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Friday, April 29, 2011

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts

Trailer for the Book

I just finished reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts.  I wanted to participate in the Bloom Book Club when they chose to go through this book, but that did not happen.  I have included all the videos links in the bottom of this post that they posted online while reading through this book.  The videos are done by Angie Smith (author of I Will Carry You), Jessica Turner and Ann Voskamp.  You can read through each chapter and watched the corresponding video with it to hear Ann describe each chapter in her own words.

This book made me cry as I thought about my own pain with my brother's passing away (Oct. 8, 1999) and the year I faced 3 miscarriages (May '04, Nov. '04, and Feb. '05).  This book touched my heart.  Ann does a beautiful job of writing her feelings and thoughts so descriptively.  She writes the questions that many of us think deep within our hearts after we face a devastating tragedy...questions that we dare not say out loud for fear of what others might think of us.

"Can there be a good God? A God who graces with good gifts when a crib lies empty through long nights, and bugs burrow through coffins?  Where is God, really?  How can He be good when babies die, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind? ...Where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do I fully live when life is full of hurt?" (pg. 12)

It isn't until a friend dares Ann to list one thousand gifts that things begin to really change in her life. She begins to list not the things she wants, but the gifts she has already been given.  It begins to help her see the grace of God in her life in the little everyday things from jam on toast to nature outside and more.  She learns what it means to be thankful and it changes her life. 

"When the laundry is for the dozen arms of children or the dozen legs, it's true, I think I'm due some appreciation.  So comes a storm of trouble and lightning strikes joy.  But when Christ is at the center, when dishes, laundry, work is my song of thanks to Him, joy rains."  (pg. 194)  I love this.   It's exactly what I face every day.  And like Ann says in the book, it's a daily choice of gratitude and with that choice, my whole outlook on life changes b/c life is not about me but about Christ.  I know that I have struggled with the goodness of God in all of the tragedy too and I'm looking forward to putting what Ann has talked about into practice.  The practice of giving all things...even the hard ones.  I desire for the Lord to change this heart that has been angry for so long and that He would restore the joy and peace that only He can give....yes, two of His many gifts to someone like me who is so undeserving.

This is one of those books that you must read.  So go to your local bookstore or check it out from the library and enjoy a book that will change your perspective on life.

Video Links
Video Chapter 1          Video Chapter 5          Video Chapter 9
Video Chapter 2         Video Chapter 6          Video Chapter 10
Video Chapter 3         Video Chapter 7          Video Chapter 11
Video Chapter 4         Video Chapter 8          Video Chapter 12

**I checked this book out from my local library of my own free will. :)

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