Monday, February 28, 2011

1000 Gifts: A Book Review

I have three reasons you should not read 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and only one reason you should.

The first reason you should not read the book is because it is written by a homemade-bread-making-domestic-goddess who classically educates her six children while simultaneously traveling the world with a non-profit to fight hunger and homelessness where it reigns, OH and authoring books.
That is just annoying.
It makes the rest of us look bad.
Just pick one.
Your kids can learn Latin but either the bread baking or do-gooding has to go.

Number 2. Her writing style is as halting and complicated as her Canadian farm life is fluid and simple. I like to read. I don't particularly like to re-read and re-read a simple phrase just to make sure I got the hang of it. Maybe Canadians don't speak American- but I have never encountered this problem before. This forced meditation upon the daily tasks and attitudes that brim my own domestic life was a bit much. Must we dwell there? Really, haven't we all got better things to do than read about a housewife's journal of thankfulness. Haven't we all got better things to do than make a journal of our own?

And finally, this book is bothersome because this woman is a literalist. One who molds her life around cliches – builds life upon such principles as, “pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18. She takes that stuff seriously. And a million other little phrases tucked deep within the Bible that I am sure were meant for greeting cards and hall plaques only – not to be lived – surely not to be meditated upon during an entire 9 months of potty training.

But the reason, that perhaps you should consider picking up this book, is that from the conviction between it's pages I feel a warmth in my heart that is starting to melt the ice cold heart of the 3 reasons to put the book down. The freezing self-loathing and not-measuring-up/never-good-enough hatred of everyone who “is” - the frosty judgment of others and hurry of my own life – the deadly cold to the Word of God and the God of His Word – the fear – the discontent. They have melted a little as I turned one slow page after another. It isn't the quick thaw that I would like – the 65 degree day of today that vanished 4 inches of snow before lunch. But rather that .5 degree overall global warmth of a soul. The small difference that they say will melt icebergs and glaciers – and change our world. Like the sacred Work of Worship that Ann's own book is based on, there is a power in the Truth that can transform our lives. The truth that God loves me and is loving me in every moment of my life has the power to warm my frozen soul. .5 degrees ... one thanksgiving at a time.

Thank you Andrea for the book – thank you for the grace. Always.

NOTE: Please do not assume I agree with or am even comfortable with everything in this book (or any other book I recommend)... I sift as I read...

gift 42: Friday afternoon dress up:

gift 45: New finality to an old love/ a picture of a chosen son/ Jonah's adoption

gift 44: the five year old behind the camera

gift 46: The genius of a museum with an indoor sandbox in winter

1 comment:

christina said...

I too am counting my blessings.. and thawed my heart by reading Ann's book. There is a difference, no formula, but there is a difference in life when counting ones daily blessings. Hope all is well with you and may you find many things to count today!