One Thousand Gifts

It’s the kind of book you first hear in one place.

Then again in another.

By the time a third different friend mentions the title, I know I need to look into it.

I’m glad I did.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp is more than a gratitude journal. It’s more than a collection of poetic thoughts on paper.

It’s didactic and lyrical all at once.

It’s simple.

“Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives” (39).

Evidence. Acceptance.

“Naming is Edenic.I name gifts and go back to the Garden
and God in the beginning who first speaks a name lets
what is come into existence . . .

. . . The first man’s task is to name . . .

. . . naming offers the gift of recognition . . .

. . . to name is to learn the language of Paradise” (53).

Gifts. To name them is to see them. To know they are.

So I begin. One thousand gifts.

But I can’t get past one.

1. My family is healthy.

With this one, I don’t need 999 more.

But if I cling to this one, then if the day ever comes @font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } – God forbid – if I no longer have this one, will I have any?

Can I cultivate an Abraham-like willingness to love with open hands? To love the three greatest gifts He has ever given me . . . daughter, daughter, son. To love them with the kind of love that I want them to love others with.

So I begin again.

2. a husband whose integrity unwavers
3. a daughter whose heart sings of joy
4. a daughter whose life echoes sweet

5. a son whose spirit climbs mountains

What more could I want?

995 to go.

This is harder than it looks. I have so much already. Yet, there is something to this spirit of thanksgiving. It chaffs the daily, the mundane. It transforms the spirit into His likeness. Oh, that grace-filled, truth-filled likeness of Him (John 1:14).

995 I must.

The simple. The small.


6. a quiet walk in the woods


7. colors in bloom


8. hand-made napkins that match my tea set
9. a friend who knows my tea pattern and finds matching fabric to surprise me


10. the Word that sustains the weary

This thanksgiving thing. There’s something to it.

What are you thankful for today? 

Ann Voskamp continues her thoughts on thanksgiving every Monday at aholyexperience.com.

16 thoughts on “One Thousand Gifts

  1. I love, love, love this post! I thank God for the gift you have with words… for being able to meet people like you on the www; for the internet itself – such a wonderful tool to meet, share, give, love, and learn about the lives and loves of others. Thank You Lord.

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  11. Great list (especially #1).  Lovely pictures and beautiful words.  Enjoy your journey of graditude. 
    Blessings 

  12. Oh Denise! I just love your review! Ann's book and blog have been lifechanging to me…and yes to count the gifts…His gifts to me…learning to practice eucharisteo…has brought such joy. And I keep counting…today # 708 and counting…a heart FULL of gratitude. And maybe, just maybe,  I need to start a blog afterall! Love you.

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