Not much makes make me happier than (in)courage inviting us to come share #TheJesusProject with the unbelievable (in)courage community….because it is absolutely never too late to find wings and fly:

When in Rome… yeah, that….

When in Rome, do as the Romans.

2013 was this slippery year of that — living in Romans, doing as Romans.

The Farmer and I would crawl into bed, bone tired and hurting, lay there murmuring phrases of Romans 1 to each other…

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God… ”

Set apart for the Gospel…. Set apart for the Gospel.

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Memorizing His words, turning them over in our minds, in our mess, like raw-cut, unearthed diamonds, this is what rotated us.

I had muttered that one night to the Farmer laying there weary — It is only the turning the lines of Scripture that turn me around. Nothing else has the sheer strength to do that.

Every line of God’s Word is like an axle — turning the soul around, moving the soul forward. Getting me there. Without it, my life has no forward motion — I just ram hopelessly about in the same ruts.

For a year, I worked at not letting time or tasks get in the way of letting the axle turn…

In March, Lizzie and I served at a conference called, yeah, that: Set Apart … we stumbled and laughed and hung on and recited our Romans verses to each other… set apart for the Gospel….

Come summer, Romans 8 was a soundtrack playing loud and steady and sure in my head: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”

To-do lists could yell at me at the end of the day. Emails lingered, piled unopened. Resolutions splayed neglected. But what the heart knows by heart can heal and hold the heart, and His Word would come again like the lullaby of a strong, rhythmic heartbeat to me laying there wide awake… would come pull me close to thrum of the very heartbeat of God: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…

To stay on track, every heart needs to know a soundtrack by heart.

Laying a life up against the chest of His Word, and hearing the steady beat of His heart, is the only soundtrack that strengthens the human heart.

Come the end of summer, when the wheat was coming off, when we were behind in The Romans Project, as is our typical Modus operandi, when we pressed in close to Him to memorize the lines  of His song, the rhythm of His heart right there at the end of Romans 8, I felt the burning lump in my throat — how in the world did the likes of us end up with a love song like this?

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

[And there it was — my life verse:]

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come … will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God hands you lungs when He hands you His Word and says — These are not idle words to you, they. are. your. life.

What you really know by heart is what your heart really knows — and what you really live.

The steady beat of His word is the only thing that gives a strong rhythm to our days.

That’s what happened: The lines memorized were lifelines, were cords that bound our hearts to the strength of God’s.

A year of groping through The Romans Project… and I didn’t expect it like this: I fell more in love with Him all over again. I kept learning to live loved. I kept learning to exhale.

Come the end of the year, there was the Tree hanging with all those ornaments of The Greatest Gift. And the lights and the lingering and a baby in a manger and I said with a whole lot of the world: I just wanted Jesus. That’s what I said.

And then the wonder Christmas had whispered it right into the pragmatism of my New Year:

Is Jesus merely useful to you — or is He ultimately beautiful to you?

When Jesus is merely useful to me, I want Him to move my world.

When Jesus is ultimately beautiful to me, it’s my heart that is moved – and this begins to change the world.

When I see Jesus as useful, He’s a gadget to make my life better. When I see Jesus as beautiful, He’s a joy that makes me live better….

That’s the question that moved me from one year into another:

Am I a Jesus-user?

Or a Jesus-adorer?

How does the church stop being a bunch of Jesus-users? And become a host of Jesus-adorers?

When did Jesus become more about business-like benefits to us instead of The Beautiful who calls us Beloved?

Looking for the beauty of Christ in the everyday isn’t some quaint exercise in poetry. It’s a critical exercise in staying alive. “Your new life, which is your real life, …. is with Christ. He is your life.” [Colossians 3]

And as we all wiped the vernix off a brand new flailing year, I stumbled across this gilded Bible.

Turning pages of illuminated Scripture, these lines of careful calligraphy, I slowed — caught my breath…

You could see it: how for centuries scribes spent their lives on His Word.  Because Jesus was beautiful to them.

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I sat in the dark of a brand new year, an illuminated Bible in front of me, with this epiphany unfolding like new light:

For centuries …. Because Jesus was beautiful to God’s people — His Word was beautiful to God’s people. 

What if Jesus’ Word was more than useful to us? What if it was beautiful to us?

What if God’s Word was more than a manual in our lives — what if it was the masterpiece in our lives — that made our lives a masterpiece?

What if His Word was the art that we were captivated by — that freed us into the art of life?

That’s what I wanted a new year, a new memory project, to look like — I wanted Jesus The Beautiful — and His Beautiful Words.

So when I polled friends about what we might memorize for 2014 – the book of James? How about 3 chapters from the Gospel of John? 52 topical verses for the year? or maybe just…  12 Soul-Sustaining verses?

So when I did this pathetic imitation of Richard Dawson’s “Survey Saaaays…” and it was clear:  The poll of God’s people overwhelmingly asked not to memorize a book of the Bible, not several chapters — but to memorize 12 Soul-Sustaining Verses, it was even clearer: We need Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us.

We need Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us ragamuffins who were facing battles every. single. day — and we are wild for a sword. 

We need Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us  — who need just a small change to make a big change.

We need Scripture Memorization for the Rest of us —  to get us through the rest of things.  “We want this to be a discipline we practice for the rest of our lives. Think marathon, not sprint.” writes Beth Moore. That’s what Beth said: “Never — NOT ONCE — have I ever known anyone to get to the end of a Scripture memory commitment and say that it didn’t make any real differenceNot. a. single time.”

So there it was, a  bit of a messy plan:

Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us: The Jesus Project. We’d memorize the Soul Sustaining Words of Jesus. From the Gospel of John.

We’d start with just 24 verses (or you could choose just 12 of the 24) — all that would be rendered artistically, to make us see Beautiful in the Words of God. It would sort of be like this —  “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints… 24 verses that would chronologically unpack across the Gospel of John. We’ll memorize at least one verse from every chapter in the Gospel of John. Sometimes several verses from each chapter.

Over the year, we’ll offer another free download of “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints. Or maybe two sets,  offered later in the year? So the community could memorize 1 set of 24 verses… or 2 sets — 48 verses from the Gospel of John. Or 3 sets — 72 verses? All The Beautiful Words of Jesus….

It would be this fluid experience, entirely self-paced: you could pace yourself and pick 12 verses, and memorize  one a month. Or you could hang up several “More than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints and memorize a few every week. You could share with the kids. Tape to the mirror. Stick in the car. We will tape ours  up to the blackboard by the kitchen table.

I believe it: What is beautiful in our lives is what actually becomes the most useful in our lives. We are drawn to beauty and Jesus is the Most Beautiful — so hang up His words as art.

And memorization just got a whole lot easier: Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us. 

And by the end of the year? We’ll have memorized at least 24 — 48? 72? — verses all chronologically from the Gospel of John.

We’ll have this sort of art gallery  of “More than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints  —

a humble hanging of prints… God’s Word imprinted right into our being. 

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ThisYearToFly

 

Download Bookmark [just if you are memorizing a verse a week? It’s all fluid — feel free to go at your own pace!]

[The next pack of “More than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints will be posted March 15th, and every Wednesday over on my blog we will post a study and devotional unpacking that week’s verse]

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This would be the year that the weary souls would take wing on the grace of Soul-Sustaining Verses.

This would be the year that we would be just bunch of messed-up, broken-down people — with a sword. Because every. single. one. of. us. is  facing. one. hard. battle.   

Christ’s weapon against Satan in the desert was memorized Scripture. And if you aren’t memorizing Scripture — what IS your weapon in your battle? Where is your defence, your arrow, your hope? We have got to do this thing. It. is. our. life.

This is the year we pick up a sword, that we carry our arrows, that we take aim —-

This is the year that we would fly.

