“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content…I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Eph 4:11-12). I used to read those verses and think, “Good for you, Paul...I wish.”
Contentment and I have a troubled history. Many reasons: chronic illness, physical limitations, and especially the propensity to live in the future ( I think I will be content when I get married...have a baby...accomplish this career or ministry vision…)
As a future oriented person who has always lived with chronic, holy frustration, reading Ann Voskamp's book, 1000 Gifts seven years ago changed me. Her close-to-the-heart chronicle of her journey into thanksgiving and contentment, and my processing it with her, felt like discovering Paul’s missing, long-sought-after secret.
Whether you've read her work or not, this is the perfect time to read or refresh her transformative insights, Ann describes herself as a “woman who speaks one language, the language of the fall—discontentment and self-condemnation, the critical eye and the never satisfied.” Her childhood story of loss and betrayal breaks your heart.
But she took a dare to list 1000 gifts in her everyday experience. In the midst of piles of dirty laundry, piles of dirty dishes, squabbles among six children and her husband’s concern over the viability of their farm in the great recession, Ann began to train her eyes to see God’s gifts and record them on her blog.This Thanksgiving I give thanks for Ann's book, especially three deep insights that have radically altered my life.