As long as giving thanks is possible, joy is possible, according to Ann Voskamp, in her book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. She believes there is always something to give thanks for because God is constantly bestowing His grace on us.
The book begins with Voskamp’s birth. She describes it abstractly with a poetic flourish, which to an inattentive reader works more as a maze than a picture. As the book continues, Voskamp writes of her discovery of eucharisteo – meaning gratefulness – and of her journey through chronicling a thousand gifts from God.
The journey is where the book speeds up. As Voskamp shares some of the gifts and the events surrounding how she attained them, the reader indwells the pages, sees the scenes described, and understands the lessons shared. As Voskamp compares God allowing pain in life to a surgeon cutting her son open in order to heal him, a now attentive reader sees as Voskamp sees, that “all is grace.”
One Thousand Gifts is contemplative nonfiction with storytelling appeal. Voskamp’s writing is flowery and poetic, so, if read quickly, it’s hard to understand. Sentence structure is shaky, with an overabundance of fragments and run-ons. The message is meaningful and worthwhile for believers having difficulty being joyful, but if readers will not slow down and pay close attention, the message will remain over their heads.
One Thousand Gifts is a worthwhile book to readers wishing to delve deeper into the practice of giving thanks to the Lord. For those who focus carefully on each word printed, its lessons will prove beneficial and, likely, by the time the last page is turned, the readers will be chronicling their own thousand gifts. I know I was. – Meredith Sell, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Drawing heartbreaking beauty out of the simplest of details, Ann Voskamp invites you into her grace-bathed life of farming, parenting, and writing--and deeper still into your own life. Here you will discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of living that is fully alive, and a way of becoming present to God that brings you deep and lasting joy.