About the Author

Angie is the proud wife of Todd Smith of Selah, and the blessed mommy to Abby, Ellie, Kate, Charlotte, and Audrey Caroline, who passed away the day she was born, April 7th, 2008. Angie was inspired to write Audrey's story, and began the blog www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com in honor of her. You...

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  1. Wow. I have been realizing I do the same thing WAY TOO MUCH! How you shared totally put it into words for me. I have in my mind I will feel calm and good and happy when ___________ happens instead of now!

    Thanks for sharing. I have been trying to rest and enjoy the present time, but it is so easy for me to fall back into old habits. I am going to try again starting right now! 🙂

    • Wanted to add this part especially spoke to me! I can be a “tad bit” perfectionist. 🙂 In an unhealthy way. Good words!
      “So today, as I closed my book, I sat in the sun for a few minutes and I let gratitude spill out. I didn’t imagine that one day their clothes would match, or that they would stop arguing over who the rickety scooter belonged to. I looked around at everything that needed to be done, fixed, rearranged, altered, changed…and I simply said this:

      Thank you, Lord.”

      • I love that, too. Some days it’s hard for me to delineate what exactly about the chaos I can be thankful for, in specific terms. I love the idea of just taking a deep breath, letting go of all expectations, and just saying thank you for the blessing of being here, right now.

  2. I have to share this story with you; I was very late to the ballgame when it came to purchasing this book! It arrived this week, on Wednesday, I believe, and it completely captivated me; I couldn’t set it down. I finished on Friday morning, actually blogged about it…and then hours later, I had to rush my 30 year old husband to the ER with chest pains. Drama ensued and he is at the cardiac unit still today…but the truths in the book have given us such comfort! Eucharisteo has been my minute by minute practice. God is so gracious, especially with the timing of everything. I’m so grateful for His promises!

        • Oh Jennifer… can we gather around you and pray?
          {Heavenly Father, thank you.
          For holding Jennifer and her husband and family in Your loving palm, for carrying them through this week, for keeping Your promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you for keeping Jennifer’s heart focus on You and Your unwavering love and faithful promises and for her radiant testimony to a peace in You that passes all understanding — only Your Grace. Thank you for letting her be real and honest with You through this season, that You are a God that can take our very real lament and You won’t let us go. Thank you for causing us to abandon the worries that press from every side and inviting us to abide in You. Thank you for giving Jennifer, and so many sisters in Christ, the grace and trust and strength to live the hard eucharisteo…

          In Jesus Name… Amen.}

          Jennifer — thank you for the privilege of praying with you… and for the gift of your testimony…

          I so am praying for you and your husband this morning….

  3. Ladies, this has been WONDERFUL!!! Ann, your words have had a profound effect on me! This chapter in particular has helped me to grasp something which I could never understand, & that is that I, through my gratitude can bless GOD!! Every Sunday at Mass, one of our priests always says, “Let’s bless our Lord now”…& so often I have thought to myself, “now, how in the world, can I, little ol’ me, BLESS our Lord?” Well, now I totally “get it”!!

    I started my journal when I started this book & can honestly say that when I fail to record my thanks, I feel “off & disconnected”…this habit of gratitude makes all the difference in my spiritual walk as well as my day to day attitude.

    Many heartfelt thanks to ALL of you & I cannot wait to hear what you are all up to next with BLOOM!
    May the Good Lord bless you all, always!!

  4. I just want to say thank you for making me aware of this amazing book. I am just going to copy my Amazon review here because it says what I felt when I read the book. Wow!

    5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Intriguing, Beautiful Book, January 29, 2011

    This review is from: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Hardcover)
    I have only just begun this book. The first chapter–the first page–totally hooked me. Oh my, what talent God has given Ann Voskamp. I am now at chapter three and I am simply savoring the beautiful, inspired prose. As I read chapter one, the work of Toni Morrison came to mind–especially her book, Beloved. I have the same visceral reaction to Ann’s book that I had to Morrison’s Beloved. It is as though the words skip the brain and go straight to the heart and soul of the reader. I am so happy to find a Christian author who can WRITE!!! So many books, especially those of Christian fiction, lack the skill of writers such as Morrison, Erdrich, Kingsolver, Irving. What joy to find Ann’s book. I predict I will come back to it again and again. Thank you Ann Voskamp for your transparency, your vulnerability, and your example of becoming. You are a blessing!

    Two months later….
    I finished this book quickly because it was so mesmerizing. Ann is truly a gifted writer. I have recommended the book to many friends. I don’t agree 100% with Ann’s theology, but I do agree totally with her focus on giving thanks to God for His amazing love and care of us–even in the dark times. I am one who believes there is God’s perfect will and God’s permissive will. I do not believe God causes all of the terrible things that happen, but I think He does allow them because man has free will and does not always do God’s will. And, I believe God uses what the enemy intends for bad to bless and refine and grow us. That said, I stand by my initial review–Thank you Ann Voskamp for something beautiful–you are a God Chaser who has been faithful to use your incredible gift for Him. Just as an aside, the new brain science is continuing to reveal the benefits of living in the now–mindfulness, gratefulness, focus on this moment–so it was validating to see this same information coming from a totally different direction. Living in the now rather than in the past or in the “when x happens I will be happy” future is truly among the best of gifts we can give ourselves.