 

 

 

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Ready to Fly this year? Here are the Details:

1. The First Saturday of Every Month and the Second Saturday of Every Month — we will talk about our verses  over on my blog . Reciting them. Post video of us reciting?  Posting the next Memory Prints for that week, the chronological memorizing of certain verses throughout the Gospel of John. And encourage each other on!

2.Every Wednesday over on my blog we will post a study and devotional unpacking that week’s verse

3. More free Download “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints will be posted by March 15th at annvoskamp.com. So download the next set of 24 verses March 15th, Lord willing. And keep memorizing His beautiful Word.

4. We will be sharing photos of where we are hanging our “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints come over to our FB community and share photos of where you are hanging yours memory prints?

5. That little poll I mentioned? The only overwhelming response? Just about everyone wanted a way to celebrate #MemoryProject2014 …. So!? We are dreaming up ways to celebrate our community memorizing the #JesusProject this year. Maybe a T-shirt to wear? A virtual gathering? Or maybe… we are praying… maybe some kind of missional trip/experience to celebrate how prints of His Word — have been imprinted on us. Pray crazy with us? 

5. THIS IS THE YEAR TO FLY! #TheJesusProject … is yours for the downloading and the flying!

Download your free “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints of the Gospel of John right here:

Large Prints or the Small Prints and Bookmark with List of Scriptures … And memorization just got a whole lot easier: Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us. An art gallery  of “More than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints  –a humble hanging of prints… God’s Word imprinted right into our being. 

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Related: The First Week’s Study unpacking John 1:1
The Most Important Skill That Your 2014 Really Needs
Last year’s memory project –The One Habit God Really Wants for Your New Year {Roman’s Project} 
 Liz Curtis Higgs and I reciting from Romans to each other

Previous memory projects:
2012 – Matthew 5, 6 & 7 (Sermon on the Mount)
2011 – Colossians 1-4

-with love for you by Ann Voskamp 

 

Q4U: What’s making life hard right now? What’s keeping you from flying this year?

How has His Word helped you in the past? How could you take just one small step to make this The year you fly!?

Will you join in the conversation here? (Email and RSS Readers — come join the conversation here?)

comments:
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  • http://www.jacquewatkins.com Jacque Watkins

    You know how I’m with you–how I’m SO with you on this. And I’m giving thanks for YOU. Because years ago, when I thought I couldn’t do it, when I never finished SOTM, but picked up and kept going new into Romans anyway, it was you who believed it was possible for a person to do. How you wrote that post about Daryll’s mom and all her memory books. And I remember reading that and thinking to myself, who does that? How crazy it seemed…chapters and whole books by heart. How it was you who told me that my heart only knows what it knows by heart. And I can now say, you are so right. And if I can memorize, let it be known that anyone can. This memorizing and meditating has changed me in ways I never expected it would. And I never thought I’d be one to say this, but I never want it to end. So yes, #TheJesusProject, I’m with you, flying and full of joy at the view. With more love than I know how to even say, my friend. xoxo

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      YES! You and I both together, sister!

      Things I am loving about this:
      1. Finding one or two sisters that I am reciting my verses to each week — loving the community and the accountability and the encouragement!
      2. My quiet time is becoming all the time, meditating on His Word everywhere
      3. His Word is shaping my mind, speaking to me in real life situations and changing my response.
      The spreading of wings just a bit — you and I together, Jacque!

  • http://www.marcyholder.wordpress.com Marcy

    With years of darkness our heels, there are five people here who need a lifeline. This post was a reminder that it was a pink velvet book full of memorized scripture that helped lead the way through some of those hard days. I’m stretching to touch the hem, the only way through the current pain. #TheJesusProject is a gift. Thank you!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      *Exactly*, Marcy — I have this little clutch of old worn cue cards, water-stained from laying behind the sink, tattered from being carried in a million pockets — But. they. are. a. LifeLine.

      He says His Word is that — to be our Life. To be our LIFELINE — our only way through. I’m right there with you, Marcy, pressing right into it with you, sister

  • http://ellenspianostudio.com Ellen Goddard

    I am new to this – your blog, your devotionals, #TheJesusProject – and I am so glad that God led me this way. I am an injured soul – PTSD – and yet, I hunger for healing and renewal and the desire to do this thing – know His Word by heart. I am reading 1000 gifts, and my blue journal, these blank pages are filling with blessings – I am thankful in the little things – I am trying to choose joy each day. I am memorizing the scriptures in John – and I recite the five I already know throughout my day. I want to thank you for being out there – and for the encouragement that you give to so many of us!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Ellen! Giving a you a real long hug and praying with you and saying you are doing beautiful, brave, things and you are His beloved…. Be soul encouraged. So glad you are in with us on #TheJesusProject, friend. Jesus, His Words, THE Word — so champions us and revives us and enlarges us in Him!

  • http://lifeinspiredthoughts.wordpress.com Amy

    Oh Ann, as always your words speak so much to my heart. Your beautiful, humble words of hope and life.
    I have actually received inspiration from this post on this still-dark-chilly morning in my little part of the world (Oregon).
    Thank you and God bless you for writing your words.

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Amy! I am with you, heart leaning hard into Him and His incomprehensible love that carries through the hard days, all days. You and me both fighting for joy in Our Jesus, sister! Waving to you in Oregon and sending love to you today!

      • http://lifeinspiredthoughts.wordpress.com Amy

        [Waving] right back at you, sister! How I would love to share a cup of tea with you and just sit together in His love.

  • http://www.theseedcompany.org Johanna Fenton

    Dear Ann,

    Your words are beautiful to me, but they are only beautiful because I’ve tasted and I’ve seen and I’ve known His Words are beautiful.

    I wish to honor a good friend of mine by commenting here. Her name is Jill Davis. In 2012 she doodled one Scripture verse every single day… “doodling Scripture for the nations,” I like to call it. It’s called her Year27 project. http://year27.com/ Together with many, she helped fund almost 500 verses of Scripture for a people group numbering 6,000 in South Asia.

    Thank you for what you shared here. Your words helped me make more sense of what she was ultimately doing: proclaiming through the tip of her pen that Jesus, the Word, is beautiful. And as a result, that Word went forth to a people needing to hear His very first words in their very own language.

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Oh, Johanna, just tears at this site — chokes. me. right. up. Translating The Word into the heart language of the Ehty people? God prints everywhere, Jesus all over this. *Thank you* for sharing with us here, Johanna. His Word is indeed Beautiful. Utterly humbled and grateful…

    • Katie Turner

      WOW!!! I have found a new blog to read from start to finish and continue following! Thank you for sharing!! I love her doodled artwork. I’ve started thinking as I stare at blank walls in my home (we’ve been in this house for 4 years now — you’d think I’d have something on the walls by now…yea, I know…) that what better way to adorn my walls than with God’s word?!?! of course — would this not be so much more meaningful to me than some random print from Kirlands?? yes! (i mean, I do love random prints — but you know — living life on purpose is important. :)
      I currently do not have children (praying daily for that gift) but if God chooses to bless our family by increasing the number, I would want them to roam the halls of our home constantly in rememberance of God’s Treasures.
      Thank you again for posting and sharing.

      • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

        SO LOVE your heart for HIM, Katie! Glad you will be joining in! You are so, so loved — by Jesus and this Cross-clinging daughter….

