Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pondering One Thousand Gifts

I recently received a copy of "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. It was an "unbirthday gift" which I got by redeeming one of my 52 coupons that I got as a birthday gift from my parents. So far I have redeemed three coupons and got a poem written for me, a mug of hot chocolate prepared for me, and the unbirthday gift. In the future I will attend a concert, get to be a princess for a day, go out for lunch, and pick out an item at the mall... just to name a few of the more lucrative of my coupons.

"One Thousand Gifts" is an amazing book which was recommended to me by my sister who gave me a gift book with excerpts from it. What is amazing about it is not merely how well-crafted the writing is, but how full of insight and wisdom it is. I am only on the third chapter and so far it has made me cry, think, and wonder if just maybe I will internalize its truths and change the way I think. A central insight in the book is how gratitude for God's gifts, however small they are, transforms your life and how naming each gift is a way of giving thanks and discovering God's love and grace anew. It brings true joy as you practice gratitude.

What I like about the book is that it poignantly portrays hard circumstances including terrible tragedies and the author's depression that caused her to wake up every day wanting to die, but it also points the way to hope and joy in the midst of these difficult times. It makes me wonder if ingratitude could be the root that is poisoning my life and if something as simple of naming blessings could transform me. This book makes me hope as no book since "The Purpose Driven Life" has made me hope that change is possible. I hope as I continue to read the book its insights won't just be interesting ideas, but that I will go on to apply them to my life. If I do I think I will never be the same.