Along with Deuteronomy (NIV Bible) and C.S. Lewis, I was tackling an amazing book seen in the title (One Thousand Gifts) that I could barely put down. Written in a poetic fashion, this book is not for everyone but I think the message itself is incredible.
It starts out with a dare to list, (you guessed it!) — 1000 things to be thankful for. By training the eye and mind to look for things to be thankful for it becomes second nature. Ann Voskamp invites us into her personal vision of the world; to look at it with the eyes of a child and behold all the beauty in it. Being truly grateful creates a joyful attitude toward life and God as we count his blessings in our lives.
I LOVE the way she flips back and forth between these epiphanies of gratitude and then captures day to day life as a mother and wife (ie. wiping the crumbs off the table). We discover there are levels of thankfulness and joy all around us and ultimately the book challenges us as readers to accept everything life throws our way, resting safe in God’s hand. By listing her blessings in a journal, any time she doubted God, she could pull it out and REMEMBER, and give thanks knowing that even the worst things could be transformed into something beautiful.
There is always joy to be found! I loved how she described dark times in our lives. She makes reference to a place in Exodus (NIV Bible, Chaper 33) where God says to Moses,
19“I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
Voscamp writes that when we are in complete darkness (like the cleft in the rock), God is closest to us, and when he passes and we look back we can see his fingerprints on our lives. The future can not be seen and it can seem scary but he goes before us and we can trust knowing he is a good God.
The book begins very dramatically and graphically and ends in a similar manner which I had difficulty getting through but over all I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I started up my own gratitude journal, because I don’t want to live in fear of the next day and what it holds, I want to be secure in my relationship with God. One Thousand Gifts’ energy is contagious for anyone wanting a good read.