Zondervan, 240 pages
I was gifted the book “One Thousand Gifts,” which made its way into my vacation reading this summer. A thought-provoking read, it invites the reader to experience a life of joy. The book offers a unique perspective on gratitude as Ann Voskamp presents a practical guide to living a life of joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama and daily duties in poetic form. The book invites its readers to awaken to God’s everyday blessings as well as God’s “all-pervasive grace.”
Voskamp writes from her personal journey on farming, parenting and writing. However, before she arrives at this part of her journey, she reflects on the brevity of her first name “without the flourish of an e” and its meaning – full of grace. Following the accidental death of her younger sister, she struggles with what it means to live full of grace, or to “live fully alive.”
Voskamp found in the innocence of her early childhood days that she was more open to the gifts of God. Like most of us, when tragedy happens, the challenge of recognizing those gifts becomes more difficult. This was the beginning of her journey, seeking the answer to the question: Where were God’s good gifts when her baby sister was killed?
It was through the dark night of her soul that she eventually came to the space where she was learning “what it means to live full of grace.” In this experience, she learned how to live a life of gratitude, joy and fulfillment.
— Bernice Parker-Jones is pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.