I recently read Ann Voskamp’s very popular One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, hoping to be able to take away some concrete instruction on how to become closer to God while going about all the mundane, everyday tasks that I complete in my role as homemaker, mother and wife.
I had very high hopes for this book, but, unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as I had wished. Don’t get me wrong, Ann has a beautiful way with words, but for a person who already has a lot on her plate taking care of children, a home, and trying to get a blog off the ground, I had a pretty hard time getting any information out of her sentences.
When I have a few free moments in my day to read, they usually come very early in the morning, before the kids are up, or late at night, when I get into bed after a busy day. At both these times of day, let’s just say my reading comprehension isn’t the greatest!
I had such a difficult time with this book, that I begin to think that maybe I had finally and totally succumbed to the ravages of mommy brain…I mean, I used to devour books like this in college…why was this so hard now?
Thankfully, I was able to take some solace in a review of the book on Amazon, in which the reader agreed with me that the language was more that of a poet than a self-help author and was difficult to read. Thank goodness, I’m not totally stupid after all.
What I did get out of the book was Ann’s advice to look for things/people/situations for which to give thanks…or eucharisto, as she puts it. And as you find each item, write them down, and eventually you will find that God is in everything all around you, and you will feel more at peace and connected to Him.
My main question upon starting the book was, “What is the point of all this laundry, mopping, scrubbing, vacuuming, etc. that consumes most of my days? What does this contribute to good in the world or in my family’s life (other than having clean shirts to wear!)? Her answer was that by doing these seemingly mundane and meaningless chores, you are serving others. And by serving others, you are doing what God asks of you. And so it is good.
If you can get through the language and make your way to the heart of each point, I would say that One Thousand Gifts would definitely be a wonderful addition to your reading list.