I have not finished reading One Thousand Gifts yet, but so far I have really enjoyed it. It is about her journey towards living a life of thanksgiving. Giving thanks for the simple things, giving thanks for the life-changing things, giving thanks in the midst of the difficult things. She writes about finding beauty in the mundane and in sorrow. She counts one thousand things that she is thankful for. I stumbled upon this book at a time when I needed it.
I like the author's writing style. It's kind of stream of consciousness at times. Her sentence structure reminds me of William Faulkner, although it is not as difficult to read her writing as it is his. She makes numerous references to the bible, sin, and God's grace. She talks about her own struggle to let go of the pain of loss and to trust God. Here is a quote where she is writing of that struggle that resonated with me:
"No, God, Your plans are a gutted, bleeding mess and I didn't sign up for this and You really thought I'd go for this? No, God, this is ugly and this is a mess and can't You get anything right and just haul all this pain our of here and I'll take it from here, thanks. And God? Thanks for nothing."
I have had those thoughts, and I felt guilty for it. I cried when read that, because I was relieved that I wasn't the only Christian who has felt like that in the midst of loss.
The author proposes that the problem in life is not the lack of time, but rather the lack of thanksgiving. Slow down, take time to take in the beauty of life and see that thanksgiving makes time. She writes that she is thank-full and time-filled.
"Thanksgiving creates abundance; and the miracle of multiplying takes place when I give thanks."
I have benefited from this book, and I will probably buy a few to give as gifts. One thing about it that is a little distracting for me is that she doesn't always refer to her kids by their names. She has six children, and she writes about them quite a bit. She refers to them by names like "Tall-Girl" and "Little-One" etc. I have a hard time following that. She does throw in a name here and there, but I don't know which nick-name goes with the real name. I understand that she might want to keep the names of her children private, but I wish she had just chosen a regular name for each child and used it consistently throughout the book. Not a big deal though. Certainly don't let that little detail keep you from reading this beautiful book.