How to Be a Great Thinker

When the rope pulls tight, Levi holds on  —

and it looks like happy wonder might right split him.


The kid, he’s all snow-caked — all celebration.

He’s making me grin: Life could be like that — the falling down part of the celebrating of the fully living.

He’s making me the child —  the laughter falling like snow, and his cheeks all red, winter and wonder right in him, and his father winks at me and I lay on the snow and this moment right here?

It warms right through.

Who can’t laugh with him, this sliding straight into the sheer edge?

He does go down more than once or twice.

I wait for tears?

And I’m the fool not knowing what it’s all about —

It’s there in his eyes: The thrill is in the trying  what doesn’t seem possible.

Isn’t that always the place where fear meets faith and the face of God?

The snow’s bluing in twilight. The dog’s panting happy. The boy ‘s all full of life  — wonder-filled.

The sun is doing it’s own sliding down.

I try to mind-memorize all this wonderful — the faith and the falls and the fully living.












Robert Frost is right — “an hour of winter day may seem to too short” and there are Eden days. There are days that you want the boy to stay freckled and laughing loud and the light to linger longer and the dog to keep running you young.

It’s not trite this — waking to wonder, giving thanks for all this.

Thanks isn’t shallow pollyanna-sim. Didn’t Chesterton suggested that

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought,

and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

G.K. Chesterton

‘Thanks is the highest form of thought’ is what Chesterton offered…

And I wonder if this is why:

Thanks is the highest form of thought — because this is always the right order of things: Us laid low. Before God on High.

Isn’t that what’s partly awry in the world? The world needs less complaints and more thanks — those engaged in the highest thoughts.

The world needs more men living thanks, thinking loftiest.

Why would we ever tire of bending low in thanking — this highest form of thinking?

That is what all the great artists and thinkers do: they stay awake to the wonder of this world.  Great thinkers are the grateful thankers — the real greats live gratefully.

And is this the art of life — to keep awake to the wonders in His Word and this World?

Isn’t it wonder that sparks love?


Levi swings round on his sled, chasing joy, that thing that swings open everything.

He yells at me as he flies by —

“Isn’t this great?”

And I smile thanks for for the wonder of here. Thanks that thing that makes you the child full of wonder, the great thinker, the kingdom of heaven belonging to those like the children.

And the trees —

they light aflame down there in the woods.





I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~Chesterton… So continuing to count 1000 Gifts in 2012, counting more of the endless, One Thousand Gifts…

Taking The JOY DARE to Fully Live:

# 3087…  mama sewing on buttons for me

#3088…  laugh-wrestling a kiss out of a son

#3089…  carrot sticks : midnight snack

#3090…  a tall girl laying her head on my shoulder & me stroking her hair and us talking quiet

#3091…  friends who hold you accountable

#3092…  friends who mail packages for you

#3093…  friends who ask how you are and wait until the conversation gets to the real answer

#3094… balloons

#3095… making monkey shaped sandwiches and chuckling with the little people

#3096… braiding her hair and watching her go to the mirror and feel the plait over and over again

#3097… going to the kind of church that a woman finds out your size and presents you with a grocery bag the next week and says she saw a deal at a sidewalk sale that was just too good to pass up and she bought it knowing the Lord would lead her to someone that size sooner or later — and “hear’s the bag and I hope you like it – and I know you will.” And coming home and opening the bag — and finding out you do!

#3098… deep thinkers

#3099… mittens with thumbs wore out

#3100… one apple still left

#3101… us all reciting the Beatitudes before bed

#3102… the beautiful woman in her 70s who writes to say she wrote out one thousand gifts in eight days — and can’t stop!

#3103… the woman who slips a note that she just finished writing down her TEN thousandth gift — and everything’s changed

#3104… the hushing, surprising ways of God: #6 this week on the New York Times What’s God up to? All for His glory & our deep soul-good

#3105… today: thinking great thoughts … by thanking our Great God….


Unspeakable, unending thanks be to God…

the book button

Take The JOY DARE for Februaryand Count 1000 Gifts in 2012 (maybe winning the NikonD90 camera would be a gift too?)

Thank-you is a word that can change you, your world — the whole world!

Share the joy?

oneThousandGifts-February{Download to print here}

{P.S.: Some were wondering where/how to chronicle their #1000gifts in 2012? Any way that works best for you:

in a private journal, with the free app, on your blog and join us in linking up here on the blog every Monday, on the free Year of Graces calendar, or on facebook or twitter (#1000gifts). I’ll be sharing thanks to God each day, Lord willing, on my personal facebook page and on the One Thousand Gifts facebook page — the community there is profoundly encouraging. You are more than welcome to join us! And yes, we will post a new Joy Dare Calendar here on the blog, the first of every month, Lord willing — you can use the Joy Dare Calendar for each month — or not at all.

The point is? Just count any 3 gifts a day — to count 1000 gifts in a year. That’s all. Any way that works for you! Just count your blessings!

And yes — we’ll be updating the blog with more information about the draw for the Nikond90 camera for those who complete the dare and count 1000 gifts in 2012! Open our eyes, Lord, Open our eyes! The Whole Earth is fully of Your Glory! }


Free Printables : 3 Ways to Find Joy this week

1. A Year of Graces {A Free 12 Month Gratitude Calendar} Click to print here
Picnik collagePicnik collage


2. Count all His Gifts Wherever You Are: {One Thousand Gifts Free App}:

Click here for the free #1000gifts app : The gift of joy for a friend? Print this card about the free app for a friend Picnik collage

3. 1 Paper = 1 Week of Joy
Tuck 1 sheet of paper in a pocket & jot down 7 gifts for 7 days:
(perfect booklet to cultivate the habit of the joy hunt for kids)

(folding instructions for booklet here)

Picnik collage


Join us? And happily change everything by keeping your own crazy list of One Thousand Gifts?

Please, jump in, make your life about giving thanks to God! — Just add the direct URL to your specific 1000 gift list post… and if you join us, we humbly ask that you please help us find each other in our refrain of thanks by sharing the community’s graphic within your post.

Give thanks to the Lord! His Love Endures Forever!