Reading is tough for me. I'm not a quick reader and quite frankly, I get bored. I don't read fantasy or science fiction. Or really any fiction. My bookmarks are still on page 8 of Twilight and 23 of Hunger Games. The first one.
But non-fiction I can do. Stories, ones lived by real people somewhere at some point in time. That stuff moves me.
The first time I realized I loved the power of story was in Shauna Niequist's Cold Tangerines. I was a freshman in college and Tommee emailed me a free excerpt with a note that read, "This is so you. Read it."
And I did. Three times that year. That's when I got my first taste of this new(ish) type of raw, unpolished yet refined way of putting one's life onto paper for the world to experience and whisper, "Me too."
Since then, I've read memoirs, biographies, essays and blogs that hover around this same type of artistry.
But to call Ann Voskamp an artist of the written word must be the understatement of the year.
Unlike any author I've read, she has managed to paint and arrange the words of her book, One Thousand Gifts, in a way that makes me cry every. single. time. But this isn't the type of crying that is all sorrowful. These tears, different than every other time, are tears of gratitude, thankfulness, and release.
Ann has been affectionately called, the C.S. Lewis of today, wearing a skirt. And to that I say "AMEN!"
In One Thousand Gifts, Ann makes you feel like you are on her front porch, sipping tea and pulling bite sized pieces from her freshly baked bread loaf. She lets you in to the depth of her heart, you know that place? The one every woman has, but rarely opens the gates to. She walks you through her story, piece by piece, not for pity or pride, but because she has seen the weaving hand of God and wants you to see it too.
She knows life is too short, in the context of eternity, to be selfish or secluded. (< Click to tweet.)
She beams, "Eucharisteo."
"Eucharisteo—it comes right out of the Gospel of Luke: 'And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them…' (Luke 22:19 NIV). In the original language, 'He gave thanks' reads 'eucharisteo.'
The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning 'grace.' Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning 'joy.'
Charis. Grace. Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. Chara. Joy.
Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo; the table of thanksgiving. The holy grail of joy, God set it in the very center of Christianity."
( - Voskamp, quote via thehighcalling.org)
So who is this book for? The person who feels like life is going to fast and furious. The person who can't seem to find one good thing about today. The person who worry is outranking their joy. The person who needs something to change, now. The person who is craving breakthrough.
This book is for everyone.
One Thousand Gifts is available wherever books are sold. (Including Amazon and B&N)
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