Friday, May 6, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

Though I don't read A Holy Experience regularly, I am always challenged when I do. I'd seen mentions of Ann's new book popping up all over blogland, and decided to give it a read.

As expected, I wrote down lots of insightful quotes, including the following:

"Our fall was, has always been, and always will be that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives." And on those same lines, "Ingratitude was the fall--humanity's discontent with all that God freely gives."

"Thanksgiving--giving thanks in everything prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ."

I loved this quote Ann shared from Julian of Norwich, "For of all the things our minds can think about God, it is thinking upon His goodness that pleases Him most and brings the most profit to our soul."

I was stunned by the pastor she quoted who said his life's most profound regret was being in a hurry. "Through all that haste, I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away." If that doesn't make you stop and think, read it again!

I was challenged when Ann reminded us that we always have the choice to be fully attentive. I am often guilty of letting my mind wander, especially (gulp) when I'm playing with my children.

An especially poignant section of the book involved a sinful exchange between Ann's two sons. Though saddened and even angered by her son's selfish behavior, Ann realizes in that incident that she needs to pray aloud with and for them. She thanks God for her boys, and thanks God for not leaving us in our mess. In doing so, she reminds her sons--and herself--about the hope of forgiveness.

Though the content in this book is excellent, I sometimes struggled with the writing style. Adverbs are often shortened ("clock ticks slow"), words are inverted to what seems natural to me ("The sun rolls across wheat warm"), and articles (such as "the") are often omitted. The book is certainly worth reading--I'm just mentioning that the nontraditional writing style was distracting to me at times.

Shortly after finishing the book, the main message of intentional gratitude was reinforced in the March 22 devotion from Jesus Calling: "Rejoice and be thankful! As you walk with Me through this day, practice trusting and thanking Me all along the way. Trust is the channel through which My peace flows into you. Thankfulness lifts you up above your circumstances. I do My greatest works through people with grateful, trusting hearts. Rather than planning and evaluating, practice trusting and thanking Me continually. This is a paradigm shift that will change your life."

Have any of you read One Thousand Gifts? What did you think? My sister, Monica, and I decided to post our reviews of this book on the same day, so please click here to read her thoughts, and also to wish her a happy birthday!

*Thanks to all of you who left comments on my blogiversary post. I truly appreciated your feedback! I always use the random number site for my drawings, and this time the number chosen was 9. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the 9th comment came from none other than The Homespun Heart! Happy birthday, Monica!!


thehomespunheart said...

(Gasp!) Really?! Oh, yeah! Great quotes shared - yes, they make me stop and think!

Love you!

Wendi said...

I agree about the writing style. It took me a few to get use to it. I am still not through the book. There is so much to take in that I keep stopping to re-read sections and take it all in.

Katie said...

I did have to stop and re-read the quote from that pastor...think I'll be thinking on that one for a while today. I haven't read the book...yet...but thinking I'll be adding this to my SB rewards wishlist!! It was great to read your review and Monica's ~ thanks! Have a great weekend.

erin said...

glad to read your review -- I keep hearing about this book, but I didn't know too much about it. have a great weekend! :)

Melissa said...

What a wonderful treat for Monica! Yay!

I also struggle with Ann's writing style but am usually encouraged to think deeper after I leave her blog.

Happy Mother's Day! Hope it's special!!! (Don't you love that I ended that with THREE exclamation points...ha, ha)

Melissa said...

I've heard so much about this book, but have been debating whether it was worth my time to read or not. I might put it on my Christmas list now and pick away at it. It also takes me a bit to read it with the different writing style. Glad to read a review from someone I know and respect, Carrie.

Carrie said...

I have this one on my TBR list but have not yet read it.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I must be honest in saying that it's refreshing to see someone comment on the writing style. While I've visited her blog a few times and do usually find little nuggets of wisdom there, I greatly dislike her style of writing and find it difficult to muddle through. Because of that, I rarely go to her blog and haven't read her book. All this time I figured it was just me because everyone else seems so enamored with her writing!

(I truly don't mean to be unkind in saying this, as I realize we all like different things.)

I appreciate reading your review.

Mom said...

I brought this book home from Monica's and look forward to reading it. As always, I appreciate your insights! Love you, Mom