This post was written by Sandy Farmer.
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
By: Ann Voskamp
Published: January 24th 2011 by Zondervan (first published December 1st 2010)
Goodreads description—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.
One day I’m standing in line in the cafeteria at work waiting to place my food order when my husband’s coworker walks up behind me (we all work in the same building). She says, “I see you have been doing reviews of the books you read. I’ve seen them on Facebook.” And so we discussed my blog a bit. Then finally she says, “I’ve got a book you should read. It’s called One Thousand Gifts. I don’t really like the writing style of the author, but it’s got a really good message.” Now, I have to say that although I like book recommendations from people, I’m rebellious by nature and immediately went into defense mode. Aside from that, it wasn’t exactly a glowing recommendation that she gave the book. I don’t have near as much time as I’d like to read, so I don’t want to waste it reading books that aren’t really good. The next day she walks up to me in the cafeteria and hands the book to me.
Now, I borrow books from friends and my sister-in-law frequently. But they all know that I could have their book for a year before I get around to reading it. I don’t mean to. I just have a lot of books on my plate that need to be read. And I’m approaching 65 in my possession that I haven’t read. So I took it home and sat it on my stack of to-be-read books. And there it sat for MONTHS! (Sorry Linette!)
Eventually, I did pick it up. I read the first three chapters and immediately saw what she meant about the author’s writing style. It was difficult to read. Yet, I found the style to be somewhat poetic and even beautiful in places. Because it’s written in a style different from the norm, I had to slow down to make sure I was actually reading the right words and soaking up the right message. Eventually, I ended up finding Ann Voskamp’s writing style to be extremely beautiful and thought-provoking.
As the title suggests, I thought this was going to be about Ann’s story of naming 1,000 things she’s thankful for, and possibly naming each of those things out one by one, however, not only does she not list each item she wrote on her list, the 1,000 things wasn’t even the focus of the book. Ann Voskamp quickly passes 1,000 in the book and goes on to describe how she continued listing her gifts from God, how this became a lifestyle for her, and how her relationship with God changed because of it all.
One Thousand Gifts is easily a book I’d recommend to anyone willing to work on themselves. It’s a book that’s bettered my life and my relationship with my God. I’ve started my own list of 1,000 gifts, and I challenge you to do the same.
One Thousand Gifts gets 4 stars from me. Thank you to Linette for letting me borrow this book and for enlightening me on a way to deepen my life and my relationship with a giving God. Have you read One Thousand Gifts? If so, what did you think? Let me know!
Check out more book reviews and other content at my blog: http://sandyfarmer.blogspot.com.