Tuesday, January 3, 2012

*A New Year* guest post by Chocolate on my Cranium

Reflection 02
My first guest post is by the lovely lady Cocoa on  Chocolate on my Cranium.  She is the mother of NINE children--and well, she's just got her stuff together (there is no other way to put it). Her optimism astounds me and her blog is filled with both spiritual and practical ideas.  And she obviously likes chocolate.  What better person could I have to ring in the New Year?


For the last few months I have been on a personal journey. I've realized this is the only real 'goal' I want to carry forward going into the new year. Not because I don't want to accomplish other things or better myself --but because this one thing has the power and capacity to be the catalyst for everything else. I have already seen it beginning to change me. It feels good! And I want more.

Gratitude Day 26: Mornings
{early morning light in my daughter's bedroom}

Giving thanks, thanksgiving, eucharisteo*.

Gratitude Day 12: Colors
{Colors to brighten - a picture, a desk, a mother's face}

President Henry B. Eyring has been keeping a gratitude journal for years. He would write a few lines every single night. Of this experience he shared, "Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.

More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened."

bubbles on baby lips
{Bubbles on soft baby lips}

This one question “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” is powerful. The answers even more so.

{Housework is no longer a drudgery but a way to bless my family}
Giving thanks, counting my blessings, has changed my perspective, my focus. I no longer look inward. My eyes are drawn outward, upward to God.  In that drawing I am able to see the needs of others around me. In my limited realm of experience I have learned that in giving thanks I want to give. How can I not when I see how much I have truly been blessed? It is a natural God-intended consequence.

Giving thanks, thanksgiving, eucharisteo*. It is changing my life.

P.S. I will be chronicling some of my daily gifts through pictures on my photography blog, Montserrat Photography. Come, feast with me.

*Ann Voskamp writes, in One Thousand Gifts, Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are,

"The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning "grace." Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be a gift and gave thanks.

But there is more, and I read it. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning "joy." Joy. Ah...yes. I might be needing me some of that. That might be what the quest for more is all about--that which Augustine claimed, "Without exception...all try their hardest to reach the same goal, that is joy."


Amy said...

Wow, an incredible post!! I'd forgotten about those words by President Eyring and I'm so glad to be reminded of them. Very, very cool.
The pictures are gorgeous too, what a talented lady!

Sue said...

I was touched by that talk from President Eyring, too. It resonated with me, but I have not been as conscious about applying it to my life has your guest poster has. I think I can take something from her example.



likeschocolate said...

Thanks for sharing with us!

Cherie said...

I had never heard the word Eucharisteo before. I love the way you have explained it and your goals for the year - Just beautiful.
I think it is going to be a good year for you :-D

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