Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp - GIVEAWAY!!

I just finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  She has such a romantic, poetical style of writing.  Something you don't see anymore.  She talks about her journey to find true joy.  She begins a list of 1000 things she is thankful for, not just family, food, home, clothing.  She digs deeper.  Here are a few of her 1000 gifts...

  • Jam piled high on toast
  • Moonlight on pillows
  • Hot oatmeal tasting like home
  • Bare toes in early light
  • Cackle of crows high in the limbs, iridescence on wings
  • Boys humming hymns
  • Click of a seat belt
Here is an excerpt of the book that really spoke to my heart...
     "...What of all the memories where Christ seems absent?  When the bridge shakes and heaves, when "how will he not also?" reads more like "he will not".
     Trauma's storm can mask the Christ and feelings can lie.
     I draw all the hurting voices close and I touch their scars with a whisper: sometimes we don't fully see that in Christ, because of Christ, through Christ, He does give us all things good -- until we have the perspective of years.
     In time, years, dust settles.
     In memory, ages, God emerges.
     Wasn't that too His way with Moses?  "And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen."  Exodus 33:22-23 (KJV, she used NIV)
     Is that it? When it gets dark, it's only because God has tucked me in a cleft of the rock and covered me, protected me, with His hand?  In the pitch, I feel like I'm falling, sense the bridge giving way, God long absent.  In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams.  But maybe this is true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by.  The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by.  God is in the tremors.  Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by.  In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will.  Though it is black and we can't see and our world seems to be free-calling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is more present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake.  Then He will remove His hand.  Then we will look.
     Then we look back and see His back."

When I first read this, I thought how can writing down blessings bring joy.  I decided to try it. I have this pretty pink journal book that I've been waiting for the perfect things to use it for.  Here are a few of my 1000 gifts...
  • 1.  Early morning snuggles
  • 3.  Yuma sunsets
  • 7.  Memories of my pappy
  • 12.  Worshipping with the Navajos
  • 15.  45 children hearing the Gospel today...some for the first time
  • 22.  People bragging on God
  • 28.  Sweet smelling babies
  • 36.  Friends that encourage
  • 37.  New mercies everyday
  • 38.  A phone call from my dad
I add a few everyday.  This is really powerful.  There are times when you struggle to find joy in day to day living, but it's there, friends.  When times are dark, it's those times when God has you in the cleft of the rock, He hasn't left you, He's protecting you.  Awesome thought!

Here is another excerpt...
     "I walk in our back door to candlelight still flickering, hang the keys on the hook, and look around at the steep mountain of laundry there in the mudroom, the shoes scattered, a coat dropped.  The mudroom is grime ringed.  Fingerprints smear across the mirror.  I laugh the happiest wonder.  In the afternoon's drizzle, I give happy thanks for the daily mess with a smile a mil wide, because this is again my chance to wholeheartedly serve God, to do full-bodied eucharisteo with the hands and the heart and the lips.  I can count each task a gift, pure eucharisteo.  Grace!  This work --the thousand endless jobs --they each give the opportunity for one to become the gift, a thousand times over!  Because with every one of the thousand, endless jobs, I become the gift to God and to others because this work is the public God serving, the daily liturgy of thanks, the completing of the Communion service with my service."

I would love to share this book with you.  I am giving away my copy.  It is read, but in great condition.  I take good care of my books!  By the way, I will ship anyone can enter!  I'll announce the winner next Monday, August 15th.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment with one unusual thing you are thankful for today.


Julia said...

I have been wanting to read this book! Thankful for taking a walk on a cool evening here is Spain to pick wild black berries.

Anna (Sloan) Lopez said...

I am always SO thankful for the sound of my Honey's car horn, that means he's HOME! Always the MOST exciting time of the day!

Thank you for letting me be a part of this! How fun!

Love from Mexico,

Melissa said...

Seeing my family eat, with hearty appetites, the supper I have labored to prepare.

Jolene said...

I am thankful that we are getting a car soon.... we've been waiting nearly 5 months for the Lord to answer this request, so I am giddy! And, hubby chose the color I wanted over the one he wanted! :) Such a sweetie!

I've heard alot about this book, and appreciate you hosting this giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I purchased a copy of this book about a week ago! I love her writing style! So excited to see that it has impact! Thanks for sharing!



Dear Abbi said...

I've heard so many good things about this book...glad to hear your great review! Prayed for your work on the rez and your paperwork!

Michelle said...

I am thankful for a friend who willingly drives 2 hours to come pick me up to take me with her to her hometown so we can spend several days together. Spending time with each other, away from family, just having rest and relaxation.


Sally Stensaas said...

What a neat book! 100 days before we left Uganda to come back to the States, I started recording one blessing a day until we returned. Today's joy: the sound of my 3-year old. She has such a cute way of saying things.

julie said...

This book is on my Amazon wish list!! I was disappointed that the library didn't have it. I am thankful for the very early morning coolness and quietness!!!!

Alida said...

I loved that book! I need to pick up my copy and read it again!

jwoodbri said...

Today I am thankful for dirty, sweaty, tired kids because of a busy day spent playing with cousins.

BlondieChell said...

I am thankful that my friend Christina harps about watching where you walk because "you could get bit by a snake" because today, I would have stepped on one on my morning run if I hadn't been thinking about her and watched where I was going! I narrowly avoided it by jumping over it!

Keren said...

I am so thankful for the sound of my 2 1/2 year old nephew calling my name so clearly today, "Auntie Keren." This is the first time I have heard him say it and it made my heart jump. :-)

Heather ♥ {Missionary Mama} said...

Hey Jen! Thanks for doing this giveaway. Sounds like a wonderful book.

I am thankful that I think the red crayon that floated around and melted on my load of clothes in the dryer today is coming OUT of my favorite jean skirt!! :))

Anonymous said...

I have heard so much about this book and keep thinking I need to get it! I am so thankful for all the little handprints all over my windows that I wash constantly, but am reminded through them that although I was told I would never have any children, God has so graciously blessed me with three!

Ken and Vicki in Japan said...

I have heard so many talk about this book and thought maybe some time it would be in audio form so we could order it online. ;-) Thank you for sharing some pieces from it!
An unsaved Japanese lady took me to lunch while my husband was in surgery a couple days ago. When I bowed my head to quietly pray, she said, Oh no, please pray outloud and don't forget to pray for your husband!! How thankful I was that she was willing to be a part of who I if only she would see that she can have that too!

Mona said...

Today, I am thankful to hear all the little snores in the van! We're traveling, makes things a little quieter! =)

Rachel said...

Today I am especially thankful for my KITCHEN! We recently moved to a new apartment and I only had my frig for 5 weeks. What a joy it is to have a full, functioning kitchen. I am blessed!