Ann Voskamp
About the Author

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. I’m a mom of 3, learning how to keep house even after 5.5 yrs of marriage. After not being raised in a house where the chores were reinforced, I’m still learning. My most recent realization is that if I clean for God, I’m cleaning for my family too and it becomes much easier. Now to tackle the frustrations that come with toddlers and staying relatively patient with them, I’ll be good. I’m very excited to be reading and discussing this book, it’s what I need at this point in my life. All I can really say is thank you. 🙂

    • It’s amazing as I read this that I am so close to where you are in your life. I, too, was raised without the benefit of a mom that taught me anything about housekeeping, and I am a mom of 2. I am very excited about this book, also.

    • I’m right there with you! Mom of 3, foster mom of 1 soon to be two. Trying to learn how to make sense of this chaos, and on top of it, I’m starting to home-school my five year old soon! LOVE the book so far– thank you!

    • I absolutely agree with you! My mom worked outside the home and spent all of her spare time being with us kids.
      I have 3 kids as well and number four is due Feb. 22nd. I’ve also been married for 5.5 years and I totally get how hard it is to keep a house….these last few weeks of my pregnancy have been crazy because I really feel like we are living on PB & J and Kraft mac n cheese….I’m so thrilled to be reading this book with you all!

  2. I cannot tell you just how excited I am to be getting my book! You are such an amazing writer and I can’t wait to devour and savor each of your words! =D

  3. I am mom to two boys who grow bigger every night while they are sleeping. I am wife to a wonderful man who loves me fiercely. We love Jesus but have struggled to find a church home where that love can be shaped in community.

    I am so excited for the book club and the chance to read your amazing book in community here.

  4. I am a new empty-nester. Really,
    I’m hungry for Jesus who says He will fill the empty places.
    I started your book. Gratitude right here…Am I rejecting what God has given me right now? Am I sinning because I’m not being grateful for what given me in this new season? I can choose to sit and miss my kids and wallow in my sadness, or I can memorize that verse about not looking back but pressing on…start my 1000 gifts list and get ON with it.
    Thanks, Ann.

    • Colleen, I can so relate to your situation. I too am feeling the pains of an empty nest. I can’t wait to dig into this book. My copy arrived yesterday!! I also bought a few more to give as gifts. I already know this book is going to be amazing! Here’s to starting a fresh season of gratefulness. Blessings to you my friend.

      Patricia in Burlington, ON

    • Oh Colleen, I’m on the verge of my nest emptying and am fighting it with all I have. The verse that says to be content where you are? Well, I find myself skimming over that one because I know I’m not content! It is so difficult when the seasons of life change, and we are suddenly ill prepared for life to keep going on without us. Especially when all we really want is for our kids to stay kids and never grow up and leave! I guess that means I’m right there with ya!

      • I’m 53 years old, married for 33 years, mom of 2 grown sons and 1 daughter-in-law. I struggled much with the transition to empty nest but am being refined through it. What the Lord really impressed on me is something I should have known all along. Marriage is for life, child raising is for a time. This is a season of renewal for our marriage and it is bringing much growth and blessing but it has come through struggle. I encourage each of you walking through this same season to seek the Lord’s strength to pour yourself into being your husband’s helpmate.

        • After 25 years of full-time mothering, what do you do with a freshly emptied nest? I find myself wondering too what this new season has in store for me, and my husband. I am so grateful for this book at this very time, even though I sure wish I’d had it when I was in the middle of all the crazyiness of raising 4 kids! How encouraging it has been to me, to know God more and see Him right here. I’m starting my list and telling all my friends!

        • Wow. This is new thinking for me. Child raising for a time. Marriage for a lifetime. I’m in tears. Is THAT what God’s asking of me? To put my energies into my husband instead?
          Humbled here.

    • Hi Colleen
      We were emptynesters too, several times, then He added a new adult daughter who needed a family that was safe.
      And we have been on this wild, joyous, sad, painful, exciting journey ever since.
      God has taught us so much and we are so blessed.
      I know He has good things in store for you. may you learn new ways and relish your kids in a different way and may you have peace

      • Jill – we went through the SAME thing of being empty nesters, then God brought a young adult “daughter” that needed a safe place. Our journey was your terms also – wild, joyour, sad, painful, and EXCITING! God is so good! She is gone now but it was some of the best years and I thank God for it.
        I wish I had Ann’s book when my kids were young but even at 53, it is giving such a newness to life. Thanks Ann for allowing God to use you so mightily. Giving all praise to Him.

  5. I almost lost my six year old daughter last year. I’ve been in survival mode ever since. My prayer for months has been for God to restore my joy. I have an amazing, miracle of a story that I know God will have me share at some point, but first I have to get over the devastation and pain. But in my mind, my joy being restored relied on me and my life situation. If only I could get some exercise, keep the house clean, not argue with my husband, then I will be ok right? Give thanks? Even when I really don’t feel like it? Seems like such a simple idea, one that has been offered to me before, but I rejected it. I couldn’t accept it from my dear friend who’s life seem so perfect and pain free. But Ann, she has known the depths of my pain, and she by the grace of God has been able to make her life and life of giving thanks. If she can do it, so can I. Today, I’m pulling out the moleskin that my husband bought me for Christmas, the one he said I should start writing my poems in again. Today I’m going to start a never ending poem, a poem of many thanks.

  6. Ann,
    I’m so excited to start reading your book! I just picked up my copies yesterday…Yes copies!! I bought a few extra to give as gifts. You are a gifted writer. Your words are breathtaking, giving vision to each one individually as they fill up the pages. The trailer video for the book is so beautifully done. I can’t believe you live right here in Ontario….

    So happy to be on this journey with everyone!

    blessings, Patricia in Burlington, ON

  7. I am a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of 2 boys (ages 8 & 6) who struggles with wanting to know the WHY: why did we lose our home in foreclosure? Why can’t my husband find a job? Why do we have to struggle to feed our boys? I struggle with the it’s-not-fair syndrome.

    So I begin today to count my gifts, knowing that I’m not meant to know the WHY – but I AM meant to be thankFULL.

    Thank you sweet Ann.

    • Your comment touched my heart, Christi. I, too, struggle with it’s not fair syndrome. I look forward to reading this book with you and everyone else! Please know that I am praying for you and your family.

  8. Good morning! I am a stay-at-home momma to a 2 year old little boy with another one on the way, due early August. I am praying for renewed joy in my daily life after the last five years of significant deaths each summer have taken their toll, as well as feelings of loneliness. I’m expectant to see Jesus move in our lives as we fix our eyes on Him. Thankful for you all!

  9. I am a wife and mom. married for 13 years and 4 kids later. 3 boys, 1 girl. I am also the wife of a pastor. we minister to college students. I love this life that God has given, but I am also driven, (1st born) =0) and the name for this year for me is to “be still” and I am loving learning how to be still. Ann, you book is right in line with that. I know that the Lord has led me exactly to this spot. Just counted my 1st gifts this morning. =0) Want to hear:
    0001) sweet little boy whispers in the morning
    0002) warm cozy blanket
    ahhh, this is just the beginning…

  10. I am a pastor’s wife and a mother of 3 (ages 20,14, and 13). This is a new,different, fun and challenging season for me as a mom. I love every single minute of it and am so thankful for God’s grace that covers all my mistakes and for the hope He gives me to keep pressing on!

    I finished One Thousand Gifts last weekend and gosh, was I ever sad to close the last page! I have begun counting my gifts and already sense the change that is happening within my soul.

    I am looking forward to making the journey with everyone here!

  11. I’m a fairly recent empty nester…missing the every-day life with my kids, but rejoicing at their independence also. It’s a strange new season and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate this with some grace and God’s favor. Loving the book, making my lists, praying for eyes to look, to see. Thank you

    • You captured my life perfectly in your post. I am in that season of wondering what to do with the extra time I have and how do I use the skills I have honed while raising 3 wonderful kids. Just trying to remember to have gratitude in all things.

      The book is a wonderful gift, it has opened my eyes to the beauty in the mundane chores of life.

  12. I am a mother of four children (21, 18, 15, and 6). In my Faith, I have always strived to live in the presence of God and to seek His Face in my ordinary daily life. The struggle is there…the hard Eucharisteo…depression and my husband’s unemployment only a few of the trials that threaten my joy and feed my ingratitude. I THANK GOD I picked up your book and have started blogging a gratitude journal as well as keeping a written one…but sometimes it’s not enough and I need to learn…to accept…to give thanks…to trust. Looking forward to this discussion and to share with others…community…of thanks and support.

  13. I’m a single, 50-something ‘mom’ to two adorable welsh corgis, an addicted rubber stamper, and veteran camper (tenter)/hiker. I live in the upper Midwest where spring flooding has become an annual event which keeps me on my knees, or I’d go crazy with the stress of it all. I’m a 22 year employee of a Christian Radio Station who recognizes what a privilege it is to have a job that touches lives with the hope found in Jesus. The timing of this book and study is perfect for me, as I am recovering from a 3 year ordeal (the betrayal of a friend who made promises she couldn’t keep and then walked away without apology) that has taken a huge toll on my physical and emotional health. I am in the process of writing my story, with the help of a well known Christian author. I am savoring every word of this book … read chapter 1, then re-read it, then chapter 2, re-read it, then back and re-read chapters 1 AND 2 – so it will take me a while to get through the entire book at this rate but there is SO MUCH there and it speaks to my heart in a profound way. I’m looking forward to connecting with others who are on this journey and hope I don’t get lost in the tech-y aspects of it all (I’m computer literate, but NOT computer savvy ….. ) …. sigh

  14. Ann,
    I am new to your blog,–new to your story–and I can’t tell you how happy I am to meet you here. I have purchased your book, and I admit I have been reading ahead. Like one thousand gifts, you just don’t want it to end. I am looking forward to seeing the story unfold as we pause and discuss the chapters through the coming months.

  15. A homeschooling Mom of two boys, a grown daughter, and a husband who’s a helicopter pilot for an air ambulance company and I’ve returned to the place I thought was long behind me, Texas. We live on a family farm for over two years which had been all but abadoned for 12 years before we got here. And we’re in the slow, often pain-staking process of cleaning it up and also discovering God’s beauty in ashes. I started joining Ann’s gratitude journey on her blog to climb out from under all the farm’s disrepair to give thanks instead. My Sister and I will be joining Bloom here and reading the book. We’re waiting for it’s soon delivery.

  16. I am Candace, married for 10 years to David and we have 3 kids that I homeschool. They are 9yrs, 7yrs and 5yrs. I am so excited about this book! I am about 2 chapters into it right now and am just trying to read slowly and SAVOR the gentle whisper of Jesus as I read. I have been counting my blessings, along with Ann, for a little over a year now on my blog and it truly has been such a GIFT to me. I struggle with depression and dwelling on the negative has been a huge thing in my life…I am learning, slowly but surely, to praise Him in the storm, seek Him on the hard days and just to REST in Him. I’m still learning what all the means and looks like. 🙂 I’m so happy to be here!

  17. I’ve known Jesus from my earliest memory tho’ I walked far away from Him for many years. I followed dark paths of my own choosing and still He watched over me–and waited. I found my way back to His house (one of many) about 30 years ago but I never really took time to talk with Him even all the while I studied ABOUT Him, and sang His songs even recited His prayer. My mind was so much stronger than my heart, so I let it lead me. It didn’t always lead me well. And still He watched over me and waited. Alone, newly separated from my husband, He baptized me with His Holy Spirit and His light and I was so grateful for the mountaintop! But I kept walking in prideful self sufficiency, albeit grateful for all He’d done for me yet wishing for THAT feeling again. I remarried and was blessed with a girl and boy and struggled with depression and parenting but never reached out to The One who could save me by His grace. I worked so hard at church work I never had time to meet with Him. And still He watched over me–and waited. Many mistakes and much wasted time later, He spoke to me and told me some hard times were coming and I would need Him to get through and They did and I did and I do and PRAISE HIM! He is here-still watching over me and showering me with blessings in spite of me. Finally at 50 plus I met His Spirit and learned to call out EVERYDAY! just a few months ago. That is right about the same time I stumbled on your blog, Ann, I can’t even remember how exactly, tho’ I sure He led me. When I read about counting gifts I knew I needed to start right away. Sometime yesterday I passed 500 and thank you for the inspiration. Looking forward to this journey with all of you!

  18. I’m an emotional empathetic fly by the seat kinda girl. I’m finding my groove with following gods call on my life to homeschool with my non structured personality.

    I’m learning to” be content in everything and in nothing “as Paul writes. It is a daily battle. I fail much. Thank you lord for grace.

    I’m desiring to downsize our lifestyle and do what we are supposed to do with this one life, love god, love others, spread the gospel. I’m done with American christanity and the American dream. After reading Radical, Crazy Love, and One Thousand gifts, I’m seeing God with new eyes. I’m seeing His Glory and my desire to live for His glory alone. My heart has changed for the world and I desire less for me so I can give more to those who Need. I’m wanting radical change now. Yet I have to be sure it’s His will. It’s so hard to tell sometimes when the flesh is weak.

    • I love the way you described yourself. It was like reading about ME! 😀

      One question: how do you homeschool with a laid back personality? ‘Cause Lord knows I’ve tried and failed a thousand times, yet we seem to get nowhere fast. Or if we do have a banner day with school, the house is a wreck or have to order pizza because dinner didn’t happen… I feel like I can’t ever manage all four at once, housework, homeschool, cooking and laundry. Something always gets dropped. Yesterday my best friend helped me out in a only-a-best-friend-would-do-this kind of way and we took 30– yes 30!! – loads of laundry to the laundromat. I always feel like I’m drowning. Do I really have to let go of my personality to achieve “homemaker” success?? I love being laid back. But it is a major curse sometimes. I always think if I were only type A, life might not be as fun, but at least my house would be as clean as a house can get with 5 kids. And my (very type A) husband and I wouldn’t be fighting all the time about his frustration with the state of the house and laundry. :::sigh::::

      Well that selfpitying rant is sooooo the opposite of Ann’s book. Guess I need to reread it.

      I have so far to go. Or rather, I have so much to LET go. Thank you, Jesus, for Grace.

  19. Hello Bloomers! ;o)

    My name is Amy. I’ve been married to my college sweetheart for 16 years now. After 6 years of infertility God blessed us with two children, one by adoption and one by birth. I’ve been home since they’ve been home. We learn in these four walls and try to live in the world without being of the world. We’ve come out of an intense time of learning, and I feel we are about to enter another.

    All those things that the Lord has been whispering into Ann’s ears has been the same message He has been whispering into mine. I’ve joined this book club for some company on the journey. (grin) It’s nice to not be alone in the hard learning, isn’t it?

    • Maybe instead of saying “an intense time of learning” I should have said “an intense time of sanctification”. And instead of “we” I think I should have said “I”. (grinning again)

  20. I’ve been reading your blog A Holy Experience for over a year. Your heart and deep open-ness have touched my heart so many times. I keep reading your blog because each time I’m there I know more of my Jesus & I feel hope at being human too, like you. I am married 20 months and adjusting to living in Scotland. The past five years have taken me to heart-breaking places. I came to know more of the Lord in that time. Recently though I am feeling my heart is in a desert place. I need to know Him more. Your book is in my hands and I wait with genuine anticipation to know more of Him in the gorgeous authenticity of your words. Praying for a blessing. Bless you dear Ann.
    Stephie xo

    • I am at home sick today and have read the first three chapters of the book. I feel as if you have opened my heart and shined a spotlight on exactly what I need to understand and do in order to draw closer to the Lord, to have the prayer life that I want and to be content right HERE where He has placed me. I just had an ‘aha’ moment. I’m getting the message and it’s been beautifully written. Amazing!

  21. Hi everyone! I am a forced retired wife and Grammy and have come to really appreciate the life outside of corporate work. We live in the country and love the simple life here. I found Ann’s blog and have been reading that for sometime now and anxiously await each new day and the words she shares with us all. I have already read the book through and am on my second reading to fully absorb what God has for me. I know that I will re and reread this often. The soul holes jumped at me right off as many other items did. I look forward to the videos and discussion on the book and how God will touch me in a new and intimate way. I’m thankful that Ann put aside her fears and wrote this book.

  22. I found Ann’s blog some time ago and have enjoyed reading her insights and I am excited to read her new book and be part of this book club! I have been on my own journey of seeking. Seeking joy, inspiration and grace in this life God has given me. I am eager to learn and grow and find more. All that He has to show me.

