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One Thousand Gifts Book Review

by Andrea Updyke

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The real problem of life is never a lack of time. The real problem of life -in my life- is lack of thanksgiving. – Ann Voskamp

I’ve heard of Ann Voskamp over the years. Really, I just knew the name. I’d even read her blog not making the connection.  I knew it as a name I was supposed to know more about as a writer, as a blogger, really as a Christian.

Ann Voskamp is a household name to many, but for me not so much. For me, she fell into the I’ll read more about her when I have time category. I kept seeing the hashtag #1000gifts attached to photos of family, exercise, devotionals. I knew there must be something to this for so many of my online friends to be talking.

I requested the book from our local library and I waited for my name to come up in the queue. When it did I waited until the last day to check it out. I’ve been pulling back layers this year and while it has been ultimately good, the digging leaves me raw and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for “some Christian book”. Still I drove to the library and I scanned my card and came home to read for a few minutes before our out of town guests arrived for the weekend.

Talk about raw. The first chapter had me crying my eyes out with incredible imagery and pain shared in the most honest and beautiful ways. My story is not Ann’s story. But if you ever wanted to know what this spiritual journey of Christianity, of true relationship with Jesus is all about, look no further than One Thousand Gifts.

This book was at times brutal and enrapturing just as the Christian walk can be. I lived through her words and I know where they fit into my own story. I am humbled by the simplicity of this message of thanksgiving leading to grace. My life has definitely given way to complaining and searching over thankfulness and outward-living. It’s a cycle all too easy to embrace so I was ready to hear this much needed reminder.

It really is so much easier than we think. God really does love us so very much more than we can imagine.

I posted a photo of this book I read in 24 hours time and friends were coming out of the woodwork with praise. How had I not known? Why did it take me so long to get here?

A terrific result of the encouragement I received from One Thousand Gifts is a release of the need to have all of my “whys” answered.  I suppose I am just like my 4 year old when it comes to this need for understanding. But in the past few days, as my heart fills once again with thanksgiving and grace, I can feel my anxious heart relax. How I have been waiting for this.

I’m still in that post-book processing mode so if you want to chat about it, leave me a comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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8 comments

8 comments

Sarah Hubbell September 11, 2013 - 1:42 pm

Love love love this book. I actually haven’t finished it yet, I’ve been reading for probably a year now. A few pages at a time. It’s so rich that I get something to take away and chew on every time I pick it up.

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Lilkidthings September 15, 2013 - 7:58 pm

I checked mine out from the library but I think I will buy it so I can come back to it as well!

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Sarah Shingler September 11, 2013 - 9:10 pm

One of my older (and dear) mom friends gave me this when I was pregnant with Frankie and it took me at least a year to finish. It’s such a quick read but I wanted to absorb it molecule by tiny molecule and let it soak into my being. My favorite take away from that book was training myself to be still and in the moment of question and doubt and not run from it. Like you said – being OK with not having all my “whys” answered. It is very much like mental and spiritual yoga for me. The practice of being thankful and keeping that as the central theme in our home. So glad you loved it as much as I did 🙂 I even got my father in law to read it and it totally wrecked him! In a good way of course 😉

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Lilkidthings September 15, 2013 - 7:59 pm

That’s awesome that your father in law read it! I basically want everyone I know to read it too 🙂

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How can I be still when my brain doesn’t stop? September 24, 2013 - 7:15 am

[…] started a gratitude journal as a result of reading One Thousand Gifts. Funny that it’s another “thing” on my list now. The only rule to my journal is […]

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When the world goes dark August 12, 2014 - 1:57 pm

[…] could choose a word to describe how I have tried to tackle 2014, it would be gratitude. Last year, I read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. It was an amazing book that illuminated my need to make having a grateful heart a priority. […]

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How can I be still when my brain doesn't stop? - Just is a Four Letter Word March 29, 2016 - 4:13 pm

[…] started a gratitude journal as a result of reading One Thousand Gifts. Funny that it’s another “thing” on my list now. The only rule to my journal is […]

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Finding Peace in Your B-Game - Just is a Four Letter Word September 30, 2016 - 10:09 am

[…] from my kiddos. The good stuff. It’s a spin on One Thousand Gifts (affiliate) but not simply things I am grateful for. Sometimes I really need to see that I accomplished something on those days when I feel like I did […]

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