Embracing Eucharisteo: Interview and Giveaway With Ann Voskamp

Early this year, a book’s cover caught my eye. While I know better than to judge a book solely by its cover, this one made me want to stop, be still and drink in its words.

It was the new release (and now New York Times bestseller) One Thousand Gifts; A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by blogger Ann Voskamp of www.aholyexperience.com

A few of my friends  (her & her) had either endorsed her book or were mentioned in the acknowledgments section. I picked it up, began to read and its words penetrated my soul.

As I said here last week, learning to live in the moment and be grateful and fully engaged does not come easily to me. It is work. But the work is worth the effort.

I soon shot a Facebook message off to the author asking if she might be willing to grace us with an interview, even though I was certain she didn’t know me from Eve.

Weeks went by. I waited patiently but knew this busy farmer’s wife & mom of six might have too full a plate to respond to little ol’ me.

Then, on my birthday in March, I received a gift; an answer.

Not only was she willing to join us here, but she also blessed me by saying how she’d followed my ministry for years.

It was then that is dawned on me. Her website– a holy experience. Her name–Ann V. The light went on.

I searched back through my archives to when I first began blogging late in 2007.  The days when I wondered if anyone was out there reading.

My first entry got one comment. (it was spam advertising)

My second? None.

My third drew two.

My fourth post got three.

I scrolled to my 5th ever entry. It was on promoting family prayer. There were 5 comments. (one from the friend who started me blogging really didn’t count)

The commenters names stuck with me from those early days: kimberlee, Caroline, Vicki. I wondered who these women were.

Then, I saw it. There, dated a month after the post was up, was a comment from a mother who’d been pondering my idea in that post for days.

“Ann V. from A Holy Experience”

It makes me smile.

And I will smile even more when this summer Ann & I talk face to face when she brings the keynote message at our Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference in July.

Today you all get the chance to meet her here, if you’ve not already read her book or experienced her life-changing blog.

I do hope you’ll discover them both. Her blog is beautiful and both thought and thankfulness-provoking.

And her book?  As my friend Lysa, who endorsed it asserts, it is, “a book that will challenge you and mess with you in the most beautiful of ways”

Friends, meet Ann Voskamp:

Ann, tell us what life is like at the Voskamp home this spring.

Spring on the farm is my favorite time of the year! The smell of earthy warmth and the possibility of life and seed bags opening and us touching the dark soil again, us but dust too, these things move me deep.
Putting in a crop is family undertaking and our whole year’s livelihood depends on our faithfulness in these Spring weeks together.

This spring has been wet and we’re anxious for a window of grace to slip seeds into the earth again. This life keeps us on our knees!

You have always loved writing, when did you begin to see it as a ministry and means to encourage others?

Oh, I wonder if I am still in process on this, Karen? For me, it’s still about writing for an audience of One, of needing to write so that God can do deep, necessary work in me, and posting it is just a laying it out on the altar for God to use wherever, however, for whomever, He alone chooses.

If He uses it to encourage one other heart on this journey, to Him be all the glory alone …  I’m just a mess He’s faithfully washing in grace! I am so grateful to walk with other faithful Jesus-sojourners.

What prompted you to write One Thousand Gifts?

Well, I was just journaling the work God was doing in me as I struggled to find joy right where I was, when, through a string of grace appointments, an agent found me just blogging in a quiet corner and contacted me and quietly asked if he could help the farmer’s wife work out the things I was blogging into a larger framework, a place to go far deeper than the blog and invite folks to too go deep with God in pages they could actually hold.

I am so grateful for the work He did in me as the story of the dare to live fully was scratched down.

What is your utmost desire for those who read your book?

That God will free them from being bound to joy that is bound to circumstances. That they can experience wholesale joy, anywhere, anytime.

One man wrote:  “My doctor discussed last week how my processing of gratitude—Eucharisteo—as described in One Thousand Gifts, has effectively replaced my prescription for Prozac.”

And another woman wrote: I lost my daughter tragically three years ago…I have been through many books, many pills and many nights on the floor in tears, many clinched fists days turned nights, many Bible studies, many sermons…many come to Jesus talks, fought through ptsd and panic attacks fought bitterness and anger, envy and jealousy of others with baby girls…

Nothing tangible has helped with my grief heart as much as your words and your God journey in gratitude daily living…

Your words found me crying and laughing and cheering, championing and underlining, rereading and rereading sentences because they were so magnificent and full of truth and peace, just letters put together in such a way that screamed Joy and Peace to me.