  • Sheila

    Hello Ann, I am 63 years old and a preachers kid. That being said, I have a extremely hard time memorizing, to the point that at womens bible studies I always say I just cant remember them, and a lady spoke up one time she is around 75 years old, If I can do it so can you!!!! Oh my was my face read!! I need some coaching help! It looks like all the items you posted on these pages I will be printing them off to hang around my apartment. Love your writings keep up the writing because you are surely blessed by God!! Love In Christ Jesus!!! Sheila

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Smiling and cheering you on, Sheila! Come along with us, friend! Reaching over and squeezing your beautiful hand. Be more in us, Lord, for Your Glory! So much love to you, sister…

  • http://asoftgentlevoice.blogspot.ca Rebekah Hughes

    The enemy always wants me to fall hard, but The Word hid in my heart never fails.
    We have these familiar words hung on our walls, as a banner of love, to “teach them diligently to [our] children, and shall talk of them when [we] sit in [our] house, and when [we] walk by the way, and when [we] lie down, and when [we] rise.”
    Many of them I memorized as a child (so thankful for this gift), but my heart needs them this year, to echo these precious truths to my fearful, prideful heart that it might fly with His, according to His ways, His truth, His life!
    Thank you, Ann, for all your heartfelt work that went into preparing this beautiful project.
    Pressing onward with you.
    All for Jesus,
    Rebekah

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Love Jesus in you, Rebekah. Smiling through tears. Your note is a gift. All this, all and only Him, none of us, but Him at work in us. Yes — this is the year we fly, friend!

  • Lynn Morrissey

    Thank you so much for this, Ann. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately (apart from your blog, but then your blog and your post here strongly reinforced it). Over the years of ministry, have I delighted in obeying the Lord purely because I love and serve Him, or partly (or maybe in large part), because of the benefits I dervive in so doing? (It feels good and satisfying to use your gifts–not bad in itself, but it can cross the line in self-serving motives). In that case, I would not be adoring Jesus, but abusing Him. (I’ll use the word abuse, rather than use, in my case). It’s a humbling and humiliating thought. I want to serve Him purely, because of who He is, because of what He has done in giving His life for me, and simply because He says so. And I want to hide His word in my heart, because this too He says to do. The more my heart is filled with HIm and His words, the less it will be filled with me and my wrong motives. Thank you for suggesting a way that is perhaps more accessible than plunging in to an entire book at once. Neither way is wrong, of course, but which am I more likely to do (the brain is rustier than it used to be). God bless you for your pure motives and powerful passion!
    Love
    Lynn

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      So with you in this, beautiful Lynn. Your words point to Christ — *thank you*. This is the year we fly, friend! Carried by His grace alone…

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Thank you so much, Ann. Teary here, but wanting to fly (butterflies are my personal metaphor, and I’m tired of being chrysalis-bound), so may His words spread my heart-wings and allow my heart to sore.
        Bless you, dear one!
        L.

        • raeann

          lynn,

          if you haven’t read when the heart waits by sue monk kidd, I highly recommend it. I think you will truly enjoy it.

          xo

  • Amy Hale

    Appreciate your heart so much, Ann! Thank you for all you do to encourage your sisters in Christ :)
    Love you
    Amy

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Love your heart, beautiful Amy Hale… :) Praying with you just now, friend.

    • Amy Hale

      Embarrassed as I realize I didn’t even answer your question! Haha! I’ll have to think on that!
      Amy

  • http://www.paperprayers.com Rhonda Harre

    Ann, I am my husbands full time caregiver and in November my Brad was hospitalized with pneumonia. He came home on hospice. Once home, I had a dear Friend call and suggest I read your book “one thousand gifts”. I did get the book and am reading it a second time! You have blessed my life with your love for Jesus, your words, and your encouragement! I love The Lord with all my heart but life is hard at times, discouragement can set in so easily. I am counting my gifts, memorizing scripture – #TheJesusProject, and resting in His Hands. Thank you! This is the year to fly!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Your life spurs me on, Rhonda. Reaching over with a warm hug just now, and praying for you as you care for your dear husband. Smiling through tears and with you, as you memorize His Words and count the ways He loves you, friend.

  • Sue Vaughan

    I started reading One Thousand Gifts and it has been such refreshing to my soul! I’ve taken to heart the deep need for His Word, to turn my soul like an axis. I can memorize a lot, but I want to OWN His Word, so that it will change and transforms my life! I’ve wrestled to find true joy my entire life! And the path had been in front of me all along! Thank you Ann for your encouraging words! I’m ready to fly!

    • Kim Hill

      “I’ve wrestled to find true joy my entire life!”
      Wow, those could be my words and probably many others… you’re not alone. Onward Christian Soldiers!
      Colossians 3:16
      Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

  • http://amotherlostblog.blogspot.com Stephanie Muir

    Thank you so much for this! I believe in God and love him but for the last few years, I have felt this…hole or brick wall…something in the way to keep me from drawing closer. Two and a half years ago, my identical twin girls, Emmerson and Vivienne died. I spent hours and days pleading, begging, asking him simply to let us keep them here with us. I never before in my life had so much faith. Since then, I have felt like I have had trust issues with Him. Silly, I know. I get hung up on the “faith as small as a mustard seed…” I know I need Him. I know I need to immerse myself in Him. When I saw that you were doing this, I knew it was something I needed to do along with. What better way to restore my trust and to know the True Beauty of Life then to wrap His words around me in comfort.

  • http://www.hislittlwife.blogspot.com Sarah

    With a four year old, two year old, and 9 month old, one of my goals this year was to begin Scripture memorization as a family. I have wanted my girls to be unable to remember a time when His word wasn’t hidden in their hearts, to have it be such a habit to memorize that it was built in to the fabric of our family life, so I was pretty excited to see your posts a few weeks ago because it made it that much less of a “project” for me to have to put together. We are keeping up and started our third verse this week. Every time I hear my two year old recite John 1:1 my heart is like to burst and tears spring to my eyes. They love the illustrated verses and it really helps keep us going to have that new card each week to focus on together, even though they can’t read the words! Thank you and thank you and thank you again, Ann, for your encouragement – our whole family is benefiting daily.

    • Kim Hill

      Sarah,
      Of all the things that we could do with our children, scripture memory is definitely one of the most rewarding things we do with our little ones. Keep up the good work sister! I’ve always loved putting His word to music. Steve Green’s Hide’em in your Heart and others make it easier to sing the scriptures. ex. http://youtu.be/PJYVl7pVL-s

  • Melissa Thompson

    Ann,
    HOW YOUR WORDS ENCOURAGE ME!!!
    Since reading your book, One Thousand Gifts, my life is different…DEEPER! Scripture memorization used to be a Most Loved Discipline…but the years and the struggles seem to have distanced me from it.
    Thank You for your encouragement to resume my practice…seeking to LOVE MY BEAUTIFUL JESUS more!!! I’m going #FORWARD, in HIS BEAUTIFUL NAME!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Tears at your beautiful heart and words here, Melissa. #Forward, friend! Grateful for you and cheering you on! You are prayed for today… :)

  • Bernice Shupe

    Memorizing Scripture has been so important to me all my life, Ann. We learned hundreds of verses when I was in the Lutheran school as a child. I remember them all – but not the references. They are the answer when I am ministering to people. And most recently when I had my nervous breakdown, I still could quote the Scriptures in my mind and use them with other patients in the hospital. How exciting it was and comforting to my soul. Thanks for encouraging your many readers to memorize His Word. You are such a special servant and dear friend, Ann.
    Sending God’s blessings and my love to your whole family! :)

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Much love to you today, friend. You are a gift to me! God just shining through everything. Soul Beautiful, Bernice!

  • Meagan Van

    I just wanted to say thanks to you, Ann, for planting such seeds in this vast field. You are Mrs. Farmer, planting seeds of His words throughout the world, which will bury deep in hearts everywhere and grow. There is a beauty in your pictures that fills me–a simplicity that you capture. It reminds me that I need to slow down, find that simplicity, and listen. And when I hear His words, may I truly understand–and not let the evil one snatch away the wisdom from me, or be so caught up in my own worries that they choke out His word or let His words wither away when things become hard.

