One Thousand Gifts

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts (A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are) is a gorgeous book.

It is the author's chronicle of how her life changed when a friend invites her to begin a practice of writing the things she is grateful for in a journal. Every day. Until she has given thanks for a thousand gifts. She takes up the challenge...and discovers the relationship between thanks and joy. Between thanks and humility. Between thanks and communion. And more.

Voskamp writes beautifully, vividly, even poetically. Even the terse phrases from her journal, like "54. Moonlight on pillows" and "904. First frost's crunch," are artfully phrased. And the reader experiences, along with her, the growing awareness of God "who plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs and lovely in eyes not his."

This is a book I can wish I had written, and one I hope everyone I know will read. I agree with one early reviewer who regretted that the book's cover art makes it look too much like a book for women. It is much more than that, and will be a rewarding read for women AND men, of all ages, and all walks of life.

Some of the lines from the book I marked, and want to remember and return to often:
We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks.

A lifetime of sermons on "thanks in all things" and the shelves sagging with books on these things and I testify: life-changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time.

The fast have spiritually slow hearts.

The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible. And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible. Isn't joy the art of God?

[On Jacob wrestling with God] There's no seeing God face-to-face without first the ripping. Tear the thigh to open the eye.

Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is.

Can God be counted on? Count blessings and find out how many of his bridges have already held.
And those are just a few of the many grace notes in this book, a book that charts the fulfillment of the author's wish, early on:
I just want time to do my one life well.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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