I recently read Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Where You Are. Ann writes about her struggle to enjoy her life– a life that was often filled with tragedy, suffering, sin, and sadness. One day she receives a dare from a friend (via email) to note and write down one thousand things or gifts that she is thankful for. So Ann begins a spiritual discipline of keeping a gratitude journal. While worried she will never be able to make it to one thousand, she not only makes it to one thousand, but keeps on going. In the process of listing all these things she is thankful for, she finds incredible joy in her life. While I enjoyed the book immensely, I found her writing took some getting used to, at least for me anyway. She has a very poetical style of writing which at times I loved and thought was beautiful, but at other times I must confess was difficult for me to decipher. As an example, one Amazon.com reviewer referred to her writing as “too sing-songy” and another reviewer as “too lyrical”). Another said she quite often put nouns before adjectives, and she didn’t always use articles when it seemed appropriate to use articles. It also seemed that words were just left out. I found myself at times having to go back and reread over and over to see if I missed something and to understand what she was saying. But I learned to LOVE her writing and that poetic style of hers and was absolutely blown away by the beauty of her message which often left me breathless and longing for more. Quite often while reading this book, I had to put it down and ponder a while on what I had just read. It’s some pretty deep stuff. I had problems with the last chapter and I didn’t like her analogy of “making love to God.” I will add that she has commented on the last chapter on the book on her blog and has an endorsement for that chapter. But that’s all I’m saying about the book for now…. you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out more.
In the end, I really loved this book and its overall meaning and I loved the idea of keeping a gratitude journal. I love Ann Voskamp’s blog and am trying to visit it every day. It’s very inspirational. I knew before I was halfway through this book, that I would also start my list of one thousand things I was thankful for. I looked around the house and dug up a journal (I buy them frequently when I find them on sale and know they will be put to good use).
This one was perfect! And so, I simply began my list.
- Both boys home from college
- My eighteen year old cat snuggled close to my belly
- The smell of rain
- Beautiful spring flowers
- Family laughter around the dinner table
My journey begins. My goal is to be a little more observant of God’s gifts in this world and note some of those gifts every day. I invite you to join me in the challenge of making out your one thousand gifts list. Have you read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts? If so, what did you think?