I, along with roughly eleventy-billion other (mostly) women in America are reading THIS book (above) right now. I know I've got that number correct because I've seen about that many posts on Facebook & mentions of it on blogs I read. Plus there's the whole Bloom Book Club doing this book right now. So anyway, lots of people are reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. A month or so ago, a precious girlfriend of mine asked me if I'd like to join a book club at her house & that we would be reading this book. I leapt at the chance because I'd heard so many amazing things about the book.
Fast forward about 2 1/2 weeks. I got the book & began to read it. I'll be honest. The first 3 chapters were hard for me to read. Very, very hard. And I don't mean that the content made me squirm. I mean it was like a 2nd grader trying to read Shakespeare. In the dark. Written in a foreign language. I tend to be a very logical, concrete thinker. And while I am excessively analytical sometimes, I analyze things from an emotional standpoint. The author of this book turns all poetic & flowery & classical literature on you when she is thinking things through. So while I really understand thinking things to death, my brain just doesn't operate like hers so I was left scratching my head & having to tear the sentences apart word by word & pause to absorb what on earth she was saying before I could move on. It was very slow going. I felt a little bit like I was walking through thick mud to work through those first few chapters. If I had bought the book to read on my own, I would've quit before I finished those first few chapters & sold that baby on half.com or amazon. But I'm glad I didn't.
When I reached chapter 4, it all started falling into place. The author began talking in a nearer-to-East-Texan-language so I started grasping it better. I find that the further I get into the book, the more I see that the author & I have a lot in common. While our life stories aren't necessarily the same, we see things in the same way. Her style may still be way over this small town girl's head, but I am really enjoying the book now.
The basic essence of the book is teaching the reader to shift your focus from daily life to intentional thankfulness for every little thing....seeking out things to be thankful for....LOOKING for blessings & positivity in every moment of your day. Naming SPECIFICS & not just saying "thank you for my husband"...but rather, "thank you that my husband has a job, thank you for his tenderhearted nature, thank you for his vehicle that takes him safely to & from the places he needs to go, thank you for his soft brown hair that I like to stroke when we're snuggled in bed each night...and so on". Basically, changing your perspective in a very intentional way so as to create a lifetime of thanksgiving & recognition of God's love for us in even the tiniest details. When you do this, it means that you wake up every morning looking for things to be thankful for and in doing that, your outlook on everything changes. Everything becomes a blessing. There is a lot more said throughout the book, but that's the basic idea.
Last night I was able to go to my first of the book club meetings. (It was the 3rd week they've met, but the first time I've been able to go.) The author challenges every reader to create an actual list of blessings in your life, to physically write down items 1 at a time, until you have a list of 1000 things you're thankful for. It might take a month or it might take a year. What she says in a video over on the Bloom book club site (linked above) was that people have written to her & said they finished their list, but they were so changed & effected by it that they didn't want to stop, so they were continuing on!
And so....my list is beginning. I was thinking that I'd post it here, but then decided that I'd end up having some items on the list that are personal that I'd rather not share with the entire world. Instead, I'm going to CVS in the morning & will buy a small spiral notebook to begin my list in. I can't wait!
If you think you can trudge through the super poetic literary style of the first few chapters, I'd invite you to check out the book too!
3 years ago