1000 Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp (Book Review/Giveaway)

I read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Life Fully Right Where You Are, about a year and a half ago. This best seller introduces readers to a word, Eucharisteo and a philosophy of living in light of the grace of God, as it says, right where you are. This idea of giving thanks always and living in the awareness of the brevity and fragility of life with joy is the theme of One Thousand Gifts. It inspired me to start counting along with a whole community of others who were counting their gifts to 1000 and more. When I was contacted about receiving the devotional One Thousand Gifts: Reflections On Finding Every Day Graces, which is based on the book, I was thrilled to have the daily refresher from this humble, much loved author. If you are not familiar with Ann Voskamp’s writing, she shares her child filled, Canadian farmer’s wife life at her blog called A Holy Experience. Considered one of the most influential Christian women of our day, Ann writes about giving thanks in the sometimes harsh realities of daily life.

What I love most about this book is that the length of the 60 individual devotional readings are not to short or long but just the right amount. Ann has a writing style that takes a bit of grasping. Tender and beautiful, it can be like catching glimpses of deep truths while gasping for air. She does not always follow straightforward sentence structure, which can leave you feeling, at times inspired and deeply moved, but at other times slightly exasperated! Her heart is poured out on paper and her courage shared is powerful. She shares with a gentle graciousness, and honesty that is hard to describe unless you read her for yourself.

Each devotion begins with a scripture, continues in Ann’s unique, in the moment, voice which brings you up close to the grace of God: “Gratitude is not only the memories of our heart; gratitude is a memory of God’s heart and to thank is to remember God.”
“This is the crux of Christianity: to remember and give thanks, eucharisteo.”
These are very much like her blog posts (possibly some portions are from posts?) but edited down to a very manageable daily portion. Each devotion is titled for a different grace: Humble Grace, Dark Grace, Small Grace, Wedded Grace, Standing Grace. As she herself believes, ALL is grace. Each devotional thought ends with a brief, heartfelt prayer, and a few lines for you to add your own thoughts, prayers of graces.
The first part of the book is reserved for these devotions but the second half (pages 205-245) are for you to personalize and begin counting “1000 Ways He Loves You…” Included are some quotes and the numbering of 1 to 1000. This makes this devotional/journal a great launching pad for you if you have not started listing your “gifts”, but also makes for a great gift. The book itself is beautifully covered with a bird in hand pictured and includes a pretty blue ribbon to keep your place.

A gift for you or a friend. For those who enjoy Ann’s Blog and book already, you won’ be disappointed, but thoroughly blessed with this treasure. This is a lovely devotional.

I received a copy of this book through Shelton Interactive in return for a review.
All opinions are my own.

Shelton Interactive has offered to give one winner a copy of Ann Voskamp’s book.

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True Riches on Monday

 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Philippians 3:7-9

First I have to say this: Can I get an Amen that there is some amazing fellowship in the Blogosphere?
I am blown away week after week, day after day, by all of YOU! You wild and crazy people. We communicate through e-mails, chats and comments and I seriously feel truly rich in Bloggy love. Don’t ever let anyone speak about all of the evil that comes through the internet. I receive multitudes of blessing in this CRAZY, loving place. I just wish I could grab each of you by your head with my arm and give you noogies! Then hugs. Once, while standing in a Cafe, when I was in my fanatically fit days I looked at a slice of chocolate cake and said ” That is evil”. Coincidentally, the guys standing in line ahead of me were seminary students (God just loves to do this stuff to me all the time) and overheard my statement. One of them looked at me and gave me the his best pitch for the problem of “evil” and assured me that the chocolate cake in and of itself was not evil. This led into what perhaps would be fodder for a future sermon upon graduation about the nature of evil. Really, God has taught me that a closed mouth and listening ears can carry a person a long way. Course I am a slow learner…and I am still un-learning my own practice: Open mouth, insert foot. I am expert with that. But progress has been made. I now eat the chocolate cake. Guilt free. Although I weigh more. I also know more now about evil than I ever wanted to! Just read The Screwtape Letters and you will be up to speed. After you read through your Bible first, of course. Duh!


I am grace-filled and sparked up to share the weeks gifts, blessings and miscellaneous joys! Get ready, this is gonna be a crazy ride!
So Susie @ Recovering Church Lady and I finally did it! 
We started a Blog Hop link Up that has been on our hearts for awhile. 
Dig out your journals, we know you have them. Now share.
We will be opening this link up every weekend (Saturday through Friday), 
so please jump in when you can, OK? 
Exciting News:
Stacy from A Life Lived Well has stepped up to the plate and will be the first one to share her testimony under my Faith Tab! I want to invite you to consider sharing your written testimony here at Beneath The Surface: Breath of Faith. If you are a blogger, I will include the links to your blog. But this invitation is open to all who are willing to write their story of coming to the Lord. I want to add, they do not have to be long and you do not have to have a blog. Stacy has shared a wonderful testimony and journey, please stop by and spend some time with a cup of coffee or tea as you mull over all she shares in her own “His – Story”. You will be blessed! (Should be “live” by tomorrow!)
(and the sweetest Kitties ever- besides my own, of course. Shh…they are jealous girls!)
featured one of my posts much to my surprise. Totally a God thing. 
One of those posts that I wrote, scratched my head and said, well Lord, 
that was not what I thought I was going to say but apparently You wanted to say it! 
He is AWESOME and I am grateful.
May He continue to Increase as I learn to decrease…the Lessons of Less this year continue. 
Monday night I enjoyed a wild night out at the library making cards for free!
(Picture Adam Sandler squealing : “For freeeeeeeeeeeee?”)
The bunny looked like a rat, but hey, I am a bit rusty.
This is my In-Laws wedding picture. I spent a couple of days with my MIL Grace,
and it was such a gift to me. Unfortunately, I was bringing lunch and keeping company because my FIL
was in the hospital. Still is, Spirit-led prayers are welcome, for health and healing. Our time of talking and company keeping together was part of my riches this week.
I am hoping to spend a few days with her this week as well.

