Thursday, January 27, 2011

cold

 Nicomekl Creek on a frosty morning


Thursday Challenge

Next week: RED (Fruit, Vegetables, Flowers, Clothing, Hair, Makeup, Wine, Toys,...)



Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Monday, January 24, 2011

1000 gifts in orbit (268-283 of 1000 gifts)

While much of eastern Canada shivers in a deep freeze, here on the west coast we're toying with spring. On a walk this week I saw the first blooms of forsythia and heard spring birdsong. Spears of bulbs are breaking the soil. We have a few more minutes of sunlight every day (268-271)!

Here are some more blessings I counted this week:


272. A neck that normally swivels without pain. (On Monday and Tuesday for some reason mine didn't. Ouch!)

273. Buying books for the Kindle e-reader (they shouldn't make it so easy!)

274. A walk on a cool, grey afternoon, perfect for calming restless thoughts and using up nervous energy.

275. A lo-o-o-o-ong dental appointment — done!

276. Freezing. Can't imagine going through the jack-hammering that happened in my mouth without anesthetic.

277. Lunch with friends. Old friends. I met the lady part of our friend duo twenty years ago when our 5-year-olds were in music lessons together.


278. A break in the rain so we could walk.

279. Green upon green upon green.

280. Golden-crowned Kinglets (identified by our more-expert-than-us ornithologist friends).

281. This moving song.



282. Being one of the crowd. At our Wednesday women's meeting someone spoke of God reassuring her that it was important, too, to be just one of the crowd. After all look how the crowds served Jesus — with news spreaders, hosanna shouters, palm wavers, children singers, generally lots of buzz.This week I've loved being part of the crowd that has helped launch Ann Morton Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts to the stratosphere of No. 11 on Amazon.com (on Saturday). Way to go Ann — and all glory to Jesus who foundations the gratitude lifestyle.


283. Discovering the gorgeous poem that begins:

What is it makes a church so like a poem?
The inner silence – spaces between words?


The ancient pews set out in rhyming rows
Where old men sit and lovers are so still?


Or something just beyond that can’t be seen,
Yet seems to move if we should look away?

Read the entire poem here...


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If you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand Gifts, please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post their gifts on blogs, while others list them in private journals. Instructions on how to join are here.



Ann's book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is out and selling like hotcakes. Get your copy! 


Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

window


Mountain train
(I shot this photo through the window of a moving car. I chose it because of the way the blurry foreground trees give a sense of movement. The scene is from our No. 1 Highway trip between Kamloops and Hope, December 31, 2010. You'd hardly know it is winter! Clicking on photo will enlarge it.)




Next week: COLD (Ice, Snow, Windy, Beverage, Food, Ice Cream, Cold Weather Clothing,...)


Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Monday, January 17, 2011

highways and byways (#258 − 267 of 1000 gifts)


My tally of everyday gifts continues...

258. Waking up to a snowy wonderland.

259. Someone special resolves to quite smoking.

260. Bananas and yogurt sweetened with jam.

261. A ray of insight on a project.


262. A witty letter from a friend.

263. Realized again how much I'm loving my now almost-five-year-old digital camera —the best birthday present ever!

264. A belated Christmas present (my Kindle e-reader) arrived just before our weekend travels.

265. Road adventures. It seems we had hardly unpacked from our Christmas travels when it was time to go again. On Friday we planned to drive the familiar route to Kelowna (Hwys 1 to 5 to 97C) in order to attend aunty's funeral on Saturday.

Friday turned out to be a horrible day for highway driving. A rock slide closed the #1 to eastbound traffic between Chilliwack and Hope for most of the day. We took a detour to Hope and after lunch there I happened to see, on our way out of town, the sign saying the #5 was closed. Good thing I noticed, because there were no other signs or barriers across the road till we left it at the Hope Princeton Highway junction to detour past the closure.

