I wish that I could somehow write this review in a manner worthy of how eloquently the writer, Ann Voskamp pours her soul onto every page of ONE THOUSAND GIFTS. It won’t ever happen. I struggle to think in terms with so much grandeur and detail. This is my predicament with reading through this book.
The language. It is BEAUTIFULLY written. It is poetic and heart wrenching. It grips the very essence of the soul. In reading aloud, the verse is almost lyrical. But, for me, that takes SOOOOOO much energy to read. I have to focus to read each word, to interweave each passionate thought with its predecessor and then to embed how that thought fits into the entire books theme.
I will let you in on a little secret. I am not as smart as I used to be. I hate to admit it. There was a time that I would pour over philosophers, chew through religion comparatives and read political essays and theories without a second glance. Today, I have a mommy brain. Short and to the point.
Isaac has a knife!
Ammi broke her front tooth off.
Zeke is naked and pooped everywhere.
My world is in sound bites. Maybe yours is too. We have Facebook status updates, limited by characters so we dare not reveal too much of ourselves. We text instead of call because we don’t have enough time to have a full conversation. We have become professional multi-taskers that can check email, watch television and read bedtime stories, all while spending quality time with our spouse. It is all at warp speed. Even our language is morphing into a code speak of LOL, IDK, and ICBHADT. Unfortunately, I can see how all of this is retraining my brain to expect warp speed thought and conclusions as well.
So how can we adequately encapsulate the concept of thankfulness, or true gratitude, in a sounds bite?
“I know I know!!!!" : jumping like a little girl with my hand in the air. We minimize it.. I do it everyday, I teach my children how to do it. We make it rote.
Tell Mrs. Clark, “Thank you.”
“Children, be thankful for your toys and take better care of them.”
“Thank you, Lord for this food, Amen”.
It is all sound bites. We may want it to be meaningful and sometimes, it may be. But, short and sweet is often just short. Is that really all we have time for?
ONE THOUSAND GIFTS makes you slow down to read. To digest. To feel convicted. It stirs up belief systems, self destructive thought processes and memories of beauty and anguish in our own lives while sharing the narrative of the authors. The book delves deep in to the meaning of thankfulness that cannot be understood through sound bites or status updates.
I can actually hear some of you saying,
“I don’t have time for that.” - Then you are too busy and need to read it, one chapter a day.
“I hate poetry” - It isn’t actual poetry and you need to read it. The language is part of the story telling and the only way to fully grasp the message.
“I am thankful” - If you are reading this blog, then you are not on your hands and knees and are therefore NOT thankful enough. You need to read it.
I know none of this is very convincing. I get that this is a really poor sell. I am trying to be upfront and fully truthful. I hated working through some of this. It’s hard. I don’t like hard. I have enough hard in my life. But, HARD IS GOOD! Hard stretched us. Hard grows us. Hard changes our perspective and changes our position. Most of us would say that even more than not liking things to be hard, is hating to feel stuck. ONE THOUSAND GIFTS will help unstick you.
Now I must return my copy to the library and buy my own, to re-read in a few months.
With love, Leigh