One Thousand Gifts, A Book Review

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.

Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. “How,” Ann wondered, “do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long—and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?”

In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted … a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved — by God.

Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive.

Come live the best dare of all!

My Review: I love the basic concept of this book. Giving thanks in all things. The idea of being thankful in all of life circumstances isn’t new, but this was a nice reminder of all the little things in life to be thankful for.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

New International Version (NIV)
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I also love the idea of keeping a list of things to be thankful for. It’s a great way to remind yourself that there is much to be thankful for, even in life’s difficult moments.

The writing style of this book wasn’t exactly my thing.  It is very poetic, very flowery and just much too overdone for me. I prefer a more straightforward writing style.

I don’t know if it was the author’s intent, but I came away from this book feeling like I was to believe that everything that happened, good and bad was sent by God. The bible says that every good and perfect gift is sent from above.  I know firsthand what it is to be thankful and joyful during difficult times, but I do not believe that all the bad things that happen are sent from God.

I also thought that some of the descriptions of things she was thankful for were a bit over the top:

April sun pools into a dishwater sink, liquid daylight on hands. The water is hot. I wash dishes. On my arms, just below the hiked sleeves, suds leave delicate water marks. Suds glisten. And over the soaking pots, the soap bubbles stack. This fragile tension arched in spheres of slick elastic sheets. Light impinges on slippery film. And I only notice because I’m looking for this and it’s the rays falling, reflecting off the outer surface of a bubble . . . off the rim of the bubble’s inner skin . . . and where they meet, this interference of light, iridescence on the bubble’s arch, violet, magenta, blue-green, yellow-gold. Like the glimmer on raven wing, the angles, the hues, the brilliant fluid, light on the waves (Voskamp: 62).

I appreciate the concept of thankfulness that this book has to offer, but I would have enjoyed it more if it had been written in a straight-forward way.


*This book was provided for review by Zondervan. I was not required to write a positive review.


5 thoughts on “One Thousand Gifts, A Book Review

  1. I’m still waiting for last chapter thoughts. Hehe. We don’t have to continue using it for study reasons … I totally understand, cuz I had some of the same feelings but it was good for me to read nonetheless.

  2. I thought the last chapter was inappropriate. I don’t think she meant it to be taken literally, but I don’t feel that comparing our relationship with God in sexual terms was at all necessary. It didn’t sit well with me, and I thought it was kinda gross. She could have explained intimacy with God without making it sound sexual.

  3. ohhh, yeah…definitely. It was a weird way to compare and I could show you TONS of links I found of people describing their discomfort- it made me feel uncomfortable but it was hard for me because I did like a lot of the book, except when she used a noun for a verb, and an adjective for a noun, and whatever else, plus that chapter.

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