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Oh, Meagan, Praying that today you feel wrapped in the love of Christ and amazing grace and you feel His strength in your bones, gently reviving your heart. You are so loved. Thank you for grace, friend. Needed your words right now — slowing with you in all of this, Meagan…:)

  • Katie Turner

    Love this concept and so wish I had seen it before now! I had not been able to get to the blog the last few weeks of the year and then started catching up in January. But I have already committed to another scripture memory program — but this is definitely on my radar! I love the beautiful pictures of God’s word! Thinking some of them will be framed for my home even if I don’t get to participate in the memory project of 2014. Thank you, Ann for being such an encouragement to me and so many other women across the world. I’m excited to watch and share in everyone’s progress and be inspired to continue on with the other memory work I’m doing. Happy New Year, all!!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Katie! How kind of you! Just — thank you. For seeking Jesus, friend. May you know it again today in the marrow of your bones — the wooing love of Christ! Much love to you today!

  • alina y

    How many times I have picked up a novel over reading the Bible… memorized poems over memorizing scripture…this is the year i want the word of God to be more beautiful than any novel or any love story to me, this is the longing of my soul…the confession of my heart, thank you dear Ann

  • http://www.citychickinthecountry.com donna

    Once again, the words from your heart speak volumes to mine. For several years our family was involved in a cult like church and the damage this brought to our family was, from the worlds view, irreparable.
    But God…
    When we left, the trauma to my soul was so deep. HOW could we have made such a grievous error? HOW did we miss the twisting of His Word?
    HOW was *I* going to FIX this???
    But God…
    He pretty much said to me “Please let it alone! Step back for this. Step back and let Me do what I need to do and I will blow your mind with my mercy and grace!”
    And He did…and continues to do so!
    The ONLY place I allowed myself to “go” to for counsel or “advice” when we left was The Word. I sat there with my pen and paper and wrote out every instruction Jesus gave in the gospels. It was like I had never read through the eyes of grace before.
    His mercy astounds me…His Word embraces and comforts me.
    The awesome thing about this particular memorization focus is the the very first verse of John 1:1 has to be my most favorite verse.
    HE became FLESH for me???
    Mind boggling.
    Looking forward to some memorization of that Living Word :0).
    Many blessings to you and yours!!

    • http://4hisgloryblog.com Meredith

      Wow. What a beautiful testimony, Donna. Thank you for sharing. I found myself in a church one time that sucked life out of me instead of breathing it in. It nearly killed me. But God has put me in a church now that is actually based on Jesus. Alone. It’s very refreshing. ;) You are right, the only answer to our “issues” (and we all have them) is in The Word. Bless you!

      • http://www.citychickinthecountry.com donna

        <3

  • Jane

    Thank you so much from wet and
    rainy England . I’m going to place a new verse by my bedside each week.

  • holly howell

    I have read your book 1000 gifts twice and have been reading many articles on your sight. I am excited to be penning my thanks this year and memorizing in John with you. Somewhere I had come upon your one word bracelets that could be ordered. I wanted to look at that again and possibly order one. I found the article about it but not information on how to order.
    Would appreciate your directing me to it again. Thanks so much. God’s best and blessings. God is working in my life through what you do.
    Warmly,
    Holly Howell

  • Christine

    Dearest Ann,
    Just the title alone..”Because it is never too late to find your wings” was Jesus’ answer to a situation I find myself in right now. Sometimes, before we actually get to pray, Jesus will send word that He fully understands what we go through. In fact, I was stunned when I saw the title of your post. I know when you write, you have something that God put on your heart to say, but oftentimes you have no idea how ONE sentence might be the answer to a prayer for someone else that had nothing to do with the actual content of the post.
    Be forever blessed, Ann, that Jesus uses you so well in so many ways for the benefit of us all.

    Much love and God bless you!

    • http://4hisgloryblog.com Meredith

      Amen, Christine! That is all so true and so well said. :)

  • Stacee

    Your writing is always so encouraging (and challenges me, too)! Our church has a Romans Project that is change lives world-wide. Thought you might like to hear about it. :) http://romansproject.com/

    Thank you for always pointing our hearts back to Christ!

  • http://rachelfranklinwrites.com/about Rachel

    I’ve been meaning to chime in somewhere, Ann, to thank you for The Jesus Project. It has never clicked so well with me to memorize verses. You are speaking my language with the pretty “art prints”. For some reason or another, it jest helps me so. My husband and I are on to John 3:27 this week. Thank you again!

  • http://4hisgloryblog.com Meredith

    Ann,
    I’m so happy I found you…that I really, really found you and a place to interact with you and others that share the same heart. <3 I just recently found your blog and instantly felt a connection. I believe it’s a “God thing.” He always leads me where I need to be at that time. I so need this. I need accountability. I know I need to be in His word daily and I fail. Daily. I love the ESV bible and I saw where you were using a new daily version…so I ordered it. I expect my friendly UPS man to be here any minute with it. (insert squeal). I know IF I do this…if I get in His Word every day and really begin storing it up in my heart…I will be changed. My family will be changed. My children will be changed. And hope upon hope, maybe my husband will see something in me that will lead him to Christ. My one and only true hearts desire aside from my children’s salvation. I’ve started my own blog/journal, more as therapy and another means of accountability, and recently someone who read one of my posts asked if I knew of you because she believed we were kindred spirits. I said I did and that was the best compliment she could every give me. ;) So…yes, I am in…all in. And I look forward to growing here and with the rest of this devoted community. This IS going to be my year to fall completely, madly in love with my Savior and prepare my heart for the valleys that are sure to come. I want to be prepared. I want to have his word in my heart. Where it can never be taken away. Graciously,
    Meredith

  • Misty

    Hello Ann,

    Just a little note to chime in. Back in October of 2013, I found the Joy Dare and began the the challenge of writing down three gifts a day. Then in December, I did the Greatest gift with my three children (Jesse tree and all). For Christmas, I asked for One Thousand Gifts Devotional, Book, DVD and Study Guide. I received the gift from my parents. Shortly after Christmas, I posted a picture of my brand new gift on Facebook. One of the ladies that I had did an Online Bible Study with during the Summer saw the picture and said, “Want to know something? I also got the book for Christmas and a couple of us from the Summer study were just talking the other day, we were saying that maybe you could lead this study for us as well.” Our Summer group had 8 members. This group studying One Thousand Gifts has 18 beautiful women currently in it. We have a private group on Facebook and weekly we talk about joy, gifts, grace, mercy, eucharisteo and gratitude. We discuss Scripture, pray for each other and agree that we are beginning to change/mature in our faith and walk with Jesus just from the practice of naming our gifts. Thank-you Ann for all the inspiration. God bless you as you teach and minister to so many through your books, blog, speaking engagements and photography. Warm Regards From Texas

  • Gail

    Your book, A Thousand Gifts was given to me by my dear friend Jaymie who tried every way she could to get me to journal. Nothing we had done in group spoke to me and I felt like I was spinning my wheels every time. By His grace she didn’t give up on me and presented me with your book on my birthday. It made me sense, it captured my ink and changed my life. Years later, I still practice greatfilledness every day. It is as much a part of me as breathing. I love this project and will participate fully. I feel your language, this poetry of making me see.
    Ashay Selah

  • http://farmfaithfamily.blogspot.com Jody Dake

    Oh, sweet Ann, how you have changed my life, how God has changed my heart, through you over the past couple of years! I am nearing 3000 gifts and am loving every gift, and so many others I simply forget to write down. God has taught me so much over the years, but through you, I have learned to give thanks in ALL things, to be grateful, and when I forget for awhile, how my attitude begins to change. Thank you so very much Ann!

