As author Ann Voskamp begins her list of 100o things she loves in Chapter 3 of One Thousand Gifts, she describes 5 characteristics of her endeavor:
1. Writing the list makes her feel happy- all day. She describes her feeling as a “running stream of consciousness, river I drink from and am quenched in, a surging stream of grace and it’s wild how it sweeps me away.”
2. Writing the list feels strange. As a sinful human being, Ann notes that her natural tendency is to speak “the language of the fall- discontentment and self-condemnation, the critical eye and the never satisfied.”
3. Her initial efforts seem crude and trivial, like “guttural groanings”. Perhaps, Ann theorizes, her “full of grace” vocabulary must begin haltingly, in a simple and childlike way.
4. At first, it’s her friend’s dare that keeps Ann going- that and the giddiness she feels as she writes. But Ann realizes she will need a more solid foundation to sustain her effort.
5. That foundation is provided by Paul’s letter to the Philippians, specifically Chapter 4, verses 11 and 12. Ann reflects on what it means to learn to be content in all circumstances:
“Learn it like I know my own skin, my face, the words on the end of my tongue. Like I know my own name. learn how to be thankful- whether empty or full . . . That is a secret worth spending a life on learning. Even if it takes a Rosetta Stone of years.”