Taking Stock

bird’s nest by bricks near my building

On the second to the last page of Ann Voskamp’s lovely new book One Thousand Gifts

“The greatest of poems is an inventory.”  G.K. Chesterton

I borrowed this quote in a poem post of ‘steps’ to move into God’s presence–you can read that here.
{I’ll get back to Ann Voskamp (and perhaps introduce her to some of you) later.}

But now, something about inventories.

My friend Sheila LaGrand wrote about Making a List last week, mentioning her surprise at being included on a roll of Christian bloggers who are 1) Women and 2) over 50+.  (I wasn’t surprised she was included!) A fellow writer woman extraordinaire, Diana Trautwein, picked up the gauntlet to generate such a list. Sheila describes the entire process on her blog Godspotting with Sheila.

To my delight and astonishment, my blog was also listed among the 25 women. (You can see the rest of the writers here).

There was some light hearted discussion about what we should call ourselves (“The Blogging Biddies” was suggested). All frivolity aside, I think it’s interesting that 3 of us within 3 days of each other, all added the Psalm 1 verses about trees being planted by the rivers of water. So, I like ‘Old Oak Trees’ myself.

by the front door
It’s taken me a week or so to digest this–I’ve been writing for over 25 years but blogging online since January.
Of this year. 
A whole 3 months.

I am blown away and humbled and blessed to have a wider circle now of gifted women writers to read each week.  Their contributions make me smile, cry, ponder and simply want to shout hallelujah!

Often daily and often all at the same time.

Now back to Ann Voskamp.  In her book One Thousand Gifts, she has written incomparably well of the joy in naming things we are grateful for as a way to bring healing and blessing to our lives.

I hesitated to read this book–why?  After rave reviews everywhere I looked, I wasn’t sure I could digest it.  Ann’s online journal–A Holy Experience–is so full and rich I have to chew on the content for a while after each read.
I wasn’t sure there was space in my brain and my heart and my spirit to consume it.

But over Easter break I had a chance to dive it and consume it I did. And finished it. And found Mr. Chesterton’s quote about inventories.

So, I have been making my own list–a compilation of the lines that made me go ‘ahhhhhhhhh….” or “ah ha!” over and over again. 
Lines which I’d like to print and frame and post on any and every available wall surface I have to remember again the profound thoughts Ann learned and shared.

Thus, here is my start of 
What I Underlined and Highlighted in 1000 Gifts ‘Cause I Need to Remember:
1)  “He means to rename us–to return us to our true names, our truest selves. 
He means to heal our soul holes.
He means to fill us with glory again.” (p. 17)
2)”Change takes real intentionality.”  (p. 43)
3)  “Never is God’s omnipotence and omniscience diminuitive. 
God is not in need of magnifying by us so small, but the reverse. 
It’s our lives that are little and we have falsely inflated self, and in thanks we decrease and the world returns right.  I say thanks and I swell with Him and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all afoot.”  (p. 59 italics mine)

Joy all afoot, indeed.

Alys Beach, Fla.  L. Richardson
Linking with Jennifer and Community for

8 thoughts on “Taking Stock

  1. Jennifer–you're so kind. I have SO far to go and grow but I am encouraged every day by my Heavenly Father and people like you and the others in this glorious computer-aided community.
    Wish I lived closer–I'd sign up for one of your classes in a heartbeat!


  2. Hello Jody! It is nice to meet you through our SDG group! Wonderful to make connections! I love Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts also, and I ALSO hesitated to read it. Hesitated because I thought I'd feel guilty if I didn't succeed in making a 1000 list. But I was so wrong! I find such richness in gratitude. I find myself writing, photographing and creating art to “take inventory” of my gratitude. “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise” . . . I used to think of that as what I ought to do as I enter His gates and His courts . . . but now I see that thanksgiving and praise is what brings me into His gates and courts . . . thanks is THE way, THE path, more than my feet.


  3. Hi Jody! We're in the same group under Kim in SDG. Nice to meet you and I'm looking forward to getting to know you! Thanks for sharing about this book which I've been curious about. I saw the feature on the Today Show about it. And I do agree with you about Ann Voskamp's blogposts being deep and and it seemed I needed more time than I had to go through it! Blessings! Patsy from


  4. And so the counting, the thanks, begins! Love this, Jody, and imagine my surprise at being on the honorary list (at age 45)! May you continue to count, to write, to create…right here at your beautiful stopping place.


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