To put it bluntly – I don’t have adequate words to describe this masterpiece. Truly, I’m stumbling and fumbling to pick and choose the words that encapsulate the thoughts driven by the deepness that has penetrated my heart and my being. I found myself needing quiet when reading. Quiet in order to sip, and drink slowly from the unending stream of masterful beauty. I’ve never-before read an artist who strings together a tapestry in the way that Ann Voskamp does. It’s a book that takes a look at something the Bible is big on – thankfulness, gratitude, and grace.
I’m not going to lie, this style of writing is definitely different than books I find myself reading. Most books I pick up are informationally driven, concise, repetitive, bold face to catch the main points, wrapped in neat, short chapter, perhaps with questions at the end, and even further bible study guidance. This book is written differently. Ann possess a style all her own. I found myself taking a slow pace, pausing to ponder, re-reading some parts over and over, just to get a better glimpse as to where she was leading me to glance at… many revelations to be had.
My favorite chapter thus far has been number 7. In fact, I jumped over to the bloom site, at (in)courage, and I watched a video of Ann and two other ladies having a short discussion. Wow, what an additive to what the Lord is driving home. As you pray about and decide the timing of this book in your life, I would highly recommend clicking over to this site to gain even greater insight on some of the discussion in each chapter. I included a link in the sidebar as well. There is a video of each chapter and a blog post to follow – God is doing some fabulous stuff with all the technology available!
Ann allows us to take a glimpse into her family life here, more specifically as a mom (of 6!), and she asks the reader the questions:
How can I help this son of mine see when I can’t see? The parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child-teach, because who can bring peace unless they’ve held their own peace? Christ incarnated in the parent is the only hope of incarnating Christ in the child – yet how do I admit that people made in the Image can make me blind to God?
Told you this was good stuff! What to do? As a parent, perhaps I can plan better. Perhaps I take a look at those moments in the day that I know will come, and actually plan what my response will be… before I get upset.
Ann continues by asking:
What compels me to name moments upheavals and annoyances instead of grace and gift? Why deprive myself of joy’s oxygen? The swiftness and starkness of the answer startles. Because you believe in the power of the pit.
What?? That’s what I thought. She goes on to write,
Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love? That Satan’s way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus’ way? Why else get angry? Isn’t it because I think complaining, exasperation, resentment will pound me into the full life I really want? When I choose – and it is a choice – to crush joy with bitterness, am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness? Choosing the angry way of Lucifer because I think it is more effective – more expedient – than giving thanks?
Yikes… that’ll give ya something to think about! Thanks, thanksgiving, in all circumstances, is redemptive work wiping away the “soot of the day cindered”. Tuning our senses to see his grace, naming the graces, as Haggar did, seeing the well that’s always been there. “There is a well – All is well.” I see precisely what I attend to and what the eyes focus on is what the life is. The Lord has to break us down at the strongest part of our self life (the sinew of the thigh, as with Jacob), before He can have His own way of blessing with us.
Tear the thigh to open the eye.
Eucharisteo (thanks) always precedes the miracle.
I started my list of “1,000 gifts”. First one says, “morning kisses”. I dare you to believe in all that could come from the mindset of thanks. Will you join me?