I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp last year. What a life-changing, amazing book! Her concept is simple. Count One Thousand Gifts that God has given to you. Write them down. Be intentional in your gratitude. Don't wait for some nebulous day when your circumstances will get better, but train yourself to see the joy in life right where you already are.
God says, “In everything give Thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” The act of writing our gratefulness down becomes an obedient act of worship. In the midst of a society that loves to complain, this is a movement that is spreading like wildfire.
Her prose are like poetry. I have seen her book change lives by changing perspectives.
And yet, while I've personally read it more than once, I can't quite recommend it. Most people should read it, but not everybody. The people who need it the most are the very people who should not read it.
Because while it is a beautiful, incredible book, it is also bleak. Babies dying, debilitating diseases taking over. The people who need encouragement the most already know about these things. They have personal experience.
So, I was delighted to hear that Ann has come out with Selections From One Thousand Gifts. This is a small gift book which gets right to the meat of the matter, the part about being thankful. She marries the beautiful words from her book with the breathtaking pictures from her blog, and the result is astounding.
It is positive and uplifting, offering instant encouragement on every page… the take-away thought from her stories, without having to enter in to her grief.
When Papa the Farmer decided to leave his software career, it wasn't exactly a decision we made together. He expressed a desire and then circumstances moved in such a direction that his crazy dream became something I was thrust into. Over these two years I have struggled. My spirit has rebelled. So many of my readers write to me and say, “I would dance with joy if my husband agreed to start farming” but it is not the idyllic life you may imagine. It is an on-going battle with nature… a battle that everyone eventually loses. I have stressed. It is so easy to raise my eyes to the horizon of my life wondering how we'll get through this and completely miss the beauty all around me. We adopted the name “The Good Old Days Farm” so that we would remember that we are living the days that we will look back on and say, “Those were the Good Old Days.” Our name is a reminder to pay attention and not miss the moment. I think Ann – who is also the wife of a farmer – would understand… and approve.
But it is not only us farmer-wives who get caught up and busy and miss the moments. Almost everyone gets kidnapped by what seems urgent.
Are you missing the moments? Watch this…
Mothers Day is coming up in a few days. Do you want to give a gift with genuine impact? Yes, the books would make a wonderful gift, but Ann Voskamp takes it a step further…
Ann is asking you to share the most important gift your mom gave you on the Facebook Gratitude Community… or write a letter of thanks to your Mom on your own blog (and link up)… or tweet using the #1000 Gifts #moms hashtag. In return, she will honor your mother by giving a much-needed gift to a mother and baby in Haiti (through Compassion International.) If 1000 people do this between now and Mother's Day, she'll match your thanksgiving and sponsor a maternity/child-survival center in Haiti for an entire year.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and do it, or Click here to read all about it!