Book Review: One Thousand Gifts

I’ve read tweets and other posts from Ann Voskamp over the years.  I’m not sure how I’m just not reading One Thousand Gifts…but I’m sure glad I finally read it!  My heart’s desire is to live a life of gratitude for all that the Lord has blessed me with.  By focusing on appreciation, it’s much easier to get a glimpse of the glory of our Heavenly Father.  I really enjoyed reading Ann’s perspective on her own walk with the Lord as well as her family while also being very transparent about her shortcomings.  Her One Thousand Gifts project came out of a desire to truly recognize God’s grace.  Since I read the book a couple of weeks ago, I find myself being thankful for things that I otherwise likely would have taken for granted.  Ann and I have some theological differences, but we are in agreement where it really matters on grace for one another as well as recognizing the grace that God has for each of us.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • 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. Location: 113
  • Grace, it means “favor,” from the Latin gratia. It connotes a free readiness. A free and ready favor. That’s grace. It is one thing to choose to take the grace offered at the cross. But to choose to live as one filling with His grace? Choosing to fill with all that He freely gives and fully live—with glory and grace and God? Location: 148
  • “Just that maybe … maybe you don’t want to change the story, because you don’t know what a different ending holds.” Location: 200
  • There’s a reason I am not writing the story and God is. He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means.  Location: 202
  • How do we live fully so we are fully ready to die? Location: 299
  • The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. Location: 333
  • The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be—unbelievably—possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now. Location: 348
  • Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle. Location: 381
  • I would never experience the fullness of my salvation until I expressed the fullness of my thanks every day, and eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life. Location: 452
  • If we are dying of thirst, passively reading books about water quenches little; the only way to quench the parched mouth is to close the book and dip the hand into water and bring it to the lips. If we thirst, we’ll have to drink. Location: 500
  • I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” (Philippians 4:11—12) Location: 540
  • Thanks is what multiplies the joy and makes any life large, and I hunger for it. Location: 555
  • Paul had twice said it, and I mustn’t forget it. He said he had to learn. And learning requires practice—sometimes even mind-numbing practice. C. S. Lewis said it too, to a man looking for fullest life: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.” Location: 656
  • Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy. Location: 676
  • “My soul doth magnify the Lord” (Luke 1:46 KJV). Location: 703
  • All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. J. R. R. Tolkien Location: 744
  • “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing” (Psalm 39:6). Location: 787
  • “Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted” (John 6:11 NIV, emphasis added). Location: 874
  • It takes a full twenty minutes after your stomach is full for your brain to register satiation. How long does it take your soul to realize that your life is full? The slower the living, the greater the sense of fullness and satisfaction. The body and soul can synchronize. Location: 940
  • Don’t I always have the choice to be fully attentive? Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus. Eucharisteo, eucharisteo. That keeps the focus simple—sacred. Location: 953
  • the dare to write one thousand gifts becomes the dare to celebrate innumerable, endless gifts! Location: 1,033
  • Daily discipline is the door to full freedom, and the discipline to count to one thousand gave way to the freedom of wonder and I can’t imagine not staying awake to God in the moment, the joy in the now. Location: 1,036
  • “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21 NKJV). Location: 1,142
  • ‘People do not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4) Location: 1,190
  • God is always good and I am always loved. Everything is eucharisteo. Location: 1,260
  • I whisper with the blind beggar, “Lord, I want to see” (Luke 18:41). Location: 1,362
  • “The life of true holiness is rooted in the soil of awed adoration. It does not grow elsewhere,” writes J. I. Packer. Location: 1,403
  • The cure against thanklessness’s bite? The remedy is in the retina. Then the LORD told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed! (Numbers 21:8—9, emphasis added) How we behold determines if we hold joy. Behold glory and be held by God. Location: 1,429
  • The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible. And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible. Isn’t joy the art of God? Location: 1,498
  • “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek … all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD, and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4 NIV). Location: 1,508
  • as G. K. Chesterton observes, how “our perennial spiritual and psychological task is to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again.” Location: 1,679
  • “Feel thanks and it’s absolutely impossible to feel angry. We can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose—which emotion do we want to feel?” Location: 1,749
  • All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. Ralph Waldo Emerson Location: 1,806
  • “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV). Location: 2,060
  • God created the world out of nothing, and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us. Martin Luther Location: 2,108
  • Joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand. In an open and humble palm, released and surrendered to receive, light dances, flickers happy. The moment the hand is clenched tight, fingers all pointing toward self and rights and demands, joy is snuffed out. Anger is the lid that suffocates joy until she lies limp and lifeless. And for me, it’s a cosmic-numbing notion that far eclipses this domestic moment. It speaks to the whole of my life and the vision brands me: The demanding of my own will is the singular force that smothers out joy—nothing else. Location: 2,305
  • Use me then, my Savior, for whatever purposes and in whatever way you may require. Here is my poor heart, an empty vessel; fill it with your grace. D. L. Moody Location: 2,371
  • When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:2, 4, 12—15 NIV) Location: 2,508
  • Every day for a month we as a family read together Isaiah 58 and we can’t get over it and we come to know it in the marrow and the fiber: Location: 2,570
  • I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. C. S. Lewis Location: 2,633
  • “He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” (Zephaniah 3:17). Location: 2,665

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