When everything is going perfectly in life, we can find a million things to be thankful for. But how about when life isn’t going as we expected or hoped for? That’s when things can get a bit difficult… and we hit that rut and don’t know how to get back up. So often times in life, we give thanks to God for things that we’re happy about… like our family, or that A+ or 3.8 GPA on our report cards, and giving us that special someone… But we should also give thanks in times of despair and hopelessness. But how exactly can we do that?…
I’m the kind of person that doesn’t usually purchase books to read. Unless of course, I know the book is good. But one day, I had decided to order books online from Chapters because I had a remaining balance left on my gift card. One book I purchased was by Ann Voskamp; One thousand gifts. Already, the title and the cover had drawn me in (although we all know not to judge a book by its cover). I finally got it in the mail a couple days ago (just in time since I had finished reading the other book), but I decided to hold off on reading it because I wanted to save it for when I go on vacation. However, that did not happen. I just couldn’t resist. After reading just a couple of pages, I already knew that the book had sucked me in…
Right from the start, the setting was dark and ominous, and raw. The author took no time to delve into the one topic that still left a hole in my heart– death of a loved one. It’s written in a way that if you’ve ever experienced it (a death of a loved one), it was like you were reading your own biography… the feelings of what you once went through… the feelings you still might be going through despite the many hours, days, months, or years have passed. This book was just so fitting because I for one, have troubles even to this day trying to survive, let alone trying understand what exactly it is to “live life to the fullest”.
Another reason why I got sucked right into the book was the fact the sentences on the pages were so easy to associate myself with. Especially this:
“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.” And it’s so true. In Chinese, we have this 4 word saying where it’s like “Give him an inch, and he’ll take a mile”. Do you ever find that our society nowadays relies too much on materialistic goods? I always find myself in a situation where I want something, and when I finally get it, it feels good for a while, but after, it’s just not satisfying anymore, or I want something else altogether. And in the book, this one sentence brought up such a great point:
“We are hungry. We eat. We are filled… and emptied. And still, we look at the fruit and see only the material means to fill our emptiness.” Bingo. It hit the nail on the head. Already within just those few pages of the book, within those few sentences, I found them describing -me-. Hungry. Unsatisfied. Materialistic. Empty.
As I’m reading through this book, I find myself lost in the words presented in front of me… and already, I feel like I have another project on my hands! I’ve recently started the “happiness is” section of my blog, and this one will be slightly similar, but somewhat different. And that is to give thanks. To make a list of 1000 gifts. I’m not going to post it up yet, because I feel for this one, I should write it down first. To make it more personal. And for those who are struggling out there to live life fully, I encourage you all to do the same! It may be tedious or sound silly, but sometimes, it’s these little moments in life that make you go back and smile. Even with my ‘happiness is’ section, I find myself reflecting on that and it puts a smile to my face. There was this one section of the book that definitely gave me a good laugh, because it is something I find myself doing. And that is the part when she was describing how she took out her camera and just started taking pictures of cheese. I often find myself holding a camera and just randomly shooting random things, and food is definitely one of them. I’m always worried that people may think I’m crazy because well, I’m taking tons of pictures of food. Anyways, that was a little off tangent but I thought it was quite funny.
…Although I have just started this book, I can already foresee it being an amazing journey of reflection, knowledge, and transformation. So I hope you guys will stick with me until I finish reading this book (which may take a while because I’m a very slow reader!). But if you’re too eager and can’t wait, then I definitely encourage you to go and buy your own copy, because trust me, you won’t regret it. I know I haven’t.