One Thousand Gifts

Working late tonight, away from the house for a few peaceful hours. And, while I anxiously await being able to return home to my best friend and our sweet slumbering baby girl (and some homemade cake with peanut butter frosting), I will admit appreciating this {rare} chance to just relax. And so I thought I’d take these last few minutes of time, and share about a book I recently read that has been resonating with me.

It’s called One Thousand Gifts, written by a Christian mother-of-six from Ontario, Canada (you can read her daily blog entries here). I first heard of the book months ago, but will admit being slightly put off by it’s rather high standing on the New York Times List. If the masses like it, I suspected there would be little substance. Finally, after noticing I could request it free from my local library, I took the plunge.

This book was, quite simply, phenomenal. Although, I suppose, geared toward women, the principles within apply to young and old, regardless of gender, race, or class. The tag line of the book states it is a Dare to live fully – but it much more than that. It is a message of the true meaning of Christianity: gratitude – for salvation, for trials (James 1:2-3), and simply each day of life and breath we are granted on this earth.

Her writing style is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered – haunting, insightful, and beautiful in form and function.

Enjoy a few quotes from the first few chapters of her book that stuck with me (quoted from Ann Voskamp’s book to the best of my ability, these are from notes I jotted down while reading the library copy…a personal copy is on my Christmas wish list):

“Satan’s sin becomes the first sin of humanity: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Ever were simply, painfully ungrateful for what God gave. Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”

The common theme of her book is Eucharisteo – the idea of giving thanks in everything. She puts this into practice by chronicling 1000 gifts – common things she encounters each day that are blessings from God.

She says: “To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.”

She continues: “[Thanksgiving] is the only full and real response of man to God’s creation, redemption, and gift of heaven.” “With an expiration of less than twelve hours, what does Jesus count as all important? He gave thanks (Luke 22:19)”

“When I realize it is not God who is in my debt, but I…all becomes a gift.”

“Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don’t see God, I’ll bow down before something else.”

“Pantheism, seeing the natural world as divine, is a very different thing than seeing divine God present in all things.”

“Any created thing of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down.”

“The only way to see God manifested in the world around is with the eyes of Jesus within.”

“Trust is the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow, built with planks of thanks.”

“He gave us Jesus. If we have only one memory, isn’t this enough? How will He not also graciously give us all things He deems right and best? He’s already given us the incomprehensible.” and “The counting of all blessings is ultimately summed up in One.”

“Humility is the only posture that can receive the wondrous grace gifts from God…God needs knees more than hands.”

I’ll end there for tonight, as the last minutes of time slip away here…but I encourage you to read her book. It is humbling, Christ-centered, and challenging.

One final quote from her book, this one by Martin Luther:

“God created the world out of nothing, and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us.”

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “One Thousand Gifts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s