    Thanks also to Bloom (https://aws.incourage.me/2011/03/one-thousand-gifts-chapter-11.html) for the virtual book club–I loved it!

    • {Ah, yes, Glenda: “…I believe God uses what the enemy intends for bad to bless and refine and grow us.” Amen, sister… of this I am so grateful… }

  5. I am sorry to say that I started with this book club at the tail end of this book. I do plan to go through it all over again from chapter 1 and also read the books that were already covered. I love the concept of an on line book club (Christian book club). I could feel Ann’s passion about her book coming through my computer! Loved it!! Love the book club!! Can’t wait to see what the next book is going to be!!
    Thanks to all of you!
    ~K~

  6. Glenda,
    I have to totally agree with your review. I have loved and been blessed by Ann and her writing for a couple of years now, and this book is no exception! I, too don’t totally agree with all of what seems to be her theology (though I think if I were able to talk with her I might find we agree on more than I realize) I am glad you shared this because I have felt this way too. I do refuse to blame (give credit) to God for the sin and evil of this world. He only gives good and perfect gifts. (There is a very real devil and we are very sinful people who make choices daily against His will) But i do agree that no matter how horrible a thing may be, He will use it for out good an His greatest glory. So, by faith, I can thank Him in/for the awful things, not at all accusing Him of the evil, but because I know He loves me and will work all things out for my good.

    Relentlessly Pursuing Him,

    Michelle

  7. Ah yes, Michelle, this — I couldn’t agree more: “So, by faith, I can thank Him in/for the awful things, not at all accusing Him of the evil, but because I know He loves me and will work all things out for my good.”

    I agree — there is definitely a very real devil and an enemy that prowls like a lion, seeking to devour and he wreaks hideous sin and the evil of this world, not God.

    And I prayerfully reflect on Isa. 45:7 –“I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” I am not sure I fully understand what that all entails…. but I believe Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and His heel has crushed the head of the snake, and God gives Jesus the power to hold the principalities and powers of this world on a leash…

    I’ve been pondering of late if time is the issue? That *in time*, all things are made, by His grace, into good gifts. That all serves God’s purpose *in the end.* That in time, God makes all things into good and perfect gifts, that in time God redeems all things, that in the end, He makes all things well, and “if it isn’t well yet, we’re not yet at the end”… and God is outside of time. Many miracles in the NT were miracles of timelessness — water into wine, death into resurrection, sickness into healing. All things that happen slowly, eventually… but Jesus touches us and the slow mechanics of time evaporate. We can trust that He is making even this into something good. And yes, as you so beautifully expressed it, Michelle, “because I know He loves me and will work all things out for my good.” Yea and Amen, sister!

    Humbly praying and seeking more of Who He is and the Truth of His Word with you all…
    All’s grace,
    Ann

  8. Oh, Ann, I love that verse in Is 45:7 now, it used to trouble me and confuse me a bit. But now I believe the Lord has really opened my eyes to something as I studied it out!! I looked up the Hebrew definitions of the word ‘create'(#H1254) And while ‘create’ bara, certainly applies like we understand, to create something like in the beginning, He created . . . BUT and this is so cool to me, it also means ‘to cut down’!!

    So, if I look at it as “I form the light, and create (CUT DOWN) darkness: I make peace, and create (CUT DOWN) evil, it totally makes more sense when I look at other scripture like, 1 John 3:8 “for this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil”!! This ‘interpretation’ of ‘create’ makes more sense to me in light of the whole of scripture. That God ‘cuts down’ the evil and darkness!!! I love it.

    I am so glad, Ann, that you responded, I just knew in my heart that is how you believed. And I also believe that we will never fully understand the wonder of our God and that is good, as I am sure I wouldn’t want a God that “I”, puny little me, could fully understand. lol Also, that it is so hard to express our thoughts and beliefs sometimes in limited space. Thank you a 1000 times 😉 for sharing your heart.

    BTW, just today, I wrote down my 1000th gift!! How ironic is that? My 15 yo daughter is on #1600, two of my sons, age 20 and 18 have started their journals . . .God is so amazing! Thank you!!

    Relentlessly Pursuing Eucharisteo!!

    Michelle

    • I do dearly love how knowing the various meanings of the words can turn things around and open our eyes to His Glory. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. I will be reading this book over again and again. 🙂

    I have come to realize through circumstances in my famliy during this time, that I blame myself when things go wrong, or when others do not respond how I think they should, or if I cannot make an occasion happen how I think it should. When Ann talked about it is not what we think about God, but what He thinks about us, and He is always pursuing us, loving us, blessing us, and waiting for us to realize and respond, and yes even bless Him with out thanksgiving, wow. It is not about me, my performance, my having it all together (pride??), but my belonging to Him, and His perfect and strong and beautiful love for me, just as I am, just where I am, always.

