As you may remember reading, Lynn is in Switzerland, no doubt enjoying the beautiful scenery and her husband John, and I am privileged to check in with you via this Coach Note.
I have been enjoying a book that was given to me for my birthday, "1,000 gifts" by Ann Voskamp. It is a small book and one that I actually did not enjoy when I first started reading it. It starts off very intense, and the author's style is very poetic and detailed. I quickly discovered that I was going to have to really focus while reading this book and not just breeze through it. It has been a real blessing as I have hung in there to finish it, and I have learned so many things from reading it. The idea of 1,000 gifts comes from a challenge that a friend issued to the author, to write down 1,000 things she loves. Another way to look at it is 1,000 things you are thankful for, or are gifts from God. She realized that the things she loves, are ways that God shows his love for her.
I have taken the challenge on myself. I am less concerned about reaching 1,000, and more concerned with taking the time to be very aware and tuned into each little gift that God gives me throughout my day. And, there is something powerful in the writing down of those gifts. In the naming of what we receive we are giving recognition and thanks and praise to our God. And as Ann points out in the book, it is difficult to be sad, angry, complaining, frustrated etc. when you are thankful!
Writing down what I am thankful for has reminded me of the coaching concept called Appreciative Inquiry. (This may be totally new for some of you, and worth reviewing for the rest of you.) It is the philosophy for change that starts with what is working and how to do more of what works. Instead of problem solving, which focuses on what is wrong and how to fix it, we celebrate what is right and what is working. The next time you are in a conversation and the person is going on and on with what is wrong with lifeGroup, or their marriage, or their kids, ask them what is going right? When we help people see that there are things that are working, they can then appreciate and value "what is". Then they will be able to better envision "what might be" or dialogue about "what should be".
What are you thankful for? Today I am going to write down, #116 I am thankful for each of you and your willingness to learn and offer others focused support.
With a grateful heart,