It’s a spring day on the farm in Ontario. White apple blossoms fill the orchard, and dusty footprints track mud across the kitchen floor. As Ann Voskamp notes in the Afterword of One Thousand Gifts, “every breath’s a battle between grudgery and gratitude.” That’s why we must continually keep thanks on our lips. Ann listens to a CD she brought back from Paris, Eucharistique. While listening, she envisions herself in the cemetery, kneeling at her sister Aimee’s grave. Ann reflects on how far she has come:
“I remember her silken hair. I still don’t know why He took her. I don’t know why her children don’t run free on spring days with mine, laugh with my sister’s. Don’t know why my parents’ hearts were left to weep, eroding all the way. Though I cry, this I know. God is always good and I am always loved and eucharisteo has made me my truest self, ‘full of grace.’ ”
Ann recalls that she once read that the discipline of counting graces is not new. Seriously devout Jews still give thanks to God one hundred times a day. Dennis Lennon reflects on the significance of thanking God for His blessings in Fueling the Fire: Fresh Thinking on Prayer:
“Blessings keep our awareness of life’s holy potential ever present. They awaken us to our lives . . . With each blessing uttered we extend the boundaries of the sacred and ritualise our love of life.”
Thanks, Ann, for such a sensitive and thought-provoking book!
NOTE: The annotation for One Thousand Gifts will post on Monday.