    Thanks so much again Ann, Angie, and Jessica.
    karen

  10. I’m about ready to start a study with one of my daughters and her friend on the book, Captivating by Stasi Eldridge. She gets us women to see ourselves as ‘captivating’ in the eyes of the Lord and while laundering the same clothes over and over, washing the same dishes over and over, listening to the same moans and complaints from the same people year by year …….yet to be able to thank God for making us, while doing all of the above! On pg. 205, Ann said, “gratitude is the most fruitful way of deepening your consciousness that you are…….a divine choice.” We women were the last and the most “captivating” of all that God created……..we should thank God daily for that fact. This book challenges each of us to take the time to thank God and as we grow in eucharisteo, it truly changes our daily attitudes about husbands, the same old same old, earthquakes of life, and God walking us thru the valley of death. I homeschooled too, so I thank you Ann for sacrificing your precious free time, to write this book, so we can use it as a devotional book on thanksiving. I have gotten friends, husband, small group members…….all to pick up the pen, and grow in their faith walks, thru the discipline of looking for the gifts from God to them each day. Eucharisteo does precede the miracle of changed attitudes, yielding grateful hearts! May God get the glory thru this book!

  11. Ann,
    Words aren’t big enough to express how this book has blessed me, changed me.
    And not just the book… but your life. You living out what you write, that’s what has drawn me from day 1 of following you on your personal blog.
    Without God’s spirit dwelling in you, I am certain this book wouldn’t have had such a powerful impact on me.
    Thank you. Those two words are so insufficient, but with all my heart I mean them.
    As a 23 yr old single girl, a homeschool country girl, sibling to 5, quite shy and extremely introverted, I can relate to so much of what you’ve written, and it gives me incredible hope to see that someone who’s suffered so much and struggled with agoraphobia can live fully, and be so gracious and kind and spirit filled.
    I could write for hours on what your walk with God has done for me. But I wont. I just had to say Thank you, Ann.
    I am a baby at this soul-communion with God thing, the palms up and open, this trusting thing. It has been so much easier to respond to trauma with hard fists and bitterness… But your words–God’s words through you– have saturated my heart with love and hope and joy- joy that Satan had so long kept at bay because of fear.
    Thank you Ann! You and your family are dearly loved, even though I have never met you.

  12. I have learned through listening to Ann, Jesse, Angie the best place to be is in the presence of Jesus. I am learning to give thanks for the challenges that come my way as it leads me to a deeper fellowship with our Lord.

    If I could ask for prayer. I have been separated from my husband for over three years now. There are days where it feels like he just left. My husband struggles in doing what is best for him. Does he come back to me, or does he break our convenant that we made just to find happiness and contentment somewhere else. Please pray that the Lord will show him and whisper the truth to him.

    Debra

  13. Thank you, Ann, Angie, and Jessica! What a wonderful journey this has been! The book itself is truly inspirational and worth going back to again and again. And the videos each week have only added more beauty and insight.

    As beautiful and awe-inspiring as Europe is, I can’t help but think of how lucky we are to live in North America. I was very fortunate to spend a lot of time in England and Europe because of my children’s international figure-skating careers. My daughter lived in England for almost 5 years. Both my daughter and I felt that North America has a much more active Christian community. While the churches and cathedrals are amazingly beautiful in Europe, not as many people in Europe (at least in England and a number of countries in Europe) believe in God or have an active faith life. It’s so true that we can live eucharisteo wherever we are. As Ann says on page 221, “He will break bread and I will take and the world is His feast!”

  14. Seed: To remember (His gifts)
    Water: The beauty of knowing He rejoices over me. Over Me!!
    Growth: Finishing the book. Making a choice to find my eucharisteo–again.

  15. This has been such a perspective changing book for me, as it has been for many of you. I find myself on the victorious side of the battle of the mind, rather than on the defeated side, as I have been for so long. I know that I have something I can do, a practice I can embrace, to overcome negativity and Satan’s lies and fiery darts that come at me all day long in my mind. My faith has been increased, my heart captivated by His love, and my home life transformed. During my Lenten study, I was reading various Bible passages, and reflecting on who God is and I saw Him as Giver above all, from the beginning. I wrote down at least twenty ways He loves me just from those passages…which put me to over #200 on my list. I could not help but be overwhelmed by His love, grace, mercy and faithfulness when I recall 200 gifts. What will it be like to list 1000? I cannot imagine. I look forward to the journey and the intimacy from engaging more fully in relationship with my Loving Father. Blessings to you all….what a wonderful book club this has been. Thank you all for encouraging the bride of Christ in this way.

  16. I can hardly believe this journey has come to an end, but then it really hasn’t, has it?

    I feel like I’ve barely begun to scratch the meaning of Eucharisteo in my life. So grateful for this book for such a time as this. Praying that I won’t move away from this practice, but go deeper.

    Thank you , Ann and Thank you to InCourage for placing this book before me. I needed it more than I can say. I want to buy copies for several friends now.

  17. This is my first time to comment here, but I just have to take this last opportunity to say thank you ALL for leading us on the journey. I, too, am so sorry it has come to an end, at least here. This was my second time reading your book, Ann, and it won’t be my last.

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you, one thousand times and more for this marvelous book. I have been changed, drawn deeper into Him, and for that I can never say thank you enough. God has used this book in my life to grow my intimacy with Him, to awaken my heart to all that is daily before me that He is giving. My perspective has shifted and I will never be the same. As you humbly obeyed and were willing to pen these words, lives like mine are being profoundly moved, and all the more drawn to Him as a result. All to the glory of our God! As a mom of 5, homemaker, and part-time registered nurse living in Southern CA, my life is crazy busy and I love that through this I’ve grasped that life IS NOT an emergency. All is Christ, and He is good, and all is from Him, and eucharisteo does precede the miracle! Thanks also to (in)courage and Angie and Jessica for the video book club. I waited with excitement and anticipation each Sunday and Wednesday to watch and journey with you, just awesome!

