Book Review: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

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One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars ~

Truly a worthwhile read! This book surprised me and moved me. I am in love with Ann Voskamp’s writing style … it is poetic, deep, and rich. It reaches in and takes a hold of me at a soul-deep level. Oh, it was beautiful – pulling at deep, deep parts of me. Making me strive to understand, and also feel like maybe I could just let go and rest in God’s goodness and love.

Could it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God? ~ Ann Voskamp

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is bittersweet, and triumphant, and marvelously revealing. My heart wept for the tragedy endured, yet exulted for the glory, and freedom, and love discovered! Ann Voskamp is very honest and vulnerable, sharing openly from her heart. I get a glimpse into this life of a farmer’s wife and a mother of six. This woman who has faced raw heartbreak and hardship, and struggles against anxiety and listlessness.

In the messy, Jesus whispers, “What do you want?” and in the ugly, I cry, “I want to see – see You in these faces.” He speaks soft, “Seek My face.” ~ Ann Voskamp

I loved reading about the day-to-day experiences and getting a look at Ann’s relationship with God as she cries out, grows, wrestles, surrenders, and rests in the security of Christ. I loved the triumph, the bittersweet, the struggle, the hope, and the glorious beauty.

When I choose – and it is a choice – to crush joy with bitterness, am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness? ~ Ann Voskamp

This is a thought-provoking book that changed me. And I pray that I live in this change. I am so thankful to my God, and to Ann Voskamp for sharing her testimony.

What a book. I just really loved it and highly recommend. Such deep content. If you struggle with fear … depression … ingratitude … One-Thousand Gifts will challenge you and lift your heart.

I am a child in His arms and His breath falls warm upon my face and what I feel for this daughter He feels for me, and the gifts, all these gifts I keep counting, they are His love gifts and they’re slowly waking me up to the tenderest, fiercest Love of all. ~ Ann Voskamp

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Books for the Fearful Heart

Happy Saturday, readers!

Today I’m excited to share with you some books specifically addressing fear that have really impacted me. I have a heart and mind that tend to fret and be fearful, and are often within the iron grip of anxiety – and it’s taken me a long time to learn some of the lessons these books teach.

If any of you out there can relate, I wholeheartedly recommend these Christian Living books to you. First get out your Bible, then purpose copies of these books. And prepare to go on a journey.

Face your fears. Grow in faith. Lean on your heavenly Father. Find joy.

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Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for Your Anxious Heart by Maria Furlough

(I haven’t finished this book yet, but so far it’s been phenomenal. I believe God is using what Maria went through to impact my life here and now.)

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Fearless: Building a Faith That Overcomes Your Fear by Cheri Fuller

(Read my review HERE)

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Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back?: Facing Life With Courage, Not Comforters by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield

(Read my review HERE)

So there are just three books, besides God’s Holy Word, that have helped me in my battle against fear and anxiety (and even depression). I hope you will find the courage to acknowledge your own fearful heart and find help.

You don’t have to live within anxiety’s clutches.

God has so much more for you! If you could just surrender to Him! ❤

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As a parting note, I’m going to change my blogging schedule back to posting here on Lady Grace just once a week – Saturdays. I have some things coming up in life and I’m realizing I’m not going to have time for everything. So I have to cut back a little. I hope you all will keep joining me here on Saturdays!

And also check out my other blog: Between the Pages of This Bookish Life. I post there on Thursdays and share my Youtube videos on Mondays. This coming Monday’s video has to do with love & romance!

Book Review: Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back? by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield

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Can I Just Hide In Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back: Facing Life With Courage, Not Comforters by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield

My Personal Review ~ 4.5 stars ~

This was a great Christian Living read! Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back? by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield speaks to real struggles with frankness, applicable ideas, hope, and a generous dash of humor. These ladies know how I feel! *smiles* After just finishing Fearless by Cheri Fuller, this book felt like the perfect companion read. It addressed fear and anxiety – talked about facing life with courage and prayer – like Fearless, but was a bit of a lighter read and had me almost laughing out loud many a time!

Basically, Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back? helps you to be upfront with yourself, face your fears, and ask yourself if you’re going to keep hiding, or live the abundant life God has called you too. Honestly, people like myself, who struggle with fear, anxiety, depression, or listlessness, need books like this! I very much recommend. It’ll get you laughing while taking a look at your heart.

