Monday, August 29, 2011

Practicing and Learning Eucharisteo

I did it! After nearly six months of writing thank you lists I finally reached 1000!! It all started with reading Ann Vonskamp's A Thousand Gifts back in February. She was challenged by a friend to come up with 100 things she was thankful for and she changed it to 1000 and started writing down things she was thankful for. The book is all about her journey and transformation through the process. She talks about eucharisteo which envelopes the idea of grace and thankfulness. The greek word is used in the context of Jesus breaking bread and giving thanks. So part of her journey of thankfulness is about practicing eucharisteo everyday and being thankful in the big, little and everyday sorts of things.

So I started practicing eucharisteo and writing my list of 1000 things not because it's a magical formula that Ann came up with but because I wanted to learn to see things with the perspective of a grateful heart. There were days that I saw things everywhere that I was thankful for and other days when I tried to be thankful for the hard things. Being grateful in the hard times is the most growing thing of all. But it's the example Jesus showed me because when he was breaking bread he was seeing his own body broken for us. Is THAT something to be thankful for?! Yet he teaches me in His example...all is grace...all is a gift...everything used for my GOOD!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

I'm going to leave you with some selections of my thousand things list. I wouldn't want to bore you with the WHOLE list but maybe this will give you an idea of my journey the last six months.

#4. The silhouetted hills covered in misty clouds
#9. The sound of Plazoleta San Blas waterfall
#13. The way God has a place for me right beside Him
#20. The way the hippie with the clown nose made giggle inside
#29. Fierce and forceful grass poking through ancient stones
#35. Sixteen little statues of liberty running around
#40. That every time God says He loves me, I respond "I love you too"
#46. A big white guy holding the cord of a small skinny llama
      (llama duty so that a kid can go to kids' club)
#58. kindred spirit conversations
#65. A worn used Bible on the taxi dash
#69. The joy and pain of giving up certain dreams for the sake of serving Jesus
#70. Swirls of cinnamon and chocolatey brown as cat and cafe step combine
#87. Carnival: the only day it "snows" in Cusco
#105. The smile of a little country girl when her daddy picked her up
#113. Water coming back on right when I wanted to brush my teeth
#117. "You are always with me and everything I have is yours."
#134. A Quechua lady with a bundle of flowers
#150. The clink of coins in a charanga player pail
#169. For a life saved out of darkness
#183. Sushi color explosion
#194. Fun with mimes in the Plaza de Armas
#213. Little Rocio's "thanks"
#224. Being complemented on eating like a Peruvian: hands on
#238. Ugly beautiful: deep squishy mud on my shoes; a clingy child back at the club; manifestations that demand more when only Christ can satisfy their needs
#253. All those who've linked arms with me to do the work called me to in Cusco
#254. A baby and his song about a button
#278. 60 white eggs
#301. that Jesus doesn't abandon me in the fight but teaches me to stand strong and firm
#310. A prodigal daughter on her way back home
#336. Impromtu child band with plastic bottles
#352. Rejoicing with those who rejoice even though I wish it was me
#385. A gringa in the Peruvian dance off contest
#396. Brightness of the world after rain
#434. A Peruvian grandmother: purple coat and a bunch of wildflowers
#447. Trying a new fruit: mamey - flavor of a purple Flinstone vitamins
#481. Imagining Jesus pointing to himself with a grin when he said that you had to enter through the narrow door
#500. Sparkling diamonds on a lake
#524. A live rabbit in a vegetarian restaurant
#560. Why would you worship something you could touch or see?
#570. the rocking train - "He loves me, He loves me" rocked in His arms to sleep
#590. Silly 80s music videos that make me laugh after a long ghetto bus ride
#637. Bagged roosters doing their jobs in a bus station
#646. grateful for a burst of exercise instead of being mad at a lazy taxi driver
#658. Teaching about God creating the world out on a mountainside
#677. Katerine's comment: "Carrie, I want you to stay forever."
#699. Crying to see the burden man made for himself and remembering Jesus' words: "come to me all you who are heavy burdened."
#708. A fish wrapped in a banana leaf
#725. Hugging a friend in the midst of her pain
#744. Being able to look deep in my heart and see no joy in another man's trouble even though that man troubled me once
#768. Songs on mountain peaks
#774. espresso + caramel syrup + foamy milk + one spoon of sugar = YUM!!
#776. popcorn at the ballet
#793. sleep - sweet sleep
#805. Being a part of the bigger picture
#820. Patchwork sweater makings
#832. Being forced to see new parts of the city in search of apartments
#842. Baron's Earl Grey tea
#856. God working out His work through broken people
#868. A calm heart - my soul a baby content
#897. Deisy's giggles
#907. Walking into the cafe and feeling like it's home
#929. Grace not Anyi (system of recipricocity)
#947. An oreo on my face
#960. The simplicity of the good news
#995. Kites flying in blue blue sky!
#1000. All the thousands of things to be thankful for in the future.