    I just wanted to quickly share two awesome things that are happening as a result of this book, in the hope that it will be an encouragement to all of you. First, I am part of a women’s email accountability group (Good Morning Girls). We all have small children and we email daily to share what we are reading or learning about in our own quiet times with God. When your book club started, two of us began reading Ann’s book, and now, all 12 are reading, and we have begun to share in our daily emails all we are learning through this book. We are transforming…learning to practice eucharisteo, slowing down and savoring time, learning the hard eucharisteo, seeing God in the here and now chaos of our mommy lives, everything through to Him as glass, remembering all He has done, bowing low to see the gifts, and blessing others in return. Our intimacy as sisters and with God has grown…it’s been life-changing!

    Secondly, several of us from my accountability group are involved in leadership at our church in women’s ministry, and we will be using this book this summer as the required book for our Basic Training of women’s ministry leaders. It will be a “boot camp” of sorts, where for 8 weeks the women will be daily reading God’s word, journaling, memorizing scripture, and reading this book, as well as meeting weekly in small groups. We are praying for their hearts to be ignited in growth and intimacy with God as we use this amazing book. Ann, I can’t say thank you enough and I am praying that God will continue to bless you and your sweet family as you pursue Him and all the gifts He has for you. I am deeply grateful!

  19. Thanks Ang, Jess and Ann for adding another dimension by enjoying this faith-building, God-glorifying book in community. This has been my first book club, let alone virtual book club. It’s been neat to discuss ways God is working in so many diverse lives and situations– especially be able to pray for others.

    Another great eye-opening chapter to the rich beauty of God’s love for us. Love this: *”Counting His graces makes all moments into one holy kiss of communion…”*

    May we echo His song of delight–giving it back as a blessing in response. Anywhere and everywhere Eucharisteo.

  20. I managed to follow along with you all and not leave a single comment during this journey until now. I’m thankful for being able to read and listen in on your thoughts about this wonderful book. Sometimes the Lord calls us to be still. (So hard for me.) I believe that’s one thing I’ve learned through all this. He is what matters. His gifts to us are numerous and beyond compare. I’m glad to have been awakened to being in the moment, noticing the small things (and big) and being grateful for it all. Thank you, Ann, for sharing your gift with us all.

  21. Dearest Sisters,
    Thank you so much for this book club and the videos. Will there be a way to get all the videos in one whole video to share with others who read the book? I have purchased several copies, and am giving them away as the Lord leads.
    Blessings!
    Wendi

  22. I believe that God allowed this book to come my way for a purpose. I am ‘thankful.’

    I want to live with my palms up, surrendering to God all that is His already and thanking Him for all that is… also.

    ~Thank you!

  23. When I read a book, I imagine that I’m having a conversation with that person, only they don’t answer me back. Well this is the kind of conversation I long to have with friends living the hard eucharisteo life, Matthew 7:13-14. I have so loved the journey with you through pages and videos that stirred deep places in me. Thank you for living out what is true from John 5:39-40, Ann, where you have diligently searched out the Scriptures but more than that, you have gone to Him for life. And you have offered every reader a glimpse into His Face. A new motive of gratitude for what our God thinks of each of us!

    This book club has meant something to me as I am in a transition with few friends and am an emptynester at same time. My husband lost his church position and we have no church home but we’ll find community soon! Lost our jobs, our home, our insurance. I have cancer and tomorrow I call the oncologist for the test results to see if the cancer has spread—the scans happen every 3 months. And you’ve so stirred me to give thanks for the hard eucharisteo. Oh, not for test results to be cancer free or circumstances like getting a job but the James counting it joy eucharisteo even in “domestic darkness” for it’s not what happens to me but what’s happening inside of me that really counts, John 3:30. And it’s a Beautiful God so showing up way down south in Texas. Your words so brought God to me!

    St. Augustine once wrote: “We are all curved in on ourselves.” I need friends to call out of me the woman God intended for me to be. So, a thousand thanks for this season of time, for Titus 1:1, calling out, being a servant of the Word of God for our faith and the knowledge of the Truth that changes us! It’s “little by little” (Exodus 23:30) we change and I have seen some shifts…Psalm 18:28. My Good God has turned a tad more of my darkness into light. I know it! Just started to cry! Very real to me He is! I’ll look you guys up in heaven to say a personal thank you. Will spend Eternity with you worshipping our Great King. Our Bridegroom awaits us. Come LORD Jesus! My humble thanks to our Beautiful God for coming through 1000 Gifts! My Love & Gratitude to each of you, Ann, Angie & Jessica. Love, Bev

    • Bev,

      You are in my thoughts and prayers. It seems as if the battle you are in is a difficult one. I know our God is faithful and so I pray you FEEL His love for you.