  23. Ann, I am a pastor’s wife and mother of two, so far. 😉
    I knew I needed the book when I saw the subtitle of daring to live fully RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE. Because I have struggled to keep the reins on a restless heart that is ever-looking to the horizon for new circumstances to bring about joy, fulfillment. I have already delved into this book, but I also want to savor slowly it with the book club.
    So far, this book has met me RIGHT at my point of need, and truly I believe this is God’s message to us from Ann because we CAN have joy right where we are. The universality of Ann’s message is a beautiful, striking chord of Truth, and no one who reads this need feel they need anything more than Christ to find deep, abiding, healing JOY! I will never stop counting after this.

  24. Hi! Thanks so much for welcoming us. 🙂 I’m a believer of Jesus, wife, mom. My youngest has special needs. I quit my job over 10 years ago to be more available to my whole family and then ended up bringing her home to school from public school. She is with us yet, at 19, and is what I do. 🙂 I have Ann’s book and am reading it carefully. I don’t want to miss this opportunity. I’ve been practicing joy finding in December, but can let it slip away some times. I don’t want to! Ever.

  25. Me= wife to a most amazing music pastor; Mom to four creative, talented kids (3 boys, 1 girl – ages 12, 11, 9, 4; home educator; artist/crafter/decorator/designer extraordinaire; missionary in training (we leave for the mission field in a few weeks!!! check out our website); and most importantly, Christ lover and disciple of HIS. I have been reading A Holy Experience for several months, when a friend directed me to it. I began journaling my One Thousand Gifts list and am on #250!! I have been highly anticipating reading the book, and now can’t wait to join in on the discussion here.

  26. I have been married almost 2 decades and have two tall sons, 10 and 12. I enjoy swinging in swings, walking country roads, and rereading books. Never bookclubbed with so many- ready for adventure. Not sure how to navigate all the technology (blogfrog, facebook, etc.), but I will enjoy the reading and videos. Thankful for sites such as Incourage.

  27. I am a SAHMama to 2 wonderful children ages 3 and 1. Each and everyday has it’s challenges, but I am thankful for the lessons learned by each one. I wanted-prayed for-this life and I am blessed beyond measure!

    I am thrilled to be reading this book with such a wonderful community of women! Looking forward to what God has planned to teach and show me through your beautifully written words, Ann!

  28. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3, (2 girls ages 7 and 5 and one boy age 5 months). My husband travels almost constantly for work so most of the time I’m single-parenting it. During a lot of my 20s I felt that I was far from God and had lost the passion I had for Him in my teens. I’ve prayed to get that passion back, and now, at age 30, thanks to a new church and books like Ann’s (and the blog), I feel that coming back! I just hope it does for my husband too.

  29. Honestly, I haven’t started counting so I can’t put a number on it.

    ### God tears through Ann words on a Sunday.

  30. daughter of God, my mother’s daughter, mother of 3, mother in law of 3, spiritual mother to many, auntie, sister of one brother, sister to many in God’s family, worshipper of God, well watered garden, shadetree, water giver, listener, teacher, bringer of good news, peacemaker, warrior, intercessor, priest, comforter, free spirit, Spirit filled, Yeshua follower, singer of creation’s new song…

  31. I am wife to an incredibly gracious husband, a mom of 4 kids (boys: 14, 11, 7 and girl: 4) and homeschool. We have been missionaries overseas for 8 years and for now God is asking us to stay Stateside. This is hard especially after coming out of some very difficult times these past few years. It is a drastic change and I’m still in shock in a lot of ways. I have been reading A Holy Experience off and on for awhile now. I’ve been GREATLY encouraged by (in)courage and after reading about this book I am eager to read it with you all.

  32. I am a Christ-following (or, at least, trying the best I can to follow) daughter to two wonderful parents. Wife to a fabulous husband. Mom to 6 crazy kiddos (boys ages almost 12 and almost 6 and girls ages almost 10, 8, almost 3 and 3 months). Friend to some amazingly fabulous women! I love to read and to make stuff. I live where it’s cold and the snow is way deeper than it should be. I don’t leave home and go to a job, but I keep plenty busy anyway. I have been very, very blessed by Ann’s blog and the book. Ann, I don’t think you could ever know what an encouragement your writing is to me! Thank you!

  33. I am blessed to be a wife to a husband who is more than I deserve and mother to 6 children (10, 8, 5, 4, 3 and 8 months). I did not grow up in a Christian home but instead a very dysfunctional and tumultuous childhood. I got saved when I was 15 and in foster care and now, by the grace of God, I long to be the wife, mother, friend, etc. that He can make me. I’ve read all of One Thousand Gifts and am now on my second read … to really savor what I found to be some of the most life changing truths I’ve ever come to understand. I am learning, with much failing in between, that I can trust God enough to open my hands and “eat the mystery.” I am learning that the pattern of living that Christ left us was the “hard Eucharisteo” but it is the most joyful and abundant way to live. Being 35 and realizing all of these truths in Ann’s book, I feel like I am just waking up to truth. Whatever the case, I’ve bought several copies and plan to buy more to give away … and I am so looking forward to this book club, going through Ann’s book with her and other beautiful women … such a blessing and a gift!!

  34. Plagued with unsatisfaction for so long, I now am a seeker of God’s handfuls in my life. The daily blessings He gives to me. I could not believe it when I found Ann’s blog. To find someone who had been through the same struggle! Someone that can somehow write how I feel when I don’t have the words to say. I’m so excited to read her book. I’m wife to my crazy soulmate, mother to two little boys, math nerd, collector of second-hand treasures, transplanted Southerner, and loved by God.

  35. I am a wife and mother of four littles (7, 5, 3, and 21 mths). My life seems to be in a holding pattern, that space in between. My townhouse dwelling, camera carrying, nature loving, God Hunting, sacred seeking, music soaking, library loving self can be found walking the path, praying the prayers, all while quietly scrubbing floors and washing dishes. Writing is healing me, chasing gratitude has changed my heart and photography is how I commune with sleeping bees, flower petals and dew drops.

    Ann… Your book is leaving me speechless. Me without words… that is difficult to do. 🙂

    • This, Jessica: “chasing gratitude has changed my heart…” It’s chasing Him and grace and finding gratitude that changes everything, yes? It’s changing me everyday with you, friend.

      I give thanks with you…

      All’s grace,

    • And I am right here sitting close to my friend, Jessica. I am sort of hiding behind her shoulder and trying to blend into the wall because I don’t do well in crowds. I am a simple girl nearly at the end of my wits. I struggle with grasping joy — all while not feeling guilty about it.


      • You sound a little like me. I don’t do well in crowds either. I struggled with the idea of coming and joining this book club and finally told the Lord, “Lord, I can’t afford this book right now. If You provide a copy for me, I will read it and give this group the best I have to offer.” He provided a copy. I’m here. Maybe we can hang out in the back of the room together?

  36. I am a married woman, a mother of two wonderful grown kids, and a grandmother to three wonderful grandchildren. I work, and take care of an elderly parent. My wonderful hubby has retired and takes care of my mom when I am at work. I have so many things to be thankful for but I wonder if I am doing all that God wants me to do. A wonderful friend says that right now my mom is my ministry. But I still struggle with the question….

  37. I am a Child of God, a military spouse and homeschooling mom to 3. Today I say goodbye to the love of my life as he leaves for another deployment, What perfect timing for this book as I am trying to focus this next year living fully right where I am, not in the past, not in the future and making the most of each day. Ann, you are such a gifted writer, thank you for sharing your heart with all of us! What a blessing to be a part of an amazing community of women.

    • Sheri,

      I am also a homeschooling mom of three. My husband travels a lot for his job and my kids are sitting here as I type drawing pictures of them being sad because Daddy isn’t home. It’s humbling to think of the women who’s husbands don’t get to come home at the end of the week or month or season. As I read Ann’s book and soak in His gifts I will think of you and pray that you and I will both live fully where we are.

  38. Wife of 8 years, mother to a 20mo daughter with a boy due in May. I work from home as a web developer which is quite the blessing. My husband is a teacher and this year took a job in my hometown so ever since we’ve been in a bit of limbo waiting for our house to sell (it closes Feb 15). In the meantime we’ve been living in my brother’s basement which has been quite the experience. I feel that this move and our (eventual) new house gives me the opportunity to start over with some things. I want our family to live life to the fullest and live more simply with a house that enables us to reach out to others. (I am also reading Organized Simplicity right now which has been great!)

    Looking forward to reading this book with everyone. I read the first chapter on my phone and cried.

    • Tammie,

      I so know what your going through! I was pregnant and we lived 4 to a room in my sister’s finished attic space for 3 months! I made so many changes when finally got to our *NEW* house. It was blessed from the moment we moved in it. Our house is a product of God and it shows. We treat each other as we would if God was standing right there. We maintain the house as one day God may walk through that door and would He want to see dishes in the sink or laundry scattered everywhere? No. Make a list of things you want to change and follow them when you get there. You will be forever blessed.

      I’m reading the book too and I hope to see you in the chats.

      In Him,

  39. I am a mother of a 3 year old and 7 year old. I have been married 8 years. I’m dyslexic and am trying to discover clairty this year. I am not happy with the way some things are in my life right now but am trying to be happy beyond all the the imperfections! I have a blog: called “happy beyond” and I plan to start up a blog called “Grateful Beyond” to take pictures of 1000 gifts…I started taking some pictures today but haven’t had time to load them yet. I hope that by taking pictures of things I am thankful for I might discover a little joy because I really miss feeling joy. The blog is here:

  40. I’m the wife of a student/worship pastor and a home-schooling mom. We have two children but sometimes (with the teenagers) it feels like we have thirty more.

    We love it.

    This season of life has been about God showing me who I am in Him and what He has called me, Rebecca, to do that both complements our ministry at church but is still uniquely my own… He’s been giving me grace for each day as I work through His word for answers.

    Counting gratitude with you, Ann, and walking beside you as a sister in Christ. So excited to read your book!

  41. I’m a wife, mother, writer, photographer and am so excited to be reading your beautiful book. As someone who’s walked through some circumstances similar to your life, I always glean something powerful from what your story and how to live as Christ in my own life.

  42. I am a wife, mother of two (3 and 1), photographer. I once made time for God every day. I would like to blame the babies for the eaten time, but I know they are gifts–sweet, sanctifying gifts. I want to reclaim that time and learn to live each moment in the mundane and the holy.

  43. I am a 26-year-old mama to two (so far!). God revealed himself to me in a powerful way seven years ago and life has never been the same. It has not always been easy or perfect but God has lead my husband and I and been very faithful to his promises. Most recently I have been inspired to take my ministry of motherhood seriously and have started a blog to chronicle my honest journey and struggle towards intentional motherhood, and essentially, intentional LIFE. I’m from Canada and have been checking my mail every day, waiting for my copy to arrive… Hope tomorrow is the day, cannot wait to get this book club going and see what God is going to do with my heart through Ann’s beautiful words.

  44. I am the mom of two tween girls and happily married to a great man. I stay at home, but work part time out of the home. I struggle to find joy in the every day chaos of my life. I always feel that this time of childhood is flying past me and I am too busy with the everyday homework, chores to focus on building into my kids all the things they need. I am reading the book slowly trying to live it not just read it. After a difficult day with my almost teenager, I went to bed in tears try to focus on what I could be thankful for in this situation. It did give me comfort.

  45. Oh, how I can’t wait for my book to arrive so I can dig in deep to not only seek His blessings to SEE his blessings. Right here, right now. In addition to you all, I’ll be gathering with 7 other women to unravel our hearts before God in fellowship and prayer.

    I left my career in the music industry to become a stay at home mom to my 6 and 8 year old girls. I’m learning how to be faithful in the simple. Faithful in the caretaking and showing love with hands. After two years, being home still feels new and uncomfortable, but God’s faithfulness is sustaining and growing me. I see His story unveiling in my life and it’s nothing I ever expected, but believe I am precisely where He wants me. Even when I long for more, or long for the yesterdays, here is where I am planted. And here is where I’m blooming.

  46. I’m a missionary headed to Uganda, wife of one amazing man and mama to two sweet boys (4 and 2 1/2)! I’ve been counting gifts with Ann since 2009… grateful for her inspiration and witness in my life… just hit 3000 gifts this weekend!

    Excited to dive deeper into this journey!

  47. Wife, homemaker, mother of one, very blessed with the family I have, but still struggling with many things right now, which feel big… So wanting to grow into a better and more godly woman… Oh, and not a native speaker of English. 🙂

  48. I’m a believer in Jesus… a mom to 2 grown sons and so looking forward to getting my book on Monday or Tuesday (depending on the mail schedule.) I even bought one for my mom to give her on Valentine’s Day.

  49. I am a simple person. I have so much blessings and am grateful.
    I’m a mom of 3 – 2 lovely and intelligent girls and a loveable boy.
    I am a fighter for what I believe. I always seek the truth.

    With this journey I hope to find joy and happiness. I know they are just there around me, I just can’t see them. I hope in this journey I could find them and embrace them.

  50. I am a wife of almost 20 years and mom to 7 here on earth. This book has already made an impact in my life. Last summer we suffered a very physically difficult miscarriage that caused other health problems. 7 months later I am finally back at the point where I can take care of my family. As I struggle through these health challenges and the diagnoses, I have learned where my priorities need to lie, and that is in my relationship with God and then those who live in my home – my husband and children. As a move ahead I am looking forward to learning more about Eucharisteo and being an example of it to my family.

  51. Hi! I’m a 49 year old mother of three and wife to one (ha!). My oldest, a son, finished college just this past Monday so the first of the chicks have returned to the nest to figure out what the next step is in this journey called life. I am a singer, reader, author, writer, blogger, librarian assistant, sister, and I miss being a daughter. I love photography, chocolate, Jesus, and being the Preschool Ministries director at my church. I live in the house where I grew up that my dad built with his own hands back in 1950.

    And I am still waiting for my book in the mail – I can’t wait!

  52. I want to get the book and join the book club. I am a 47 yr. old mother of four and wife to one great guy, who happens to be my highschool sweetheart, too. I just sent my first born daughter back to college about 1000 miles away after 6 wks bonding with her over Christmas break! It hurts to feel the house empty of her presence. But I’m counting on Jesus to be my strength and to give me returning joy for having a special time over the break with all four kids in our nest. I enjoy volunteering at church holding the babies in the Mops/Moppets program and helping in my youngest son’s 3rd grade class. I also want to start taking tennis lessons to get to meet some great women my age and also get fit! I live in Bothell, WA, and love living a city that still feels like a “town” and has multigenerations living in it.

    I am also still waiting for my book in the mail. Until then…… Keep reading!!!!
    : 0 )

  53. I’m a young one in age, but come with a lot of life experience. Overcoming a lot and still trying to find my way. I have found the man I hope to spend the rest of my life with, both of us getting our careers going, and trying to find peace and joy in this time of waiting. So thankful for this community and Ann’s words I eagerly wait for each day at her blog.

  54. As I finish the trailer of 1000 Gifts, I can hardly catch my breath. Its like I do not want to let loose of the air in my lungs but to taste it knowing it is my last one and my first. Change, a word I hate but even more I want to wake out of this half life this dream like state where I walk in a haze. A haze of regrets, of what ifs, of missed opportunities and grown children. Of middle age! What if instead I can just live, just breath, just love, and just be? That is a big question but I think it is one I can start to ask myslef and maybe with the help of this little book, with the egg and nest, I too can begin again. I can really accept that HE loves me with that knowledge I can learn to just be, just be LOVED!

  55. I am a 45 year old wife to a wonderful husband of 17 years and mother of two, 13yo boy and 11yo girl. I work part-time outside the home and full time at home. I’ve been following Ann’s blog for several years and started counting gifts consistently during the last 6 months. I must say that the joy that comes from counting gifts and how God has changed me is amazing!! I’m loving the book, but look forward to the book club. This is my first book club ever, so it should be interesting. I’m more of a reader than a writer so I may just follow quietly:) I’m most excited that my high school friend from 26 years ago will also be reading the book along with me! She’s in New York and I’m in Florida!

  56. I’m a homeschooling mom to four (ages 15,11,5 & 2) Wife to the man I fell in love with at 17. We were both out of the will of the Lord then. I tell him all the time that God was merciful enough to watch over him while he was finding me. At 20 we both repented and started living for the Lord. Married at 22. He began preaching at 28. Today he is my pastor, but most of all my best friend. The first 15 years of my life left me with scars that have taken a long time to heal. This book has been amazing, a true blessing. I have not the words to say just how it has moved me. I am reading it now for the second time. I have bought several copies and gave them away and have it on my iPhone as well. 🙂 I have loved A Holy Experience for a while now, but the book……what a blessing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    Many Blessings!

