Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: one thousand gifts A DARE TO LIVE FULLY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE by Ann Voskamp

This is a book not to be read, but to be experienced.  Mrs. Voskamp wrote the book in present tense as though it were happening right now.  The result was that it seemed as though I was reading her thoughts as they were happening even as I read her words.  It was not an easy to read book.  It's heavy reading.  There is a lot of heart baring and heart sharing in this book. 

The initial chapters are full of the pain of tragedy and the ways that her family's life was destroyed by the tragedy and grief.  It's very hard to read such raw pain, especially in present tense.  The pain of her childhood followed her into her marriage and her motherhood.

The journey of change begins as Mrs. Voskamp is challenged to give thanks, eucharisteo, for one thousand things, one thousand gifts.  It continues through countless offerings of thanks to God even in the suffering that she has experienced in her life and that her loved ones have suffered.  She writes of pain--emotional and physical pain and how God draws her close and heals her heart.  The book covers about a year and a half of her adult life; but, it reaches back to a time when she was a small child and tragedy struck. 

She talks of the struggles of owning a family farm, raising a large family, homeschooling, homemaking, and family crises.  God draws her closer and teaches her so much by making her aware of unnoticed gifts... the moon, the falling raindrops, the blue of her children's eyes.  All gifts.  All to be treasured but ultimately to lead us to a deeper love of the Giver of all good gifts.  Ultimately the Love of God the Father overwhelms her and she finds peace in His love and His care for her. 

As I said earlier, it was not an easy book to read; but, I found myself challenged to look for those things in my life that are gifts.  To be thankful for them.  Deeply thankful to God. 

I shared it with my step-mom.  I gave it four stars instead of five only because it was very difficult for me to read in first person yet jumping backward and forward in time.

I received this book from Zondervan free in exchange for an honest review.  My opinions are my own.
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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."

May I suggest?


  1. Laura - Have you seen any of the videos Ann did with the girls over at the Bloom book club on (in)courage? They REALLY helped me process the book more clearly. (I still haven't finished it b/c I'm working through it at my own pace.) I've chronicled the chapters I went through with summaries and the videos and my reflections over on my blog, if you feel like taking a look. :) Glad you liked it as much as I did! :-)

  2. I am actually relieved to see a review like this. I am a few pages into chapter 2 and it is very hard to read so far. It's confusing going back and forth, and the bluntness of the writing is not easily digested. I wish I wasn't struggling with it. I love books and I love reading, but I am been tempted to shelf this one for awhile and read it from the beginning sometime in the future, hoping it won't be such a struggle next time.


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