  24. Yes, even as the gratitude ought to be overflowing…I find myself constricted, cranky, controlling. Praying, seeking, pressing into God for the freedom to let my heart beat as He would have it. As my son’s heart beats free and strong now.
    Thank you.
    Thank you for bringing words of truth, when my addled mind so hungrily needs them.
    Teri

    • I think I’ll be seeing you again…and your little family. My deepest regards and respect and rest to you, dear one! isaiah 30:15. You’re just beautiful! My thoughts across the tides of time. Humbled to know you, love. Bev

  25. you know, THIS last chapter was the hardest for me to read. It was SO intimate, this moment between you, (Ann) and God, that I felt almost as if I was seeing something I shouldnt. But then, what I discovered as I made my way through it, was that my discomfort was coming from my own lack of this kind of REAL intimacy with the Father. I have wanted it, and yet feared it. I have asked for it, and then backed away from it, from HIM. wat I realized as I was reding this book, this chapter, is that while I wanted to have that kind of closeness, I was afraid of what it would mean, afraid of what it would reveal about me, about my failings. Fear has been paralyzing for me, not in the agoraphobic sense, but in the fear of using my gift’s for his glory. My pride was so wraped up around it, that I refused to use it for HIS purposes out of sheer fear of what others might say. Subsequently, in the days following the completion of this book, I have found a new level of intimacy with God. (YES!) I have stepped out in faith and started a public blog (I have had a private one for years) and have begun to put pieces of myself, my tellings of HIM out there for others to read. It’s been terrifying and exciting all at once. I have not fully beaten back the fear, but I am praying daily for his strength to lead me through this. I know he has caled me to do this, and I am just holding on to him, giving thanks all the way for leading me, challenging me, and inspiring and encouraging me. HE is THE reason we live, we breath, and I am excited about telling his story, and giving him the praise he is worthy of, though so often I feel completely unworthy to give it…. Anyway, thank you for this book. Thank you ladies for this book club, and this community. I praise God for what he has provided through you all, and give thanks, for all of you.

  26. With sincere thanks to Angie and Jess, for their creativity and enthusiasm, tremendous thanks to Ann for her faithful example and teaching of eucharisteo, and most of all immense gratitude to God for his generous bounty of gifts. May I pray without ceasing in all of my days. Thanks be to God.

  27. Ann, Your words are transforming me. Thank you. I am one of those anxious souls, and have given this mixed up gene to my son. As I practice thanksgiving, I can see for the first time in quite a while each magnificent gift God has given me. I always have reached for the high shelf to find peace. I am taken back – to go lower. To be a blessing to God in thanksgiving. To find Joy daily! And this amazing gift I will teach my son. We will find the drops to fill our “glasses half full” and fill them daily and give thanks to Him for each glorious drop. I can see myself reading your book annually, as a reminder to live each year in eucharisteo.

  28. Dear friends,

    God’s timing is incredible. We prayed the books would arrive so that we could begin our book/Bible study the first week of February. I read Ann’s story, called out to God, and then to begin to ask the Holy Spirit to help me write study questions from the Bible, and applications as well, for the chapters in the book. We read the first three chapters the first week so they could understand eucharisteo and the counting of gifts. After that, we took two chapters a week, with the chapter themes falling out –time (entering the moments), exponential grace for ALL things, worship, dealing with anger, trust, humility, blessing and being blessed, and intimacy with God. All them being were undergirded by the practice of thanksgiving and helping us to focus on God–“sleuthing” the gifts with “eyes wide open.”

    I will finish with my classes tonight and tomorrow and we will share the Lord’s meal. Unbelievable how this book discussion has been on the same track as the our class study. It was a gift. 🙂

    I believe in the power of story and I thank you Ann for sharing it. It has taught me so much because it lead me to do something outside my “comfort zone” and that was to write the lessons and not just plugging in a video for my classes. (Not that I haven’t loved our video studies!! God asked me to do something I knew He could only do through me.) Using One Thousand Gifts as a jumping off point to see God’s principles and applications in our own lives, has been an incredible 7 week journey. I cannot express enough how I personally have been blessed and how much God has taught me in the process.

    I don’t think we feel like we are putting this away—the end is only the beginning.

    Thank you God. Thank you Ann. Thank you (in) courage friends.

  29. http://capturesadie.blogspot.com/2011/03/sabrina-fair-where-it-went.html

    I know the post linked is long and the meat of it is in the middle after some fun rambling and before many, many pictures of my life that I don’t wish for y’all to be interested in– but I wanted you, especially, Ann, to know that you’ve put words to and made even better sense of *the Word* that’s had me dreaming of a God of great gifts since I was 6 years old.

    I led a group of 7 high school interns last Spring (something I believe I shared with you, Angie, when I came and geeked out at Lifeway last May). In November, one of those kids’ brother committed suicide. Last night (after I wrote the above mentioned post) I got an e-mail saying another one of the boys’ step-dad committed suicide at home– in front of his mother , who stayed in shock and was admitted to the hospital for over 24 hours after this happened.

    A moment that feels like too much. “too much, God!” More than a 17 year old boy should have to help his mother bear. And I feel childish, as you did with cheese, Ann, counting gifts of grace around me as boy Ryan becomes man in the cruelest of fashions.