  57. Hello Ann and everyone else! I’m almost done reading your book and so excited to start the book club! It’ll be the first time I’ve ever gotten involved in one.
    I’m a sahm to 4 kids in Atlanta, GA. Almost 3 years ago, I did some horrible things to my husband that I’m still battling with everyday. Even though I know he has forgiven me and God has forgiven me, I struggle daily.
    Your book has truly been a blessing and I feel like I’m finally re-connecting with my Savior. Thank you so much for your words.

    • Leigh, I am praying for you. I too, have been in the position where I have hurt my husband and not many know the story except some trusted friends and I have shared with a couple friends battling similar things. I am not sure what your exact struggles and sin was/are are but God knows and He loves and forgives you. And it sounds as though he has graced you with a loving and forgiving husband just I was. Praise Him for that! If you need someone to talk to please let me know. I’d love to share my story because I believe it would offer hope to you. I did go to counseling for the things I did because they were an overflow of lots of baggage I’d carried around for years. Maybe this would be an option. My husband even went with me for a few months and it helped immensely. Like I said, I do not know your exact story but I promise that God is holding you in the palm of His hand and he loves you. Praying!

  58. Where am I? Often times in a dark place.

    I am a homeschooling mama to 3 beautiful children. That’s the beautiful part.

    The dark part is my husband of 15 years was diagnosed last year with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). If you don’t know what it is, it is a progressive terminal illness that will slowly paralyze him over time until eventually it weakens his lungs.

    Right now, I am grieving, clinging, praying, hoping. I am learning to let go of dreams, hopes, plans, and what is no longer and embrace the future and what it holds. It’s a hard, hard walk, But by His grace, I am walking it.

    • I am very sorry, Stephanie, and I prayed for you when I read your comment! May God give you much strength …

    • Stephanie, your comment brought tears to my eyes. I suffer from failing health and have been told that I’m terminal. While it’s very hard, sometimes I wonder if it’s not just as hard on my family. Please know that I am praying for you, your husband and your children.

  59. I’m a wife of almost 20 years. I am a Mom of 4 (16, 15, 11, 9). I’m blessed to get to stay home with them! I was diagnosed a year ago with a chronic illness. I have been on this journey of illness for longer, but definitons are beginning to form. I have spent the last year seeking God’s face more and more. He has been my comforter and healer. This time with the Lord has been about discovering who He createad me to be…dispite illness. This life of gratitiude that the book describes is the best way to overcome those pain-filled days. It takes the focus of of self and onto the Creator, the Gift-Giver. I already see my outlook on life much differently.

  60. I am the mom to two children a 3-year-old little girl and a 9-month-old little boy. So often we are running here and running there trying to get through the day. I want/need to slow down and live in the moment and to enjoy my precious kiddos! I’m SO excited to read this and can’t wait!!


  61. I am a homeschooling mother of a 7 yr old girl and 9 year old boy. I am so looking forward to reading the book and gaining a new perspective on life!

  62. I seem to be the Grandma of people leaving comments:) I am 62. I thought I would break when my youngest left home when I was 59. I had my first child at 20 and the last at 40 so I had children in our home for almost 40 years. It was such a hard adjustment. I got into a newly formed study group at our church. I didn’t know any of the women at the beginning but after being together weekly for 9 months we knew each other deeply and honestly. They listened to my crying about the empty nest and those who had been there shared how God opens another door as each chapter of our lives end. He does!!
    Life can become rich and intriguing as we walk a new road Together with Him. We are blessed if we know the Way and have good friends to remind us.

  63. I am a SAHM of two young girls, ages 4 and 2.5 after struggling with infertility for over 4 yrs. I am a 37 yr old who is also a 5.5 yr old cancer survivor! I am married to my Bible College Sweetheart and have been for just over 13 yr. We just came through the hardest part of our marriage journey after the devestation of an internet affair was confessed to. I am so thankful to our God who has healed our marriage and allowed us to experience forgiveness and the opportunity to grow in our marriage. I have learned so much in the last two years about walking through the desert and relying on His guidance even when I did not understand the why!

    Right now I am in the spot of learning to lean on HIM for everything and not on my strength because I know I can’t do it on my own. I am choosing to see the good, despite the bad stuff and learning to be a wife, mom, and woman after God’s Own Heart!

  64. I am a mom of two wonderful little boys. I am wife to a wonderful man, whom I am very proud to partnering this life with. I am issues that I struggle with everyday and trying to learn to let God heal me of them. I am trying to learn to take everything in stride. No be quick to listen and slow to speak. I have come such a long ways and still have such a long ways to go. I am looking forward to reading this book and learnign and growing some more. I know that this time a appointed of God. I know that He is going to use this book to help me and so many others. Thank you ya’ll for being obedient.

  65. hi ann – i am a mother of 3 precious little girls (5, 3, and 10 weeks). i read your book cover to cover in about a day and a half…. half of that time i was in the ER for a 24 hour stint. i blogged about how incredibly appropriate it was to have received the book in the mail the day before. when i could get through to my hubby, i asked for him to bring me two things: my cell phone charger and your book. 🙂 I have ordered it for two other dear dear friends…. one of which is in the same “o.m.g. what on earth was God thinking when he made me a mom to multiple small children because it seems like all i do is fail, fail, fail….” boat that i have found myself in (you know, the one that you feel like all you are doing is bailing water out to stay afloat) and the other is pregnant with her first baby. my advice to my new mom friend was this: “discover joy NOW. pursue eucharisteo NOW. hold onto it for dear life… don’t let go. enter into each phase, each milestone with your new baby. be present without looking for the next thing. look for God in those moments. look earnestly!”

  66. I’ve just finished reading One Thousand Gifts and although I have been keeping a Gratitude Journal for a while now. However, after reading the book…even keeping the Journal is different. I’ve been a follower of Jesus…but now I’m chasing Him…and OH…WHAT A WONDERFUL LIFE THIS IS! Finding Him in the easy is good, but now the hard is seen so differently than just a few days ago!

  67. I am a mother of 22 month old twins. Struggling to find out where I am in life. 23 months ago my life was about marriage, career. Now that this new phase of my life is here I am trying to figure out where I am. Counting my blessings. Even the small ones. Diet coke to start my morning, listening to the giggles and joy coming from my babies still in their cribs this morning.

  68. I’m married and a momma to 3, ages 7, 9, 11. My kids roll their eyes when they hear the background music to your blogs 🙂 Whey they do their school I sneak away to check on your posts. I’m excited to read, discuss and ponder…to grow and see and hope for more and more and more. 🙂 I struggle and question and push but I keep coming back to the same place….and I’m thankful for friends who directed me to this blog a while ago. Maybe its all our struggle deep down, can we trust or not, and its so hard when we know one thing and are horrified when we doubt it, but to hope beyond it and see glimpses of what it would be to leave that unacknowledged or unutterable unbelief and abandon to Him…that’s breath-taking! Can’t wait to follow along..thanks for all you guys do!

  69. I bought the book (and bought one for a friend) after seeing it was the book club book. I devoured it. I mean it was a grovelling in the bowl, dripping down your chin kind of pig-out. I couldn’t drink enough of the many great works from you, Ann.
    I plan to go back and read and savor each chapter as the book club does it.
    Thank you, thank you for a refocus of my lenses. I find myself whispering thanks all through the day…it is just amazing!!

  70. Thirty-six year old wife and homeschooling momma of three boys (11, 9, 2). Retired nurse. Love this time of my life, but I struggle w/the mundane, the repetition, the tireless attention to hearts, mess, life. I feel completely saturated. Like I’ve lost myself somewhere, yet I know it’s not supposed to be like this. So joyless…
    After reading a few words from your book, I know this is the balm sent to heal and revive and stir my weariness. I’ve started counting and… there is bright light peering slightly around the pages of my story. So grateful for you, Ann. God bless you!

  71. I’m a middle-aged (gasp), homeschooling-2-teens, wife of 21 years (gasp again) that loves loves loves to read. I’m new to the whole on-line community stuff (it’s my “middle-agedness” showing), but thanks to my friend LISA-JO, here I am!

    Isn’t it always interesting how one person is able to change your life direction?

    I love reading all the blogs (well, not ALL of them! I do have other things that “need” to be done) and having those words carry me to places I’ve never been or aptly and poetically describe the places I have been. Places that were way beyond words for me and I’m astounded that someone else has been able to capture them and put them in a jar.

  72. i am wife of nine years, homeschooling mama of six. i struggle, i pray, i smile, i hug, i fail, i cry, i hold, i love. so blessed to be here.

    ann, thank you for your words. i walk with you, drink encouragement in…

  73. I am a thirty-something, seeker of the still, struggling every day to let go of the control and perfectionism that too often suffocates my family and my faith. Last year the stress and the schedules and the work spiraled me down into a pit of sleeplessness and anxiety. Thankfully, I am now on the other side by the GRACE of my Heavenly Father, family and friends. Lifestyle changes were made, writing began again, and I GIVE THANKS for your book, Ann. It inspires, calms, restores and gives hope for a life lived in gratitude and grace. I so look forward to this study and sharing!

  74. I am a mother of 3 boys 14, 7 and 20months and new daughter that joined our family right before Christmas. After much prayer my husband took a new job in a neighboring state in October and for the past 4 months we have to live seperatly during the week and cherish our family time together on the weekends. I struggle with being “sane” in what seems crazy unmanageable right now and as we look towards when and where God will have us all together again. I started the book 2 weekends ago and am 1/2 way through….I also started my list then as well. It has been so helpful for my soul to focus on the good…the little things…it bring me peace even when our current situation isn’t “ideal” right now and it gives me hope that we will enjoy the next phase even more when it comes. So very grateful to be a part of this journey with all of you!! 🙂

  75. I’m a child of God, military wife, mother of a precious 13 month daughter and an active duty naval officer. I am enjoying One Thousand Gifts and look forward to rereading it many times. I am working on being content in all things and times of transition (which happen a lot with two people in the military in the same family). Thank you for the opportunity to meet others and grow in faith.

  76. I just read through all the comments, and I stand amazed at the unique beauty that is the Body of Christ. I do believe that I may be the first single mom to comment. I am the very fortunate mother of an “almost” teenager daughter (she will be thirteen in 2 weeks) and a 10 year old son. At 34 years old, I’m a returning full time college student. Life is different. But life is beautiful and full of wonder and truly good. I’ve been single for almost ten years now…and over the past months, God has been refining my heart, my desires, my dreams. He’s replacing fear with courage, anxiety with peace, love of self with compassion for the nations. I’m excited to see how God uses this book and this community to reveal even more of Himself.

  77. I am learning Sabbath in the midst of chaos. God is teaching me how to quiet my heart and delight in Him and his myriads of gifts even when my physical world tips and tilts with the craziness of life.

  78. I am a mom of four (ages 7,5,3,17 months) and pregnant with #5. Struggling with this pregnancy, and the throwing up, and the feeling so tired… but I’ve done this 4 other times so I know in my head that we can get through this (only with God’s help). I home school our oldest two and have a fantastic husband who works hard and picks up the slack at home. So much to be thankful for if I only stop and think instead of letting my emotions get in the way. Can’t wait for my book to arrive sometime today.

  79. I am a wife of one, mom of three and DAUGHTER of the King. I need to remember the DAUGHTER OF THE KING more often … I am so excited about this book because Ann’s insights always point me to my Father and I desperately need that nudging right now. To have the privilege of doing this in community is exciting. I, too, am not who I want to be … but realize with a grateful and humble heart I am clay in the potter’s hand … praise be to the Potter!!

  80. I am loving this book. I have cried like a baby and challenged my beliefs and attitude…and I’ve only read the first chapter. Very much looking forward to this journey and sharing it with some amazing women.

    I am also a stay-at-home mom and wife, struggling with my husband’s long hours and my toddler boys’ energy and strong willed spirits. I am so grateful for all the gifts that we have, but I struggle on a daily basis to live fully. When my first son was 4 weeks old, we were told he might have leukemia and a tumor on his kidney. After two weeks in the hospital, two blood transfusions, and about every procedure they can be performed on a baby…they ruled out cancer but continued to monitor his blood counts and the suspicious spot on his kidney. Each time we visited he seemed better and he had been growing normally, yet they could not explain what had happened in the early weeks of his life.

    I am so incredibly grateful for his health, but I carry around fear and heartache of thinking he is going to be in danger of life threatening diagnosis every time he’s sick or acting a little out of the ordinary. I am praying for freedom from this fear and the ability to live fully where we are now and be grateful for every minute of it. Thank you for this book!

  81. Ann; That you found the joy He wraps up for you in the intricate places! And by seeing each one of His loving, amazing gifts of profound grace you have chosen to faithfully share that witness to minister and bless and point to His glory! Thank you! That you use the talent and gift of you for the sake of the kingdom and faith-encouragement of the saints is to be commended. Thank you! Thank you for the many ways — thousands — you bless Him and bless us. For being that vessel where joy is poured in…out…through. For inspiring us to live the eucharistic life He is so deserving of. So, thank you. You are His masterpiece and united with Him a work of beautiful truth has been created from pain and striving. We hold in our hands a piece of your heart, your life, your eternal experience with God in the here and now — to be fed and grow by. How He loves!

  82. I’m a 42 year old mom of 4, wife to a funny, dear, loving, demanding, providing, man. I’ve wanted to start my own count of gifts but I struggle with perfectionism and so haven’t. “Am I doing it right?” “Am I grateful for the ‘right’ things?” Where do I start? I always start with “Where do I start?”

    As I agreed with earlier – did NOT have ANY sort of motherly, wifely, home managing example in my mom. None. So I go to it on my own – thinking, if I only get the right book, the right system, the right this or that I will do it. And I don’t start any of it. I manage ok on the surface, from the outside looking in but on the inside there is guilt and should haves and could haves and if only’s.

    Blessings to come, Jennifer

    • I know how you feel! I want to see everyone else s lists before I write something down…somethings missing there…whatever i’m grateful for…truly thankful for…that is what’s going on the list…I’m in VA too Loudoun County.

  83. I am a pastor’s wife and mom to three grown children. My oldest daughter is married and has a two year old son. My middle daughter is getting married this summer; youngest son is a sophomore in college. The past few years have been a season of adjustment since the 17 previous years were spent homeshooling. God has blessed and given me more than I deserve. Although it’s an exciting time in life, I also I find myself in the midst of a time of hurting. I’m looking forward to my book arriving this week. I need to be reminded of God’s provision & blessings and renew my focus!

  84. Ann,

    I’m Tammy Ann……………my middle name I share with you. That makes me smile. I read your book from cover to cover and I cried, I smiled, I breathed deep every word………….if I lived near you, we would meet for coffee or tea………..I just know it. I love you and I love your eyes that see what we are all trying to see too.

    I am a mom of six as well, two are now in Heaven waiting for me. Our oldest son is 23. He recently married and is a nurse in Nashville, TN. Our second son is a senior in college, majored in fitness training but now exploring the idea of acting……..we will see. I just pray he stays close to God in his journey to find himself. 🙂 (sigh) Our third son is a senior in high school, looking at counseling as his major and causing my heart to say, “Of course………….he who needs it most would want to help others who do too.” He’s our hurting child, sandwiched between our daughter who died of SIDS and our son who died at 13 from a long fight with brain tumors. He knows tears too well……….we all do. And then there’s our gift from India……………our daughter who is now 13! She passionately shares her faith at school, being voted chaplain of the BETA club! They have nominated her to run for state chaplain, so in just a few weeks she will speak to 12,000 middle schoolers about the need for Christian kids to be lights in their world! Who would have ever thought that a little baby dropped from a bridge at birth in a Hindu country would one day have the chance to point so many to the One and Only Living God!

    Ann, I wish I could put into words how much your book has meant to me…………a fellow sojourner in search of grace, needing to say “thank you” through my pain. Thank you for your honest wrestling.

    Much, much love,

  85. Where am I now? I’m a wife/sister/daughter/friend who is once again at the beginning of a journey to try to add a new “slash” to list – the most precious of all hats, “mother.” After the last few months of heart ache it is refreshing to my soul to focus my brain on joy. and peace. and grace. I’m tired and burnt out and ready for some soul/brain/heart rest and needing to find a way to be less of me and more of Him. My heart desires to be a Godly woman of character while my flesh is impatient, quick tempered, envious, and self-conscious. It is going to be a year of grace for me, and what better way to start than with Ann’s wonderful words 🙂 And the belief that God is good, all the time. And He is.

