Ann Voskamp · 232 pages
Rating: (36.4K votes)
“I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep.”
“Sometimes you don’t know when you’re taking the first step through a door until you’re already inside.”
“Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.”
“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”
“Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus.”
“...the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.”
“They say time is money, but that's not true. Time is life. And if I want the fullest life, I need to find fullest time... the busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life...
God gives us time. And who has time for God?
Which makes no sense.”
“Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control, let go of my own way, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy's fire. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper a surprised thanks. This is the fuel for joy's flame. Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will. And I can empty. I can empty because counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, passionately values me. I can empty because I am full of His love. I can trust.”
“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.”
“Just that maybe … maybe you don’t want to change the story, because you don’t know what a different ending holds.”
“Satan prowls but he’s a lion on a leash”
“And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.”
“It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can't see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us...”
“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.”
“I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I've seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.”
“Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant—a seed—this plants the giant miracle.”
“Losses do that. One life-loss can infect the whole of a life. Like a rash that wears through our days, our sight becomes peppered with black voids. Now everywhere we look, we only see all that isn’t: holes, lack, deficiency.”
“...life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.”
“He does have surprising, secret purposes. I open a Bible, and His plans, startling, lie there barefaced. It’s hard to believe it, when I read it, and I have to come back to it many times, feel long across those words, make sure they are real. His love letter forever silences any doubts: “His secret purpose framed from the very beginning [is] to bring us to our full glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7 NEB).”
“Thanksgiving-giving thanks in everything-prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ.”
“When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us?”
“That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.”
“Stress isn't only a joy stealer. The way we respond to it can be sin.”
“I hunger for filling in a world that is starved.”
“Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy.”
“Lament is a cry of belief in a good God, a God who has His ear to our hearts, a God who transfigures the ugly into beauty. Complaint is the bitter howl of unbelief in any benevolent God in this moment, a distrust in the love-beat of the Father's heart.”
“Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is.”
“As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.”
“In our rushing, bulls in china shops, we break our own lives.”
“What happened in our house taught my brothers how to leave, how to walk down a sidewalk without looking back.”
“My mother's voice and my father's fists are two bookends of my childhood, and they form the basis of my art.”
“Apart the lovers could neither live nor die, for it was life and death together;”
“He's no kind of gentleman.
That's all right. I'm no kind of lady.”
“They had lived to see their simple patriotism derided, their morality despised, their savings devalued. They caused no trouble. Millions of pounds of public money wasn’t regularly siphoned into their neighbourhoods in the hope of bribing, cajoling or coercing them into civic virtue. If they protested that their cities had become alien, their children taught in overcrowded schools where 90 per cent of the children spoke no English, they were lectured about the cardinal sin of racism by those more expensively and comfortably circumstanced. Unprotected by accountants, they were the milch-cows of the rapacious Revenue. No lucrative industry of social concern and psychological analysis had grown up to analyse and condone their inadequacies on the grounds of deprivation or poverty.”
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