What did I learn? Run to God as soon as the fear/hopelessness hits! Pray continuously. Live life! Laugh! Walk by the Spirit. Sometimes I think we just take ourselves too seriously. God didn’t mean for us to live in bondage (whatever that may be), but to be FREE, walking by His Spirit. Trusting Him. With all that we are.

Easy to read, humorous, real, and heartfelt, Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back?: Facing Life with Courage, Not Comforters has the potential to help a lot of women realize they don’t have to hide anymore. God has it all under control. They’re alive and breathing, and He has a plan! I thoroughly enjoyed.

I received a copy of Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back? from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

** Originally posted on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life June 18th, 2017 **

To Be Complete

My friends, I have been on a journey of rediscovering my joy and passion. In the past couple years, I’ve struggled a lot … but life is coming back to me! I’m learning to put my faith in my Lord. Find my hope in my Heavenly Father.

It isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be really hard work! Some days you feel like you’re taking two steps back for every one forward. But I am growing – and oh, isn’t that a lovely thing? ^_^

If you are feeling frightened and hopeless like I was when I wrote the post below (last year), then I want you to know you’re not alone. God is faithful to bring us out of the valleys in time. There is hope in front of you. And heaven is His promise for His children.

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Some days, I just want to go home. I’m talking about my home in heaven.

Because some days are simply hard.

I’m incredibly blessed in many ways – not lacking in food, or shelter, or material things. I have a family whom I love very much. And dear friends, whom I can at least keep in touch with online. But that’s not to say that I haven’t had a share of emotional and mental trials.

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I’ve had days of emotional pain, fear, anxiety, loneliness, and hopelessness. Where my deepest fears and hurts seem magnified into life-sized foes. When, after an exhausting battle with irrational terror, I just want to curl up in a dark corner and fade away in non-existence.

I’ve experienced being thrust into confusing and difficult times … where hope is dashed … And my joy in life suddenly wanes. One day I wake up and realize I can’t see a future for myself.

Even after the intense hurt diminishes, I’m still left with a frustrating listlessness. A lack of excitement for life.

I feel purposeless. What is the point of my life? I feel hopeless. I can’t change things. I can’t make it better.

Sometimes I struggle to trust God. God, do You really, really care? I mean, how could someone like me have Your love? You who created galaxies and conquered death and reign for eternity. There are so many people who serve You so much better than I do.

Do You really see me, God, down here, afraid of everything?

Other days, I think I get a glimpse of His glory, and suddenly my soul longs for heaven, the place it was surely created for!

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There, I will know and be fully known. There, I will know that I am utterly and completely loved. There, my doubts, fears, and struggles will be entirely gone. There, I will see Jesus face to face! There, I will run to His arms and feel love, security, and peace. –And awe. Awe for my King.

There, I will be complete.

And here on earth, where the heart is burdened, it sounds particularly beautiful, the thought of being complete. The thought of resting in Jesus’ presence. Of praising His holy name in abandon.

For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

2 Corinthians 5:4

But, I suppose there’s still work for me to do here. And as hopeless and bleak as I sometimes feel my future is, God must have a plan. Because I’m still here. The world is still turning.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

So. I need to choose to trust God. To surrender to Him. Even in the hurt and the fear, I need to reach out and cling to Him, where He’s waiting for me.

Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:7-8

I must stop letting the darkness surround me and the Enemy’s lies cloud my thinking. Deep down, I know I’m letting darkness win when I stay in the hopeless place, afraid. Afraid of life. Afraid to reach out to the Lord.

No more. Because Satan does not claim the victory. I do. Through Jesus Christ and His awesome sacrifice and love! Because I am a Daughter of Light. And I can take my God’s Word and speak truth over myself.

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 62:8

For You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness.

2 Samuel 22:29

Speak truth! Always, always, speak truth. Cling to hope. Dive into love with abandon. God is love. And He loves me. He loves you. Even when we don’t believe it, He loves us absolutely, unconditionally.

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.

Psalm 62:5

My dear friends, if you understand how I feel, if you’re afraid, if you’re feeling hopeless, please don’t struggle alone. I’m here for you, a sister in Christ. Let me know if you want me to pray for you, or if you need someone to talk to.

Speak truth, brothers and sisters. Live for Jesus. And look forward to heaven. –Where we will be complete.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

1 Peter 1:3-4

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

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** Originally published on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life, April 15th, 2016 **