This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the fall Ladies Retreat hosted by our church. We've only been attending Fayette Baptist Church faithfully for the last nine months. It took us quite a bit of time to settle in to a new church when we moved two years ago. FBC is starting to feel like home.
The Ladies Retreat theme was One Thousand Gifts based on the book of the same title by Ann Voskamp. I hadn't realized that Ann had come out with a video study based on the book. There are five sessions to the video study. Each are about 25 minutes long. We would watch a segment and then broke in to small groups to discuss using questions from the study guide that can be purchased separately.
I have to admit that I have owned the book since it was first released in 2010. I had to search a bit but found it tucked away in a draw of my nightstand. I had barely even made it past page 10 in the book. I've also been a follower of Ann's blog - A Holy Experience - for many years and we even used her geography curriculum in our homeschool (A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth and A Child's Geography: Explore the Holy Land).
I was originally suppose to be out of state this past weekend and was a bit bummed I was going to miss the retreat. However, my plans ended up changing due to some schedule conflicts so I was able to attend the retreat. I'm so glad I was able to go. I really needed the time away to recharge and refocus.
We created gratitude journals during the day on Saturday. These are altered composition books. I used to do this quite often in the heyday of scrapbooking and had forgotten just how much I enjoy doing crafts like this.
I'm now using my new blessings journal to record three things that bless me every day. I encourage you all to keep a similar record - online or on paper. When we focus on all the good things we have rather than the negative things, our focus begins to change to seeing all the positive things we have in our lives. Oftentimes I think we tend to focus on all we don't have, all the things that are wrong, all the difficulties we face rather than all the small ways that God blesses us everyday. My goal is to focus more on those small blessings every day so that my focus is turned upward rather than inward.