OK, so seriously- Also I have been dealing with a bit of a “minor” illness as well.
 I actually did not write much last week. I was unable to lead my Moms In Prayer Group.
But after a Doctor visit, I am doing better.
However, I do have some upcoming tests.
Repeat after me: “YUCK”.
But, I will be brave and go.
Let’s pray that it remains “minor”. 

OK, So my sweet, wonderful,dear Mentor/Friend/Sister In Christ, Sharon Gamble 
(New England Regional Director for Moms In Prayer) shared this and you might find it interesting.
The link will take you to a Gallup Poll “These Are The Top 5 Most Religious and Least Religious States”

In case you need a Wake Up Call!

Thanks, I needed that! 
Say it with me today: I am RICH IN CHRIST. 
I AM RICH! In Christ! 
In Christ-
Rich – I Am! 
If you have Him. 
You are! 
Rock on! 

55. How He loves me 56. How He loves You 57. How He loves You and Me 58. Grace beyond measure 59. Too many blessings to count 60. These endless conversations spilling into eternity, precious 61. fragility of life 62. honoring a deserving family with our presence 63. hope for reconciliation for a tarnished relationship 64. surrounded by beauty despite pain 65. Grace for the moment 66. endless forgiveness in the asking 67. internet access 68. a roof for the rain 69. blankets, and lots 70. laughter defusing anger 71. boys at church 72. a kiss on the cheek from my best boy sweet 73. that He will allow them to grow by grace through faith 74. faith, Lord, I am awed by the gift of faith 75. His mighty power in my utter weakness 76. Kindest friends in the Blogosphere 76. My Bloggy BFF Pam 77. laughter in the face of adversity because of His amazing grace 78. My Mother-In – Law Grace 79. Love in my heart that grows wild and free and has it’s claim on me- not my own…80. New mercies for the morning

Linking with Ann and Carissa…

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Monday and Me- The Local Tourist

Exploring scenery with my hub! I made him pull
over so I could “shoot”!

Hub was on vacation so we decided to have coffee
on a freezing morning at one of my fave places:
 Hazard Rocks…OK, my decision.  
A regular photo subject: this tree and this water. Thin ice today...


Happy as a clam!

His idea was to visit Hazard Castle which he has been trying to find
to purchase for his domestically challenged damsel. 
Complete with help, of course.

Thursday a date at Starbucks with myself!
This week I decided matching socks were not really a priority,
thanks to my daughter’s input while
I disgustedly searched for my warm, woolly matched set.
Matched socks are highly overrated. Perhaps. 
Loved the lamp!

A visit to Westerly, RI to a bookstore, antique shop, park and historic library
followed by a beach stop on the way home. Hub made a nice dinner, too!

My girl and I had a wonderful visit in an eclectic and wonderful bookstore which I had been wanting to visit for some time:  Other Tiger.
The owner took the time to show us around, share some interesting
local history and stories of the outdoor rock garden. If you know my love for rocks, you realize this was pure bliss for me. Books AND Rocks in one stop. Coffee was the only thing missing in this winning equation! 
He also took the time to ask my daughter about about her reading interests and shared some great new books just released which appealed to her. 
We will be going back again!

I was intrigued with the beautiful detail of this door to the library!
Beautiful Wilcox Park

Moonstone Beach – this is the beach in the background picture you see when you visit my Blog!

One of my goals was to go through all of my clothes and let go of all that
is not useful,beautifully practical or comfortable.
 A sweet friend has started a free “Community Closet” at her church so
I culled and filled five bags for donation and daughter also followed suit!

*Saturday night was spent Rollerskating with my girl’s wonderful school! Inner thighs are feeling that!

My daughter and I spent Sunday afternoon re-visiting Narnia, 
my all time favorite story! 
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeWe curled up on the couch and enjoyed The Lion, The Witch and 
The Wardrobe, while hubby happily cooked up a storm, in the kitchen on his last day of vacation. We read this book as a family when she was younger. It was my favorite childhood book. The movie is nicely done!

As if you haven’t spent enough time lollygagging around here- check out my additions to the Fotos Page above. I am attempting to join in with Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare for January. I am catching up, and will be reading her book “One Thousand Gifts” this month!

I need a nap! Happy Monday- Have a great week- and remember to be a tourist in your own town!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

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