  86. I am wife to an amazing man that I love with all my heart. I am mother to two boys in heaven and three boys here with me (13, 11, 9). I am savoring this book and relishing in the time that I put aside to scribble notes in my journal. There’s so much to be thankful for, even through the pain that often comes (in different amounts) with each day. I have invited my mom, my sister, my friend and my aunt with me on this journey. Please pray for my aunt as she suddenly lost her husband a couple of months ago. I want this book to be one that is a constant reminder that God still has so many things to gift her life with… even without her love beside her. ~ Thank you

  87. This book and ‘book club’ are so what I need right now. I am excited about what God is already revealing to me.

    I am a wife, mother of one boy, and most days I feel completely lost. I’m ready to find myself…

  88. This is a question for those running the book club. Is there any way you can summarize the videos for those of us who can’t watch them? I live in a remote part of Kenya and the internet isn’t always very reliable and it is expensive to download things. I would really love to participate in reading this book and the discussions. I am not sure if you plan on only having questions and such in the video or if you can put them in written form here for any others like me who can’t really watch the video? Thanks for considering this!

    As for where I am right now – I am a single woman wanting to live life more fully. To be open to the holes in me that allow me to see God more clearly. I want to be more grateful for where I am and the people God has placed in my life for me to serve. I am looking forward to this journey together!

    • Lynn, I want to be sure that you have an equal opportunity to “hear” what is shared on the videos. I’d like to commit to typing up a transcript of the videos each week for you… would that help?

  89. I am a 40-year-old first-time mom to an almost 14-month-old. I tend to focus on how the life and the gifts God gave me aren’t good enough (sorry, but that’s the ugly truth). Probably related to that, I’ve suffered from severe depression on and off though the years. However, I’ve found that practicing gratitude enables me to see the amazing grace in this undeserved gift of a life, and to get a glimpse of how truly blessed I am. It’s neat to be reading Ann’s book, seeing the journey on which her own practice of eucharisteo is leading her. Looking forward to reading and discussing Ann’s words with others.

  90. I am a wife (15 years) and a mom of three wonderful children. My youngest, my only girl has special needs. She adds unimaginable joy to our life, but along with it still comes struggles and pain. I grew up in a christian home, but at almost 38 I feel like my relationship with Him is still just kind of skimming the surface. I want to dig deeper, love more, have a deeper faith……

  91. I’m Teri Lynne … wife, mom, writer, teacher, speaker, baker, house-cleaner, word-lover, WORD-craver, extroverted introvert … chasing after Christ and longing to KNOW Him. The counting of life … the unexpected blessings, the unaware sacrifices, the untold hurts and healings … these are the slow path of going deep in Him. Thank you, Ann, for your friendship, your words, your heart, your grace.

  92. I’m just a mama of 4, two home-grown and two who I pray will soon be forever family, who is eager to be fully present in her children’s lives. In the middle of the hardest season of my entire life, I’m struggling to discover who I really am. I’m learning to be more like my Savior by spending time counting the gifts, the hard gifts and the easy ones, the precious and the painful ones too. I want it to all be grace in my life and for that grace to spill over to my children, my husband, my family, and friends.

  93. I am the wife of an Army Chaplain and homeschooling mother to three boys. We are three months into a year long deployment. I am already devouring this book and have ordered several more copies to give away to loved ones who need to read it too. I am looking forward to these lessons being a part of my “thriving not just surviving” plan while my hubby is gone!

  94. Hi Ann
    I am an almost 40 yr old Mom of two boys and a girl 16 19 20 yrs. I am in the process of the flown nest syndrome. One son is just back from 8 months in Canada and three yrs study prior to that. My daughter is in her last yr at uni and got engaged last Nov. I praise God that my children have a personal relationship with our Saviour.
    Here’s how I come to where I am right now lol. I suffer from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue which has really played up big time since August. I am on the road where I have gone round one corner but the next one just seems soo far away. This has not only taken it’s tole on my daily life and responsibilities I would like to achieve as a Christian home maker and help meet for my adoring, caring and compassionate husband but also on my spiritual life. It seems to be in warfare and lack of concentration makes it hard for me to really dig deep with God – and in the midst of all of this I found you, and the girls at bloom. Your book seems to be amazing and living in Uk Amazon was sold out as was other stores so to be sure I would have a copy in time for theclub starting I ordered an audio version. And you know this works very well for me as I can listen and take notes without getting too mentally fatigued. Ann I just want to say I firmly believe that God has stradgecially placed you and the girls in my life right now to lift me up in His Eagles wings and restore my Soul. May God richly bless us all as His sisters in Christ as we start on this wonderful adventure together
    God bless,

  95. I’m a mom to four, ages 8, 6-1/2, 4-1/2, and 2. I’ve been married for 9-1/2 years. I’ve only recently started counting my gifts, and in less than 3 weeks, this habit of eucharisteo has literally changed my life. I feel like the dark veil has been lifted, and a miracle is happening in my life. My kids have front row seats to God’s power, and I feel so humbled to be a part of it all.

  96. First generation believer, married to the best guy in MN, homeschooling mom to 3 daughters (16,13,10) and a new mommy to a little guy (3) who through adoption has turned this mama’s heart inside out…
    Where I am is in the middle of life from college applications to potty training and now am seeing that laughter is the best medicine to my weary heart. Christ IS right here amongst the drivers permits and Cheerios. Loved the book dear Ann and cried and laughed at the toast episode and praised God for your honesty and love for what is real. Been counting gifts with you for over a year… and daughters asked for journals to write theirs in for Christmas. All is joy!

  97. I’m a stay at home mom in Florida to two young children. I’m reading the book with friends, and grateful for that. Which, I suppose, leaves me somewhere between chapter two and ??? of Ann’s message, depending on the day. . . . It’s going to be a tough year. It’s a good thing I know that “Courage Wears Khakis” and so much more!

  98. I have been married 16 1/2 year to Eric and have three children, 7,8, and 12. We are a homeschooling family. I so much enjoy your blog and already can’t put the book down. I was reading out loud the other day because my 7yr old daughter wanted me to, I thought she is never going to understand this but I will read anyway. I was amazed how she just sat there and took it in. You are already touching the heart of a sister in Christ of age 7. Thank you so much!


  99. I have written lists of things that I am thankful for many times, but I have never taken it day by day looking for His blessings! I started that about two weeks ago, and I have already noticed that the way I approach each day is changing. A little over a year ago, our family went through some hard things that have affected us in many ways. I started reading the book, and after seeing how much more joyful I was, he has asked me to read it together with him. I think the things you share in this book are just what we need for this time in our lives. We have been married for 35 years, love each other more than we ever thought we would and are bound up tightly in love to our children and theirs.

  100. Who I am: daughter for 52 years, wife for 28, mother of 3 grown girls, retired homeschooler (18 years), middle school math/science teacher, child of God who struggles regularly with accepting His free gift of grace
    Where I am: moving forward on the journey with side trips down into detours and back up again…moving slowly because I am out of shape
    Where I want to be: contentedly curled at the feet of the Savior breathing in the fragrance of His Holiness
    Thank you, Ann, for your honesty

  101. I am a single mom to 3 kids, ages 14, 10 and 9. I am still learning how to function in this role, working and loving them the way that they need. I am hanging onto grace daily by my fingernails, and so thankful for a God who gives new mercies each morning. I am so refreshed and encouraged by the gift that Ann has given to me in this beautiful book. So looking forward to sharing with this group of ladies as we go on this journey together.

  102. A thanksgiving in itself… hundreds of joy-seekers coming together to bring Him glory! Can you imagine the party that heaven is throwing for us?

    I am a daughter, sister, wife, mama, and friend. I struggle at times with all roles, the juggling and the chaos. Happily married to a rancher in the wild west, we are raising our two girls (3 and 1) and honestly, although my situation is far from perfect, it blesses me in so many ways.

    Love the fellowship here. Ya’ll are beautiful!! 🙂

  103. Today is the second anniversary of my husband’s death. He was a good man. His faith was strong and he was ready to fly to Jesus. The last thirty days of our life together, when we knew his death was imminent, were so sweet and so peaceful. Life’s complications, problems, issues and stresses disappeared. Tom knew, and showed me, what is important, and, yes, it is living in the moment. It is trusting God and seeing Him in the hard times. It is thanking him with every breath for the opportunity to love one another. It is hugging those you love and those you don’t.

    So where am I now? I had a sweet note from a friend today who said ” You have come a long way in the last 2 years Linda. I see God’s hand in your life in a very big way. He is so faithful.”

    Do I miss him? Oh yes, terribly. Am I sad? Sometimes. But mostly I appreciate what God has given me. My faith. The sure knowledge that He cares and orchestrates every breath I take. My relatively good health, my children, grandchildren, siblings and friends. My wonderful, supportive church. A job. Precious memories. An appreciation for the beauty around me – God’s world, God’s canvas. That’s where I am. 🙂

  104. Hi, Ann, I have peeked in at your blog since 2005. Shalom was a nursing baby. I remember reading about the “Blue Jar” and Kai’s words. You have touched my life deep… and to be honest I feel we are friends. I am grateful. You have listened, prayed and encouraged me through the years. I am so thankful to be able to join you along with Jess, Angie and all the ladies here. I am a mom of 6 and 1 daughter in law so far… we have home schooled for 20 yrs. My husband is retired/disabled Navy. He has agoraphobia (diagnosed in 1989~ did you know that, Ann?) he continues to struggle. He dances w/ the bottle more than with us. We have been married just over 30 yrs. So excited about reading/studying/sharing together. Through the years I have come to rest in Him…. realizing that my circumstances to not determine my JOY or PEACE… God does. What you shared with us that you said to John …. about changing the ending… spoke volumes. Oh and I am so excited to be able to take my “Way of the Light Wreath” back out soon .. for Lent. Much, Much love, Ann.
    Thankful to join all of you. ~
    grace & peace~

  105. I am a mom to 2 boys, ages 11 and 13. The teenage thing is a little new for me, but God’s grace is always there for us!!! My husband and I have been married 17 years. We both work in schools. Also, we have 3 dogs. It’s a crazy, hectic life but it’s good. God has truly blessed us. We have the best family ever!

    My struggle is to lose weight, which I’ve started. Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Made to Crave, is helping me along. We’re doing a Bible study group on the book. So, why not join an online book club for another awesome book?!? It’s my first time doing that. I read the beginning pages of One Thousand Gifts and was HOOKED! Wow!

    Thanks for letting me join!

  106. I am a 42 year old homeschooling mom and have been married to a New Zealander for 14 years as of tomorrow. I have had 7 pregnancies, 4 miscarriages and 3 children – boys 12 and 7 and a girl 10. We have not seen my husband for over a year as he is trying to secure work in Europe so he can provide for his family. The children and I are living with my mom which adds to the challenges of my life despite the fact that we are so grateful to have a home, wonderful meals and a chance for her to see Christ shining through us. At least I pray that is what she sees and not the ugly flesh and sinful ways. I am excited to continue reading Ann’s book. I pray that it will help me to be thankful in the “small” things during this very difficult season.

  107. Mom of three under 5, wife to an amazing man of God for nearly 7 years who is a pastor of just a handful of years, we are all still discovering our ministries. I spent my years before mommy-hood feeling useful for the Kingdom, and find my mommy-years more fulfilling than I imagined, and also more full of an adrift feeling than I expected.

    My husband and I have been reading your book, Ann, aloud, and reaping great rewards from the telling. We are finding that naming our “thankfuls” leaves us lighter than air and oh so connected to the Source. So much so, that we have begun a family journal, and our 3 and 4 year old boys delight in adding their “thankfuls” to the list. Little Miss is still too young, yet we pray that the grace of thankfulness will become natural to all of us. We have been given our first hard eucharisteo this week. This will take practice.

    We are looking forward to this journey.

  108. this is so exciting ann! i can not wait to begin this journey :}
    i am traci…a teacher and seeker…i am married to a beautiful man and i am a mom of three teens. i homeschooled up until last year and am finding my way in this new normal. i have read your blog for about a year, and just want you to know you can add one more woman touched by God through you to your list of many~
    i am reading your book now, and can’t wait to share the six other copies i have with some dear friends. we are going to meet every other week and quiet ourselves with our God, a journal and your book. tea or coffee and a comfy chair will be waiting them when they come away from the hurry to the silence. we all have teenage daughters so there will be encouraging in that arena as well. :}
    a grace and gratitude group…inspired by the Holy Spirit and you, ann :}
    thank you friend! i would love to someday meet you in person, but until then…this book club will be a delight!!
    “joy in the journey” is my desire…it is so possible!!

  109. Where I am right now? Well, I’m turning 30 this year. Surrounded {on Facebook, anyway} by women freaking out about turning 30. It’s just a number to me.

    My husband and I have been married almost 9 years now. We’ve had our highs and our lower than lows, but he remains my very best friend and I love him more than I can say.

    I’m a momma of 2 absolutely stunning girls. Our oldest is 7 and breezing through school so easily and quickly that it makes me wonder how we’ll handle the high school years. She’s doing 2nd grade work right now … was over a month behind, but quickly caught herself up and is currently a month ahead of the public schools. Her reading level is at least 4th grade level.

    To see her bond and love on her 2 year old sister is priceless. To hear her teaching her sister touches my heart … especially since *I* used to teach my sister when we were that age. She already knows some numbers, colors, a few letters, animals, and shapes because of what her sister and I have been teaching her. Our oldest was that way too, so I shouldn’t be surprised. But I am 🙂

    I’m rediscovering who I am … after being sifted and separated. And I’m relearning to be comfortable with that again.

    My husband and I both absolutely love your blog, Ann. Besides each others’ blogs, it is the number one blog we look forward to reading each day here. You have been an absolute blessing to us. And I can’t even begin to describe the excitement of being able to read your book {thank you thank you thank you, Bloom, for sending me one!!!}. Many blessings upon you and your family, Ann!

  110. I am a mother of 3, pastor’s wife, worship leader, child of God stumbling through this life trying to reflect my Saviour and let myself by transformed by His Spirit. I have been a Christian for a lot of years, but I don’t think I understood what it looked like to be fully surrendered to Him, walking in step with His Spirit, really hearing His voice until this past year – one of the hardest years of my life. I have read the book all the way through (because I couldn’t put it down) out loud to my husband (because I had to have someone to share it with). And now I am going back through chapter by chapter, soaking in all the grace and wisdom that God used you to speak through to me in the deepest parts. I’ve read chapter one 5 times now, and I pray that God will help me choose the manna every moment of every day. Thank you Ann for being here with us!

  111. I am a stay at home to three five and under. I received my copy of 1000 gifts last week. I haven’t started reading it yet…I am not sure if it is because I want to really savor it or if I am just not giving myself the grace to make time for me and for doing something I really want to do. I am so looking forward to this book club and for the opportunity to thank God with all of you!

  112. I am so excited to be a part of this book club! I have been reading A Holy Experience for a while now and have learned and grown so much because of it. I am 27, a mother of two precious little girls, married for five years. I am learning to live life seasonally, trying to rest in God through them. As I figure out what God has called me to in this life, how to be a good momma and speak strong words into my babies, how to train them up in the way they should go as God does for us, wow! I teach high school English at a homeschooling program, but do I want to homeschooling my girls? 🙂 We just bought our first home and are renovating it ourselves, major task 🙂 And my husband had a stroke last year! But, with all this I am at an amazing point in my life and I feel like I am learning so much and learning with all of it how to let it sink in and apply it and commune with God in it. And my husband and I are growing closer and more in love! Through all the hardships we are truly blessed! Excited to learn with all of you how to count my blessings, stop and pray, and see the holy in the everyday….

  113. I am also excited because I read chapter one thinking we were starting this week and the Lord has been teaching me about manna and trusting in the strange things, so it is cool to see how He works all things together for His good purposes!

  114. Recently I have been thinking of my calling to be a “Shem -ite”….no not that son of Noah, although, yes that actually fits. But rather I see my role/ministry at home, and in God’s kingdom, as a “shem”…one of those small, flat pieces of wood that is wedged between the “STUD” and the door “JAM” to bring it into plumb or alignment. The whole door frame would be out of balance and hung amiss if not for those little shems that are hidden between and beneath the door molding. As I hold on tight to my “STUD”…the husband of my heart for almost 30 years now, we help to anchor our “JAM”…life with two amazing children, one with Down Syndrome. All in all, I would rather be a “door keeper” in the House of the Lord than have a 1000 days elsewhere. So…
    I’m eagerly waiting for my copy to arrive by mail. For a “1000 gifts “will give this little “shem -ite” something to hang on tight to when life gets out of “plumb”.

