Ann Voskamp’s story is not happily ever after. As a child, her sister was crushed under a truck in front of her and her mother. Consequently, her mother checked herself into a psychiatric hospital and her father couldn’t find God. As an adult, she stood beside her brother-in-law as he buried his first two sons. Voskamp is a wife and mother who does not grin through the pain but battles to believe that in God is joy, and that there are as many gifts amid the grittiness of life as in the moments of celebration.
In One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann strives to find the meaning of life and fully embrace the surprising truth from the final scenes of Jesus’ earthly life. In the hours before Jesus’ execution, he took bread and gave thanks. This fresh, heart-wrenching book unveils the long forgotten wonder that through the imitation of Christ’s thankfulness, we too can experience a life of joy.
With startling lyrical power, Voskamp writes the answers to universal questions:
- Where is joy in the midst of cruelty and chaos, duties and despair?
- How does one slow down enough for the soul and God to live in synch?
- How in the world do we learn to find God and live fully?
The photos within the pages are simply stunning – my simple words don’t do them justice. Ann is an amazing photographer. Even simple things, like flowers & fields are brought to life in vivid colors. The thoughts she pours out are equally as rich, that I could see leading to poignant and deep discussions. It’s not just a “here’s a list of things I’m blessed with” type of book. It’s a woman’s journey to consciously focus on how the ordinary things are truly extraordinary – “…if joy is a matter of gratitude, and gratitude is a matter of perspective, then giving thanks changes not only your perspective but also your life.”
If you’re having trouble finding joy in the everyday or if you just enjoy a good read, I’d highly recommend this book. You can purchase Ann’s books (there are several versions – including a devotional and small group study, among others) or read the first chapter for free HERE. Ann also writes the blog A Holy Experience. Or if you’d like, you can enter my giveaway below!
Disclosure: I was given a copy of “Selections from One Thousand Gifts” to review. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own. Winner of the giveaway will be contacted by email when it has concluded and I will then forward their information on to Ann’s publicist for them to mail out their copy.