Posted by: Jo | July 25, 2014

Small Things

“Who despises the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10)

image Just recently a friend gave us a fascinating, challenging and yet a most rewarding book by Ann Voskamp, entitled “One Thousand Gifts” The theme was a most unusual one. The author had challenged herself to record a thousand small gifts she noted in her everyday life that had been sent by the Heavenly Father and to react to those gifts with gratitude, which she found became a wonderful way of changing any darkness of despair, whatever form it takes, to the joy of thanksgiving. At first I was surprised by what she noted e.g. the smell of warm cookies, or this strange one, rainbow colours in the soap bubbles while washing up, but as I began to follow her beautiful reasoning I realised that a day steeped in gratitude and recognising the Lord in the small things, certainly reduced the large difficult challenges of living.

Psychologists will agree that thoughts have a very powerful effect on our attitude to our everyday living and when we allow negative thoughts to remain in our minds it has a profound effect on our speech/ actions/ general demeanor, but the good news is that the opposite is also true. Allowing our minds to be filled with good thoughts and feelings of gratitude dispels anxiety/ fear/depression.

Paul was way ahead of any psychologists when he wrote to the Philippians these wise words;

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, – if anything is excellent or praise worthy- think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

image Most of us lead fairly ordinary lives and sometimes it is easy to feel we don’t experience outstanding miracles happening like those we read about in other’s lives and we wonder if we are really in touch with the Lord. What I liked about Ann Voskamp’s book, was the emphasis on how God wants all his children to feel his presence through the small gifts he is always surrounding us with, but often go unnoticed, unless we consciously look for them. I decided to try to put into practice what she was advocating. The next time I was out walking I tried to remember Paul’s words and to control my thinking as he had advised us to do and as I passed a toddler riding in a stroller I gave him a little wave and he rewarded me with a smile that spread right across his face. I suddenly realised God had sent me a little gift with that smile. I surprised myself by finding lots of little gifts; a new bud on a plant on my balcony/ a hug from a friend I hadn’t seen for a while/ a lovely complement from one of the family. When we actively decide to choose to think of what is praise worthy we are showered with the best gift of all. God promises to be with us and surrounds us with his peace.

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)

image It becomes a delightful activity for each day to look for the special gifts the Lord has sent specially for you, it just takes a little searching, but the rewards of doing so are astounding in their power to dispel any gloom or darkness and to bring light and joy in their place.

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” (Proverbs 8:17)

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Responses

  1. Knowing you are praying for me has been a not so small gift and huge blessing. Thank you, sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely blog Jo. There are so many little gifts we receive each day it’s easy to miss them if we’re not looking Thank you for reminding us to look.

    Like

  3. Thank you, Jennifer for all your heart warming comments

    Like

  4. Oh Jo! you reduced me to tears once again. I love your blog and the references from Phillippians were so uplifting! I will be using them as encouragement to friends and family. Thankyou my friend.

    Like


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