and sleep I need.” Another perennial theme is Spirit fruit: Thank You for Your Love shown to me in Jim’s or someone else’s love; I trust You to keep me loving today. Thanks for the joy of being outdoors on this beautiful day; I trust You to infuse me with creative joy. Thanks for Pax Christi; I trust Your peace-making power. Thanks for that friend’s patience, so like Yours with me; I trust You for this waiting time I face. Thanks for her kindness to them; I trust You will inspire me with kind spontaneity as well. Thank You for opening my heart-eyes to Your goodness in so many ways today; I trust You to guide my writing to give You all the praise. Thanks for his faithfulness, her gentleness, their self-control; I trust You to keep me faithfully following You, Jesus, trusting Your gentle guidance and life-generating disciplines.

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