To practice thanksgiving…an entirely new concept for me. Yet, this is what I was challenged with these past few weeks. To intentionally engage in thanksgiving. To write it down. To live out gratitude. For over a year, I had heard nothing but praise over Ann VosKamp’s best seller “One Thousand Gifts”, and I kept telling myself that one day I would get around to reading it. And it sat on my shelf, in my “To read” section for months. Little did I know the blessing that I was putting off in delaying the “getting around to it.” I can honestly say that I have never read a book quite like this before. I’ve definitely read many page turners, but none like this one. This one kept me running back for more yet at the same time trying to wait to read the next chapter just so I could prolong the joy of the journey. Mostly though, this book brought me back to heartfelt thanksgiving.
As she writes about the daily mundane tasks, difficulties, and stresses of farm life, being a wife and a mother to half a dozen children while striving to be that Proverbs 31 “wife of noble character” that every Christian woman secretly envies (right?), it’s incredible to me how she is able to spill open her heart with authenticity, transparency, and humility onto the pages of her book, teaching her every reader what it looks like to give thanks even when it’s hard.
The only way I can adequately write a review of her amazing book is to simply share with you my own takeaways. Over the past few weeks, I have been posting on Twitter and Facebook my thoughts and learnings from “One Thousand Gifts”, and I will share them again with you all now. If I haven’t convinced you yet to partake of this blessing, then take a moment to reflect on my own reflections from her poetic work of art, and in doing so, I pray that you are moved to gratitude, propelled to a life of thankfulness, or as she would say, “Eucharisteo”.
“Here, in this messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be unbelievably possible.” – Ann VosKamp
The goal for today: Trade ingratitude for gratitude and experience lasting joy. (mine)
Because we have fed and nurtured ingratitude for so long, we must LEARN to be grateful again. (mine)
“Thanks is what multiplies the joy and makes any life large, and I hunger for it.” – Ann VosKamp
God’s Word is a lens by which we must learn to see all things through. Without it, all that we see is warped and distorted. (mine)
Choosing to give thanks for what is always increases the appetite for more thanksgiving. (mine)
Is it pride that veils our eyes from glimpses of God all around us, thus strangling gratitude from our lives? (mine)
The only way to truly embrace a life of gratitude: “Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart…” (mine)
“Are stress and worry evidences of a soul too lazy, too undisciplined, to keep gaze fixed on God?” – Ann VosKamp
Joy and peace are the fruit of trusting in the One and Only, Jesus. (mine)
Self-forgetfulness: a gift I once longed and prayed for, one I must begin to seek again. Less of me and more of you, Jesus. (mine)
The ultimate lesson that I have undoubtedly learned in my own addiction to speed is that in failing to rest in Christ and refusing to be still before my Maker, I have sacrificed a countless amount of joy. (mine)
The constant outpouring of thanksgiving from our lives produces certain and steadfast joy in our hearts. (mine)