At Princeton we took the new-to-us Highway 3A to Aspen Grove (and back to 97C). We passed a couple of groups of ice fishers on the lake, motored through rolling ranch country, wound down valleys and up pine-treed hills. All in all it turned out to be a very scenic road, in great condition (even greater when it stopped raining) with logging trucks our main company. Our detour turned out to be another gift.

Ice Fishers

You never know what's around the bend!


266. Heard this beautiful song at aunty's funeral:



267. We're back home since yesterday with almost 1000 km. traveled. So thankful for safe travels.

 The town of Merritt seen in the distance from Hwy 5.

Merritt in the Nicola Valley

**************
If you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand Gifts, please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post their gifts on blogs, while others list them in private journals. Instructions on how to join are here.



Ann's book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is releasing in hardback soon (tomorrow, in fact). But you can get the Kindle version  now!

Here is the book trailer. I bet you won't be able to watch it without shedding a tear!






Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

best of 2010 photo

 Houseboats at Fisherman's Wharf - Victoria, BC 

I chose this photo as my 2010 favorite for the colors, the water reflection but mostly for the memories of a beautiful evening in Victoria.

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Thursday Challenge

Next Week: WINDOW (Reflections, A View Through a Window, House Windows, Car Windows, Glass,...)



Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Monday, January 10, 2011

the party's over (#242-257 of 1000 gifts)

Christmas is down. The house has sobered up. We're in the sunlight-starved month of January. I like this part of the year's cycle, made even richer by finding, and naming everyday gifts:

242. A cozy house on rain-dark mornings.

Flooded path in Michaud Park

243. Rain and more rain...gurgling down gutters and manholes, swishing in spray from passing vehicles, dripping endlessly down the greasy shingles of my writing window, covering the path, and transforming last week's hockey rink into a duck pond.

 Last week's hockey rink...
...now a duck pond

244. A floor fan that blows warm air over my feet when I'm at the kitchen sink.

245. Dense muffins with surprising bursts of cranberry.

246. A "yes" on a book review query.

247. Timing I wouldn't have chosen, so I rest on "The steps of a good (wo)man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in her way" Psalm 31:23.

248. The reminder to check on a friend.

249. The ease of visiting with friends from two cities back in our history.


250. Tidying my office — I wonder what treasures I'll uncover this week!

251. The paper shredder.


252. Slim file folders.

253. Waking with a song playing in my head.


254. Manna?

255. Frost crystals - nature's stamped magic.

256. The smell of baking bread.

257. A Sunday afternoon nap.

**************
If you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand Gifts, please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post their gifts on blogs, while others list them in private journals. Instructions on how to join are here.



Ann's book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is releasing in hardback soon. But you can get the Kindle version  now!



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Saturday, January 08, 2011

book review: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

“They say memory jolts awake with trauma’s electricity. That would be the year I turned four. The year when blood pooled and my sister died and I, all of us, snapped shut to grace.


Standing at the side porch window, watching my parents’ stunned bending, I wonder if my mother had held me in those natal moments of naming like she held my sister in death” (Kindle Location 45).

In those paragraphs from the opening chapter of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp word-sketches the incident which defined much of her life. Then with deft strokes she moves us forward to her adult self as the wife of an Ontario farmer, mother of six, and fearful, unhappy woman on a quest for joy.

Combining personal story and teaching she takes us on a journey that begins with the discovery of “eucharisteo” – a Greek word that embodies the concepts of ‘giving thanks,’ ‘grace’ and ‘joy.’ At about the time she is contemplating that word, a friend challenges her to name and list one thousand things for which she is thankful. So begins her practice of keeping a gratitude journal where she records her appreciation of everyday life:

“Rays reflecting hues off translucent globes


Sound of spruce cones thumping buckets with spring


Cackle of crows high in the limbs, iridescence on wings


I am a hunter of beauty and I move slow and I keep the eyes wide, every fiber of every muscle sensing all wonder and this is the thrill of the hunt and I could be an expert on the life full, the beauty meat that lurks in every moment.


I hunger to taste life.


