Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gratituesday: Reading One Thousand Gifts

Today I'm linking up with Laura over at Heavenly Homemakers for what she calls "Gratituesday." If you're grateful for something today, then head on over and link up!

I mentioned not too long ago that I started reading Ann Voskamp’s new book, One Thousand Gifts. Usually it doesn’t take me this long to read a book, but this one has taken me a while. I originally checked the book out from our local library and there were pros and cons to this – the book was free, but I didn’t read it in time for the due date and there was a waiting list of folks who wanted to read it, so I had to share and give it back. By this point, I was already sucked into the book and I had to order it via Amazon. To my surprise, it arrived the day after I returned my borrowed book back to the library (oh happy day!).

Why do I say all of this? If you plan on reading the book, save yourself the time and don’t rent it from the library. Just use your cold hard cash and buy it. I’m normally an advocate for library renting, but this is a book you are going to want in your personal library at home. You’ll want to reference it, highlight all in it, and dog ear pages that you love. I’m sure your library would not appreciate that.

Now that we have the logistics out of the way, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I love most about the book. My "gratituesday" today is this -- I'm so thankful that God is using this book to teach, stretch and grow me.

  • Ann Voskamp’s writing style. In one of my many literature classes during college, I fell in love with Virginia Woolf. Her writing style is beautifully descriptive and has a stream of consciousness flow to it. I love this style of writing, and in my opinion, Ann Voskamp’s writing mimics this. Of course, Ann isn’t nearly as depressing as Virginia which makes her even more delightful to read! One Thousand Gifts is honestly one of the best-written pieces I’ve read since my days in lit class.
  •  The theme of the book. There’s many a self-help book crowding the book store shelves these days on the theme of “counting your blessings” or “how to find true joy” but I haven’t yet read a book that’s opened my eyes to the grandness of what being grateful can do. Ann doesn’t just tell you how to be grateful or how to find joy, she shows you through her own real, raw journey. Her transparency is beautiful and the way she presents this topic is truly unique.

Here are a few snippets from the book that have quickly become my favorite . . . these are taken from the last few chapters I’ve read.

“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?” (pg. 118)

“Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing.” (pg. 121)

“Contemplative simplicity isn’t a matter of circumstances; it’s a matter of focus.” (pg. 127)

“You can’t positive-think your way out of negative feelings . . .the only way to fight a feeling is with a feeling . . . we can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose – which emotion do we want to feel?” (pg. 136)

“Stress isn’t only a joy stealer. The way we respond to it can be sin.” (pg. 146)

“Count blessings and discover Who can be counted on . . .This living a lifestyle of intentional gratitude became an unintentional test in the trustworthiness of God – and in counting blessings I stumbled upon the way out of fear.” (pg 151)

“Remembering frames up gratitude. Gratitude lays out the planks of trust. I can walk the planks – from known to unknown—and know: He holds.” (pg. 152)

“ . . .we are in deepest happiness in the posture of grateful worship. Because the God-likeness within our smallness speaks to Father-God in His magnificence.” (pg. 167)

“My mama, valley wise and grief traveled, she always said, ‘Expectations kill relationships.’ And I’ve known expectations as a disease, silent killer heaping her burdens on the shoulders of a relationship until a soul bursts a pulmonary and dies. Expectations kill relationships – especially with God. And that’s what a child doesn’t have: this whole edifice of expectation. Without expectations, what can topple the surprising wonder of the moment?” (pg. 169)

Read this book. God will change you. You’ve been forewarned.

PS – Ann and I don’t know each other even though I refer to her by first name. Although, if we were to meet I’m sure we’d become BFF’s.  She, nor her book people paid me to write this post. These opinions are all my own.



  1. I gotta read this book! I'm sucked in by your review. =)

  2. After your review, I just ordered it from the library. I'm going to start looking for it at McKay's. Thanks!


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