One thousand, to be exact. At this “most wonderful time of the year” (tra-la-la), most of us have gifts on the mind. Some are stressing about suitability, others are anxious about affordability, and there’s no escaping the constant bombardment of gift options everywhere we turn. It’s easy to get caught up in the crazy and get bogged down amidst boxes and bows, but I want to tell you about One Thousand Gifts. And this will not overwhelm you. I promise.
How many times have you sung “Joy To The World” over the years? I bet you’ll sing it again this Christmas. Joy is something we all long for, all strive for in our journey. When we are filled with joy, we live life fully, how it should be lived. But how, oh how do we succeed in our pursuit of joy? I’ve made a deep discovery recently. It’s not rocket science, and it’s been around since the beginning of time, but for me, it’s new and fresh and exciting. And here’s what stirred my heart:
ONE THOUSAND GIFTS by Ann Voskamp.
A bestselling book. A very, very good book. “A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are.” This incredible Canadian author, Ann Voskamp, farmer’s wife and mother of SIX, bears her heart and digs deep as she delves into questioning where joy can be found amidst chaos and cruelty, and in the humdrum every day life, and how on earth we attempt to slow down and live fully, as God intended.
Surprisingly, and then not surprisingly, the answer is in giving thanks. Following the example of Christ Himself, she puts flesh on the essence of gratitude and we follow her journey, and in so doing, we, too, are challenged.
Grace. Joy. Thanksgiving. All unraveled in the most eloquent voice imaginable- almost like poetry, yet with a REAL LIFE quality, which begs to be put into practice. I don’t want to say too much more, because I want YOU to read it for yourself! ONE THOUSAND GIFTS is a book you’ll come back to time and again. Be encouraged by this lady’s fantastic blog, too: http://www.aholyexperience.com/
I’m currently reading Voskamp’s Christmas offering, THE GREATEST GIFT, and I think maybe, just maybe this Christmas I might possibly get to grips with “the full love story of Christmas”! If you want to pause and actually enjoy the lead up to Christmas, embracing advent, rather than surviving it, then this might be the book for you, too.
Finally, as I’m here, I feel I should also share with you her ONE THOUSAND GIFTS DEVOTIONAL, which I have all ready and set to go for January 1! A little obsessed? Maybe, but this giving thanks and acknowledging gifts is something for every single day. Literally, recording the little things on paper, and experiencing the joy. “This writing it down- it is sort of like… unwrapping love.” And while we are talking about gifts, might I suggest a little something for under your tree?
If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you haven’t, there’s still time to put it on your Christmas list!
Thankful. Very thankful…