Eucharisteo. He gave thanks.
Root word: charis. grace.
Derivative: chara. joy.
As I took off on my flight from Atlanta back home… I was stunned by the beauty of the sky. The picture above doesn’t do much justice. But the sun was this bright, warm, glowing orb setting after a long day of travel to the airport. I was thankful to make it on my delayed flight (and end up with a row to myself). There was laughter from a happy couple behind me. Young, fun love, I one day hope to have. The flight attendant was kind and making their trip special because it was the man’s very first flight. I couldn’t help but smile.
I turned on my phone to airplane mode (Bye, bye Spotify). I turn to my iTunes and find only 4 songs. I click on the song “Rise” by Jason Mraz… an instrumental piece. But the title was fitting as take off began. I was desperate to tune out the crying baby, because so much of me was ready to complain and be annoyed at the parents of the fussy child.
The headphones were an escape.
I pressed play and up we went. I was suddenly overcome by the beauty of the earth. I fell into this state of awe and attitude of thankfulness. As soon as we got permission to let down our trays, I got out the book I had finished that week on the beach, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, and un-creased the folded pages to underline and star my favorite quotes instead of leaving the pages creased.
I re-read some of the most groundbreaking quotes I came across in the book… still amazed at how much the words just cut through to my heart. I was encouraged and compelled to give thanks.
I decided on this flight to begin my journey of naming one thousand gifts.
By the time the flight was descending, I was reading my creased pages from the chapter called “Go Lower“.
“We will be landing in the next 15 minutes. Welcome to Orlando.”
Down, down, down the plane goes.
Meanwhile, I’m reading “…whenever I am parched and dry, I must go lower with the water and I must kneel low in thanks. The river of joy flows down to the lowest places.”
I have been praying against my pride and for my humility a lot lately… but in the very act of that prayer, I felt prideful and self-focused.
Humility is so shy. -Tim Keller
Extravagant gifts are what humbles us.
I felt the joy of small, childlike wonder when I was giving thanks for the Beauty I had seen in the sky.
The quiet song of gratitude, eucharisteo, lures humility out of the shadows because to receive a gift the knees must bend humble and the hand must lie vulnerably open and the will must bow to accept whatever the Giver chooses to give. -Ann Voskamp
The sky, the Beauty, I was seeing, that compelled me to give thanks, was most certainly an extravagant gift. I cannot close my hand… I cannot keep the grace from flowing on.
I could share the grace, multiply the joy, extend the table of the feast, enlarge the paradise of His presence. I am blessed. I can bless. A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ. -Ann Voskamp
I was ready to go lower, to land on this earth. As Jesus did. He left the Beauty of the heavens to come down on earth to serve, love, and rescue us… and the let the grace flow on.
I am excited for this journey of thanksgiving God has called me, called us, to be on. Practicing this eucharisteo will help me to consider what God thinks of me, rather than how I think of God.
I will see His relentless love in everything and everywhere I go.
It is a discipline to unwrap one thousand gifts.
But in one thousand ways, I will fall in love. Fully live!
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
A handful of things from my lovely pink gratitude journal:
1. Being woken up gently by mom.
3. Dad’s bear hugs.
14. Large, soft comfy Tshirts.
18. Dreamsicle smoothies.
21. Encouraging and being encouraged.
27. Family dinners around the table.
Shout out to Ann Voskamp for compelling me to count to one thousand!