  115. I’m a work-from-home Army wife, best friend/lover/partner-for-life of an amazing U.S. Soldier, daughter (of wonderful parents AND a Heavenly Father, by His grace and mercy), sister to 3 wonderful women and 1 awesome man, and mommy to 2 angels that are awaiting me in heaven in the arms of my loving Father, who drew them home to Him before they were born. I’m also a blogger @ and am looking forward to reading this book along with so many other wonderful sisters in Christ. I am blessed beyond measure, and am learning to do a better job at counting my gifts each day. I’m seeking to follow harder after Christ and grow in wisdom and truth, and learn more about my “one word” -humble – and how to apply it in ALL areas of my life. Thanks for letting me join the journey with y’all! 🙂

  116. I am so excited to begin this book club:) I started reading Ann’s blog about a year ago and soon began my own list. What a difference it has made in my faith. I am about to turn 25 and still single… not exactly how I think my life should be. The last year has been such a struggle. I know that it is because of that list, the one that forces me to find joy in every situation, to realize that He knows best and that this life I live is the one He planned for me. Here I am one year later and can proudly say that I am a fighter for the eucharisteo.

  117. I am a beloved daughter of God who has lost sight of that. I know it’s there, I can sense it, feel it, hear it, see it in the love extended to me by my faithful husband…but it is hard for me to grab a hold of right now. I want it desperately, need it daily and am so hopeful for what delving deep into your story and this community might hold for me. I am hoping for renewed trust, faith and peace in my loving Father and the strong, strong embrace of His arms.

  118. I struggle to find words to describe myself. I’m a mom to two wonderful daughters, ages 11 and 15, that I have the privilege of discipling, training and homeschooling. I’m a mid-western born and raised but transplanted to the dessert…I love the word pictures of the farming life. Since July of 2004 when God transplanted our family here we have been living in a state of transition and I realize that my daughters’ childhoods are slipping away while we wait for “when…then…” I am so eager to pour through the pages of One Thousand Gifts allowing your words, Ann, to encourage me to live my life fully — now — here. To look for the blessings and gifts from my Heavenly Father here in the dessert. To be grateful for what I have rather than always wanting something else.

  119. Hello everyone! I am Jen, and I am married to the love of my life since 1997. We have 2 sons, ages 12 and almost 10. We also have a cat, dog, and 2 goldfish. My dh and I both work FT outside the home, but my dream is to eventually SAH. Looking forward to getting to know everyone, and reading a great book!

  120. I’m a homeschooling mama of two, a wife of 12 years to a Marine, a writer, a photographer, a painter. I am save by grace alone, and trying to climb out of a deep trembling valley of fear. ~Trying to to stop hiding, running away~ And just push through it, so that I can share God’s love, what is pure, and good, and true with a world that doesn’t want to listen. That take courage right? But I am learning that our fears establish our limits in this life. And I am learning that I can’t do this in my own strength. Thankful for God’s mercies, wisdom, and grace… Ann, thank you for your courage to share with all of us. You inspire! I look forward to receiving my book any day now.

  121. Thank you so much for the book and the discussions that will be taking place. I am finished with the book (it was incredible) and now I’m going back through it, taking some notes and asking some much needed questions of myself.
    Ann, guess what? I live on a farm in North Carolina (vegetables, mushrooms, beehives, laying hens, a few pigs and a baking business) where we homeschool and we have 7 children. I feel like I know you already.

  122. I cannot get over this book. I can’t help but feel that Ann simply found a way to put into the most beautiful and poetic language what all of us moms….women….daughters…wives….sisters….have felt, longed for and pursued. For the first time ever I see the cry of my heart laid out in the written word and I just cannot get over it. I am moving through the journey so slowly and treasuring, savoring, absorbing every single word. I don’t want to rush it. I only want to be changed. And I see it happening little by little….cry by cry…..argument by argument….school lesson by school lesson….meal by meal.
    I see grace everywhere. It’s overwhelming me! Thank you Ann!
    Simply and quickly…about me? I’m a Jesus loving Southern used-to-be lawyer with occasional pageant hair circa 1989 who is now a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mama to three precious little ones. I’m a work in progress!

  123. Right now I am on cloud 9!! My book came today! eeeeeeeeeeeeee! SO excited!
    I am also getting ready for a family fun night! My DH lost his job 2 weeks before Christmas and has been diligently seeking employment since that time. It starts to become all consuming and then we start getting on each other’s nerves. So tonight is break night. No looking for a job, no wondering what is going to happen tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. Tonight Little Women is playing on the big screen, the girls made the menu for supper, and cookies shall be baked (baked, not made!). And I shall be spending some time in my new book! YAY!!!

  124. If I live to be 92, I’m half way there. I’m immature(young at heart?) for my age though so take about 10 years off of that…or maybe 20…but my body it’s definitely acting it’s age.
    I’m just trying to figure out how to live fully in the moment while doing stuff online…how do you all manage to not let these kinds of things(online book studies, blogging, or surfing blogs) take you away from what’s in front of you; your family, the children, dinner, dishes and laundry…
    Love the Book Ann, *Thank You* truly you are # 35 on my fledgling list…you’ve bared your soul and I pray much fruit in you and others because of it.

  125. Counting. Counting. Counting it all. All the grace Ann! Recently, I knew I had to add some things to my list that on the surface don’t look like good. But so much ‘better’ and ‘good’ has come as a result. So I did. And He received it.

    I’m learning by each number. A baby step of seeing.

  126. I read about this book on my friend Linda’s “Being Woven” blog and I knew I needed it! I ordered it and I look forward to discussing it with y’all.

    I live in the Nevada desert with my husband, three daughters, an overflowing bookshelf, and five coffee pots. I blog occasionally and I write a Bible study book every year. Last year’s book was on the topic of praise. This year’s book will be on the topic of serving God.

    I’m a homeschool mom and a musician’s wife.

  127. Received my book today! Was so excited to open that box and see it sitting there! Can’t wait to start reading and discussing in this community! 🙂

  128. I’m the wife of a youth minister and mom to our 7-month-old daughter. I work outside the home as an adoption specialist, facilitating adoptions for children who have been abused and neglected. When I got home today my book had arrived! I can’t wait to get started on it!

  129. Hello Ann,
    I am a 40 year old mama to my 20yo daughter, 10yo daughter and 7yo son. I have been reading your blog for about 4 years now and have been blessed beyond (one thousand) words by it!!
    My husband and I are going through a tough storm in our marriage but I am clinging to my Lord and trusting Him to help us ride it out and come out even stronger than before.
    I am so very, very excited to begin the book club (my first EVER) and to meet so many amazing women!
    Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to glorify Him and bless us!

  130. I am a mother of 2- my firstborn and only boy is 21 and in the Air Force stationed far away from us, probably been one of the most difficult things to walk through these last 2 years, but God has poured out incredible grace on me, I have cried bucketsssss! I have an 18 year old daughter who is truly a gift sent from Heaven, precious child. Never before I have I requested a free book or joined a book club, my job has consumed so much of my time for so many reasons….but yesterday the white van pulled up outside my house and delivered my book to me and I cannot tell you what happened inside my heart, my daughter began to scream, Mom, I think its your book….Ann, never before has someone’s words reached so far into my heart and touched a place, almost as though your words have held the key to the secret door that has been waiting to be unlocked for so long. This has been a year of great physical challenge for me, with cancer scares and impending diagnosis over me that, could if I chose and the enemy would love for me to do so, undo me. I watch you all with all your computer savy and blogs and tweets and such and sometimes it appears daunting and so I shy away, but this time the Lord has nearly shoved me into the reading of these precious words you have penned upon the pages of this book….My daughter came up to my office after the book arrived last evening and I read aloud the first chapter..we cried through almost the entire chapter and felt the cords that have been so tightly wound just beginning to come undone…Oh how blessed I feel to have received this precious gift…I cherish it so!!!
    Thank you Angie for making this book available to those who could not have otherwise purchased it, it truly is a gift!!!!

    Ann thank you for your picture words that are touching my heart!
    Sandy Brandow

  131. I’m a homeschooling mother to one. My husband and I have been married for 12 1/2 years.

    Many of those years, we spent our anniversary in prison visiting rooms. My husband was incarcerated and through this trial God has become so real to me.
    It’s been incredibly difficult and yet I cannot say that I would give this trial back if it meant giving up my relationship with God.

    I think that over the years of being a single mom and trying to make a living and homeschool my son, I’ve been caught up in survival. I do count my blessings and look to the Lord for the joy in our lives. But survival mode leaves little time to just enjoy and I want to do that more.

  132. I am a 21 year old wife, for almost two years now. I am learning how to *really* love my husband.
    Last April, my daddy took his life, no note, no reasoning, no sense behind it. I am learning how to cope, how to keep on living, through the pain.
    I struggle with giving grace. I am learning how to give **thanks** with the fierce hope that grace will follow. And it has! But I want more!

    Ann, you are **SUCH** an inspiration. I haven’t met you but I love you, sister!

  133. Where am I right now? I am learning once again how to walk, not physically but spiritually for the walk I was walking before is a crawl compared to the one that I desire to run now – I want to walk out this grace-filled walk that I am learning from day to day. At times I feel on the edge of a “burn out”as Holley puts it, but I am determined to keep my eyes to Him and to let His spirit minister living water to me to keep me from flaming out. I am a wife, not an especiallly good one, I rant too much and I have not yet learned how to accept his love on his terms, I too still shy away from loves touch and his compliments. I am a mother who is on the verge of having the last of her chickens leave the nest and I am clinging tightly to the hours, minutes that are left. Too tightly for I feel myself squeezing their own life out at times. I pray and ease my grip, and try again. I am a bible study teacher and student, trying to impart to those he has gifted me with the wonders of all that those teachers He has truly blessed me with teach from day to day. I am his child, so unworthy of His love, but still knowing that I am loved and though I am so imperfect, and unlovely. He sees me differently, He sees who I can be, the desire of my heart and for that I am thankful. So maybe this does not answer where I am as much as who I am – with a heart set on the pilgrimage.

  134. I am an empty nester.I have been married for just about 32 years, to a very loving man. My husband has loved me unconditionally for all these years,plus the three years we dated. We have 4 grown children all married to wonderful Godly people. We have 3 girls and 1 boy. Between them all we have 15 grandchildren on earth one in heaven.This empty nesting is an interesting season of life,just recently I finally let go of the past and the longing to have everyone home. I heard or read can’t remember which, that our goal as a parent is to pass on the baton to live Godly lives and reach and love the unsaved.All our children are serving the Lord, either in full time ministry or lay ministry.I know my husband has shared that with me numerous times, but I just couldn’t let go of all my mistakes as a parent.So thankful for God’s grace. So thankful my daughter shared your blog with me Ann.Your writing inspires me, challenges me.Your love for Christ and His Word is so contagious, thank you. Have never belonged to a book club before am so looking forward to it. Love your book so far, I am on chapter 2.

  135. I’m Val. I just turned 30. I’m so overwhelmed with ‘where I am’ that I don’t know how to tell people ‘where I am’ or ‘how I am.’ I’m a mama and a Navy wife. I have three kiddos one of whom was just born on Thanksgiving (both a reminder and a gift, that timing!). While I was pregnant with this newest blessing it was discovered that I have a rare tumor and after 8 long months of waiting we’re finally about to travel cross-country to the research hospital that is going to allow us to be part of a study and do the surgery to remove it. I find myself overwhelmed with both the enormity and mundanity of life right now–so much of both. Reading your book has helped me to shift my focus from the ‘holes and pockmarks’ to His gifts which really are everywhere. But I find I still struggle–little everyday annoyances and heartbreaks still trip me up and I lose that focus.

    So I guess I’m a girl just trying to keep her eyes raised up in the midst of the little and the big stuff of life.

  136. Hi, Ann, and everyone…my name is Robin…I think that God led me here…and to Ann’s blog, newly discovered by me..each day, I read various posts and cry many tears because of the beauty contained there…I love the photos, the music playing in the background…it all really soothes me, comforts me, edifies me…I hope to do the same, and offer the same, with all of you here . Like others (Colleen, Patricia, Diane, Pam, Leslie, Margaret…), I am a recent empty-nester. After a decade of raising two sons on my own following a divorce, I wonder…what God is calling me to now? I didn’t expect to feel quite this empty inside…vocation-less. I can’ wait for my book to come…each day, I check on the status of my order…should be here by the end of the week. I’ll be praying for all of us here and am excited to begin!

  137. I am a 28yo mother of 2 (4yo boy and 2yo girl). I have been blessed with a huband that provides and as of a year ago we were able to get me home full time. We are expecting, hesitantly after a 17 week miscarriage last April, our 3rd. We are also wrapping up the adoption process for 2 siblings….really weird to think of having 3 kids in one year. God is unexpected! I am here after the 3 harddest years of my life. My dad dying from liver cancer, caring for an aging grandfather I barely know, said grandfather passing, taking care of his estate, selling a house, buying, moving, and totally renovating another. However, I have come out no worse for wear and a whole lot stronger. God provides and protects. Looking forward to the study.

  138. I just received my copy in the mail today and am so excited. I am 44, wife to an amazing husband of nearly 23 years, and mother to four — ages 19, 16, 10 and 7. I work full time and do my best to juggle my job, my ministry, my family and everything else that comes my way. I forget to clean my house most days, and the laundry is mostly always half done. I am learning to focus my time and energy on those things that truly matters. I am praying this book will give me greater insight into what is truly beautiful in my life.

  139. I am a child. The selfish child of a wonderful God. I am a wife of an amazing leader and pastor of a church God started a year and a half ago and I’m amazed at God’s faithfulness to His church. Most days I’m trying to hang on to the coattails of His plan and keep up. We have three completely different kids with their own bends and wills and gifts 13, 11, 9. Two girls and a boy in the middle. We stand amazed every day at what God’s doing in our lives, our community, our church. I’m trying to hold it all together and take care of me, a broken, physically (I have rheumatoid arthritis) and spiritually, woman seeking grace every day, every moment.

  140. I am a 22 yr old who just graduated as a Nurse this past Decemebr, and am trying to learn trust in God amidst uncertainty regarding my future. I am trying to eat the mysterious, as Ann so beautifully put. I am trying to open my hands to whatever God gives. It goes against my grain, to open my hands… but I am determined to learn. I’ve lived too long under the shadow of fear, closed off to grace.
    I have followed Ann’s beautiful writing for maybe a year or two… I’ve been so blessed.

    I’m excited to see where God leads each of us through this book club, and I’m so lucky– blessed, to be able to learn and share with you all.

  141. I just received my book in the mail yesterday. Now all I want to do is sit and read it. But I can not! I am a home shooling mom to two boys, 10 and 6. I know God placed this book in my life at this time for a reason, so I’m looking forward to reading and discussing it with everyone. He is teaching me so much that I feel I can hardly take it all in.

  142. I am a 55 year old empty nester. It seems I’ve struggled much of my life to believe that I am good enough to be loved by God – I am too much of a perfectionist and I see all of my imperfections before a God so Holy. I lost my mother to suicide when I was 3 and my father to a wreck when I was 18. I married the “wrong” person just so I’d have someone to take care of me…funny thing, I am the one taking care of him now.
    I do not know why I am telling all of my “ugly”.
    I have read through this beautiful book once already because I simply could not put it down. I knew at the time I would need to go back and re-read it much more slowly so that I could think deeply on all of it’s message. I began my 1000 gifts list last fall.

  143. I’m Kristina. I am 25 years old, wife to one, married for 5.5 years and mommy to a 5 year old, 3 year old, 18 month old, and number 4 who is due sometime in the next ten days….it makes me tired just writing that!

    I am so thrilled to be reading One Thousand Gifts and sharing the experience with this group. Ann, your writing and your words have inspired me already. Thanks for sharing your life and the REAL you with us….

  144. Thank you for the gift of your words. I began counting blessings for Lent on February 17, 2010 in answer to your challenge to give up ingratitude on Aholyexperience. Today, as I finished reading your book, I added blessings # 2401-2424 to my gratitude journal. Like so many others, learning to see and thank Him for His blessings has changed my life. In less than a year, your challenge has taught me to give up self for the exuberant joy of thanking Him. Now, with His grace, your book, and Bloom to encourage me, I seek to open my hands completely and learn to kneel humbly at His feet. Thank you

  145. I’m a new believer trying to grasp the depth of His love for me, trying to learn how to walk in joy after finally surrendering deep soul scars that had been my constant companion for far too long.

    Looking forward to this community!

  146. I am a Christ follower who has not followed very well for over a decade now. God has started calling me back, and I am starting to realize how much I’ve missed Him. I am a mom to 2 wonderful kids, and a wife to a great man. I am learning that they can’t satisfy me the way that God can. I am looking forward to reading your book and your story.

