Book Review: One Thousand Gifts
I heard about this book by Ann Voskamp over and over for years, it seems. To be honest, I’m not even sure how long its been available, but it feels like it was years, anyway.
I always meant to read it and just never got around to it. And by “got around to it” I, of course, men when I was finally looking at buying books, I never could remember that I wanted this one.
Am I the only one who does this? Resolves to do something and then only remembers at THE most random times, and never in a situation where it would make sense that I would recall such a thing? *sigh. This is my life.
Back to what I was trying to say… (sidetracked much?!)
I finally bought the thing. And it was in a moment where I had randomly remembered it and was just so annoyed that it had taken me so long to finally remember it that I think I just pulled out my phone and bought it off of amazon right away. Didn’t even give myself the chance to forget again. Just knocked that sucker out! Done and done. I would now finally own “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are” and could check it off the list. Boom.
When it finally came in the mail, I unpacked it and set it on my night stand. And it sat there.
And sat there.
And sat there still.
Until finally I picked it up one day, and it wrecked my world.
It was like I had started reading something that I should’ve read YEARS ago!
So much of this book was filled with things I had grown up hearing, but never really heard. Then again, I don’t think it had ever been spelled out quite so clearly to me before.
Full disclosure, I’m still not even done reading it. BUT unlike most books, this is one that I read in spurts, rather than trying to get through it all at once. And in this case, that’s been best for me. I mean… this book is pretty heavy. It’s not the kind of book I can read in an airport while people are coming and going and things are noisy and such. It’s one where I need to really focus in on it. But that’s really just because it is so spot on for me. It’s hitting me right in the gut each time I open the thing.
I can read it and be so hit, right where I am, and then go several weeks or a month or two without reading anymore of it. And then pick it up again on some random day and in a completely different situation and then be absolutely hit right in the face yet again. It’s incredible.
So I should probably get to the gist of it, right? Alrighty. Touchy touchy. 😛 Here goes.
According to amazon, here’s the “back cover”:
Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. ‘How,’ Ann wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long–and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!
I don’t even feel like that does it justice.
It’s about gratitude… sure. But it’s about a kind of gratitude that I haven’t really strived for before. And I’ve always been one of those people who tries to be sure I’m grateful for the job I have and the house I live in and the people in my life. Say thank you for even the little simple things people do for you (opening a door, etc) and making sure to seem genuine. All of that is great, but it’s still not the kind of gratitude that this book talks about.
It’s about a deeper, completely heartfelt gratefulness for what you’ve been given in your life. Everything from those I mentioned above (job, car, etc) to things like baby giggles heard down the hall, or sunbeams peaking through curtains on a quiet Saturday morning. Everything.
Ann has a blog (you can find her over at www.aholyexperience.com) and started out years ago challenging herself to list 1000 gifts, or 1000 things she was thankful for by a certain date. And what she came to discover through this process was so much more life-changing then she ever imagined.
I’ve gotta admit, I’m starting to discover the same myself… and I’m not even finished reading the book! I feel so strongly about it that I can’t even wait until I finish it to recommend it. It’s THAT good, y’all!
So there you have it. This book is incredible and I absoFREAKINlately recommend it to anyone in search of peace.
Peace is something I’ve been actively pursuing since picking up this book and it’s the only thing that seems to have brought me any progress. Turns out I needed to evaluate what it is I even though peace was and daggum I was WAY off!
Please do read this book. You’ll be glad you did.