Rebecca Young's Reviews > One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
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Apr 03, 2011

it was amazing
Read from April 02 to 21, 2011

Wow...probably the MOST beautiful book I've ever read. It is a mix between poetry and memoir. It is very emotional writing, and (as another reviewer pointed out) she breaks a lot of literary rules...so that might bother some people. The writing is at times achingly poetic...I had to read so many parts to my husband just for their sheer beauty. It is written by a Christian woman and I found it so enlightening to read about faith, trial, hope, and many other gospel topics from a fresh perspective with a different vocabulary and tradition of discussion.
After reading three chapters I had so many little sticky tabs marking spots, that I ordered my own copy so that I could mark up all the breathtaking passages. Here's a few of my favorites...
"A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit" Erasmus said. I look down at the pen, this pen I keep wielding, one writing her way to one thousand. This pen: this IS nothing less than the driving of nails. Nails driving out my habits of discontentment and driving in my habit of eucharisteo (giving thanks). Because that habit of discontentment can only be driven out by hammering in one iron sharper. The sleek pin of gratitude.

I fill the sink with the circle of bowl, and batter floats up in suds. I wash. I see my reflection in the stainless of the tap. I know you, those seeing eyes. You're the one in dire need of time, that thing we can't buy, what we sell of ourselves to get more of what we think we want, what we sacrifice to seemingly gain. They say time is money, but that's not true. Time is life. And if I want the fullest life, I need to find the fullest time. ...God gives us time. And who has time for God?

The world I live in is loud and blurring and toilets plug and I get speeding tickets and the dog gets sick on the back step and I forget everything and these six kids lean hard into me all day to teach and raise and lead and I fail hard and there are real souls that are at stake and how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy--before these six beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet? How do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into an everyday cathedral?

It's my own face that obscures the face of God. How can I help this son of mine see when I can't see? The parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child-teach, because who can bring peace unless they've held their own peace?

Remembering is an act of thanksgiving...this turn of the heart over time's shoulder to see all the long way His arms have carried. (To be honest, I have to say that I am simply jealous that there are people who can write like this! I covet the ability to write so beautifully!: )

God reveals Himself in rearview mirrors. And I've an inkling that there are times when we need to drive a long, long distance, before we can look back and see God's back in the rearview mirror. Maybe sometimes about as far as Heaven--that kind of distance.

And one more...though these are only a few of the MANY things I have marked with my red pencil...

The quiet song of gratitude, eucharisteo, lures humility out of the shadows because to receive a gift the knees must bend humble and the hand must lie vulnerably open and the will must bow to accept whatever the Giver chooses to give.

I highly recommend this book...especially if these excerpts speak to you in any way. It is a book about opening up your life to the JOY that God wants you to have. About seeing everything...EVERYTHING...He gives as the gift that it is. Good, bad, happy, sad.... To remember....."God is always good, and I am always loved."
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Reading Progress

04/09/2011 page 105
47.0% "This book is so beautiful! It is very poetic and so many of her imageries just take my breath away."
02/08/2016 marked as: read
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