I will begin by saying it was very difficult for me to get into the book. Some books are able to pull you in right away, and other are so easy to skim through. But Ann uses such a unique voice in her writing that it was near impossible for me to use my well-honed skimming skills. Although this might sound like a negative to the book, I will say that it ended up being one of the most positive things I can say about it. What Ann was able to do was force me to sit and actually read the words she had written. I had to take time and actually think through what she was writing. Not skip ahead and assume that I knew what the author was trying to say. So kudos to Ann Voskamp for her unique writing style that eventually got me in the end. If you happen to pick up this book... give it a chance to get used to her voice and style. It will be well worth it in the end.
Overall, I would say One Thousand Gifts is a refreshing take on what it means to actually live out the Christian life. Ann challenges her readers to live fully and purposefully in everything you do. She shows practically how she moved from being a woman dissatisfied with the mundane to learning to see God working in and through her life. What I appreciated about this book is that it doesn't give the reader "5 easy steps to having more of God in your life." Nor does it sugar coat the growth process. Ann was very real and honest in her struggles with the transformation process, and she readily admits the years it took her to get where she is now. Through story and inner musings, Ann takes the reader on a journey exploring how to live out a life of continual thanks and in grace - a life of eucharisteo. And for her, it all started with a challenge to write a list of 1,000 things she loves. And from there, discovering that perhaps the Greek word eucharisteo really does hold the key to it all.
I won't go into much more detail. I encourage you to read it for yourself and be challenged to live differently. One final note that I will mention: many might see Ann's book as a women's book (especially by looking at the cover), but I would argue that story and lesson transcends gender. I believe men could get just as much out of this book as women. Yes, it's written by a woman and therefore includes details about her life as a wife and mom, but there is so much more depth that should be experience by men and women. I will end by saying that I definitely recommend the book. It was challenging, encouraging, and unlike any book I've read before.
If you're interested in buying it, here's a link to the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/One-Thousand-Gifts-Fully-Right/dp/0310321913/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1307732338&sr=8-1
Until next time,