One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp…and A Giveaway!

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.

I loved this book. I have been reading Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience, for a while now, and shortly before I began reading One Thousand Gifts, I started my own gratitude journal. Reading this book while keeping my journal has been an invaluable experience. Without detailing the entire book…here were a few highlights for me:

1. Counting gifts slows me down. I’m always busy, always multitasking, always have a list of things to do…but I find that when I take that moment and acknowledge one of the many gifts surrounding me and thank God for it, it slows me down. I have more time. It gives me peace. As Ann writes, “I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment. And when I”m always looking for the next glimpse of glory, I slow and enter. And time slows. Weigh down this moment in time with attention full, and the whole of time’s river slows, slows, slows.” (p. 68).

2. Counting gifts leads me to true Beauty, to God. We all are searching for, longing for beauty. We are looking for something to worship. When I am counting gifts, I am seeing and thanking God, worshiping Him, and expressing my gratitude for His many gifts. Counting gifts makes me more aware to look for beauty in every day moments, to look for God in everything. “All beauty is only reflection. And whether I am conscious of it or not, any created thing of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down.” (p. 112).

3. Counting gifts is a way for me to choose joy over anger. In Chapter 7 Ann shares about an incident between her sons and how counting gifts helps her choose joy over anger, and lead her son to do the same. “The parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child-teach, because who can bring peace unless they’ve held their own peace?” (p. 124). As she maintains her own calm in the situation and walks her son through the conflict with his brother she tells him, “Feel thanks and it’s absolutely impossible to feel angry. We can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose–which emotion do we want to feel?” (p. 136). Wow. Now to put that into action when the anger and frustration is rising!

4. Counting gifts builds my trust and belief in God’s faithfulness. Through the act of counting gifts, I am reminded of all the times in my life God has been there for me, of all the blessings He has given me. This leads me to live a life trusting in Him and not a life filled with worry and stress. “Every time fear freezes and worry writhes, every time I surrender to stress, aren’t I advertising the unreliability of God? That I really don’t believe? But if I’m grateful to the Bridge Builder for the crossing of a million strong bridges, thankful for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust Him again.” (p. 151).

5. Counting gifts helps me realize how full my life is, and helps me to live in awe. In Chapter 9, Ann talks about how joy is an act of obedience. When we live life filled with expectations about what we “deserve”, the joy, wonder, and awe in life are hard to find.  In reality, everything is a gift. “How to live in a state of awe, when life is mundane and ordinary?”( p. 168). Count gifts.

You can read the first chapter here. And after you read the first chapter, head on over to the Bloom book club where they have a video for each chapter. I have been loving watching the videos after I finish each chapter.

And…because I love this book so much. I want to giveaway a copy. If you want to enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post telling me one of your favorite books and why. I will select a winner at random next Friday.

And…this month I’m reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller, if you want to read it with me. Also, is offering two free audiobooks right now. So, I downloaded The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin to listen to on my commute and I’m loving it. I’m having fun Booking It this year over at Life as Mom.

Note: This giveaway is now closed…check back for more giveaways in the future.

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  1. yes! i want it! favorite book… inner voice of love. radically changed my life. well, it made me feel less alone in the world. hope i win :)

  2. i have been wanting to purchase this book for awhile now. my girlfriend fell in love with the book and website. i follow her blog daily and Ann is truly inspirational. A book i read a month ago which i also really connected with is the one you mentioned, "A million miles in a thousand years" by Miller. I actually got the book on tape and enjoyed it so much that I then purchased the paperback so i could go through and highlight the parts that really spoke to me. I will keep my fingers crossed for the giveaway of Ann's book :) alexis

    • I just started "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" and I'm loving it so far! You should definitely read One Thousand Gifts…if you like her blog, you'll love the book. Sorry you didn't win this time…but I'll be doing more giveaways in the future so keep trying! :)

  3. malina maneevone says:

    i'd love a chance to win! i loved 'the hunger games' because it was an interesting plot and creative story.

    • I went to the zoo with my girls and saw the polar bears. Do you know how much they resemble the sewer creatures from the last book? I literally felt my stomach go queasy and tight with fear… one of the most stick with you books I've read.

  4. miriam maneevone says:

    'the call.' all about God's calling on our lives and how to identify our purpose.

  5. Sam Paschall says:

    i am loving "home" by marilyn robertson. captures perfectly the difficulty and love of family. hope i win!

  6. Deborah Horne says:

    I would love this book. I've heard so much about it and was going to read it soon. This month I've read It's my turn, Ruth Graham and In my own words, Mother Teresa. I love christian books. I read all the time. It nourishes my heart and soul and mind. It's what keeps me going. Thanks for the inspiration. I hope I win.

    • You would love this book! Sorry you didn't win this time…I'll be doing more book giveaways in the future, so feel free to subscribe if you want to know about future giveaways. :)

  7. i actually went to b&n the other night to look for this book but couldn't find it. what a cool giveaway! :) anyway, i picked up "radical" by david platt instead. so far its really good but i'm only on chapter 3. :) anyway, my all time favorite is mere christianity because c s lewis' way with words makes my heart sing. its all wonderful and convicting and beautiful, but his last chapter on the new man is my favorite.

  8. I've heard a only wonderful things about this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

    My reading right now is Knit Together by Debbie Macomber. I am enjoying her take on finding and following your dreams, with little tips on knitting here and there.

    Thanks again!

  9. Ooh, I've been wanting to read this- I love her! One book I'm really enjoying right now is The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.

