I love to read but what I normally read are novels. It’s not too often I read inspirational or even spiritual books (although I’m always searching for spiritual enlightenment one way or another). They usually seem boring and contrived to me or just sappy. Recently, somewhere online, on someone else’s blog and I don’t know whose (sorry if it was yours), I came across a link to a book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Ann is a blogger from Canada, lives on a farm with her husband, homeschools their 6 children, but had seemingly unconquerable fears and sadness in her life. A friend dared her to write down 1,000 things she was grateful for and this transformational experience was the subject of her blog, A Holy Experience, which grew into her book.
I’m only a third of the way through her book and have about 2 things in my gratitude journal so far but this book is soooo good that I already feel like it will be a transformational experience for me, too. First, if the way excellent writers put words together interests you, this book will draw you in. Ann writes beautifully. Check out her 4 minute trailer and see if keeping a gratitude journal might interest you, too. She is not the first to suggest it…even Oprah has done so…but Ann is the first one that makes me want to do it because of all the riches that one can discover while being aware of and grateful for the small things in life. “Life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.”
In addition to making a written list, she also uses photography to document her gifts. She says, “[Sometimes] the lens is my ink, for cameras have sensor eyes, and pixels record. I slide it into a pocket, a thin point-and-shoot, and find another way to chronicle, to force the lids open; another way to receive the moment with thanks reverential.”
“One Thousand Gifts is a celebration of grace and a recognition of the power of gratitude.” You can read the first chapter of the book here if you think you might be interested.