    Yet, eucharisteo always precedes the miracle. And to reject my own blessings in the face of this tragedy is to reject the grace from which I am able to give love to the alcoholic man-boy, who has shared with me his battle with rage and who I also watched cry at the video of the 2 1/2 hour old baby girl being taken from a mother’s arms. A mother who dared share that story with a world she’s often feared.

    Oh, yes. All is grace.

    Thank you– all three of you and whoever was behind the camera and the hair and makeup people 😉 — for taking the time. I think I speak for so many when I say that I see in each of you the God who turns piles into best sellers (to steal from Jess).

    I so appreciate you inviting us in.

  30. God has used this book to change me. Giving thanks is intimacy with God. I can have that intimacy right here. Right now. In the midst of the daily grind.

    Thank you ladies. Thank you for being so real. I’ve really enjoyed the videos.

  31. Thank you ladies for the videos! Your discussions added so much depth to the book. I looked forward to watching them each week and took lots of notes! I am so grateful, Ann, for you being so vulnerable to share yourself so freely and for allowing us to share in what God has taught you. This teaching really is for all of us! And I do believe that it is a “good” He is working out from the pain and heartache of your past (Rom. 8:28). Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing it all out and doing it so beautifully. We all are most grateful.

  32. A powerful and beautiful book, Ann. A delightful video series, ladies, plus each session deepened my understanding to new levels. Thank you to all three of you.

    I am sorry for the hardships, Ann, the sorrow, the grief, the trying to deal in ways you thought would fill the holes. I weep with you, sweet girl. I have a few of my own as we all do, I imagine. Yet, as others have said, God works them for His glory, for our good. And He is in my life.

    The intimacy with God that I am gaining as I count His gifts to me brings me to my knees. That vertical relationship is becoming far more than I could imagine I could have with the Lord of my life. The vertical piece of the cross is grounded in Jesus’ relationship with His Father and then they bring me into that relationship. Oh my! Jesus died for me, taking my sins upon Himself, dying for my sake. He was hung on that horizontal cross-piece, bringing in the fellowship of believers. As we break the bread together in communion, the actual communion is between Christ and me, Christ and each individual believer. He and I are fellow-shipping, breaking the bread. I learn to take all as bread, as Ann said, and it fills me up to full. I learn to give God thanks for all the bread-blessings which empties me for more God-bread-blessings. I eucharisteo-empty and I bread-blessing-fill and I live fully and I am learning to live life in eucharisteo. I remember Christ in every bite of bread, in every blessing. I remember Christ in every swallow of wine, in every blessing. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Eucharisteo precedes the blessing! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

  33. Thanks Ann for such an amazing book. I haven’t been able to take it all in. I will have to read it over and over. I have started my gratitude journal and have been so blessed by being thankful. Since reading this book, I have noticed in my own personal Bible study how many times God tell us to simply “give thanks.” What a simple concept. You’ve brought new life to being thankful. I teach young girls in a community outreach ministry and we have begun a gratitude journal together in our class. They were so excited about it. They want to do it at home on their own as well as in class. So many hearts have been changed by giving thanks!

  34. I realize how silly it sounds when I say that I cried because the book ended. But it won’t be the first time I’ve been called silly, so I’m good with it.

    I’ve been so overwhelmed with the density of all this, the heaviness of this treasure of One Thousand Gifts, too heavy to hold alone and grateful I don’t have to bear it up by myself. I am glad for the company of thousands of beautiful people all over the world along this journey that doesn’t end.

    It was a simple “I love you, Ann” that I posted to her Facebook wall, and when she immediately responded with a message of love and friendship I wept, sitting here alone in my pink sundress on this sunny Florida March afternoon. It was as though God said, “She hears your heart, so can you imagine how much I hear it?” They are good tears.

    My biggest challenge in responding to the chapters of this book has centered around knowing where to start, what to mention, what to highlight. I’ve said it repeatedly: there is just so much! There is just so much.

    And so I push past the overwhelm once more for one last chapter, sad for the ending but with immense joy for the new beginning this discovery has brought.

    I caught myself occasionally shy and almost a little bit embarrassed during this chapter, so I can only imagine what a dichotomy Ann must have felt not just writing it but living it, experiencing it, during her stay in Paris. Feeling like I’ve gotten to know her a bit through this, I felt her blushing a few times, smiled gently at her pale complexion deepening to pink and smiling at her Beloved as He wooed her. Perhaps something within me wondered, “Is it all right to be so open about love?” And I wonder that I wonder.

    Seed: I came face to face with a striking truth last night, even before I read the last of the book. Ann’s love for the Word soaks through her life in ways that can’t help but bloom through in her writing. Her depth owes to the fact that she is completely drawn to, in love with, the Word God and all the love He poured into the Word we hold in our hands, so easily accessed for most of us, and prized not nearly enough.

    Water: I have always loved the Word, but when in my life have I been the most drawn to it in ways that showed? I know it, without even thinking; it was when I was at my threshold of pain, watching my baby and then my mother breathe their last. If pain can catapult a soul into intimacy with His Word, how much more so should joy?

    Bloom: More of a hunger, a longing that can be filled only by time spent with Him in the Word, intimacy with Him that doesn’t stop and start but only flows.

    http://momentsfullyalive.blogspot.com/2011/03/ch-11-fully-love-to-fully-live.html

    Oh, how I love you all.