  10. OH my goodness, my interest was really peeked by all the comments and everyone raving about this book and this author, and then I wanted to cry because I am deep in the throws of newborn stage + toddler= and I have never heard of either the book or the author… or have I??? and my brain is mush and everything is just foggy?? Geez… all that to say, I should probably get a copy of it, whether I win it or not, it's really got my attention!

    So, my favorite book…umm… Redeeming Love?? ha ha, remember that one from the college days! Oh Michael Hosea, where are you…. (back on track now) recently it's been parenting books like "Parenting with Love and Logic" or "How to have a new kid by Friday" (thanks to your recommendation) or "Shepherding a Childs Heart" or "Excellent Wife" or "Safe People" (such a good book on boundaries and healthy relationships)…. are you starting to see that I have major scatter brain and bounce around a lot!! Anyways, I love to read your snip-its on reading, keep them coming!

    • Oh Redeeming Love…that was a good one. How's Parenting with Love and Logic? I've actually been to a teaching seminar based on the Love and Logic series and I like it a lot.

  11. yay! i have never heard of this book- it sounds awesome! i am cracking up at andrea's post about redeeming love :)

    one of my favorite books is "chasing daylight" by erwin mcmanus, mostly because God used it to help me make a big decision a few years back.

    a couple of other books i have really enjoyed in the past are:

    -same kind of different as me by ron hall and denver moore

    -under the overpass by mike yankowsi (sp?)

    -gang leader for a day by sudhir vehnkatesh (sp?)…i know, random…but seriously SO good (in my opinion). it gave me a new understanding for a "world" that i am waaaay unfamiliar with

    LOVE YA!!!!!!

    • Those all sound really interesting…I'd like to hear some more about them…and were you the one who was telling me about Rob Bell a long time ago? Which one of his books would you most highly recommend?

  12. Debby Morey says:

    Am loving reading this book, thanks for sharing it with me. Just was given another book, "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. It comes highly recommended by a friend I greatly respect.

  13. favorite? . . i have always had a hard time with choosing a favorite, it's such a commitment. i'll just go with the most recent books i read, will that work?

    To Kill a Mocking Bird-shouldn't have been so lame in highschool and actually read one of the books i was suppose to, it's a good read.

    Pride and Prejudice-love it

    • So glad you went back to read some of the classics you missed out on in high school! You probably enjoyed them and got more out of them now anyway. I always enjoyed teaching To Kill a Mockingbird… we'll have to talk about themes and symbols sometime. :)

  14. Erin Peet says:

    I have trouble of thinking of my favorite books, but I read 'The Book Thief' and it was incredible…sad, poignant, amazing!

    • I'll put it on my list! I've heard good things about it…and I think it's even on the recommended list of reading that I give to my students, so I should probably read it too!

  15. 'The Help' is good! Also, the ultimate in book reading experience: 'The Brothers K' by David James Duncan. Even the parts about baseball are poetically human and rooted in story — love it! Plus if you can't get beyond the baseballiness you just skip those parts and the rest is exquisite still. If you haven't read 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society' you must. Do not be turned off by the fact it is a book of letters!!! I concur about 'The Hunger Games', but it is uber violent and the violence is directed at children. Can be super disturbing especially as a mama. I have flashbacks to the story all the time, which shows how vivid it is, but also how it will stick with you and be unsettling long after done reading. Dave and I are working through 'The Nine Things you must do to succeed". Such a ridiculous title (9 things, really?) but by Henry Cloud and absolutely excellent. For parenting I still recommend Cloud and Townsend's 'Boundaries for Kids'. Was very balanced and insightful. Don't think I made it in time for the drawing, but I love these books a lot and am spilling over to share.

    • Thanks for sharing…I always love book suggestions from you Jenny! I too love Boundaries for Kids. I'll have to put The Nine Things… on my list too. I love Cloud and Townsend! I think I'll skip The Hunger Games because I'm the type that will definitely have disturbing flashbacks, so thanks for the heads up on that!

      • The great thing though about 'Hunger Games' is that the violence isn't glorified. I think the author captured so well that sense of relentless violence on human beings and how it marks them… especially the weariness. It reminds me of WWI and the way people must have felt to watch death continue on and on. How do you stay in terror? How do you function afterward? How is each person marked? Very powerful, especially from a book I'd consider more juvenile fiction but I'd stick with your gut feeling to skip it for now.

        I just saw Monica's post on 'Same Kind of Different As Me' and think you would probably like it too. Very good discussion book for so many reasons!

        Also, don't know if you like mysteries (like Agatha Christie???) but discovered GK Chesterton's short Father Brown mystery stories and some short stories and novels by Dorothy Sayers recently. I love mysteries! Especially from that era when it was all about plot twists and puzzles… you know, all the story tricks that are common fare now that were novelty then. Chesterton is interesting because he throws in Catholic/Christian theology into his work and Sayers has some gems.

        All of my recommendations you can borrow at any time :) I have some cheesy ones too that I have *ahem* dog eared, but would be far to embarrassed to admit to on an Internet post.


  1. […] write about how i bought the most beautiful rug on-line and how i won a book on my friend’s blog give away (i only had to enter it 5 times!). i could write about how we are moving in a week and […]

  2. […] for the Month: Gratitude. Last year I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and began writing down my own one thousand gifts but haven’t been as diligent […]

  3. […] write about how i bought the most beautiful rug on-line and how i won a book on my friend’s blog give away (i only had to enter it 5 times!). i could write about how we are moving in a week and […]

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