Naming Grace Moments

23 Aug

I just got home after being away six weeks. I also just finished Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts.”

It is a book you have to read slowly, breathe in every sentence, let it affect you and wake you up.

Indeed, that is her cry: “Wake up!”

See that everything in your life is a gift, that joy only comes when choose to be aware of the grace that surrounds us, always.

In naming these “grace moments” we remember how blessed we are, how beautiful and worth living life really is. We see God.

“When I name it, the naming itself manifests its meaning: to know it comes from God. This is a gift! Naming is to know a thing’s function in the cosmos- to name is to solve mystery. In naming that which is right before me, that which I’d otherwise miss, the invisible becomes visible. The space that spans my inner emptiness fills in the naming. I name and I know the face I face. God’s! God is in the details; God is in the moment. God is in all that blurs by in life- even hurts.”

And so, here is my attempt to name just a few of the gifts that I’ve seen and experienced the past six weeks as I traveled to North Carolina, New England and back.

1. Blueberry pie, made of blueberries picked that day, constructed of awkward whole wheat lattice, actually tasting delicious.
2. The marvelous invention of Air Conditioner, a perfect example of “you don’t know what you go till it’s gone.”
3. Swimming in lakes so cool it takes a lot of guts to dunk under, emerging to see a mountainous background.
4. Picking fresh basil and orangeish cherry tomatoes from my mom’s garden, carrying handfuls of each to the kitchen, inhaling my hands and letting the scent linger.
5. Watching Houdini, the scruffy lovable mutt I rescued in Texas who now resides in New Hampshire, sleep on his back, paws sprawled out, belly open for scratching.
6. My brother’s hugs.
7. Going exploring in the woods with Jean-Thomas, my brother and my nephew, only to “discover” the remnants of a “Native American camp.”
8. Large empty swimming pools.
9. Biting into a roll of Sushi, “I don’t remember what this is called, but it’s my absolute favorite!”
10. The “good burn” of wasabi.
11. Conversations that awaken the spirit.

12. Water wars, the only weapon- the hose.
13. Blueberry pancakes at my favorite diner that is made from a boxcar with my family.
14. Being ok with the memories that hit me every corner I turn in the town I grew up in.
15. Hugging my 98 year old grandma, and getting the sense that even though she has lost most of her memory, she is at peace.
16. Seeing the edge of New York City by train, only to go underground and emerge in the middle of Grand Central Station.
17. Hot dogs and Coke in Time Square.
18. The wonder of going from country to city to country to city and realizing I am a country girl at heart but I love to visit the city.
19. Getting lost of the miles of road the eccentric millionaire hermit has built on the mountain my parents live on.
20. Walking out of the woods to see an extensive field, fruit trees and wild flowers surrounding a large pond.
21. Writing the first few chapters of the book and knowing with God all things are possible.
22. How I can be reading about a civil war veteran, a brain scientist, and a farmer’s wife and somehow make connections with all of them.
23. People who live inside songs- music flows through them and out of them and the world is left stunned by the beauty of their existence.
24. Making poetry with Becca Hall out of the menu at a Italian cafe by crossing out certain words in the history descriptions.
25. How the landscape changes as the coast approaches and the air becomes salty-clear.
26. Lobster rolls, with chunks of lobster meat the size of my thumb.
27. Reading gravestones from the 16th century.
28. Not speaking to old friends for a year and still being able to text them, show up at their house to spend the night, and eat and talk as if we do that every day.
29. Being surrounded by old brick in Boston.

30. Archaic bookstores with hidden back corners and leather chairs.
31. Pugs wrinkles.
32. The way I am known better then I know myself.
33. Breaking through communication barriers, even when it hurts, it is so much better on the other side.
34. The relief of letting go.
35. That I am not forced into a job that I hate.
36.  Dreams, beginning to unfold.
37. Being more excited then afraid of the future.
38. Knowing I am loved, always.
39. You.

40. Messages, scrawled across boulders in Central Park.


“If my inner eye has God seeping up through all things, then can’t I give thanks for anything? The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible. And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible. Isn’t j0y the art of God?”

2 Responses to “Naming Grace Moments”

  1. Amanda August 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    This is good, I needed to read this today.

  2. steve August 25, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Love it Brooke!! Thankful for you!

    “Gratitude is so close to happiness, they may be the same thing.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: