Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recently, I read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Below are my thoughts on one specific section. Enjoy!

“Sanctuary of Time”---Excerpts from pages 64-77

            In this section, Ann talks about busyness and hurry verses living in the present moment. All of life doesn’t have to be lived rushing, hurrying. “Hurry hurts the soul.” Everything is not an emergency. Ann says that when we live eucharisteo, we “redeem time from neglect and apathy and inattentiveness” as we “swell with thanks.” In giving thanks to God for the moment, we actually “multiply the moments” and time is made enough. According to Ann, “It’s ridiculous how much joy a moment can hold.”

My natural propensity is to make lists, to feel good when I am checking things off, and to feel overwhelmed and frustrated when I’m not making satisfactory progress. When I lunge and plunge head-long into preparing for what’s ahead, hurrying toward something and someday, I fail to notice the gifts of the moment, the joy of the here and now. How can I say, “Thank you” for all the blessings, the gifts, if I am rushing past them without even noticing.

Imaging driving up Hwy. 1 along the Oregon coast and failing to notice the breathtaking splendor of the rocky coast as it touches the crashing waves. What if all one did was read the map, look for road signs that give the distance to the next town, check the time, and glance over at the speedometer.  What a shame it would be to miss the beauty of the moment, while of staring at the pavement ahead, fretting about getting to some destination ahead.

It is sad but true---I have at times been like that. What have I missed along the way? Slowly, I am changing. As I look for and anticipate the “gifts” and then give thanks, I am more and more living in the present. I don’t want to miss the goodness of God in a single moment.  While a case can certainly be made for making preparations for the future or having goals, the future can’t always take precedence over the glory and grace of the present.

Like Ann, “I want enough time. Time to breath 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, press, driven, or wild to get it all done.” “I want to slow down and taste life, give thanks, and see God.”
             I want to notice more, enjoy more, and worship more. When my joy level increases, my focus on the negative decreases. The problems and struggles in this broken world are tamed by gratitude.  My attitude and perspective are improved, my spirit is renewed, and gradually I am changed.  I don’t want to miss any of my “one thousand gifts.” Thus, I will go on naming and numbering God’s goodness.

             Eucharisteo. Living more fully by thanking the Giver of all good gifts.

(c) Marlene Depler. Permission needed to reproduce or publish in any form.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Autumn Musings
Autumn morning:  The house is quiet. I start my coffee in the espresso machine and look out the window to the East. Vapor rises from the pond and pink sunrise streams through the mist, looking ethereal. Seven robins squabble like siblings at the outdoor fountain.  Another robin stands guard in the middle of the bird bath, chasing away the finches that approach. A blue and white Stellar Jay hops around the rose bushes. The garden is spent except for a short row of beets that I should harvest. A few roses have survived the cold snap. I sip my latte and say, “Good morning!” to God.

Autumn afternoon: The late afternoon sun hangs low in the southwestern sky, streaming through the neighbor’s two red maples. Clear blue sky stretches over the mountains. Two foxes dart through the neighborhood—probably the same ones that I saw in our back yard a couple of days ago. A few leaves float to the ground from our Purple Autumn Ash, aptly named for its beautiful purple this time of year. Pruners in hand, I head to the rose bushes. I snip the last seven fragrant blossoms to enjoy indoors.


Sun brings the day, and moon and stars grace the night. I marvel at the predictability and rhythm of the turning of earth and the coming and going of days and seasons. Birds and foxes reproduce after their “kind,” as do all manner of flowers and vegetables. I acknowledge and thank Creator God for creation—for life, for my life and the beauty of this fall day. 

(c) Marlene Depler Permission must be granted to reprint in any form.