    My sister was 18 weeks pregnant, just delivered the baby boy at my mom’s suddenly, and we have spent this past weekend in the hospital, with had the burial service yesterday. She has 4 other children, and we have still been talking about being thankful for the time she had with Kelton Gene, for a nurse who prayed with her and our families, for food from many friends and family, and for simply being able to trust in God who knows best and who always has a plan for our lives, even when we do not and cannot understand His ways, we trust, yes.we.just.trust. Faith, that’s it. He gives hope, love, peace, strength, encouragement, comfort, and He gives it through so many people, including you dear Ann.

    Thank you, for teaching me my daily gratitude habit of giving thanks in all things, of eucharisteo, even the hard things. I have posts on my blog as well, hoping to teach others as you have taught me about eucharisteo. Love to you and your sweet farming family!

    Always Experiencing Him,
    Jody

  • Misty

    By the way Ann, I forgot to also mention that our family is currently memorizing the Scriptures from the book of John this year! My six and nine year old are doing well and have John 1: 1, 5 and 14 committed to memory. Thank-you for the inspiration to commit Scripture to memory. Warmly, Misty

  • Patricia

    Such beauty in these verses, bringing them alive with colour and display. Ann you are my G I F T. You have opened up my heart and soul to GOD’s word, ever since the day I found “A Holy Experience” . I have come through many trials, losing my mom and most recently my dad, knee and elbow surgery, depression….your book “One Thousand Gifts” helped me take the focus off me and onto HIM. I’m not very good at memorizing, in fact horrible, but can’t wait to start trying. Thank you for listening to God’s still small voice and preparing the goods to help us all FLY. Many blessings to you Ann..truly you are precious and so loved by God for all you are doing to bring HIM all the Glory.

  • http://www.kitchenkuttings.com Elmeda

    Thanks Ann for your encouraging words. You are a gift from God. May you be richly Blessed for it! Elmeda

  • Jamie Sullivan

    Wow…just WOW! God so knows what He is doing. I came across your blog through my nephew who is a youth Pastor. I don’t normally read blogs but yours drew me in. I’m so excited to be a part of memorizing scripture again! The past 3years have been the most trying years of my walk with The Lord. My “devout Christian, man of God, deacon, armor bearer” husband decided he didn’t want to be married to me anymore and had found someone else. Needless to say, tailspin time! I know it’s never to late to fly and my Jesus has led me here to read and learn along side of you. Thank you for your obedience to Him. From Ohio, I give hugs and prayers!!

  • http://kittyswing.wordpress.com Kitty Swing

    I must have read this post on four different occasions today. It challenges me, encourages me, and creates a stirring in me. I want to breathe the Word, in and out! The phrase and point that has stuck in my heart the most is: When Jesus is merely useful to me, I want Him to move my world. When Jesus is ultimately beautiful to me, it’s my heart that is moved – and this begins to change the world.

    I can either use faith to bring about change, or let my faith change me, and the only way that my faith is going to change me is if I challenge myself to go deeper, to go further…. and then, to rest there. To meditate on verses, to really suck the marrow out of them.

    Your words are good. Thank you!

  • Ceara Kennerly

    For the first time in my journey, I have memorized two scriptures with your (in)couragement and I am proud. Your blog inspires me in ways that I cannot put into words…just when I think I can’t go on, your blog reminds me that I am not alone. God is with me and I get to press forward. Thank you for your words, pictures, hashtags…

  • http://www.lisaspidle.com Lisa Spidle

    I’m in! I’m in! I have been reading through the Gospels and am now in John. I have found myself “hurrying” through my quiet time because life is coming at me at full steam. But just TODAY my prayer was show me these words, your words in John anew, with fresh new eyes as to be seen for the first time Lord.

    Yes, friend, yes, this is an answer to prayer. I am joining. Thank you Ann!

  • Jenny

    Thank you for encouraging us and leading us in His way. I find my life is so much better when I am in the Word of God every day, and for the last couple years when I focus on THANKSGIVING, and all the things to be grateful for each day. Your book is a blessing to me!

    We have been going through a great trial with my now 20 year old son, very sick and in bed with Lyme disease for the last two years. He has come very close to dying multiple times, was unable to walk for 5 months, is in pain, and terribly thin. He has improved greatly, yet still has a long way to go. The Lord gives us strength, grace, laughter, and hope. David is reading your book, and growing in grace. His attitude amazes his mama, it is so good. Thankful for all the years we poured in to him, and spent in homeschooling.

    I am posting the wonderful printouts in the hall so we can all focus on them and learn them this year.

  • Rosemary

    You are much younger than I but you have been my mentor for the last 2 years!! 1000 Gifts literally changed my life as it has so many others. You are definitely annoited by God sweet Ann with no E. I read your book thru twice, then started your journal and I’m on it the 2nd time through. Passed 1000 long ago but can’t quit counting. My eyes are open wide, I’m living every moment to the fullest, and I’m ready to fly this year!! I’ve got my scripture hanging over my computer so it is in my face every time I sit down. I so needed this encouragement to get started memorizing again……I used to be good at it, but it had become a real chore……you brought the joy back into it for me. So thank you thank you thank you sweet Ann…..may God continue to use you to bless others and in doing so may you be fully blessed! ♥

  • laurie

    Today was a difficult day for me. Last night was equally as difficult. Gut wrenching. Terrifying. My heart beating twice as fast as it should for the past 24 hours. Sleep was taken from me as my husband lay in the guest room filled with anger towards me. I had not been totally upfront and honest with him on commissioning a friend to build a craft cabinet for me. My husband was outraged that I hadn’t sought his “approval” first. I was angry that he thought I had to. We remain at odds with each other. Our hearts cold as stone. His anger scares me. I sought solace under a quilt on the sofa all day today while he spent it in his workroom.

    As I laid there beneath the warmth of the quilt, I prayed. Over and over again I lifted up my fear, my sins, my frustration, my husband, his anger, our marriage, and my tears to God. Praying he would hear me and not wait to answer them. I need help from him right now. I need our hearts to soften with the love of our Lord Jesus. I need Satan to flee.

    I frustrate myself with my independence sometimes. Knowing that I should have at least conferred with my husband first, I now await a terrifying and demeaning “discussion” that I know will come sooner or later. It’s the way of his family. The way he was brought up. Understanding and forgiveness come at a heavy price.

    So, I continue to lay low and continue to pray. My heart beats and weeps and lies in wait.

    Would you please pray for my husband and I right now? We could both really use an extra whisper of comfort and peace…

    Bless you all.

    • http://howdy-honey.com Beja

      Laurie,

      I love that you are sharing this battle so openly. Last week, I was wrecked that we even had a fight that started over our scripture memorization chalkboard. Bitterness over extended family situations had been eating me alive, and I was so raw when he asked me when I planned on changing it that I let anger win. ALWAYS/NEVER sentences poured out like grains of salt.

      I slept on the couch. <—- That is against my marriage rules. It's what I share with my hurting friends when they call for advice. No one sleeps on the couch.

      I cried the next day, I cried out to God. Over the next few days, I was gifted with absolute mercy from my husband. Mercy and the peace of Jesus are absolutes. I'm praying your engulfed in them, and that you both draw near to him.