  147. Hi Everyone! I’m Laura, a wife of almost 5 years and a stay at home mom to an amazing little boy (3 1/2). This is my first time participating in the Bloom book club and I’m excited to read along with everyone.

  148. Just finished your book a couple of days ago Ann. My mind is still lingering over the words…they’ve painted my world in a new color. Thank you.
    I have been married for 16 years. The Mom of two girls (9 & 6). Have gone into a deeper walk of faith with Jesus the past six years. Have dealt with mild depression…..the what ifs of the future? Being a mom opens all these what ifs, that were not so heartfelt before. Struggling with why all of this when I know who I belong to and who holds each day of my life? It’s the trust…to trust Him each day and to walk with Him each day. He meets me there. So I have slowing climbed my way back….to digging into the Word….to exercise… healthy thinking….to just doing what I can with Jesus as my strength. So, today….as I continue to fold laundry….I am starting my One Thousand Gifts list….

  149. I am the mother of 3. I developed a movement disorder almost 6 years ago, and had to leave the working world. I try hard to see the blessing of being able to stay home and be with my kids because of it. Sometimes that’s easy…other times not so easy. I have only been a fan of Ann’s blog, A Holy Experience, just shy of a year now. I love the way she writes and the way I don’t feel so unworthy after reading her stories, yet at the same time how it moves me to try harder and to re-evaluate my focus. I am on Chapter 3 of her book. It should be known I’m not a fan of reading but I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. this book!!

  150. I am using a ‘nickname’ for I am fearful to reveal my authentic self. I blog amoung some of you. I sound ‘normal’ and in many ways I am. A mother, 2 children. Divorced for many years. God loving, but I live my ‘walk’ quietly on my own path. I stumbled on Ann’s blog probably a year ago. Her words not only amaze and touch me, but are truely Spirit filled. My book came in the mail a few days ago and I began reading it. I didn’t want to put it down! I look forward to reading along with you.

  151. So thankful for the copy I received. Ann, I thank you for your openness and willingness to share what we all struggle with. I am reassured already that I am not alone in my struggles to keep a clean house, happy small kids, trying to home school, etc. Thank you!

  152. I am a wife, married 19 years, mother of a daughter 18 and a son 10. Ann, I began to read your blog several months ago – the first entry I read was of the day you met your Compassion child. I bawled through the whole thing…. and I have not missed a day since. I don’t rightly know how to express what the spirit does when I read, except to say that your words somehow tear open my heart and let more of Jesus in. I have cried my way through your book, and am now crying my way to 1000 gifts. Life is hard, but I am finding that gratitude is indeed sweet balm to the soul. Thank you for your beautiful heart, for sharing it with us….you are on my list of things I give thanks for!

  153. I’m a broken women trying to live as a daughter of God wants. I’m feeling very alone even though I’m married. I’m a stronger beleiver than DH, I find it hard to walk with God when DH walks his way cause he knows best. I’m a women being torn. I’m looking forward to this book I want to live fully right where I am. I’m thinking that blogging about my walk is a really good idea and will be posting them here.

  154. I’m a homeschooling mom of five {4 months to eight years old}. First four girls and just received a boy! I’m looking forward to joining in community with all of you! Trying to encourage my older girls to begin their gift lists now 🙂 Blessings!

  155. Hello! I got my copy of your book in the mail this week and I am loving it! You are such a talented writer. I am really looking forward to going through the book with this wonderful online community!

    I am a homeschool mom to my wonderful 6 yr old boy. I am married to the love of my life who works on computers for a living. I seek to glorify God in my every day life, from the way I teach my son, to the way I do the dishes! I am currently traveling the road of infertility and it has tested every facet of my relationship with The One and Only, it has also made my find the biggest blessings in the smallest of circumstances.

    Again, looking forward to reading your book and finding the many blessings He may have in store for me from your words.

  156. I’m Abby. Not married, not a Mom, not anywhere I expected to be in my life. Slowly, slowly learning about gratitude. Thank you for helping, showing the way.

  157. I am a mom of two ages 3 and 1 and wife to a wonderful man. But, long before all of that, He graciously found me and gave me a heart for Him. The journey has had it’s share of pain often intermingled with such grace and blessing…like meeting my husband while my mama was dying and knowing she saw the answer to her prayers before she went Home in knowing this was the man she’d prayed for since I was a baby.

    I’ve grieved her passing, but marriage, overseas, back to States, becoming fully supported missionaries and now two kids have filled my life with transition and it’s been easy to lose the deep and just keep living. I’d felt for a long time that I was not alive in ways I once remember being and also that I had stopped writing around when my mom died. Through Ann’s blog and many other wooing things, I began to write again and started counting gifts!

    He is restoring the JOY to this ‘source of joy’ Abigail and peeling back the crusted layers to find a heart after His. Now, this is all bread for the journey and sustaining grace as we are in the process of moving overseas and I need Him. and a real faith. and blessings in the midst of upheaval and little ones.

    I’m almost finished my first reading through Ann’s book, but am relishing the chance to share in this together…

    the best is yet to come!

  158. I’m a wife to an amazing military hubby (who is gone right now), a momma to my 2 girlies (ages 3 & 6), homeschooling for the very first time this year, and trying my best to teach my girls about the Lord. I was not raised in a home that focused on God, so I struggle to keep my head above water lots of days…need to refocus on what is MOST important and go from there. LOVE Ann’s book so far. Thankful for those that use their gifts from God in ways such as these. So thankful. God Bless!

  159. Ann,

    I was just handed your book last week in the midst, unbeknownst to my friend, of purging at the beginning of a new decade. Turning 40 this year, two babies under 5, a wonderful godly husband who just finished seminary, and my first time focusing my career on fulltime home liturgies, has been very cathartic and healing. I purged baggage at 30ish and kept it manageable, but these last few weeks I found that my waking thoughts, my dreams were actually lightening my load. I found myself weeping with pain and gratitude for God’s continual faithfulness and rescue and bountiful love. And shedding those weights that slowed my walk on the path.

    Your book came, I cry openly and fully while reading it, no shame. Thanksliving is my aim and I just began playing the “Thankfullness Game” with my 4 year-old. Like “I Spy,” we describe what we’re thankful for and take guesses. Thanksliving is a discipline, especially while cleaning up spilled milk from a cup that has been thrown on the floor and putting away the same toys I just put away 5 minutes ago.

    Interestingly, I have been presented with an opportunity in my field of vocation and passion for one day a week, that I know would take mental and physical energies from my home, though I would only be tied up one day a week. Wanting to “yes” so desperately, but thinking about your joy and dedication and consistency with your family, and looking into my children’s eyes, I think I know the answer. I’m just dreading the call to decline such a fulfilling opportunity. Seasons…God is so good, so loving to guide me with His signposts of truth, cemented in Love.

    Thank you, Ann, for your transparency. I look forward to the Book Club.

    Blessings to you in Christ!

    Christi G.

  160. Hi everyone! I’m a pastor’s wife, married almost 12 years. I’m a yoga instructor and am so grateful for Ann and her holy words – and to the dear friend who introduced me to AHolyExperience. Looking forward to participating in this online community!

  161. In God’s perfect timing my copy arrived just before the Dallas/Fort Worth area came to a frozen, snowy , four day standstill. Ordinarily a book might have one rapidly flipping through the pages to the end. Only to be disappointed to be there so soon. The delight of One Thousand Gifts is that it beckons you to read slowly, intentionally, thoughtfully. I suspect I will find the end to be the beginning all over again and for years to come.

    Additionally, I have been piecing together how to incorporate the book into a long distance Lenten exercise between our out of town college girls, our teenage son, my husband and I.

    Love to love , because He first loved us…

  162. Hi, Ann! My sister, full of grace. Can I tell you how much you have meant to me? Even when life with my four children (10, 8, 6, and 2) distracted and business filled my days with noise, there were your words. Always your words. They are like a tiny glimpse of that light which never leaves us, the life that is there if only we SEE. I have told many about your gift list (and mine, I started in 2007) and now have a book to put in their hands! It is a beautiful book, too!

    Thank you. thank you.

  163. Wife of almost 29 years, mother to 7 (ages 24-7), homeschooling mom, daughter, sister, friend.

    We are in the 30th month of unemployment which arrived after my husband was treated for double lymphoma and declared to be in remission (which he still is:)

    I m excited to see where The Lord takes us for our next adventure, DH is actively interviewing with five different companies from all over. We are so blessed! I am so thankful The Lord recently met me at my place of fear, despair, and panic. I know have much peace and am trusting Him with our circumstances. God is good ALL the time:)

    This book is such a blessing and greatly needed at this time in my life when I so clearly need to “live fully right where I am”.
    God Bless:)

  164. I love words, and the Word, but putting words down about myself is hard. I am a wife, a mother of 3, grandmother of 7 (6 boys and 1 girl), which I love.

    Your blog has blessed me in how honest and transparent you are with everything, and it is okay to be. Coming through 4 divorces growing up, 2 with mom and 1 dad after our family was broken, it is much easier to hide, stay out of the way, keep the peace at any/all costs.

    “…and I am holding on to Grace by letting go….” sweet words to me.

    Thanks Ann, and Angie and Jess, looking so forward to this!


  165. I’ve counted now to 1486 gifts. But most days these were rote. Stop, sit down at the end of the day, recall some moments. And then the book arrived and I stumbled fast into chapter 5: The Hard Echaristeo. This point of view is what makes the gratitude change from the ignoring of the right questions when everything goes terribly wrong ( to thankfulness and, dare I say, joy when my world spins out of orbit. This week alone I’ve dealt with a broken camera, a broken washer when I cloth diaper my twin girls, my twin girls feverish with an upper respiratory infection, the girls having last minute ear tube surgery, and my younger twin requiring nebulizer treatments once again. And because I’m wresting with the right questions in the arena of chapter 5… my heart has been steady.
    Ann, thank you for the grace of your words/journey shared.

  166. I am married almost 25 years… my former Sunday School teacher! 🙂 We have raised (almost) 3 sons and have only one left in the nest. This past year God brought us our first daughter in love and we are SO grateful for that gift. For the past year we have been on the journey of seeing life through the lenses of grateful spirits. This book is moving me to the next stage.

    Am privileged to teach women’s bible study and have challenged ‘my ladies’ to join me in counting gifts……it is rockin’ our worlds.

  167. I have recently bought a copy of your book Ann on my newly acquired kindle. Not only am I enjoying reading it, but my pastor hubby is enjoying me reading bits to him! I am a fast becoming empty nester at 58 and I am so conscious of the need to give thanks. I started my list earlier this week, and am nearing 50 promises… it is amazing what one finds to give thanks for when challenged. I have also dug my camera out of its hiding place and have begun to take pictures too.

    Thank you Ann for your willingness to make yourself vulnerable. I have ordered a hard copy of your book to give to a friend.

  168. Christian, wife, mother, daughter, friend, writer, photographer, Compassion Advocate… sinful, human, growing, loving, learning.

    Once captive in darkness and horror, now freed by His light.

    Eager to continue to grow in celebrating gratitude!

  169. I am a wife of 12 years and mother who homeschools my amazing children (2 boys). I love crafting and I love spending time right in my home with the people who bring me the most joy. But, I am also tired, anxious, ready for change. I want to fully be thankful and expect the miracle. I want to be totally committed to Christ in the midst of it all. I’m only on Chapter 2 but I feel like my soul has longed for this book and I don’t want to miss a thing. I want the joy!

  170. Hi Ann – My name is Amanda. I am a 20 year old college student finishing up my third year at university. I came across your blog through {in}courage several months ago, and it has been such an inspiration. I think that even though I am in a very different stage of my life than many of the women who visit this site, there is a common thread that links us all, despite age. Common questions and common desires founded in God. I’ve hit a spiritual dry point for the last year or so and find that it is difficult to dwell in Him when my life seems to revolve around classes and writing papers. But I still long for that sense of joy and living in the moment you describe so beautifully in your writing. I read the first chapter of your book last night, and I think that God led me to it for some of the answers I seek. I look forward to taking this journey with you.

    Blessings, Amanda

  171. Greetings
    I am a 35 year old wife to an amazing man who serves in the US Army (currently deployed to Iraq). I am a Mother to 2 beautiful girls. One is almost 3 and my 2nd daughter who I delivered while my husband was serving in Iraq died just over a year ago from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. We also have done half an ivf cycle and have 5 frozen embryos waiting for us (did IVF in order to do pre-genetic testing for SMA).
    While my 2nd daughter was alive I remember getting in the shower each morning and the first thing I thought/prayed was Thank You God. I never followed it with what I was thankful for I just knew that i needed to thank God. Sometimes I remember just saying thank you thank you thank you over and over again in the time before I would head to the hospital. And while my sweet June didn’t necessarily receive a “miracle” in the sense that so many think, she was healed.
    Ann you have helped me “name” my urge to thank God while my daughter lived and died.

  172. I am a mother of 3, raising 2. I can relate to so much in Ann’s book. I read ahead because I just couldn’t put it down…but I’ll go back and read each chapter with the book club as well. Each chapter opens a wound so deep within me, But, the difference is that I am learning to be GRATEFUL for those wounds, and what God has done through them, and continues to do in me because of them. I have met a true “sister in suffering” in Mama Linda, and don’t feel so “alone” in my grief and all that has entailed. I’m looking forward to reading with all of you, hearing Ann’s perspective on the videos, and learning more about the change in ones heart that can take place when we count the moments, and the graces that God has given us.

    PS…Ann, I’m your new friend on Facebook, and have SO appreciated your comments to me there 🙂

    Love and grace to all ~ Kathryn

  173. Hi everyone! I am the 31 year old mother of 2, a boy, 11, and girl, 4. I have 4 stepchildren ages 17, 13, 6, and 4, that belong to my fireman. 🙂 Ann’s words have been such a blessing to me, as adjusting to a (large) blended family hasn’t been easy, there are always toys on the floor, dishes in the sink, laundry in a pile, but she has helped me realize that even though the mess can be frustrating, I am so very blessed to have all of these people in my life… I am learning to live in the now and embrace it, dirty dishes and all… I am learning to find the calm in the chaos, that there are no emergencies… I can handle this! 🙂 I read the blog everyday and cannot put the book down. Again, such a blessing to me! Thank you Ann!

  174. Hello, it’s God’s leading that brought me to purchase both the hardcover AND ebook today of your book, Ann, and I do really believe that He showed me this book club and book, especially, for this time in my life. I have three young children, two of which I homeschool. I am a very creative person and have been “hindered” due to depression since the birth 7 years ago, of my DD. I have fibromyalgia, daily pain. I love photography, sewing, scrapbooking- and have TRIED to earn some extra money for our family and have FAILED each and every time. I GIVE UP. I know God has given me my abilities for some reason, and I thought it was to succeed in this way, but I have also struggled for years to truly enjoy my own life. I NEED that joy. JOY is the favorite subject of the Bible, for my dad. He is all about JOY. His daughter, me, is not so much. I love music and writing as well, and have seen God work different things in my life in small ways but have these great desires that stem from my degree in anthropology and journalism. I would love to be a writer, a missionary, as well as the wife and mother I am right now. I want to be used….I want God to use those gifts, however frustrating they get for me, because I know they are there for a purpose. I feel like I am failing at times, figuring that purpose out. Maybe I need to step back…?

  175. I am a daughter, sister, friend, and teacher to some great 4th graders. I am learning about a new season of “hope” and trusting God with some big dreams. Dreams to share the Hope of God with others through the journey of life and writing/crafts. It is a *wild* journey full of many steps of faith. So blessed to be a part of this community.

  176. I am alive in ways I’ve never been since we faced a dire disappointment four years ago when my husband lost his church job of 27 years that ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me. I’ve faced multiple miscarriages, rape, sexual abuse but nothing prepared me for the depression & disconnect that occurred in 2007—it was my troubled childhood washing over my brain and heart. They say memory jolts awake with trauma’s electricity. It did. Your words give me courage as I look through my losses to see a Good God waiting for me in my wilderness~Hosea 2:14. My husband just lost his church job again, our home is in foreclosure, and my cancer has depleted our savings. We’re staying with good friends, reading good books, touched by an online community, enthralled with our Friend, and terribly missing our four children. First-time Emptynesters searching with all of you for a Good God to fill my emptiness. You know, I heard that He can’t pass by an empty heart without filling it with Himself. Psalm 81:10

  177. I am a single 35-year-old seminary student. Desperate to live a life of gratitude and thanksgiving no matter what so that God may receive the glory He so richly deserves. Seems that the evil one so very often throws things in my path to trip me up and when I fall I tend to pout instead of praying for help in rising again because I just don’t understand what God is doing in my life.
    So glad for grace.

