Would You Take a Dare to Name 1,000 Gifts in Your Life?

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Ann Voskamp’s breakout bestseller inspires a groundswell of gratitude online

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One Thousand Gifts

I named daily blessings, literally counting everyday gifts – all the way up to one thousand – and along the way changed my life.

What happens when a dare becomes a radical, life-changing journey to live more fully amidst diapers, basketball practice and other commitments? If you were to ask noted blogger and bestselling author, Ann Voskamp, she would tell you the dare she received to name 1,000 gifts in her life changed…everything.

Against a backdrop of significant life challenges, Voskamp was dared by a friend to write down 1,000 gifts. What started as an effort to name everyday blessings like “jam piled high on toast” and “cry of a blue jay high in the spruce” has grown into a worldwide movement of individuals recognizing and giving thanks for the simple moments in life.

Based on the significant response to her recently released memoir, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Zondervan, January 2011), which has ranked regularly in the top ten on Amazon since its release (currently at 24; with more than 200 “5 star” reviews) and also became a USA Today bestseller, Voskamp and Zondervan launched http://www.OneThousandGifts.com this week to give individuals everywhere a place to share their everyday gifts as they count their way to 1,000. Gift sharing is not limited to the site, as users are encouraged to share blessings wherever they are, including Twitter, Facebook, Flick’r and YouTube.

“Writing down 1,000 gifts woke me up to really living,” says Voskamp, “it’s sort of crazy, and it seems ridiculous, even trivial. I named daily blessings, literally counting everyday gifts – all the way up to one thousand – and along the way changed my life. My hope is that this movement changes many more.”

In One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp battles to find the meaning of life and fully embrace the surprising truth from the final scenes of Jesus’ earthly life, taking bread and giving thanks. A dare from a friend, Voskamp begins writing a list of one thousand gifts found in her average, periodically challenging, blessed life. She discovers it’s the simple moments in life that bring true happiness, like a high pile of freshly grated cheese or the music of her daughter’s carefree giggles. This fresh, heart-wrenching book unveils the long forgotten wonder that through the imitation of Christ’s thankfulness, we too can experience a life of joy.

Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhOUaszMGvQ to view the One Thousand Gifts book trailer with more than 80,000 hits.

DaySpring’s site for women, (in)courage, selected One Thousand Gifts as the first title for their recently launched book club, bloom (in)courage. Since February 6th, every Sunday a new chapter discussion video is posted to hear Ann’s perspectives and bring more life to the pages. Weekly questions are included on the site for group discussions and personal reflection. To learn more or to join the book club, visit http://www.incourage.me/category/bloom.

Ann Voskamp writes for DaySpring’s site (in)courage, and she is a contributing editor to Laity Lodge’s The High Calling with articles in ChristianityToday.com and The Beacon. Ann has been blogging for over six years at http://www.aholyexperience.com. With an avid following A Holy Experience has garnered numerous awards and has an international readership of nearly 6,000 readers a day. An author of an award-winning geography series for children, Ann is a global advocate for the poor, traveling for Compassion International. Ann lives with her farming husband in the Mennonite countryside of southwestern Ontario, raising half of a dozen kids, crops of corn and the roof in praise.

Zondervan is the world’s leading Christian publisher of books whose authors are noted for their excellence in the craft of writing as well as their worthy contribution to the ongoing global evangelical conversation. The works published by Zondervan not only confirm readers’ faith and understanding, they also challenge and stretch readers’ thinking. For more than 75 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general, ministry and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, and has been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., Zondervan publishes bestselling books, audio, video, curriculum, software and digital products in such categories as biblical languages and studies, biography, business, contemporary issues, counseling, cultural, devotional, evangelism, family, fiction, history, inspiration, leadership, ministry, pastoral, personal development, prayer, philosophy, reference, relationships, textbooks, theology, youth and more. Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online and by Zondervan ChurchSource, and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries. Visit Zondervan Books on the Internet at http://www.zondervan.com/books.

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