If you’re looking for a book that could change your life, be sure to read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I already followed and loved Ann Voskamp’s blog at A Holy Experience. I already belonged to and loved her Gratitude Community. But still, the book was even better than I expected.
Ann’s honesty in describing her woundedness in the first chapter gives power and depth to the entire book … try to imagine your first memory that of your younger sister being killed in a tragic accident.
Ann’s description of that event and her two infant nephews’ deaths and her wrestling with the emotions and questions those events raised give new meaning and depth to the practice of writing down one thousand gifts … the simple process of recording the many little things for which we’re grateful.
Telling of her years of woundedness, Ann articulates many of the doubts we all have about God’s ways at times: “If it were up to me … I’d write this story differently.” And questions the simplicity of recording one thousand gifts: “Some days, ones with laundry and kids and dishes in sink, it is hard to think that the insulting ordinariness of this truly teaches the full mystery of the all most important, eucharisteo. It’s so frustratingly common – it’s offensive.”
But still, she works to “give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy…Self-focus for God-communion.” And she truly sees and experiences the life-changing power of gratitude, feels what it’s like to change her default from resentment to gratitude, learns to see God in the details of life.
And she discovers that “As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.” Ann’s writing is poetic throughout the book, adding to her deeply religious message and to the love story it is … experiencing a real relationship with God and the joy that brings.
“As Long As Thanks Is Possible” Word-Art Freebie (without watermark)
You can join the Book Club at (in)courage with added videos and discussion of One Thousand Gifts.
Read the first chapter of One Thousand Gifts here.