I haven’t featured any bloggers recently because I have been reading so many books. Also, I had been finding that keeping on top of people’s blogs is very time-consuming and, if you get posts e-mailed to your inbox, it really clogs up your inbox! That had put me off for the last few months.
But then this holiday I made a delightful discovery. Google Reader really works for following blogs. It’s SO much better than checking the website regularly or getting an e-mail or RSS feed directly to your inbox! Now I know that some of you are going to feel that you have told me this before. You have, I know. But sometimes you just have to try these things for yourself, don’t you?!
Somewhere in my wanderings through the blogosphere, I found Ann Voskamp. She has a book called One Thousand Gifts, which I have not read save for a beautifully-written excerpt. Associated with that book is this post about the habit of gratitude…an invitation to count one thousand gifts in 2012.
I am not one for reviewing my day as I climb into bed. Spiritual practices of examen have largely passed me by. I don’t know why. Because I can’t be bothered, I suspect. Because my day has usually passed by in a whirlwind of yet another failure to ‘live slow’. Because I’m too tired to replay the joys and sorrows, the senses of consolation and desolation, the successes and the sins.
I’ve often wondered what it might be like to live like that. I’ve suspected that with merely journalling several times a week there is something missing in my reflective practices, something which might be filled by a daily practice of remembering. But I have never found a way to explore that which works for me.
Ann Voskamp has inspired me though. With her free app which helps you count one thousand gifts in 2012, just three blessings a day, she has given me a tool for a practice of daily rememberings that I think might perhaps prove sustainable over the coming months. And this joy dare, as she calls it, has a suggested shape for capturing the gifts of each day: in January, there are invitations to record ‘something you’re reading, you’re making, you’re seeing’ on one day and ‘one gift that made you laugh, one gift that made you pray, one gift that made you quiet’ on another.
I’m inspired by this. I don’t know how it will go but perhaps it will be the beginning of a practice of gratitude becoming deeply-rooted in my life. 2012 will tell, I suspect! But let me encourage you to click on the links in this post: even if you don’t want to take the joy dare this year, I think you will be touched by the beauty and simplicity of her writing and images.