I find myself unable to breathe, like the wind has been pulled from my lungs. Each page is so full of richness that I am unable to casually read through this small, yet powerful book, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are” by Ann Voskamp.
My ever inspiring friend, Cindy, has been talking to me about this book and after a friendly ‘counseling’ time the other day I knew it was something I must read. It is a small book and could probably be read in a day or two. I am only on page 14 and I have found myself really taking in every thing the author has written. I don’t know the book will impact everyone that way it seems to me. Maybe it’s just the season in which I find myself. Regardless, I wanted to share a few excerpts from the book that I read this morning.
“…when you just simply get up every day and live life raw–you murmur the question soundlessly. No one hears. Can there be a good God? A God who graces with good gifts when a crib lies empty through long nights, and bugs burrow through coffins? Where is God, really? How can He be good when babies die, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind? Where is grace bestowed when cancer gnaws and loneliness aches and nameless places in us soundlessly die, break off without reason, erode away. Where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do I fully live when life is full of hurt? How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?” “Dad says nothing more. That shake of the head says it all, expresses our closed hands, our bruised, shaking fists. No. No benevolent Being, no grace, no meaning to it all. My dad, a good farmer who loved his daughter the way only eyes can rightly express, he rarely said all that; only sometimes…But these aren’t things you need to say anyways. Like all beliefs, you simply live them.
Is this the toxic air of the world, this atmosphere we inhale, burning into our lungs, this No, God? No, God, we won’t take what You give. No, God, Your plans are a gutted, bleeding mess and I didn’t sign up for this and You really thought I’d go for this? No, God, this is ugly and this is a mess and can’t You get anything right and just haul all this pain out of here and I’ll take it from here, thanks. And God? Thanks for nothing. Isn’t this the human inheritance, the legacy of the Garden?
I wake up and put the feet to the plank floors, and I believe the Serpent’s hissing lie, the repeating refrain of his campaign through the ages; God isn’t good. It’s the cornerstone of his movement. That God withholds good from His children, the God does not genuinely, fully, love us.”
Wow…just wow. This is shaping up to be a good read.
Again, the book is titled “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are” by Ann Voskamp and published by Zondervan (ISBN-10: 0310321913 and ISBN-13: 978-0310321910) If you are interested in this book, I recommend you order online or call Books-A-Millon at Concord Mills. They were out of stock, but expecting a shipment. It seems they have been taking a lot of calls for this book and I heard a local women’s group was using this as a study guide for their meetings.
Here’s to counting my blessings, naming them one to one thousand. Happy reading!
Reading and Counting!
**ALL QUOTES ARE EXCERPTS FROM ‘ONE THOUSAND GIFTS’ BY ANN VOSKAMP, PUBLISHED BY ZONDERVAN**