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Friday, March 18, 2011

"One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp

"One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are"by Ann Voskamp, teaches you how to trade in a life of complacency and replace it with an intentional view of the world. Ann's journey from depression to enjoyment began when a friend dared her to come up with 1,000 gifts. She started a gratitude journal and deliberately searched for God's blessings. A unique aspect of this "gift searching" is an appreciation of time. You can slow down your life by giving thanks!

"It's giving thanks to God for this moment that multiplies the moments, 
time made enough." (pg.72)

Besides revealing Thanksgiving as the ultimate source of joy, she dives deeper into the discussion of the word eucharisteo (thanksgiving), which is really servant hood in fullest form. Becoming eucharisteo, means you ultimately become the blessing. A blessing, which can and should be given away to others.

 "God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him. (pg. 197)

I truly have mixed emotions about this book. I loved the concept of the one thousand gift dare. I already started my own gratitude journal.and it has really changed my perspective on life! But Ann's writing was a stumbling block to me. Not bad, just different. It took me quite a few chapters to become accustomed in her way with words. I am sure some readers will love her flowery language, but I enjoy authors who "get straight to the point".

Her last chapter, titled "The Joy of Intimacy" also caught me off guard. Her discussion of becoming "one" with God was likened to a physical marriage relationship. The concept is completely fine, but her descriptions and word usage, such as "discovering how to make love with God" (pg. 201), made me a bit squeamish.  I probably missed the whole point of the chapter because I was too embarrassed at the analogy. :)

That being said, "One Thousand Gifts" was overall an excellent read and I really enjoyed participating with (in)courage's book club. The video interviews with Ann gave me a wonderful insight into her thoughts behind each chapter and also demonstrated her humility. It is encouraging to know the author is still working on many of the issues presented in her own book! 

If you would like to read more about Ann, you can find her blogging at A Holy Experience.


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