One Thousand Gifts – Book Review
This book made the New York Times Bestseller’s List. But just because a book tops that list doesn’t mean I’m likely to pick it up. I’m kind of stubborn when it comes to believing a book is good just because it sells a lot. Good marketing is likely to be the reason, rather than good content. But a friend told me about the blog of a fellow farmer’s wife who lives in Mennonite country, Ann Voskamp, and I checked her out. I choked back tears as I read her poetic style of writing, drawing my emotion in and keeping me hanging on. I wanted more.
But even then, when I saw she had published One Thousand Gifts, I didn’t rush out and buy it. I figured I’d get the same content on her blog. But I noticed unanswered questions I had about her story from things she left out on her blog, assumed her readers knew. And so I reluctantly broke down and bought the book. Then it sat on my night stand for months before I actually picked it up. I’m a thankful person, so why read Ann Voskamp’s thoughts on thankfulness?
But then I did pick it up. Again I was blown away by her tremendous gift. Ann Voskamp has a unique style of writing that is intimate and delicate; but powerful. She lays out beauty so poignantly that you want to sing, then wades into some of the ugliest things this world has to offer and brings you to tears. Compassionate tears. I don’t know if anyone could read her without shedding a few. I’m not a big fan of tears, but in this case they were cleansing to the soul and exactly what I needed.
Ann’s story is hers to tell, so I won’t steal from you the fun and mystery of reading it from her by giving a brief synopsis. But she uses her story to illustrate a truth that has been proven throughout the ages. It is the cry of the Psalms – the cry of a thankful heart that believes God will make a way is the key to a joyful, peaceful heart.
The way she came to this truth was through making a list of one thousand gifts, a list of thanks to God. Every day she forced herself to stop focusing on the drudgery in life and notice the good. As she made her list, her perspective shifted. She went from a fearful, caged in person to an open, brave, world-changer. And she tells you about it in the loveliest way.
Her story alone, the things she has been through, is enough to pick up the book and plunge into every page. But the lesson is one you won’t soon forget. Full of grace, this book will help anyone to come into a deeper relationship with Christ. It will especially help the one who suffers from anxiety, depression, self-harm, and the mothers who feel overshadowed and overwhelmed by the children they are raising.
Please allow yourself the treasure of this book. Allow yourself the invitation to joy. There’s a good reason it was on the bestsellers list. It is one to be read, re-read, sent to friends as gifts, and discussed in book clubs. I am a richer person for having read it.
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