Friday, March 25, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

Why doubt the dare to fully live?  Now and right here.  Why not let all of life be penetrated by grace, gratitude, joy?  This is the only way to welcome the Kingdom of God. 

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife and a mother of six.  Her days consist of chores, homeschooling six energetic, messy children, and working her way through a pile of laundry that never seems to get smaller.  The work seems endless.  Her life has not been without greater trials than those as her sister died before her eyes in childhood.  There has been pain, betrayal, and sorrow.  Surrounded by all this misery, Ann wondered, how can I have faith, "how do we find joy...?"  Her search brought her to her knees and led her to look, with new eyes, at the world around her.  VosKamp writes of her journey to eucharisteo, living fully, finding joy and invites her readers to undertake their own journey.

I was so excited to see this book arrive in my mailbox.  I put away the book I was currently reading and opened One Thousand Gifts.  Within a couple of pages, I knew this wasn't a book to read through in a weekend.  This is a book to read slowly and savor.  To pause and pray over the words VosKamp is speaking.  Her writing style is uniquely hers and I felt as if she were speaking right to me.  At times, it seems that it is one soul speaking to another.  The questions she asks, the challenges she throws out to God, the sadness of a soul wondering how can life be joyful and good in the face of so much suffering are thoughts that so many have had, myself included.  The answers she shares are hope filled and inspiring.  I doubt that a true seeker could read this book and not be changed.  I absolutely love this book and it will be one I treasure and read over and over again.  It is one that will be marked up, left near wherever I sit to read.  I give this book a 5 out of 5 pieces of bacon, but it deserves far more. 

Ann VosKamp is a farmer's wife, a mother of six and a writer.  She also has travelled with Compassion International. 

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