    • Lisa, my new friend ~
      If I did this just to meet you, it was so worth it. You have been a joy to me. You write from the bottom of your heart. Love you so! Isaiah 30:18 – The LORD longs to be gracious to you. He is! Stay in touch! My Love, Bev

  35. I can’t believe that this has ended. I didn’t post in all of the comment areas because I started late to the game.

    I have never cried over a book so much in my life.

    My husband and I have been trying for a child for nearly three years. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with, and I have the hardest time finding joy in something I can’t have, that I want so badly.
    It would seem that sometimes bad things continue to happen. We’ve lost two grandparents this year, and my husbands grandmother has had a relapse of lung cancer.
    My best friend moved out of the state, and I have nobody here to talk to. I spend many days at home, wishing there was a Christian group for women somewhere around me.
    It’s a never ending battle of trying to find joy in difficult situations. This book has helped me so much. Thank you Ann for your beautiful writings. Thank you Angie, Jess and (in)courage for letting this book club happen, and for putting in all of the efforts. It gives me something to look forward to, and something to find blessing in.
    This was amazing, and I can already feel God changing me.

    Thank you.

    • hi Rachael,

      such a rough time you’ve been having! in the circumstances, i can well believe it’s hard for you to find joy, but i thank God that you’re still fighting for it, and i’m praying that He’ll send it your way. in particular, i pray that God will lead you friends who will comfort, encourage, and bless you, and go through the hard things with you.

    • Rachel,
      I don’t know where you live so recommending a local women’s group isn’t going to be helpful but I wanted to express how very deeply I understand your pain.
      Although my husband and I were blessed with a biological child very early in our relationship we spent many years trying to build the large family “we” had planned. Infertility and many other personal losses plagued seven years before we managed to stop long enough to hear God speak …. gently to our pained and broken hearts.
      This book has spoken so completely to me about being thankful….I only wish I had the opportunity to have such wisdom spoken to me during those trying years.
      There is hope in God always…He is forever faithful…His mercies are truly new every morning and I will pray for you to experience , as Ann calls it, “the hard eucharisteo” that will undoubtedly bring you joy!
      Loving you with sister love and praying,
      Karen (Blessed Momma to eight…God’s way, God’s timing!)

  36. I too, had a little bit of a hard time, at first, reading the chapter. I was having trouble separating the physical from the spiritual. I was thinking of the words in a physical context and just couldn’t get past it. But then as Ann saw the sun rise over Greenland, my own heart warmed. Yes, I have experienced the Lord’s passionate, pursuit of me. He has stooped to bless in ways that He knew would mean alot to me. There have been times where I have prayed, “Whom have I in heaven but You. Earth has nothing I desire apart from You.” I just can’t get over such a love that would be willing to condescend to prove His love for me, as if giving me the greatest Gift, Christ, wasn’t enough??? How deep the Father’s love for us! How vast beyond all measure! How I want to bless His name!

    I’ve hesitated to start my 1000 list. I guess I was scared that I would do it wrong or I would make it an intellectual thing rather than from my heart. I want to re-read Ann’s book all over again! It would be my 3rd time. But I feel compelled to start my list and allow Him to captivate my heart once again. How I need Him to fully possess every corner in my life. My family needs me to be a woman full of God. I look forward to all God will do.
    Grace & Peace!
    Betty

  37. I am so, so thankful for the opportunity to read this book alongside all of you. Ann, thank you for being obedient and writing it, for sharing your heart vulnerably and transparently and letting us into how Jesus has transformed your life. I am deeply appreciative, and the Lord has been opening my eyes to so much through it.

    Thank you, Ann, Jessica and Angie for the videos! They were tremendously insightful and were a great accompaniment to the book, as were the blog posts. I loved getting to read each of your perspectives on the chapters and what you all have been learning.

    I was able to pour out my heart to a friend who is deeply struggling, sharing with her many of the things I have gleaned through this book and the Truth Jesus keeps hammering in me right now. Praise God, it was a huge blessing to her and has her drawing near to God, chewing on Truth as well.

    I am grateful!

  38. The whole concept of seeing God’s gifts in the midst of life was something I was trying to do before I read the book. I didn’t really have a concrete way of doing it though so the whole writing a list and keeping a journal helped. My problem was, I was doing it w/o seeing things right at home in the everyday frustrating “no mom” moments. Now I can see those moments for what they are, besides frustrating! Honestly, for me, this book really was a deeper step from the last book we read together (Sabbath, which I know not everyone read because of some of the content). That one was more of a starting point to just stop at least once a week and reflect and regather. This one is a daily Sabbath type of thing, which is easier said than done.

    Thank you so much for this book, and this group of ladies. Right now it’s the only group of ladies I have that does this. (Our church has ladies groups but due to how things work around here I can’t go.) It has been such a blessing.

  39. It has been a true blessing to have read this book and participated in this book club (I love you Angie & Jess – – you always seem to pick just the right books for us to read – – books that challenge us to grow). Some days it has been hard to want to be thankful . .somedays I just want to stay in bed, covers over my head and pretend that life isn’t going on . .too much heartache and pain). But giving thanks, “in all things” has given me strength, is making me look beyond my world and helped me step back into His world. I had put myself in a cocoon and learning the discipline of thanks has helped me to step out. I still may not like the trials in my life, but I have learned that giving thanks changes not just my perspective, but my heart, So, thank you, Anne for your writing (I’ve been reading your blog for over a year — but only began my list in November). Thank you, all, book club leaders and readers, for bringing some peace to my life . . . I can’t wait to see what book is next!

