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A Thousand Things to be Thankful For

Ann VosKamp's first memory is of her 18 months old sister being ran over and crushed by a truck in her family's farm yard. Both Ann and her mother witnessed the whole tragedy as it unfolded in front of them. And this tragedy had ripple ramifications throughout her whole family for decades.

"I think my story is wrestling that out and working out the past, so I can live the present fully, and not miss what God has for me now..."

Questions such as "Where is God when bad things happen?" "What is Grace?" or "Do we accept what He gives us?" ran through her mind all the years while growing up. This resulted in Ann's need to control her life so that bad things don't happen. She was terrified of the whole out there; she became a prisoner of pain and fear. 

The challenge began one clear November morning: Ann received an e-mail from a caring friend who challenged her to write a list of one thousand gifts from her simple, everyday life. Unexpectedly, the ink from Ann's pen began eagerly flowing down one page after another.

God means for us to live fully. He doesn't want us to just survive. He wants us to fully thrive and enjoy Him in every moment of our lives. And that is what Ann's book, "One Thousand Gifts", aims to help us do - to focus on God and trusting Him in everything. 

"That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works." Psalm 26:7

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God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James1:12 NLT
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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.