With great hesitation I must confess something. This horrible, awful, no good truth that has been eating away at my soul over the last week must come out. The truth is One Thousand Gifts didn’t do it for me. I know, I know. What’s wrong with me, you ask? I honestly don’t know. Everyone else seems to love it. Something must be wrong with me…
Now, where to begin? When I was reading this week I found myself overwhelmed with language. I admit her words read as poetry and speak to the heart of the issue. This was wonderful at first but as the book progressed I found myself longing for a little more focus. I found the swirling images repeating throughout to be beautifully annoying. Sometimes I caught myself thinking ‘get on with it’ and that’s not where my head or heart should be while reading a book about spiritual awakenings. I also found her constant desire to feel joy always a little intense. For me life needs balance, the tug from both sides. If one always feels joy how can they appreciate it, not take it for granted? We were created in God’s image and Jesus had emotions and feelings and they came out in his teachings. I’ve often found God working in me the most when I’ve been angry or lonely, unsettled or discouraged. Maybe that’s just my way. I know I grow in the wrestling and questioning and I’m grateful to God for allowing me to do just that.
The message of the book is wonderfully simple. It’s something we all need to hear over and over again. Thanksgiving is living. When we begin to thank God for all of the blessings in our life, big and small we start to realize how much we have been gifted. It’s a great way of putting life into perspective and I’m totally on board with that. Trouble is I had a sense while reading that she was sitting a little too close to the theology of ‘God gives you these things to help strengthen you’ for my liking. Full disclosure: I acknowledge that these feelings may be influence by my own experience. I have had far too many people tell me that my son was born with CDH for a reason or that he has Autism for a reason and I have to say that’s ridiculous and very irritating. I usually smile and nod but this is my blog so I can say what I want. I do not believe God didn’t bless my son with a diaphragm so I could become a stronger person. I became a stronger person as God worked with me through a difficult situation but I don’t think he would be so cruel as to torture my son to benefit me. Seems very unlike a loving God. So while I was reading the book and hearing that all things are grace I was torn. Yes God works grace in all things but are those things a gift or is God walking with us while those things happen the gift? Maybe it’s the same thing but there’s a fine line for me and I’m hesitant to walk to close to the line.
I know my experience with the book is rare. Maybe it’s my own personal circumstance. Perhaps her voice didn’t jive with my inner dialogue. Maybe it’s just not my style. I’m not sure why exactly I didn’t get into it. There were parts I underlined and was challenged by in the reading but it is not one that will stick with me like others do. What I do like about the book is that it’s been such a blessing to others. I’m so glad she’s been able to reach so many people and help them grow in their relationship with God. This is truly wonderful and I will continue to enjoy her blog even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the book.
This week I’m reading The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan! You claim this doesn’t count? I agree but I’ve been waiting so long for the finale to his Heroes of Olympus series that when it arrived today I started in on it as soon as I was able. I’m also reading Speak: How your Story can Change the World by Nish Weiseth. That should cover my 52/52 project nicely.
**Another full disclosure moment. I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher to review. These are my feelings entirely (obviously) and I am grateful to them for letting me read and reflect on her words even if it wasn’t my style.**