To cultivate: to develop, to improve, to train for the purpose of growth.

Can I cultivate my eye?  Train it to improve its view? Is it possible to sharpen its sight, and make it focus on its purpose? Because I desperately need to cultivate an eye for all the graces imparted in my life.

I have gone through the hours of one, or two, or even three whole days without taking notice of these lovely daily graces: the refrigerator full of fresh goods, the hug of my friend, the sense of well-being, my bed so cozy at night; the music in my head, the feast in my heart, my settled spirit, the excitement of my thoughts, the strength of my body; the love of my children, the faithfulness of my husband, the toilet paper that doesn’t run out.

And what I don’t see clearly doesn’t benefit me.  Amazing graces renewed daily, and they go unappreciated.  Not savored.  When I don’t live in the awareness of them, I waste joy.

Oh, for the discipline and grace to cultivate my eye.  Train it, improve its view, its sight, its purpose.

And somehow, my eye is intimately linked to my mouth, because when I really, really see, I seem to always acknowledge it with words.  And when I use my mouth to recognize those lovely daily graces, my sight becomes more accurate.  And when my eye purposefully looks for these lovelies all around, my mouth finds itself cementing them in my heart.  It’s the eternal circle of thankfulness.

The crop is delightful, and laden with fruit.  Which makes my eye happy and fills my mouth with a song.

Cultivating One Thousand Gifts with Ann Voskamp:

#138 my cozy bed

#137 lunch on the patio, listening to the birds 

#136 the softness of my chair

#134 a thinking mind

#133 my swept front porch and its robin’s nest 

Linking up with Faith Filled Fridays, The Alabaster JarBible Love Notes and Small Things



  1. Cultivate an eye for the graces. Oh, this is beautiful, Barbara. I’ve been on such a “grace kick” lately (as my family tells me), but when I find myself feeling anxious (happening more lately), I tend to forget the graces that he’s placing all around me. I need to sharpen my vision to see. And use my mouth to thank.

    Thank you, friend. You bless me often!


  2. What a fantastic way to think about this – “cultivate.” I have been on the 1000 gifts journey with Ann and it has blessed me so much. Mainly because I now realize exactly how much I am blessed! But I realize that I must continue to cultivate that sight, continue to grow. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It blessed me. (And thanks for linking up with NOBH!) Smiles –


  3. Wise words. Inspired. I often think of how easy it is to see things only with our human eyes but not with the eyes of Christ. This is a helpful post. Thank-you.


  4. I love how you put that, Barbara – “the enternal circle of thankfulness.” Counting gifts has blessed me and my family, too — I haven’t even stopped at 1,000 and beyond! {and thanks for linking up with Graceful Summer today!}


  5. “…when I really, really see, I seem to always acknowledge it with words.”

    So true, Barbara! And it works both ways.

    When I find myself complaining or saying things in an ungrateful manner, it is a sure sign that I have stopped seeing God’s graces and am in need of a change of vision.

    Thanks for sharing!


  6. This is so true and beautifully written, Barbara. I read a quote the other day that would go along with what you’ve written. It said, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for yesterday.” Thanks for linking to B&BB and I pray you have a lovely week filled with consciousness of all that God has given.


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