  178. I’m Meghan. I’ve been married to the man of my dreams for almost 9 years. We have 2 boys, one 4 and our 3 yr old just went to heaven in December. I’m desperately clinging to the edge of the pit on the good days and straining to see the light from the bottom on the bad days. I’m trying to stay focused on God’s grace and love and not on my own sadness during this time and hoping this will be one of many things to help.

  179. I am a professor’s wife and mother of 2 busy boys (almost 7 and 3 1/2). Almost 6 years ago God called us to leave our beloved Canadian prairies for suburban Texas. Then our oldest was diagnosed with autism and it’s all been harder than we could have imagined. Right now I feel like I am just beginning to come out the other side, able to really live again and be ok with being “in the moment” and really live “Eucharisteo.”. I have known all along that God was taking such good care of us in ways we could see and ways we could not, but Ann’s book (and blog) is helping me to live it, wallow in it, and celebrate it with joy. Thank-you!

    P.S. Thank-you, Ann, for all your beautiful snow pictures on your blog – brings me back home every time, even if just for a few moments!

  180. hi all,

    i’m puzzled by something i’m hoping some of you can un-puzzle me about, but first the relevant facts about me. i wanted to know where in Scripture the phrase “undivided heart” comes from. so i googled “undivided heart”, and found the psalm in question, but also stumbled across a blog i liked by the same name, which led me by a chain of links to “a holy experience”. from there it was a short step to ordering “A Thousand Gifts”, which i’m resisting the temptation to devour, on the grounds that wolfing down a wonderful book is down is even worse than wolfing down dessert! (if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll get the reference.) from “a holy experience”, i also linked to the radio interview with Ann. having read a good chunk of the book, and found it, and the interview, very moving, and challenging, and encouraging. i wanted to see the book club videos, and took up the invitation to sign up to the book club. so far, so familiar–except that unlike almost everyone else in this book club, i’m a spouse and parent without being a wife or mother (i’m a man). anyway, if any of you had enough patience to read this far, what i’d like to hear your views about is–why? that is, WHICH part of my story is so unusual (and why?) do men just about never google passages from Scripture? do they almost never get from there to Ann’s blog? do they get as far as her blog, but think it’s obviously “a blog for women”? (it certainly didn’t strike me that way). do men get as far as clicking the “bloom (in)courage” link, and then, noticing the layout of the site, feel as tho’ they’ve done the web equivalent of walking into the ladies’ room by mistake? i find the whole thing baffling and also sad, inasmuch as i think lots of men would benefit enormously from “A Thousand Gifts”, should they read it. Anyway, thanks again if you’re still reading, and i really would like to any ideas you might have about this!

    • Chris,

      First of all, welcome — it’s an honor to have you join us. I really look forward to the insight and perspective you will share!

      As a woman, I can not claim to know the reasons, but I agree with you a thousandfold — men would undoubtedly benefit from reading A Thousand Gifts, and so would their spouses and families. I can only speak from what I’ve observed in my own marriage, but it may shed some light and begin to form an answer to your question. My husband has innocently but mistakenly adopted the belief that to be a man, he must be tough and speak little, avoid deep discussions and feelings at all cost… that it’s all about him, that everything must be work hard, play harder, and when it comes to relationships, it’s all surface. He will not open up unless there’s something “in it for him”, except what he heartbreakingly misses is that there IS something in it for him if it brings him closer to his wife and to God. I love him, I so desperately want that connection, I’d love to be heard and known, to hear him and to know him, to know his heart… to share in this life ever so deeply… to be one, as He meant for us to be.

      All I can do is pray for God to change me and use me in ways that will soften his heart. For his heart to conform to God’s ideals rather than the world’s view of what man should be. I pray my life will lead him and teach him that men, like women, are called to be Christ like, and Christ was all about depth and meaning, compassion, strength, dying to self, caring, healing, leading, connecting, giving, loving and nurturing. I fail to see the weakness in those attributes! In fact, I can guarantee that I’d fall madly in love with him all over again 🙂

      • dear JD,

        thanks for the warm welcome! i was hoping that woman readers wouldn’t find my presence intrusive…

        as to your diagnosis, i completely agree that men are taught to prize toughness and avoid intimacy. & now that you point it out, i’m sure that this has a lot to do with why relatively few readers of Ann’s book are men. one of the reviews of the book cited at the front speaks of Ann’s “fearless vulnerability”. i thought that was a great description. sadly, i think that men (including myself) have to struggle to avoid precisely the opposite characteristic–fearful invulnerability. as Ann brings out so well, there is a real cost to having a “heart of flesh”, and so there’s always the temptation to stick with the safety of a heart of stone”–to give up on openness, and dull oneself to suffering (one’s own, and others’). i think we all have this temptation to avoid pain, even if it means missing out on joy, but i think it’s harder for men to resist, because for men the temptation presents itself under the guise of “being a man”.

        i’m really sorry to hear that you don’t have the kind of connection you’d love to have with your husband, and I pray that God will open his eyes to what’s best not just for you, but also for him. there’s always a danger of overestimating how much one can empathize with other people (i volunteer at a homeless shelter, and one of the first things i was told was to NEVER say things like “i know just what you’re going through”). but i think i can, as they say, “relate”, for reasons which, as i’ll explain, you may find in one way encouraging.

        tho’ i was raised a Christian, by the time i was eighteen, i thought i was through with religion of any kind. much later, through a thoroughly unexpected turn of events, i came to Christ (better, He came to me). i love the italian language, and i often teach in italian (in italy), and write articles in italian. but, since i live in England, and my kids speak only a rudimentary Italian, i don’t ordinarily “live in Italian”, which means I like to read a lot of Italian, to keep my Italian supple. at some point i thought it would be interesting, from a linguistic point of view, to look at an Italian bible, to know (say) what the idiomatic way of saying “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”, and the like, in Italian. anyway, once i started reading the gospels, i had this sense that Jesus was asking me to put down my nets and follow Him, and that, to my great surprise, that is what I wanted to do.

        so, scratching my head a bit at my own choice, i tried going to a church, which turned out to be home–a happy ending, if ever there was one. only thing is, my wife (we’ve been married for 30 + years) didn’t marry a Christian. she’s convinced that all there is, is “atoms and the void”, and that following Christ is a flight from reality into a comforting delusion. So, even tho’ my wife is certainly all in favor of intimacy and connection–in lots of ways, she’s better at it than i am–there’s a very deep kind of connection we most definitely no longer have. so, like you, i pray that i will bear the right sort of witness, and that God will draw my spouse nearer to Him and to me.

        I meant this to be encouraging, because it’s a sign of the throughly unpredictable way Christ can break into people’s lives. I hope (and pray) that through some throughly unforseen and throughly providential turn of events, your husband will come to feel a real need of a deeper intimacy with you, so that (as a couple) your joy may be more complete.

        —hope this wasn’t too long. but your posting really spoke to me, and i wanted to try and do it justice.


  181. My name is Kerry from a a little village called Arkona in Southwestern Ontario. I am a wife and mother of three children here on earth and 1 in Glory. I stumbled across Ann\’s website a Holy Experience and fell in love with her writing. I found myself wanting to come back for more. I have almost finished the book and find myself feeling completely undone. When I finish it, I\’ll go back and reread it again. I am going to purchase more books to give as gifts. Thank you Ann for your beautiful book.

  182. I’m not sure what to say about myself. How do I say in words who I am? I’m a pictures and colors kind of girl. I love Jesus, and so desire to live in communion with Him. I’m a wife to a very busy man, mama to 2 precious boys, and I daily need grace to put off my selfish, sinful heart and live out the godly life I desire. I’m so excited to read this book alongside you ladies.

  183. I’m thrilled to join you all, and hope that I’m not a dud, but can actually participate…

    I’m a Mom of five, who works two part-time jobs and homeschools. My husband also works part time building us a house (that is, not making money, just spending it, but for good purpose), and shares in the homeschooling. I like to do anything that’s crafty and/or results in a money savings. I especially like sewing and putting up produce from our yard for gifts of Christmas jam.

    I occasionally blog, and am on my own Thousand-Gifts journey, at just a bit over a hundred so far. My word for this year is Relationship. With my busy-ness, I want to be intentional to take time with my kids, with my husband and with my God to develop and grow in my relationships. You all are a part of that. I know you’re busy too, and I look forward to a few moments with you all each week.

  184. I am a 29 year old Mennonite that is battling numerous health problems. My health is failing quickly and as a result, it’s very rare that I am able to leave the house. I struggle with loneliness and depression at times and am very much looking forward to learning more about how to be grateful for God’s gifts in the moment!

    • Tee – I just sent up a prayer for you! My mentor is a wonderful woman who battles MS and also battles depression an loneliness. She is an amazing woman and has found a way to put her gifts and strengths to use even in the midst of illness. Remember that you are a child of God and He still can use you! I will pray that He gives you a place to feel loved and useful. You are precious in His sight!

      • Thank you, Mama J! Your sweet comment just drove me to tears. Yes, isolation from health problems is very hard and I feel like the Lord led me to this group to interact with other Christian women. I pray that we can all learn together how to embrace the many gifts that the Lord gives us!

        • Tee – you are SO very welcome! We were created for community and I am so glad we are all on this journey together! I pray that God gives you many heart-friends through this experience – YOU are precious in HIS sight!

  185. I am a homeschooling mom of three precious ones ages 1, 3 and 5 and the wife of one amazing, loving, patient, forgiving man who is in full-time ministry. Our live is crazy but beautiful. I am learning more about Eucharisteo and the depth of that beautiful arrangement of letters has completely shaken me to the core of my being. God has used the words on Ann’s blog and the words of this amazing book to begin stripping away anything that is not of God. Michael Angelo was once asked of his Angel sculpture how he was able to create such magnificent masterpiece and he replied, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Isn’t that what God does with us? He sees us in our raw form, with all of the mess, the sin, the ugliness, and he chisels and carves and shaves and hammers until everything that is not of Him is gone. It is with unconditional, unexplainable, yes, CRAZY LOVE that he loves us just as we are but loves us too much to simply leave us that way. There is pain and hurt involved at times but He can make anything beautiful. He is CREATOR! There is a great illustration of this by the Skit Guys called, “Chiseled” if you want to watch it. Amazing. Listen to Bebo Norman’s song, “The Hammer Holds,” as well. It is my prayer that as we all read this book and share our stories that God will use it to set us free and allow us to become His original masterpieces, letting go of everything that does not sing, dance, speak, shout, and wreak of HIM! God bless!

  186. I’m so happy to be in love with Jesus, but sometimes I think he might wonder where’s the love as I struggle to be gracious with my husband and three sons, ages 8, 3 and 1. I’m a writer (including blogging 3x/week), a minister, a discipler of women and my children, and occasionally teach in the women’s ministry at my church. I’m excited about reading and discussing this book with other women striving to give thanks right where they are.

  187. Where am I at right now? Bare bones: I’m a 40-year-old wife of nearly 17 years, mama of two precious children, 5 and 3. I’ve lived as a Christian all my life, but was truly saved when I was 33. Since then, I struggle with a “late start”…and I am on a daily search to find out what living for God’s glory looks like all fleshed out. I fail miserably.

    I stumbled upon Ann: Full of Grace’s website exactly a year ago on a Google search about homeschool related stuff. I think I’ll reach my 1000 this week…and yes, thanks-living has made my aforementioned search a JOY! I had no idea how I’d be changed over the course of this last year.

    Thank you, Ann…so how does it feel to have so many women wishing they could hug your neck in thanks? Looking forward to my first-ever book club!

  188. Im 27 and am happily married to an amazing man for what will be 2yrs in March of this year. No children as of yet but we hope soon. Working daily and going to school at night, trying to keep up with family and friends, etc finds me exhausted. Your book Ann has given me such perspective about finding joy right where you are and being in the present and not rushing about. Its teaching me its okay to say no sometimes and to just take time and slow down. Life is too short and precious and I don’t want to rush through it. Thank you again for your beautiful words! God is so good and I am so thankful His grace is new every morning!

  189. (tried to post this, to no apparent avail–hope i don’t end up posting twice by mistake…)

    hi all,

    i’m puzzled by something i’m hoping some of you can un-puzzle me about, but first the relevant facts about me. i wanted to know where in Scripture the phrase “undivided heart” comes from. so i googled “undivided heart”, and found the psalm in question, but also stumbled across a blog i liked by the same name, which led me by a chain of links to “a holy experience”. from there it was a short step to ordering “A Thousand Gifts”, which i’m resisting the temptation to devour, on the grounds that wolfing down a wonderful book is down is even worse than wolfing down dessert! (if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll get the reference.) from “a holy experience”, i also linked to the radio interview with Ann. having read a good chunk of the book, and found it, and the interview, very moving, and hugely helpful, i wanted to see the book club videos, and took up the invitation to sign up to the book club. so far, so familiar–except that unlike almost everyone else in this book club, i’m a spouse and parent without being a wife or mother (i’m a man). anyway, if any of you had enough patience to read this far, what i’d like to hear your views about is–why? that is, WHICH part of my story is so unusual (and why?) do men just about never google passages from Scripture? do they almost never get from there to Ann’s blog? do they get as far as her blog, but think it’s obviously “a blog for women”? (it certainly didn’t strike me that way). do men get as far as clicking the “bloom (in)courage” link, and then, noticing the layout of the site, feel as tho’ they’ve done the web equivalent of walking into the ladies’ room by mistake? i find the whole thing baffling and also sad, inasmuch as i think lots of men would benefit enormously from “A Thousand Gifts”, should they read it. Anyway, thanks again if you’re still reading, and i really would like to any ideas you might have about this!

  190. nearly thirty, still single, fear no one will ever love me, pick me and want me. learning by grace the one that matters most, loves most, has picked me and made me His. learning and failing and opening blind eyes to see i am loved, enough. ann, your words open eyes wider and i give thanks for the God places you shine bright.

  191. Hi! I am a military wife & a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of 4 little girls. More often than not I feel like a failure with every one of those hats but then there is Grace. I am L-O-V-I-N-G this book and so thrilled to be part of a community reading the book with me! Thank you Ann for the gift of One Thousand Gifts ~ God is speaking to my heart!

  192. My name is Susan and I am stuggling with “counting it all joy . . .” and being thankful. Oh, how I love our heavenly Father , , , but oh, how I am trying to trust . earliest memory is the morning my mom told my brothers and I that our daddy died . ..and then just 6 months later to have my younger brother die. There was always an emptiness. But in my teen years I found God in a personal way . husband and I are in the ministry . . .we have two adult children and three grandchildren. A year ago this week, our son, a law officer was arrested for robbing a bank. My heart is broken. I love him so much. It has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through. So, joy is hard. Your blog Ann, has been soothing to my soul. This book, subtitled, dare to live fully right where you are is a challenge to me. I WANT to be all God wants me to be, I want Him to be glorified . . .but I hurt so deeply and although I have been daily practicing gratitude (each night my husband, daughter and granson and I name something we are grateful for). This practice is helping me . . I don’t want to stay in the hurt place . . but I feel stuck here – ashamed to be mad at God, It isn’t His fault my son robbed the bank – but the years of pain and abuse my son went through in his marriage that led him to that place – he said he prayed over and over again – he sought Christian counseling . . .why didn’t God intervene? and I am afraid to trust God . many things in my life right now are in turmoil. my future uncertain. So, I WILL daily give thanks – and pray for strength and courage for tomorrow. and I pray as we go through this book, my heart will learn to trust, Thank you, Ann, for your honesty, your humilty,

  193. Daughters, wives, mothers, sisters… It is so humbling to scroll through these comments and stories and marvel that He keeps each of us, kisses each scraped knee, each seared heart-wound, straightens the crooked, and holds us up along the way.

    Recently relocated and just beginning to give genuine thanks for that, we’re seeking the Lord’s path for the education of our children. Home-schoolers for 4 years to (now) 4 kids, we have not found the community of fellow-travelers in our new home yet and are praying for the Lord’s place where they can grow and learn with other Jesus-lovers. We are picking up tents and saying, “Yes, we are willing to follow wherever He leads, even if it’s not where we expected.” Because He blesses in such unexpected ways.