  • Michele Barrell

    Dearest Ann,
    Such a joy to know that one I’ve never actually met is such a dear soul sister.
    You have helped me hold onto Jesus’ hand over the past year more than you can know. He is faithful & sovereign & beautiful..so merciful & beautiful..& beautiful! We have 9 children, 4 now grown, 2 married & expecting 2 grand babies. Soon..oh what joy! A son..a marine now in Persian gulf; trusting a whole new way!..& another in college finding his way. All is a walk of faith. 5 more still being homeschooled (these 20+years now) & no guarantees..no mama can protect & save her children from the fall..only Jesus saves. I have begun learning that in the hard euchatastrophe of the past year as we watched our 13 yr old daughter drop down to 65 lbs in a 6 month dive headlong into anorexia. I could not stop her, reach her, I could not make her want Jesus like I thought, somehow, I could. Only Jesus saves..so we prayed & cried & prayed & learned to trust where we didn’t dream we could. He came..he said “enough”. As quickly as she was lured away, she was rescued. A yr later she is weight restored & living life..Jesus is patiently teaching both of us that He alone is God. And though he is not always “safe” He is good. His one word for me is “beloved”..be loved, be love, see love. You & 1000 gifts helped me more than you can know. Thank you, Ann, for offering what He has entrusted to you. Praying for you & yours..in our beautiful Jesus. Michele (soon to be “gramma shell”. :)

  • Lori

    Hello everyone,

    The memory verses are printed, and hanging in my kitchen window, with the verses learned so far, on the kitchen table with the current week’s verse. Am on track :)

  • http://www.momof6blessings.blogspot.com Teena

    Counting it all JOY. Through the weary. hard. unbearable times… you have taught me how to count the ugly beautiful. We are memorizing His word… all around the table during our school time… “mom, see if I can say it, let me try….” His word will not return void. The hard right now…. three ppl …. one uncle, one friend’s mom and a young mama’s mom….. all trying to survive cancer… two are on hospice. My sustaining longing for years now….. but HIS grace & gifts are still MORE …

    Love you, Ann~

    Teena~

  • http://howdy-honey.com Beja

    What a gift! My family of 4 is doing this together (two boys 7 & 10). 3 of us have mastered John 1:1, and the best part is that there is no arm twisting. It’s a genuine desire in our hearts to know what the Word is saying. Not just to answer our genie in the bottle wishes with the third being for more wishes. No! This morning, my 10 year old spoke out of nowhere, “In the beginning.”

    This afternoon, I was able to see the beauty of Jesus as I scrolled through the printables again on this page. I saw how John 9:3 had been painted in our past. Our youngest had excruciating burning and itching from eczema as a newborn on top of acid reflux. As time passed, his sleeping was still too light, and the worst part was when he would cry a shrill, pain filled cry sporadically through each night. We were beginning to believe we had done something that God had punished us through our son’s pain. We had no idea about John 9:3. Today my husband visited friends and their son in a children’s hospital where he’d had surgery from a horrific accident in the backyard. John 9:3 is the medicine we want to share so they can understand John 3:17. It is indeed his living masterpiece in all our lives.

  • Helen Wall

    Hi Ann!
    I thank you so much for this venture! I deeply appreciated your Advent devotional and was able to go through all of it:) Such a blessing! Memorizing is such a lifegiving journey. . .held on to the word that the darkness has not overcome the light!! Circumstances and darkness can seem so overwhelming and yet His light is not overcome!! Love this journey! Thanks again and blessings to you and yours!! Helen

  • Beckita

    Thank you through Eternity, Ann, and All who have posted as well as All who are quietly reading yet very present in this process.

    His Word has ever been EVERYTHING to fire my nothingness (not a bit of denigration intended in naming this reality). He speaks; I am lifted from the gutter of whatever evil the enemy has spewed my way. He speaks; I breathe. He speaks; I live… hidden in the bosom of His Body.

    I h-u-n-g-e-r to memorize His Word. Thanks for the invitation!!!

  • Bobbie

    Ann,
    You encourage me in so many ways! Words can never express my gratitude to you, your books, your blog, your gifts. I am my own worst enemy, The Lord has been so good to me, answered many prayers and carried me through difficult times. I am usually a mess, scattered here, there and everywhere. To scattered for God to ever use. Through your word, beautiful words I no longer (on most days) feel that way. I thank you for the Jesus Project, and the Joydare. I am counting God’S gifts everyday.
    Grace and peace to you and your family,
    Bobbie

  • sandra Destrempes

    I look forward to being a part of this.

    Sandy D

  • http://www.joannethomasphotography.com Joanne Thomas

    I am just jumping in a little late. Bought the Pomodoro book and timer and the “just do it!” page is printed. I forgot what you call it. I downloaded all the cards for the sermon on the mount. Hope it’s ok to start on that one. I have just had a back fusion. It has a long recovery time. I have three months to become disciplined. I want it to go on forever though. I do have habits to break mad new ones to make. I want to be off painkillers and think clearly. Pray for me. A appreciate what God had done in you and through you.

  • Barbara

    I had already printed my Jesus Project verses and found a holder for them by my stove…I was so excited about this project … I must confess I made it through only Romans 1 last year :( but was glad I did even that.
    Then Jan 14, enter a big trial…My husband suddenly had no strength in his legs and tremendous back pain! No apparent cause … A week of ER and doctors and tests and more tests… and slowly he returns to walking, though wobbly…. All life has been put on hold here….Praying for complete restoration….Finding how I must trust when I cannot see…
    His Word…so healing and holding me…
    Thank you for this project and for you blog which I read each day…also enjoying FB comments you post, Ann. Last week directed right at me! I keep your book in my Bible study bag, having read it twice, now use it for reference and reminder. God bless you and Thank you

  • Johnny

    I am so thankful to have found your devotions on FB. They are so helpful to me personally in this time….

  • http://abundancehouse.blogspot.com/ Rebecca

    Thank You for this post! When I was a young girl, there was an older woman with the most beautiful white hair who memorized entire chapters of the Bible. She would recite them for us in church whenever she had committed a new chapter to memory. To hear such a beautiful lady recite the Word so lovingly has never left my memory. Now, at 42 years of age, I still remember her voice as it spoke God’s Word. It sounded almost like a song. Yes, I want to memorize. I want to be beautiful with Jesus like that dear, dear woman from my childhood was. For hers was the beauty of a gentle, quiet spirit just like God tells of in His Word. Yes. Count me in. If anyone ever needed a gentle, quieting of God’s Spirit, it’s this mama of seven aged 22 down to almost one:) It’s all a bit crazy with the need of some gentle quiet around my house.

  • KK

    Ann, this way of memorizing scripture is WORKING for me. Countless other times I’ve given up, but not this time. I am loving having a list of verses that work together. The visuals are what really helps with the memorization. Beautifully done, Ann! Thank you so much.

  • http://www.janiscox.com Janis Cox

    I started off well with the Colossians project; then failed. I started off well with the Romans project; then failed. However, those verses that I did learn feel really familiar when I read them. Thank you for encouraging me.
    This year I might try this again. I had started reading and memorizing my favourite Scriptures again.
    Right now I am in transition. I arrived back in Canada from snowbirding in Arizona to look after my grandson – so less time to think and write. But this is short term I pray.
    Blessings to all who are endeavouring to learn His Word.
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

  • http://www.thepilgrimroad.blogspot.com Loriann Smith

    Me and Smitty, lying in bed and memorizing just one a week. Slow and steady… Now let it get down deep into my heart. That’s where I need the medicine so profoundly. Thanks sister…

  • http://www.goldintheclouds-faith.blogspot.com Faith

    You are always so encouraging, Ann. I am STILL working on the 1000 gifts…writing when I have a moment to sit…..and this year I have a word for 2014…..and in that word (Still from Be Still and KNOW that I am God) I am learning to just be. to be with my Savior, Redeemer, Friend, more so than in any of the previous years since meeting HIm in 1975. Memorize Scripture? sooo not good at it. Did a lot of it as a child…and those Words have stuck deep in my soul and I pull them up….but memorize more…or whole books…….wow……am trying….by starting with the Psalm that God has me in……..#46…….that word…Still.something I need to do each day……because it’s when I’m still that I can hear that still small Voice…………..that’s where I’m at right now……going deeper I hope and help others to go deeper………..thank you for all of your posts. I love reading them!! God bless you.

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      So smiling with you in this Faith! This is the year we fly! Thanks for grace…

  • Jessica Martens

    Ann: Thank you so much for #thejesusproject we are going to use this in our womens prayer group that meets every Wednesday. We were sorely in need of direction for this group and I am very excited for this. Thanks again! I truly enjoy reading your blog, as a “new” pastors wife, it continually draws me closer to Christ!

  • Jacqueline

    Dear Ann Your words are so beautiful and they speak to my heart. Yes! This is my year to fly! I took a leap of faith last December to quit teaching in a school and to do something more – I want to touch the lives of children who need help but not to be tied down to red tape and bureaucracy. My spirit was restless for a year and though I don’t know what lies ahead in 2014, I know my Lord is with me every step of the wa. I am blessed. I want to thank you for your uplifting words each time I read them – God bless you.

  • Alice Kennedy

    I learned about “1000 gifts” several weeks ago from Kristen Armstrong’s Runner’s World blog. I immediately purchased the Kindle version. I have been starting gratitude journals for years on New Year’s day, but always seemed to stop doing it at some point in the year. I have been struggling with developing my faith for quite a while–but in 2013 I was able to develop the practice of daily morning prayer. I am really pleased that I finally did it. It starts my day off on the right note. I have read so much about developing faith, however, until I read your book, I did not really understand what ALL the gifts are that I need to be grateful for…I was always thinking of positives like my daughter or husband or dog or home or health…but your book broadened my understanding. I finished your book yesterday and am looking forward to recognizing gifts everywhere, everyday. I am really looking forward to being part of the group to memorize Bible passages. I have wanted to be part of a bible study group for quite a while, but haven’t found one–until tonight when I read about this group for 2014 on your blog. So, thank YOU!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Your words here pierce right through. Cheering you on , Alice! In this year that we FLY! :) *Thank you*…soul beautiful, ((you)).

  • Anna

    I’m so blessed to have found you and your awesome devotional s at a time in my life when it seems as though the ends are not going to meet as crazy as that sounds. The scripture and writings are life changing for me I’m reading them over and over again and thinking about them like never before. Thank you for sharing so much and I’m going to keep on following and looking forward to memorizing the verses this year

  • http://ianacheson.com Ian

    Ann

    I’ve always avoided memorisation but now realise how important it is. The Jesus Project is a great way for newbies like me to start as I already “know” a number of the verses. I’m loving it. I’m 5 verses down and recite them every day.

    Thank you for all the added extras that make this so much easier to commit to. I especially love that “calendar” and will download it as it has all the verses in one place.

    Grace and peace

    Ian

  • http://teacherweather.wordpress.com Natalie Jager

    It is January 21st and I have, finally, printed the first set of scriptures. What a gift… one of 1,000 that I will count this year. We (husband, son, me) just counted number… what, 50 or so? My entire family is blessed by this journey of appreciation that we have joined. We cannot wait for dinner time to ponder the gifts posed before us. I have just found, thanks to social media, and am encouraged by how the Holy Spirit speaks through you to me. Balm of Gilead… God’s word, Jesus… ebbing also and often through your pen (or keystrokes as it were). The simplest of things… the daily planner… the “days dire” has changed my life. 5 doctor’s appointments scheduled and settled in the first week of January all because I started using that daily planner. How is it that a complete stranger becomes such a gift to another complete stranger? That’s so GREAT, isn’t it? FAMILY. God’s family. And now I’m excited to join the journey of memorizing scripture for the first time in 47 years. (Wow.) I have requested a chalkboard wall in my breakfast nook, and have pondered which girlfriends to invite over to bring along. I think about women in my life, churched and unchurched, that I am supposed to invite on the Joy Journey as well. God is bringing it all together. Thank you for listening, heeding, responding, loving. What a blessing you are and am so glad to have found you… to have followed God’s hints along the way to arrive at this place of encouragement, transparency and truth. WOO HOO!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Thank you for reaching out and being the gift, Natalie. Just love Jesus in you, friend…

  • http://www.paperprayers.com Rhonda Harre

    Laurie – I am lifting you and your husband up in my prayers. Praying for an extra measure peace, gentle words, understanding, and forgiveness.

  • Donna Oliphint

    I am so excited about memorizing the words of Jesus from the book of John! Our pastors announced before Christmas that they are going to be preaching through the book of John for the WHOLE of 2014, so this will be a wonderful complement to studying the book all year! I am one of the teaching leaders for a program in our church called Just Between Us Girls, a program for women from their 20’s up to grandmothers. Last week I presented to them the challenge memorizing the scriptures throughout this year. I had made 40 copies of the bookmark, and most of them have been picked up! I’m already enjoying the first 3 weeks of memory work. John 1:14 was my theme verse for this past Christmas. What a huge encouragement to see that verse so early in the memory verses!
    Blessings…

  • Katie

    What is keeping me from flying? Well…..I am one that tends to let worry about old vehicles and our livelyhood (gift shop -retail?!? are we foolish to keep trying?)..I let these things get hold of me some days. But I take a step back and try to remember my calling. I may not be entirely sure of where we will be next year, five years from now, but I CAN be entirely sure of WHO holds my future. And He IS lovely, altogether lovely. And He provides peace when my mind starts to unravel.

    I am so excited about The Jesus Project. This is exactly what this recovering worrier needs.

  • Rachel

    New here. 3 a.m. Flu. Why not write? Wasn’t going to add Bible memory, my to-do list is too long, but must- out of the heart the mouth speaks. Need life words. Almost didn’t listen to the lady, but caught ‘6 kids’ and ‘be thankful’. I sneaked out to buy 1,000 Gifts-1st spiritual book in a decade for me (lots of other books, sure). Desperate to see how to make beauty from dreams turned to reality and daily grind. “If I just work harder, quicker, then everything will be storybook”. Someone who’s been there – I have 6 kids, too. I love them tight. But. The mess, laundry, work, squabbling, interruptions, hurry. Children who smell of Adam. Overworked, over scheduled, stretched thin, loss of vision, scatterbrained. Utterly Marginless. No time to enjoy. Joy? What? Being thankful brings back the joy? I can do that! The italic script writing in the book made me cry – I bought a fountain pen and started writing scriptures on cards – like I used to do years fore. Beauty that I can squeeze in, me, the art lover. My scientist hubby raised his brow. It is still up. God’s word is His heart letter addressed to Each. of. us. Profoundly intimate.

  • jenny

    Dear Ann, I thank God for you. You have changed and saved my life and reignited my hunger to really know Jesus and His word. His words( your beautifully designed prints) cover my bedroom wall. Thankyou Ann

  • Di Burdall

    Ann, thank you for the inspiration offered freely and full of grace to us all. I have encouraged a couple of my gift girls to join me in the challenge of scripture memorization – they each have a copy of the book mark and one has taken the Matthew 5 – memorize the mount and the other has taken the Colossians challenge. I myself am aiming on Colossians as well as weekly trying to get the John scriptures worked deep into my spirit. Hope the cold and snow have not been too trying and that you see the beauty of His love and grace poured out through it. Share some snow with us in the UK!!

  • Amy Bemis

    I am just starting the Jesus Project with you all but it is just on time for me. I was growing hard. Now I feel soft. Thank you, Jesus. I am finding that re-establishing my love for Jesus is helping me fall in love gently with all those around me again. I pray for continued softness and a gentle spirit! Amen.

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Reaching over and praying with you just now, dear Amy…you are so loved!

  • http://www.laurareimer.net Laura

    Being new to your blog, I love your photographs and your words and the music that accompanies these. Last year I determined to memorize the book of Jude. It was quite a discipline and such a small book, but took all year. Yet I learned as I proceeded through the days and weeks that the words slowly became ingrained in my heart and in my mind. They truly transformed my thinking and my speaking. I heaved a sigh of relief at the end of the year. And now….conviction….to begin again with a new place in God’s Word. Bless you as you pour out His Words from your heart <3

  • Marina

    Since the beginning of this year we actually started to memorize one verse every week. Every week we have a new bible verse and I made a little table with attributes to that verse (so that it is easier to understand and to remember).
    I love your memory prints and will translate them into both Dutch and German, so that we will be able to use them in our family too. Thank you so much for this initiative!!
    Blessings! Marina.

  • amy mcguffey

    And the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea! Hab. 2:14
    Just had to share this promise today…so thrilling. Can’t wait.
    Thank you for walking with Jesus and sharing your walk with me. I have the large verses hanging on my wall for their beauty and the small ones to stick in my boys’ lunches.
    Can’t imagine that you can read all these comments…but just had to chime in today!
    AmyJ

  • http://suddenlink.net Laura Tripp

    Dear Ann, I am ready for take off. Thank you for the opportunity to live or should I say say “soar” above life’s difficulties. My year started off with much turbulence after experiencing one of the most spiritual Christmas seasons I have ever had. That was all thanks to your new book. Whatever you suggest, I am on board 100%. Can’t wait to be involved in this memorization of Scripture with you. It is life, health, and strength to me. I don’t want Jesus to be just useful. I want Him to be the most beautiful thing in my life.

  • Amanda

    Hi Ann,

    I read your blog almost daily and have read your book 1000 gifts, a couple of times now. I hope you know how much your words encourage me, and so many others. Just struggling to put feet to words and desires, when I find myself running, overflowing with joy. Thank you. Thank you for being obedient. thank you for opening up your life, thank you for sharing this teaching with us. Thank you for just being what God created you to be.
    Many blessings,
    Amanda

  • Cindi Kroeker

    Thanks for spurring both my husband and I on to memorizing Scripture. During a few dark days last week, the Lord kept bringing to mind, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has NOT overcome it!” I am always encouraged by how real you are about the struggles in your life, andsometimes I think you’ve been in my home too cuz what you write is soo applicable to my day. Got 3 little boys under 5 that continually challenge me to Godly living, and I fall so often. Got 3 older children too, that remind me of God’s faithfulness and grace, and soon I will be a grandma too. Just discovered your blog last fall, and have been so blessed and brought to tears in humility before the LORD as I press on to live each moment for HIM.

  • Margaret

    A new phase of my life, time to let go of my children more, pursue other passions and ways of serving God more. It’s exciting but scary, to come out of a cocoon of sorts, of nurturing, raising and protecting my children to let them start relying on themselves more, be needed less. My emotions and mind are awash in ideas, excitements, trepidations. What holds me back? Fear of doing new things, fear of being successful–yes, that is more scary than being unsuccessful. Because if the projects I try succeed, that means I need to change, but if they don’t, I can just retreat back into the familiar, safe cocoon of my family, of familiar routines. What holds me back? Distractions, mostly of my own making, procrastination, feeling overwhelmed. What is the way forward? “Follow me,” as Jesus said. No turning back. Withdrawing into God’s company instead of distracting myself with busy work and play when my mind is too dizzy from too many choices to know or remember what to do next, to be still with God instead of busy with matters of no eternal consequence.

  • http://www.lisanotes.com Lisa notes

    I’m doing a different memory project this year (Isaiah 55) through Do Not Depart, but your words are encouraging regardless of what scripture we’re memorizing. So thank you, Ann, for helping us all stay inspired to get the inspired Word in us every way possible. When we open up the space, He knows how to move in.

  • alina y

    Ann we are doing this with my whole family :) my 4 year old daughter is so excited, she already got the first 2 verses memorized.. we had a little study-memorizing time with my husband and daughter before bed time:) thank you for the encouraging post. Flying with you this year:) Much love from rainy washington state :)

  • DaLena West

    Inspiring blog. Thank you!

  • Joanne

    I am a busy mother of two grown children and a grandmother of a beautiful grand-daughter. My life is definately not purfect and there are alot of extreem difficulties! I first came across your book, The Greatest Gift, while I was in a book store looking for a birthday gift for myself. Then I saw that you wrote another book, One Thousand Gifts. My husband bought both of them for me. So far, I have read The Greates Gift and was inspired to go to your website where I found so many beautiful and insightful inspirations. God has given you wonderful gifts of words, compassion, blessings, wisdom and love for you to share with others. I am so blessed to have found you and I praise God for you and pray that He will bless you and your family in the years to come. I am looking forward to reading One Thousand Gifts soon and am sure I will be blessed by it also. I am planning on memorizing the Words from the Gospen of John (The Jesus Project) “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” and have already printed out the Memory Prints. I have never done anything like this before, but I am sure this is what God wants me to do. I have also printed out other things from your website and want to do those also. One step at a time!! I am looking forward to a beautiful “new” and “better” year with Jesus! Thank you so much for all you do!

  • http://abookofremembrance.com Kimberly

    ANN I love you!
    Thank you
    For openly sharing your heart
    YOu are encouraging me!

  • Beth WIlliams

    Ann,

    What’s making life hard now and keeping me from flying? My family is working to get my father into an assisted living facility. The amount of paperwork, phone calls, errands, etc that must be done–oh and by the way–we want to move him next week some time. This whole month has been a whirlwind for me with work getting a little busier and family life crazy.

    God. will. see. me. through all this. He will make it happen if it is His will. Once this happens I. will. fly. high. with. my new. wings.

    Memorizing scriptures is important to me. This is what helps me get through my days–especially rough ones at work. Just reciting them lifts my spirit and helps me rejoice and see a truly beautiful Savior!

    God Bless! :)

  • Andrea Harris

    Ann,

    I read your blog every day and it’s such an encouragement. I can not even express how much. My heart is always full after every read and challenged. I am thankful for you and your obedience to God’s will for you and how you teach others and help bring others close to the very heart of God. I love how transparent you are at times; knowing we aren’t alone. Life can be tough at times and just having an encourager in the midst is wonderful and such a gift.

    BIG HUGS!!

  • http://headinmyhands.com SusanB

    I’m new to this God thing. Is that awful to say it that way? I was raised a catholic, terrible religion, a priest talking at you, reading scriptures that make no sense, sermons about hellfire and brimstone that scare children, and nuns who pull your ears when you don’t pay attention in class.
    My 12 year old son died of leukemia in 2000. I don’t have to explain that agony. You’re a parent. You love your children “wild.” I railed at the God I knew as a child – mean and spiteful thing. “How could you do this?!”
    Once in a while, when I was still, and completely cracked open I felt Him, and He was warm. He became a person, not just the thing, when I was growing up, the man nailed to the cross, with blood on his hands and feet.
    In my late 30’s, I was on my knees, had been on my knees, “Save my child. Please!” After he died, “Why? Why?!” In my grief, down inside the abysmal hole, wallowing in the darkness I cried out and He answered.
    I’m actively searching now. I felt His touch, wiping the pain away and I want more of that. More of that God stuff.
    You have a beautiful blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.irwin-update.blogspot.com Liesl

    This is so great! And I so appreciate you putting the hard work into the planning, designing, and sharing these gorgeous pieces of Word (literally) art that we can display in our homes and meditate on constantly. My husband and I are in the midst of a several-year-long trial and I’m in a pretty strong season of needing to combat circumstances and feelings with TRUTHS of who God is and how much He loves me (whether I feel it through our circumstances or not, I believe it because we can trust His Word which says so). We have just moved into a new home, which gives us a great opportunity for new beginnings and new habits! These beautiful scripts of God’s Word will be among the first things to put up on our walls. So fabulous! Thank you for sharing this with us :)