I thought I’d introduce to you one of the women who first helped me start down this path, this journey to joy. She was the first to challenge me. She was the first who seemed to be in my thoughts and know me. To know what needed changing.
Meet Ann. Ann Voskamp.
I can’t remember the first time we met but we met for a 2nd time in 2013 when I began to reread her book 1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. She taught me to count my blessings.
We haven’t actually met in real life, not even on social media. I met her when I read her book. But she was integral in the very beginning of this journey. She lit the spark.
She lit the spark by getting in my brain and seeing how I felt and putting it on paper. Making me not feel so alone and awful.
I wake to the discontent of life in my skin. I wake to self-hatred. To the wrestle to get it all done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. Always, the failing. I yell at children, fester with bitterness….
…live selfishly, skip prayer, complain, got to bed too late, neglect cleaning the toilets. I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years, I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hopes….
…But this morning, I wake wildly wanting to live….I really want to really live.Ann Voskamp
It only took another couple of years before it really hit me as to what I was truly seeking. I think only because, maybe, I wasn’t ready. I was still too immature. Too blind.
Because I was certainly too blind to really grasp this…
The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace”. Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks.
But there is more, and I read it. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy”. Joy. Ah…yes. I might be needing me some of that. That might be what the quest for more is all about–that which Augustine claimed, “Without exception…all try their hardest to reach the same goal, that is, joy.”Ann Voskamp
Thanksgiving. Grace. Joy. All wrapped together.
Ann has written other books. She has a website and posts nearly daily. She is inspiring. Currently I am skimming through her book again, reminding myself of the great words of wisdom that helped prepare me for this path.
My journey to joy.
Thank you, God for bringing writers into our lives that inspire and encourage.
Thank you, Ann.
Do you have an author that has inspired you? Encouraged you?