(all quotes by Ann Voskamp)
Happy Thanksgiving ‘Season’ everyone! As we celebrate Thanksgiving, no matter what is filling your mind, turkey or shopping, football or Christmas movies, abundance or great needs, family gatherings or the loss of a loved one, remember: our thoughts can shape our outlook on the real meaning and even our experiences of the day. However, there is a word that might make the season – and perhaps even all of life – a bit more full of joy. The word is Eucharesteo, pronounced yoo-khar-is-teh’-o, which means – to be thankful. Engraved on a bracelet I wear daily – the word is never far from my mind, and always a reminder to “pursue a lifestyle of gratitude, grace, and joy that flow from giving thanks in all things“, as instructed by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
I had never heard the word before reading the book 1000 Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. In her book, Ann describes the word as – “the word that can change everything: Eucharisteo—it comes right out of the Gospel of Luke: ‘And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them…’ (Luke 22:19 NIV). In the original language, ‘he gave thanks‘ reads ‘eucharisteo.’ The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning ‘grace.’ Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be a gift and gave thanks. It also holds the derivative, the Greek word, chara, meaning ‘joy’ …”
In the book, Ann raises this thought-provoking question – “How do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does a life of gratitude look like when your days are gritty, long, and sometimes dark? What is God providing here and now?” She found the answer through the daily habit of writing down God’s gifts. She writes, “when we give thanks, we find ourselves wildly loved by God.”
“The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live…. He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything….”Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts