Last year about this time, I read Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts" for the first time. (Yes. There will be a second time someday!) I loved it so much, I went right out and bought copies for my mom and daughter-in law. Now I've discovered her new "One Thousand Gifts Devotional" and just may have go out buying copies for gifts again.
This book is just that inspiring!
To begin with, Voskamp's writing style is truly unique. It's a combination of poetry and literature and rambling sentences full of devotion to God and living His way. Voskamp paints pictures with her words that one can't help but see clearly. It's almost like visiting her farm every day.
Better yet, Voskamp helps her readers understand what really matters in this life: developing a genuine attitude of thanksgiving that carries one into God's Presence and keeps one there. All the time.
Her first book introduced the concept. This second helps readers practice on a daily basis as they read and reflect on sixty grace-related devotionals. In fact, the book includes lines at the end of each chapter for personal gratitude lists with a numbered set of lines at the back of the book for listing one's own noted one thousand gifts.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. I'll most definitely have to add it to my list of one thousand gifts. I earnestly recommend this book to you.
Ann Voskamp's new devotional, One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces, continues her journey of learning to see with eyes focused on grace in the midst of everyday life. She teaches about gratitude and trusting God without overlooking the pain of life at times or the troubles we stumble upon. She is willing to ask the hard question: How do we give thanks for the hard and the ugly?
If you fell in love with the book One Thousand Gifts, you'll already be familiar with Voskamp's highly poetic writing style. The first time I read her original book, I felt as if I couldn't breathe for two days. It was so beautiful, it hurt. When I finished reading, I just sucked in one deep long breath of beauty and thankfulness and conviction and heart-change.
This devotional continues her initial project of keeping a gratitude list with the goal of finding 1000 gifts, 1000 reasons to give praise. She ranges from being thankful for rainy days and her children gathered around the table to bread rising in the oven and the way the moon shines over the fields. The devotional ends with pages for you to write down your own 1000 gifts.
Many of the devotionals are based on material from her original book, so this would be a review or reminder for some readers. By offering daily slices, though, it's a little like forcing you to take it slow and make this a way of life, not just a quick read. And who doesn't need a reminder to stop, slow down, cease hurrying, and stop missing out on moments of praise throughout every single day? There are also some new devotionals included, so it's not all old content reformatted.
I can't say this is a traditional devotional with a brief, one-page text. But it's lovely and challenging. Each day begins with a Scripture and ends with a prayer and when you've spent 60 days focusing on gratitude and grace, hopefully you will "Awaken to the holiness of life" (1 Cor. 15:34, MSG).
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
A life changing way to begin to rethink you days!!
October 24, 2012
"It all began quite spontaneously, unintentionally. One of those things God grows up in the most unexpected places.
A friend dared me to start counting one thousand things I loved. I took the dare, accepted the challenge, kept track of one thousand things, one thousand gifts - a thousand graces - on a quiet, unassuming blog. Before I knew it, thankfulness to God began to fully change me.
What I actually found - startling! - was more daily wonder and surprising beauty than I ever expected. And in a few short years, this daily hunt for God's grace, His glory, had ushered me into a fuller life. A life of joy! Over the past several years, I've listed over four thousand gifts...and I continue. Once one has begun, has tasted and known He is God, who can stop giving Him glory?
I wrote a book about this gratitude journey called One Thousand Gifts. I didn't start with any specific steps, but through this intentional, daily practice of giving thanks, I found myself on a tranformative journey that affected every aspect of my life - including all the broken places." (pg 9).
In her latest book, One Thousand Gifts Devotional, by Ann Voskamp, she teaches the reader how to go about their own practice of noticing the blessings of God around you through sixty reflections that chronicle her own discovery, each one like a singular tree in a lush forest of grace. She teaches you through sharing her own glimpses into God's grace will be the perfect companion and encourage you on your own prayerful discovery of a lifestyle of Christ-focus and communion. Of how extravagantly God loves you and how desperately you need Him every moment. Most of all, Ann hopes that these entries expand your view of the endless and matchless grace of an overflowing God. In the back of this book are plenty of space for journaling your own thoughts and for beginning your own list of one thousand gifts.
I received One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces by Ann Voskamp compliments of Shelton Interactive and Zondervan Publishing. Having read Ann's first book, One Thousand Gifts and visiting her blog, I was inspired in my own personal way to begin to notice the small things we take for granted every single day, much like Ann has done. It truly shows us all just how much God is working in our lives, if we are only willing to stop, notice them, and thank God for them. It really does change your daily outlook on life. I easily give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. If you haven't taken the time to visit Ann's blog or to read One Thousand Gifts, you might just want to do that as well. It truly is inspirational.