  40. This book has gripped my heart from the first chapter, but it was this last chapter that has captured me in the deepest way. I am a mom of six grown children, grama of nine … and through the hard things of life where God carried us and showed His love in so many ways, and where we could accept all as from Him, I have come into this intimacy with Him. Not perfect (on my part) as there are times when I pull away, but once we have tasted this intimacy, we will not be content without it. And Ann has described this, put it into words, in this last chapter … and I am so grateful. This is what we are made for … this intimate communion with our Creator, and our Lover. We are so undeserving, but He showers us with His love … and how can we help but respond, with our continual giving of thanks … and passing on this Grace and this Love to others. Thank you, Ann, for putting this into words that we can understand and can grasp, making it real in our lives.

  41. I love you guys so much and I am so thankful for the interview. Ann’s story has been such a blessing to me. I truly hope that my life and testimony can touch a life the way her’s has touched me.

    I had gotten waaay off of my course. Sure I read my Bible, prayed, but I realize it was route. The intimacy was gone. I was in a slumber. I knew God loved me…nothing can make me think otherwise where that is concerned, but for some reason I felt like “woe is me.” “This Christian life is so hard and seemingly unfair and I’m just trudding on through.” My joy was vanishing daily, but God has given it back to me in the form of this book and you ladies.

    Please realize that you are making such a heavenly difference here on earth and when you all get to heaven you are going to be wonderously blessed by what you are doing in the blogging community. Touching lives from shore to shore.

    Thanks ladies

  42. I do the same thing! If I could just have something more than I would be so grateful. When in reality I have so much to be grateful for now. I love how this book has opened my eyes to that. Seeing the little things and in return praising God for it. As christians we have to live intentional and this is just another way of doing that.

    Thanks for doing this book and the videos. They were enjoyed and I am sharing both!

  43. I join in with all the others in giving a heartfelt THANK YOU! for all three of you and this study! Thank you, Ann, for sharing your insight and lessons that God’s teaching you. Thank you, Angie and Jessica for doing the videos w/Ann and sharing these discussions with us all!! Thank you, Dayspring, for blessing me with a copy of this book that has opened a whole new world in my relationship with God! This will be a book that I treasure and re-read over the years. And there are so many that I want to share these revelations with!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! <3

  44. I just finished the book yesterday – it was so timely, such a treasure. God really used it to put His finger on some issues I’ve struggled with (namely, fear and anxiety) and to set me free! Thank you, Ann, for sharing your insights, and thank you Angie and Jessica for the videos and discussions.

    I can’t wait to read the book again!

  45. I hope that the videos and messages will be archived. I am started a new group with our Women’s Ministry. We have a group of 23 women starting this week!!! I loved this so much and was truly blessed by this I wanted to share it with others. I hope you decide to do more like this.

  46. Just giving thanks to God, . . . for sharing His truths in so many ways and knowing His love is forever and ever and ever! Thanks to you all for this book club! It was one of the answers to my prayers . . . God is so close! 🙂

  47. I sit here, a week after this last chapter was posted, and marvel in the ordinary of my days… how much I missed seeing God because I was waiting for the spectacular. Didn’t the Babe slip quietly into the ordinary, and my life is forever changed?

    Why was I waiting for God to DO something, when all the while He is waiting for me to see He has already done it? Did I see the sunrise and thank Him for another day? Did I pray to be more Christ-like and thank Him when betrayed by a friend? Oh, eyes that want to see it my way when God reveals His… and I am blinded by the glory of it all… God’s presence in my ordinary.

    Ann, thank you for pouring out that grace that you’re so full… Angie & Jess, thank you for allowing us to come together this way.

  48. THANK YOU all for the wonderful blessing of this book and online study! It has truly been life-changing for me. Thank you!!!!

  49. One thousand gifts has been life changing for me. I have read the book, listened to the audio book (Ann reads it) and done all of the videos now and will start again because it is so beautifully written and there are so many lessons to learn. I have purchased them for all my friends because they are part of my gifts from God. Thank you Ann

  50. Sunday morning and I finally finished this journey through Ann’s pages and i am changed– forever changed. Yes! Gratitude in the here and the NOW– not in the “could be” or “should be”. Who am I to say? Especially when there are more gifts than I can count in each and every moment.
    Thank you seems so inadequate… bless you, all of you, for opening my eyes.

  51. I am just finishing my second time through the book and have come here to listen to you ladies talk about Chapter 11.

    This book has changed my life and the way I look at each and every day.

    I can’t thank you enough, Ann for putting your words down on paper and sharing them with us.

    This book will be a gift for my daughter’s 28th birthday in June. My copy will stay right where I can pick it up and start reading it again and again.

    I tell everyone I can about it and encourage them to read it also.

    Blessings to each of you.

  52. I’m reading One Thousand Gifts for the second time along with friends online. We’re doing a share group together. Thank you! Thank you! Praising with you as I’m a part of your group this morning.