1000 Gifts by Ann Voscamp is an amazing book. I have been allowing this book to drown me in its thought provoking and life changing challenges since Christmas. It is because of Ms. Voscamp's insightful words that my thoughts dig deeper.
Expectations. I have them. They sit on the shelf of my mind waiting to be experienced. Like the parents long awaiting a healthy baby and believing in innocence that no harm could come to their precious child early in life, or a bride and groom traversing the aisle believing that they will live happily ever after,I expect. But not all hopes are realized. I expect all problems to be fixable. Some times they are, and my expectations are fulfilled. Of course, there are times when my expectations go unfulfilled. Though I set my mind on the future fulfillment of my hopes, I am not assured that I will find joy. I am happy when it works my way, but how deep is this gladness?
Anticipation fills me with a generous thrill before the waited for event. Many times the traveling toward a planned event is much more exciting than the event itself. Parties sometimes leave me wanting after much anticipation of the gaiety I carefully mapped out for my guests. The thrill of the plan is carried away like a bubble bursting or a balloon lost to the wind and I am left empty handed, my hopes for the greater thrill unreachable.
Surprise! Is there joy in surprises? The unexpected is not always wanted. I've always told my husband that I don't like surprises, but maybe that is not true, at least not always. I would like the surprise of flowers on an uneventful day. I do enjoy the unexpected, unanticipated visits from my kids and the Grandladies and Grandmen! I might even be pleasantly amazed to find a little note on the windshield of my car. Little surprises can sometimes be huge. Ann Voscamp says it is a matter of perspective. What will surprise me?
God You are a surprise! I am reminded of a children's song that says just that! All that You do and all that You give is a surprise. I am sometimes too proud to let You fill me with wonder, Lord, but I do not want that to be me. Thank You for setting little delights in my day. Open my eyes to see them clearly. Teach me the wide eyed awe that will take my breath away as I practice giving thanks for the little and the big things in my life.