God.” (Kindle location 944)

The book is an album of sorts – a series of narrative snapshots from Voskamp’s day-to-day through which she weaves explanations of what she learns about God and time, fear, trust, beauty, humility, service and more. Of course it’s all framed by the practice of seeing, noticing, appreciating and listing – eucharisteo.

She is a masterful story teller with the ability to perceive and communicate the meaningful subtleties of a situation. Her honesty and vulnerability moved me often. It will be a rare mother who will be able to stay dry-eyed through this book.

Her prose is poetic and in a style that reads like a combination of ancient mystic and modern contemplative. She buttresses her points with quotes from sources as varied as often-quoted C. S. Lewis to obscure Alexander Schmemann, ancient Saint Augustine to contemporary John Piper. The result is a rich, stimulating text that begs to be read slowly and savoured.

Thousands read her blog A Holy Experience where she regularly posts writings in a similar vein to One Thousand Gifts. From it has grown the Gratitude Community whose members likewise list, on blogs or in journals, items for which they are thankful to share in a weekly meme.

I have personally joined the Gratitude Community and so the book impacted me on a practical level. As Ann took me to the source of this practice, as I journeyed with her down its twisting course exploring its many tributaries, I came to see in new ways how living with a thankful heart has the potential to nourish all the land that is my life.

One Thousand Gifts is a powerful and convincing apologetic for thankfulness. It illustrates how gratitude to God expressed in attention to His daily blessings can morph from a mere game of accumulating 1000 items on a list to a joyful lifestyle.

Author: Ann Voskamp
Title: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Publisher: Zondervan, 240 pages, Hardcover, releases January 18, 2011. Available as a Kindle download now. 
ISBN-10: 0310321913 
ISBN-13: 978-0310321910


(Article first published as Book Review: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp on Blogcritics.)

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Thursday, January 06, 2011

lights

Light for sale
********


Next week: BEST of 2010 (Your favorite or best photo of 2010)


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Monday, January 03, 2011

goodbye 2010 (#227-241 of 1000 gifts)

We began this week in Kamloops, and now we're safe and sound at home again. We began this week in 2010 and now it's 2011. We began this week in the thick of holidays, and now it's time to get back to work. But nothing has really changed, for the gifts keep appearing.

I finished Ann's book yesterday and as a result have a whole new appreciation for the potential of noticing, naming and noting God's endless gifts to me. This week they included:

227. Lotion for winter-dry skin

228. My daughter's yummy meals — she's a much fancier cook than I am; we had Thai chicken wraps, spicy-rubbed, slow-roasted ribs. I need to collect some recipes.


229. Snuggling with an almost three-year-old and my laptop to explore spiders.


230. Playing Play Doh with an octopus-maker.



231. A one-year-old who is a constant-motion machine. Smart too. When Grandpa said 'No,' what did he do but begin plying him with kisses.


In
Out
232. Brother "Batmans"





233. A chilly but beautiful trip to Sun Peaks. It was fun, despite two melt-downs.


234. Christmas game tournaments.


235. Breaking a tooth when I bit down on a popcorn kernel. (Is this a gift, you ask. I do too. But if God's promises are true and all things truly do work out for good to those who love Him, then this uncomfortable event is also surely a gift. You see, I really have read Ann's book!)


236. The decision to drive home from Kamloops via the No. 1 instead of the Coquihalla. It was a crystal clear day and the views through the Fraser Canyon were stunning!



237. Good weather and road conditions for our drives to and from daughter's house.

238. Home, sweet home. Love, love, love my home.


239. The cinnamon-bun smell of our church on Sunday morning. (Since the opening of the coffee shop I believe they do some baking for the between service coffee-ers).

240. Purdy's chocolates.

241. That son wasn't mad when we forgot to take his Christmas gift back home with us.

**************
If you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand Gifts, please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post their gifts on blogs, while others list them in private journals. Instructions on how to join are here.



Ann's book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is releasing in January. But you can get the Kindle version  now!

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