  194. I am a 50-something married woman, mother of 3 children. My husband and I have had our share of ups and downs through our marriage, but we are still madly in love. It hasn’t always been easy. I struggle with the whole contentment thing – the Lord moved us away from one of our children (and grandchildren) a few years ago…and I’m still trying to figure out why. Nothing has worked out the way *we* thought it would. I know, I know, God is in control and all that…but to be honest, since being pulled away from my family…it has been really difficult. I am looking forward to reading this book for some peace, perhaps some understanding, perhaps some acceptance of what God has dealt to us. And yet, I know that we are blessed … such contrasting emotions that are difficult to reconcile at times.

  195. I know this is several days later than the initial blog post. I just received my book in the mail and so enjoyed reading the very first chapter. I am a mom of 3 boys, a former school teacher, called home by the Lord to teach my young ones. I count it the highest privilege. Raising my young men and teaching them is the highest calling. I know this. I believe this. However, I get caught in the “how is this going to work?” rut, living in a place where the financial ends don’t meet – but the LORD – HE provides. So I’ve learned when I become anxious – I sing praise.

    I look forward to reading, and walking, and praising, and thanking, and worshiping with all of you. Learning more about this thing called grace.

  196. Dear Ann, Angie, and Jessica, Thank you all for taking the time to do this book club with the videos; I enjoyed this first one. How I wish I could sit and glean from Ann the wonder of Jesus’ love for me. Long story….but I want to have that assurance of His love for ME. Thank you too Ann for sharing these thoughts on being thankful and looking for all the blessings the Lord gives. Bless you three saints in the Lord :), Kathy

  197. I’m a 49 yo mom to 3 kids ages 28, 16 and 13. I was raised in a Christian home but have strayed far from where I started. I have been married, the second time around, to my wonderful husband of 18 years. I just got Ann’s book in the mail yesterday and plan to start it tomorrow. I stumbled on it via another blog and ended up at Amazon where God told me to buy this book for my mom for her birthday. I walked away from my computer and he very clearly (out loud, out of the blue) told me to buy it for one of my friends also.

    You see, I’ve been spending the past several months in prayer not knowing if God was listening to me since it had been so long, but taking that chance, just in case. Since he talked VERY clearly to me at least I know he’s listening.

    My 16 yo son has been in a residential drug rehab for the past 6 months and we never thought this is the place we’d find ourselves in. I’ve always been a SAHM, involved in my kids lives, disciplined our boys and some how this is where we are today. Could it be that this happened to bring me back to God?

    We are looking at him returning home at the end of Feb and our lives will change drastically. I am looking forward to starting the book tomorrow in the quiet house with everyone gone where I can listen to and feed my heart.

  198. I read the first chapter, and looked back over my life. So many tragedies, so many disappointments……………and so much yearning. I am reading this because I want to learn how to give thanks in all circumstances. I am a mother of two sons, and while we’ve had our share of letdowns, we are more than victims. I (and my sons) are victors in Christ. If I could grow in thanks to the Lord, I think maybe then I would right where He wants me. Then I realize that I am where He wants me. Right now, I’m at the point of trying to learn how to trust and praise Him in the storm,

  199. I’m a mother to five children from ages 19 – 6, and am currently homeschooling my three youngest. I was led to Ann’s book trailer video and website a few weeks ago, before my husband was let go from his job of almost 20 years. I believe that finding you was no mistake and was most certainly a move of preparation. I immediately purchased a copy of your book and it has truly been a life-line to the Life Giver. I am always struggling to do better and of course never feeling like I reach that goal. But I am learning to be thankful and practice eucharisteo no matter what. I failed today, but am thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness.

  200. i call ann my best friend. even though she doesn’t know me. just today, there was an email waiting in my inbox from her. so all you other gals have to get another best friend. wink.

    i have a thing for Jesus, windy days, the ocean, orphans, fine-point pens, handwritten notes, reading, hot tea, and daisies. and my hubby of 18 yrs.

    we have five kids but are trying to grow our family–by adoption.

    we want to be intentional and passionate. we are loud.

    i am glad to “know” ann and spend my mornings with her after time with my Jesus. God uses her to bless my heart.

  201. hi it’s me. my husband’s wife and my 2 kid’s mom. a sink full of dishes and a mountain of laundry. learning to see instead a family full from a warm meal, and a family clothed daily. i’m a child of God & that is enough. in between gift counting, laundry folding, dish washing, husband loving, and child snuggling, i’m reading 1000 Gifts.

    • I’m getting a late start, but I’m joining the book club! Just loaded One Thousand Gifts on my Kindle, so I’m eager to get started!

  202. I am a mother of 2 daughters, now 18 and 21. Wife of 23 years. Caregiver to my 84 year old father. Keeper of 7 cats and a 9 month old German Shepherd. Have been slowely evolving in simplicity and God’s grace over the last few years and hope to continue my journey with this book and the experiences of others on the same path.

  203. I’m a homeschooling mom of 4 young kids, just trying to make it through each day. I’m at about chapter 6 and this book has already touched me deeply. Lifts my heart from the gutter of criticism and disappointment. My homeschool group is going to do the book club together, so I’m looking forward to the videos and the community here, as well as my own community of friends. Thank you for sharing your life and your story, Ann.

  204. I planned to take the time to introduce myself this weekend, but life slipped through my fingers. So, a little late I am saying “hi”. I am a stay-at-home mom to two busy little guys (1&3 within the next month). This year will be ten years of marriage to my wonderful husband and will be the first anniversary we’ve been without debt (other than mortgage. Working hard over the last couple of years to get out of debt on one income has made things pretty tight around our house. Even with no debt we will not be living the high life. I have struggled with the “it’s not fair” mentality and alternated that with an attitude of extreme gratefulness. As I begin to devour these pages I am recognizing that I would like to come to place of living consistently in the gratefulness. I found Ann’s blog one day last year when I really needed it. I mean REALLY. Through it I found (in)courage and a fantastic community. I am looking forward to diving even deeper into relationship with all of you as we uncover the mystery of Thanksgiving together. Thank you Ann! Thank you (in)courage! And thank you to all my new friends. ~Jessica

  205. I am a single mom of 15 and 21 yr old sons. My oldest goes to college an hour away. I’m a 5 yr breast cancer survivor. I thought that was going to be my story, but moving to China with my kids to join my husband turned out to be much more…in so many ways. After 3 days there, I realized my husband was no longer in the marriage at all. It took 8 months to figure out that I could leave him, yet stay in China, which I did for 2 more years as a single mom. A year ago, I did what I most feared – moved back “home” as a single mom – a failure at marriage and at life (I don’t think that anymore).
    In China, everything I had held dear (except my kids) was taken away. In addition to the end of my marriage, all I had been involved with in working ‘for’ God was stripped from me as well. No church, Sunday school, committees, youth group, etc. In its place was simply God beckoning me to come close to Him in a way I had not allowed before. After a few years of such intensity, I feared moving back to the states would mean a loss of that as well. But He is faithful – and surprising! At 46 he called me to be a chaplain, so I am now studying online at seminary – something I never considered.
    I devoured the book the moment it was delivered and handed out 4 more to friends and family. I am going to reread each chapter as we work through it in the book club. In all the craziness of life and school, I need to be reminded to be grateful. Thank you! Ann, how did you get so wise, so young? I am looking forward to the rest of the videos. Again, thank you!

  206. I’m so thankful to have found you and the book club, Ann. Been reading your posts and now beginning your book. I’m so thankful to be here and look forward to being changed. I know the Lord has led me here to this place and this book at this time….

    Where am I? Married to my soul-mate and best friend for 16 1/2 years, homeschooling our 2 children (ds 11 and dd 6), daughter and daughter-in-law to our two dear widowed moms, trying to learn what community really means, and homemaker who is entirely too frustrated with time. There never seems to be enough of it. Slow and steady just can’t get it all done – ever. At least, I can never accomplish all that I want to get done. I look forward to learning to embrace the time I do have, sort out what is the ‘one thing’ I ought to be doing right now, and not live my life out of guilt every waking moment. Thank you so much, everyone, for the opportunity to come along this journey of counting our blessings and embracing the life God has given us ~

  207. Ann, we’ve “spoken” a few times via twitter (@DoveWhisperer) and facebook where you prayed for my husband and myself. I am a 32 year old newly married woman/instaMom with 3 stepchildren. I have always known OF God, but I grew up a New Age Hippie Chick thinking Tarot and Astrology was where it’s at. Not until I betrayed my husband in the worst way was I properly introduced to the Lord: basically, in humility and in the seeking of His forgiveness. My lapsed-Christian husband, after finding out about my betrayal, begged for us to pray. He did so desperation. It cracked open my entire world. I am going to write about it one day soon. In the meantime, I work as a job coach with people who have disabilities – physical, mental, and emotional (but never, it seems, spiritual) and am a poet/writer with 1 book out and 1 on its way. I am a mourning motherless daughter since 2006 but a Mama to a precious tortoise-shell-colored cat. We are in a painful custody battle with a severely mentally ill ex-wife/birth mother and are praying that we get to see the children as much as we do now. That is my “Why, God, why?” wound. And that is where I am at. Bless you.

  208. Hi. I am just joining you. I purchased the ebook so that I could start reading right away & just watched the video, so I’m processing the first chapter & all you’ve shared at the same time. I am a mom of 3 boys & 1 girl & one on the way. We are in the process of relocating 3 hours from our current home which will last 6-8 months & then we’ll return. I’m scared & excited for this move at the same time. Scared, because I’ve moved before & then returned only to find that everyone else had gone on with their lives & didn’t *need* me, anymore, so it was just like starting over. Scared, because I must step out of my comfort zone, once more & meet new people. Scared, because I’m huge (due in 8 weeks) & wonder how I’m going to cope with a new baby in a new place with 4 little ones & none of my support system there to help me. We haven’t even found a church to attend there, yet. I’m excited because I know God can use this time for His glory & we can experience new things & see how deep my friendships are here. Excited because my kids are excited & I want to stay positive. Excited because Daddy might get to spend more time with us in this new job assignment. So, I wanted something to remain constant through all this change. We’ve rented a house & moved some things in, but don’t have a date for final moving, yet. This is a source of frustration for me. I’m ready to move on & yet stuck in this holding pattern. I want to get settled in the new house & get back to homeschooling my little ones & be able to anticipate this new little one who will join us soon. Here I am, joining your little group, ready for what God wants to say to me. 🙂

  209. I’m Sarah, wife to my best friend for the last 11 years and mother to two, ages 3 and 7 months. I’ve been reading your blog, Ann, for the last year or so and it’s like a gentle breath of God into my life. I am a terrible type-A who rushes through life, missing so much of its richness because I am always striving for more and struggling to be satisfied. It’s not that I don’t love or trust God but I haven’t learned to enjoy who He has designed me to be and to bloom where I am planted. I am finding that as I count blessings, I am learning to slow down, to breathe and to truly see just how richly blessed I am with all of my flaws and weaknesses. God is so good, it’s so sad how much of His abundance I miss by rushing. I can’t wait to slowly savour this beautiful book.

  210. Slipping in quietly after the party has started.

    Marking life by tragedies and successes. Trying to mark it with grace. Mom of two marvelous homeschooled graduates, small farmer, cut-flower grower, lover of chickens who roam my yard, desperate follower of Christ. Wife, three times. First, abandoned by a man with an addiction for others; second, died in a fire the night after our son was born; third, God-called father of my daughter. I call them my “Three Stooges”, but they each played a part in who I am, Whose I am. I would not change my story…because I don’t know what the alternate ending might be.

    At 57, I am still learning to trust, to see, to love. To count. Counting as grace God’s gift to Ann to put Him in palatable words of manna to me through her.

  211. I am a mom to 4 boys ready to be transformed OUT of this world and into the life Jesus truly wants for me. I am weary of living in the world. I must go out – I am a special education teacher in a public middle school – but I don’t have to be defeated. Satan dangles temptation over my head everyday and I am just SO ready to stop the madness and ignore him!! I stumbled upon 1,000 gifts completely by accident. As we all know – it wasn’t an accident – It was God telling me to stop and read! I WILL BE transformed!

  212. just thought I’d quick chime in here even if I am like two weeks late… I fully intended to participate but alas lack of even slow internet (it was a gift in disguise), and sheer busyness, and the delay in receiving my book (I went ahead with the Kindle version as I’m still waiting) has me just now reading the posts and watching the videos.
    Hmmm… So, where am I? Here we are on the tail end of an amazing crazy last couple of months, moving, traveling, changing ministry, on the brink of furlough, homeschooling 5 rambunctious wonders in the midst, trying to maintain correspondence, etc, etc. Trying to do SO much… so full that much of the joy has been washed clean out of it all. Previous to opening the book, I’d already decided that this was the year of enjoying NOW. this moment. and the next. And the Lord knows how much I need your words Ann. His words. As I’m reading, I feel like it was written just for me. It was so sweet of you (Him) to write it for me, seeing as before now we didn’t know each other all that well… 😉
    Anyway. Mainly, I just want to say thank you. To you. To Him.
    YOU are a gift Ann.
    With a heart overflowing…
    amy in peru

  213. I am a mom of 2 pre-schoolers, a wife of 6 years, and a breast cancer survivor of 2 years. Yes, 2 years ago at age 31, my world was rocked when I was told I had stage 3 breast cancer. No family history, had just had a normal exam, yet a lump appeared and there was no more going back to the way life was…
    Just last week, I was told I had 2 spots on my lungs now that they are not sure if they are cancer or not. I have to wait 6 months for another scan to check for growth. I’m in the waiting again. Waiting and being still. It’s hard, but I find God more in these times than in the craziness of my “normal/healthy” life.

  214. I am mama to 4 precious sons and wife to an amazing man. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home and by the grace of our Heavenly Father, HE saved me. I have been a Christian for 10 years now, later baptized on Father’s Day of 2002, where I wept, chocking it up to pregnancy hormones, but now knowing it was my spirit that wept for the joy of coming to Him. He is good! So here I am, living daily, only by His grace and HIs strength, trying to learn who He created me to be, learning to live with forgiveness and healing of the past and to love the Lord with my whole heart, that I might show that same love to the precious family He has blessed me with. God is so good, all the time! Thank you for this beautiful book, study and your precious testimonies, thanking the Lord for you and praying!

  215. I’m getting a late start, but I’m joining the book club! Just loaded One Thousand Gifts on my Kindle, so I’m eager to get started!

  216. I’m Trish. I’ve been with Ann since fairly early in the list making, on her blog. I am just finding this group…I’ve already read the book, but want to connect.

    The journey has been amazing and difficult. I am ever thankful for Ann and her willingness to open her soul to us. Her story gives me hope. Hope that, I too can find Eucharisteo and commune deep with Him. Leaving off the shackles that tie me to despair all too often.

  217. I’m starting the book club late and wondering if I should even comment. I just got the book last weekend and finished chapter 3. I am enjoying it so.. but struggling so. I have two sweet little boys and an amazing husband. Oh, I am so blessed but fears cloud everything and I just don’t fully live. It’s hard to explain in words (seeing is how I don’t have that gift). I’m praying that I learn how to live outside of these prison walls of mine.. fear. I deeply desire the joy, peace and life that is spoken in Ann’s words.

  218. I went to your website “A Holy Experience” tonight and read the entry on God taking you out of your comfort zone, and tears just started streaming down my face. I keep having to get more kleenex. Then, I stumbled upon this site. My husband and I recently took a leap of faith to follow God. Leaving behind ‘security’ ~ paying jobs, retirement, etc. Following God’s lead to minister to the poor and homeless. The ministry part has been so rewarding. Yet trusting God and coming out of my comfort zone is so hard. One of my biggest struggles is anxiety and panic attacks. And the more we follow God the more He takes me out of my comfort zone and into the zone that can trigger my anxiety. I have read 3 chapters of your book and I believe it is going to be life changing for me. And just what I needed. A few people had recommended it and I finally bought it and so glad I did. Thank you for writing this book, and thank you for obeying God and following Him out of your comfort zone. 🙂

    I am praying and believing that all of the readers of this book learn to have a deeper intimacy with God. And that we all will really follow Him, even in the part of leaving our comfort.

  219. I finally bought a Kindle version of the book today and my friend and I are going to begin, hopefully tomorrow March 2nd. I’m a mom to 3 earthly blessings and one in Heaven. I’ve been married since 1-1-01 and I’m a completely different woman than I was before – I didn’t want children, no way was I going to home school or be a home maker! Well God worked on me and before I knew it He had convicted me on lots of things, how to dress, talk, how to welcome children as blessings, etc. My oldest is 9 years but we lost our first baby before her and I strive to model godly behavior but often times find myself yelling and loosing my patience and I so need to work on that as it was modeled behavior to me growing up. Anyway I’m an Ohio mom and wife striving to live for God and some days are successes and some are failures and thankfully I serve a Faithful, Grace-full and loving God!