Reader reviews for One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

just finished reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. 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. 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.
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Ann's story begin with the tragic death of her 18 month old sister Aimee; "that hideous November day that branded our lives". She lived a childhood of distrust in God and His goodness, though a Christian in word, she was not fully alive in Him.Now as a homeschool mom of 6 and wife to a farmer,(sound vaguely familiar!) Ann desires to live fully and see more of God. Jesus laid the foundation for Thanksgiving "Eucharisteo" in His communion with the disciples. "Thanksgiving always preceds the miracle". Ingratitude was the fall of man in the garden of Eden. It starts with a challenge from a friend to write a list of 1000 blessings or gifts that God gives. As she starts the list she begins to see growth in her life in thanksgiving and joy. She shares this growing experience with the readers as she quotes key scriptures, sermon notes, and personal reflections. Ann's writing styloe is lyrical, poetic, and honest. Written in a way that you feel you are sitting with her in the living room with a cup of tea. It pierces through you and moves you emotionally. Such a simple act "eucharisteo" but so many times choose to ignore it. I loved how Ann shared with us some of her listed items as examples of what we could put into our own lists. This was one of the best books I have read in a long time and it is already impacting my life with positive change as I strive to live more fully in Him. 5 plus stars!I received a copy of this book from Zondervan for free, this has in no way influenced my review.
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Loved this book. With beautiful details, Ann gives you glimpses into her life as a homeschooling mom of 6, married to a farmer, and how her life has been transformed from depression to gratitude for all God's gifts. Inspiring and challenging. I definitely recommend this, especially to mom seeking God in their daily lives.
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The challenge of this book is learning to live in thanksgiving. To look and feel and see - and give thanks.
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I have been changed by the truths, poetically told in this book.I challenge you to let your life be invaded by a new vision that will bring you closer to God.
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This book is packaged well, it looks good. It has an interesting idea behind it. Ann Voskamp was disheartened with her life until a friend challenged her to write a list of one thousand things that she is grateful for. This is a book with many thought provoking passages and many important messages. The trouble is finding these important messages within the book.It starts off well. The author begins the book by writing about her family life and giving background to the reasons behind her negative feelings towards God. She reveals a heartbreaking tragedy that led to a life full of anxiety and fear. I found that in the parts of the book where the author was revealing subjects close to her heart and events from her past, she was able to write those without pretension and without resorting to use of flowery language. Those parts of the book are good and really held my interest, and sometimes moved me. However, most of the book is full of poetic language to the extent that it reads more like poetry than prose. There is also an inordinate amount of repetition of the same thing over and over again. It took me a long time to read this book because sometimes I could not bear to read another word. If I hadn’t been reading it to review it for Bookpleasures, I would have stopped reading about half way through.All that said, I think it is a great shame that the book wasn’t thoroughly edited. Half of the words should definitely have been cut out. The flowery poetry should have been binned, in my opinion. It was as if the author was either trying too hard to find imagery to describe things, or was hiding behind this purple prose. She obviously has a great talent, because the bits of the book that I liked, I really liked.She brought up many important issues in this book, but the way it was written makes it almost unreadable, unfortunately. It is a pity because, if this book was re-edited and restructured, it would be a perfect way to get across to people the importance of trusting and being grateful for the many gifts we take for granted in life on a daily basis.Reviewed by Maria Savva as a reviewer for Bookpleasures.
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It’s rare these days that I’ll pull out a perfect ten for a book. Even more rare — that I’ll start a book with such misguided expectations and end up loving it. At first, I thought Voskamp’s writing was far to flowery, mystical, and poetic for me, but it didn’t take long for me to be enveloped by her language and lost in her words. Voskamp had lived a life of anxiety and sadness, and yet one day decides to start a gratitude list, writing out the small things that she could thank God for. This small act begins to change every aspect of her life, from the way she views her children and husband, the way she reacts to difficult times, and the way she sees God as an abundant provider instead of constantly taking things away. I finished this up on a flight home recently, and I got out my journal and sat there and wept in my seat as I wrote down a list of the things I was thankful for just that evening. I think other passengers must have thought I was crazy.I want to gift this book to so many of my friends, especially those struggling with some really difficult life issues, such as depression. I know that the poetic language might turn a lot of readers off, but as someone who usually likes her writing much more solid and fact-driving, I can honestly say that I was able to immerse myself in her language and get to the true point of what she was trying to convey. I am so thankful for this book — I really hope you’ll give it a chance and pick it up.
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"A beautifully practical guide to living a life of joy, One Thousand Gifts invites you to wake up to God's everyday blessings." "...grace-bathed reflections on her farming, parenting, and writing life, you will embark on a transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling gifts. Along the way, you will discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to gratitude, a way of living so you are not afraid to die, and a way of becoming present to God's presence that brings deep and lasting happiness."I love the way this lady writes. If you are an outdoors lover, it will appeal to you as well.
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