Monday, February 17, 2014

One Thousand Gifts :: The Book

I finally finished reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. It's better late than never, right? {I say that, considering I only have one month left of the joy know, the inspiration that was supposed to follow reading the book. Oh well}.

Anyway, there was a lot of hype around this book. A lot of people have recommended it to me, and several people have talked about it. Lots of women seem to be connecting with this book, so I thought it was worth reading to find out why.

There's always the danger of too much hype, because then expectations are unrealistically high. For me, that was the case for this book. So sadly, I was disappointed because it did not live up to all of the hype {in my opinion}. Most of my disappointment is my own personal genre preference; this book is written exclusively in romantic and poetic language...something that I struggle with. I tend to shoot straight, and Voskamp tends to take the scenic route :)  I like logic and good grammar; so if you are similar, you may find this book frustrating. I struggled to finish it, but wanted to see where her journey led her.

I agree with the basic premise of the book, that as believers we must live lives of thanksgiving to God. Voskamp challenges her readers to be grateful, even in the mundane, which ultimately helps us experience the presence of God. I love this idea, which is even why I have been making my own list of 1000 gifts these past few months. I too often miss all of the blessings the Lord provides every day.

I understand why women are connecting with this book; we can tend to take on too much, focusing our attention on endless schedules, tasks, to-do lists. In the mundane of the everyday, we can forget how to connect with God, and we can lose our focus. Voskamp writes about her personal journey to experience God again, in the midst of raising children and endless laundry. Her prescription is to simply list the beautiful things God has given her.

I would caution that there seems to be an over-emphasis on gratitude being the singular key/source to experiencing and knowing God. She seems to go as far as saying that our greatest saving grace is having a heart of gratitude. I certainly believe gratitude is part of the Christian life {even commanded}, but I think it is more of a by-product of the saving grace of Christ that comes to those who repent and place their faith in Him, rather than the source. I personally would have liked to see her emphasize finding Christ in the Scripture, rather than in the breeze or harvest moon. 

But of course, I probably just missed the meaning behind her poetic language :)

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