Book Review | One Thousand Gifts

This summer, after struggling with both anxiety/depression, and a trial of faith, my mom suggested reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. This book is kind of a spiritual awakening memoir of Voskamp, who grew up in the Mennonite farming community of southwestern Ontario. She isn’t Mennonite, but deeply Christian and had a personal conversion once she realized the true meaning of eucharisteo .

It's all about eucharisteo

Rather than do a normal book review, I want to just share some of my favorite quotes:

“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts book review--it's all about eucharisteo

“Now in the Bible, a name…reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather its essence as God’s gift…To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.”

“I yearn for the stuff of saints, the hard language…I want the every fullest life…it is hard to think that the insulting ordinariness of this truly teaches the full mystery of all most important, eucharisteo.”

“In Christ, don’t we have everlasting existence? Don’t Christians have all the time in eternity, life everlasting? If Christian run out of time–wouldn’t we lose our very own existence? If anyone should have time, isn’t it the Christ-followers?”

“Time to breath deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done–yesterday.”

“All God makes is good. Can it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God.”

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts book review: it's all about eucharisteo

“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 parents is the only hope of incarnating Christ in the child.”

“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.”

“Anxiety has been my natural posture, my default stillness. The way I curl my toes up, tight retreat. How I angle my jaw, braced, chisel the brown with the lines of distrust. How I don’t fold my hands in prayer…weld them into tight fists of control. Always control–pseudo power from the pit. How I refuse to relinquish worry, babe a mother won’t won’t forsake, an identity. Do I hold worry close as this ruse of control, this pretense that I’m the one who will determine the course of events as I stir and church and ruminate? Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is. And stressed, this pitched word that punctuates every conversation, its it really my attempt to prove how indispensable I am? Or is it more? Maybe disguising my deep fears as stress seems braver somehow.”

“I want that kind of crazy, happy joy, God…How have I lost it in the growing older, duller? How to see the world again thorugh those eyes? To live in the wide-eyed wonder of a world that unwraps itself grandiose and larger-than-life, so other wordly?”

“Only self can kill joy. I’m the one doing this to me.”

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts book review: it's all about eucharisteo

“Grace is alive , living waters. If I dam up the grace, hold the blessing tight, joy, within dies…waters that have no life.”
[ctt title=” ‘Eucharisteo is, yes, more: it is giving grace away.'” tweet=” ‘Eucharisteo is, yes, more: it is giving grace away.’ @themorrelltale” coverup=”4dboG”]

“The communion service is only complete in service. Communion, by necessity, always leads us into community.”

“The work we do is only our love for Jesus in action, writes Mother Teresa. If we pray the work…if we do it to Jesus, if we do it for Jesus, if we do it with Jesus…that’s what makes us content…the contented, deep joy is always in the touching of Christ–in whatever skin He comes to us in.”

Even though Voskamp’s style of writing is very abstract, it was still a great read and allowed me to slow down my life and be thankful for the small things. I would recommend it to any Christian in any denomination. Honestly, I would recommend it to anyone!

Which quote did you enjoy the most?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.