As I wrote out my thoughts on chapter 4 of One Thousand Gifts earlier today, I could feel God here with me. The concept of slowing down, of noticing, of counting blessings, of naming Gifts...these are not entirely new thoughts, but they have certainly been presented in a whole new way. I feel challenged, inspired, invited. How could I say no to this?
My Gifts List Journal is well under way, lying open nearby and waiting for more gifts to be added, and then more and more. A thousand and more, because His gifts cannot be limited. They can, however, be named if we care to notice and put them into words.
I am comfortable alone. I love being with my family, make no mistake. I live for time together, all of us, the noise and music and laughter and silliness a wild and wonderful cacophony ringing through the house. But I also deeply appreciate solitude. I am comfortable alone, because even alone I am not lonely. I feel God with me all the time, talk to Him constantly because living in Him means the Amen never has to come.
I was thinking today about how much I love being at home. Maybe that is one reason why it isn't difficult for me to notice and describe the simple blessings, the ordinary things that really aren't ordinary at all: because right here, right now, in the moment, is where I live. Honestly, I think what Ann did for me more than anything was put into words what I've been living and feeling for most of my life.
Steve said something interesting to me this evening. "You know...and you can commence the eye-rolling any time now...this writing, this book...it's what I've known you could write for years now."
I tried really, really hard not to roll my eyes. But I did grin. "I'm not rolling my eyes," I said. "And I have to say that while I wouldn't dream of putting myself in the same writer's camp with Ann, I do think her style is very me."
He grinned a cute "Ha! I win!" grin.
"Not so fast, mister. I still don't consider myself worthy to sharpen Ann's pencils." That is when he rolled his eyes.
I've never met this woman, and I think it's a safe bet that I never will meet her in person. But I can say with complete honesty that I love her. And part of the reason for that is because she allows herself to be real, to be seen as she truly is. No pretenses or masks, just out there raw and open and vulnerable. No wonder we can all identify with her so completely. She is all of us.
And I really, really do want to be that real. As a writer, and just as a woman. Living in His grace and truth, there is only the real. There is only the now. I have to say it feels good to slow down and be fully present in the moment, thanking God for every good and perfect gift one by one. Ann is right: time really does seem to slow down.
And I like it here.