Do you want to read a book that has the potential to change the way you think? This may be the one you have been waiting for...
I was searching on Amazon over a year ago when I came across this title. Do you ever get a strange/awesome sense that you are supposed to read something? That sense was all over this book, but I did not buy it for over a year. Too many other things to concentrate on, or so I thought. My two boys, teaching, cleaning house, managing other projects, cooking, and plenty of other small things took up my time.
I finally ordered the book this summer as a birthday present to myself. I must admit that I was completely captivated by this woman's remarkable gift of pen. Her writing is more like poetry and it fits well with her subject. What does it mean to live a life full of grace? To live fully alive?
She begins with the loss of her sister, Aimee, a toddler at the time, who was literally crushed in front of her family by a trucker who just didn't see her. Years later, after finding out she has cancer, she asks the question that many people before her have asked at times of loss or pain. "How can a good God...?"
She finds her answer in thanksgiving. She is struck by the Christ giving thanks for the bread and wine at the Last Supper. How can he be giving thanks when he is knows he is about to die? She calls it Eucharisteo and she knows in His example how hard it is. Yet, she begins compiling a list of one thousand gifts, all of the small things that she is thankful for.
"It is impossible to give thanks, and simultaneously feel fear." (p. 203) This is one of many realizations about thanksgiving. Many times God calls us to remember and give thanks...to count our blessings...come into grace. When we remember His good works, His salvation, His provisions, protection...we give thanks. In the process, we are built up, given peace and hope that He loves us. Knowing this takes us close to knowing the fullness of him.
Ann's own words express it very poetically. "I am a hunter of beauty and I move slow and I keep the eyes wide, every fiber of every muscle sensing all wonder and this is the thrill of the hunt and I could be an expert of the life full, the beauty meat that lurks in every moment. I hunger to taste life. God." (p. 71)
In a quest to abandon pride, fear, and control she found that her cup overflows with God's goodness, grace, and love as she learns to embrace a lifestyle of radical gratitude. She slows down, savors life, and catches God in what used to be fleeting moments.
To say I was touched by this author is a understatement. I am not the same person. Her superb writing style captivated me at the beginning and her revelations along the way held my interest all the way through. I wanted to be made new by starting my own list.
I thank the Lord for all of his amazing gifts and I thank Ann for inspiring me and others to start our own lists.
If you are interested in her blog, check out www.onethousandgifts.com or www.aholyexperience.com.