I found a new calm, in just keeping my gratitude journal…in cultivating a heart of thanks, I noticed how the fear and anxiety and anger seemed to melt away….I noticed for the first time it was about Him loving me, the focus was on His love and grace to me, instead of trying to figure Him out, love Him and try and fail in a revolving door of grief….

I have shared your book with as many as I can, because I have seen the fruit in my own heart, in my own life….

That is all. For people in deep, dark pain to find real, lasting Joy. In His presence is fullness of Joy — and wherever we are, whatever we’re facing, there’s a way to come into His presence. This book is just about that….

You are a homeschool mom of six. What guidance can you give to women who want to love and serve God by using their gifts and talents and yet not neglect their duties (or miss their joys) as a wife and mom?

Ah, what to say? Perhaps just  use those fringe hours, early and late, all the margins of the day, the hours that everyone sleeps.

Our six crazy exuberant kids head to the barn every morning for 2-3 hours of work with my Farmer Husband, and I have those quiet hours to write and pray and just meet Jesus.

And then the full hours of light and lovely loudness and children, be all there, because yes, yes, yes, Karen, every moment as a gift, these blink years with children,  a calling to holy amazing grace.

Thank you Ann, for stopping by today and inspiring us to thankful, in-the-moment living!

Sweet blog readers, Ann is giving away a personalized copy of her book One Thousand Gifts to one of you who comments. All you must do is share with us one simple gift you are thankful for. The winner will be announced Wednesday.

Now, tell us…..for what are you grateful?


  1. My gratitude overflows. Attempting to choose one source tangles my mind, leaves me singing and aching simultaneously.
    For what am I most grateful? The gift of gratitude, itself…for the freedom, through accepting Christ’s passionate love and forgiveness, to live, day and night, in transforming, joyful, God-given gratitude.

  2. I am thankful for God’s joy. I got up early this morning and came to this blog. The words that stood out for me is where Ann was writing about struggling to find joy right where she was. I was reminded that my joy is not found in my circumstances- it is found in who is walking with me through my circumstances…….My sweet and loving Lord and Savior. Oh, I needed to be reminded of this today. Thanks!!!

  3. For your knitting, Lord,
    Wide eyes that sparkle, bright.
    For edible cheeks and double chins,
    Baby bassinet cat naps,
    And for haircuts with Barber Mom.
    Lord, they look so handsome!
    But more so, I heard their hearts.
    Did you hear them, too, Lord?
    Honor from the eldest.
    “I thought you wanted my hair combed all nice.?!?”
    Smile. Sorta spiky is OK if you “fix” it.
    Not outta bed, just woke up spiky–laugh.
    Big brown eyes, lashes thick.
    “I be brave, Mommy.”
    And he was. Courage!
    Daddy rescues tonight.
    A little princess with soapy eyes.
    He clothes her and gives her rest.
    Father, He reminds me of you!
    Valued. Protected. I see JOY, see Peace.
    Beautiful, bouffant blonde hair.
    Hearken back memory to baby curls, soft.
    He makes me laugh more.
    “Look at my goatee, Mommy!”
    Karo syrup, my sticky friend!
    Photo shoot snapped. God-confidence.
    Smile. Laugh. Live.
    Thank you, Lord, for knitting–
    People and memories,
    For archives and annals.
    And for fringes to scratch down.

  4. I thank God for the compassion and understanding He has placed in my heart for those that suffer from chronic illnesses.

  5. I am so thankful to be learning the truth of eucharisteo and practicing applying it in my day to day life with 5 children. What a shift of perspective I have had as I slow in each moment, give it my full attention, and then end up giving thanks for something, instead of complaining like I would have done before…just simply life-changing, and I’m so thankful for that!

  6. Wow. Sounds like a great book to read and pass on. I think all my children’s teachers end of the year gifts will be a reminder of the blessings we are graced with.

  7. I am thankful for being a teacher. I have come to know many precious children over the years. The children themselves are a blessing as they make me laugh every day. I love them all!

  8. There are so many things that I am thankful for, but for today it is the ability to serve others. Be it as a mom, a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a church member, a neighbor, a friend etc I can serve others and share God’s love in very simple ways each and every day and it just makes me smile!

  9. I am so thankful that He has shown me what true love is. He is love. He has also shown me that real love can also come from the husband He gave me and the daughters He has trusted my husband and I with. I have developed a new love for Him and for my husband and daughters that grows deeper every day.

  10. I am so very thankful for a roof over my head and warm food to eat tonight with my husband. It’s often the most simple things in life that we take most for granted. I am thankful for a Savior who dwells in the simplicity and stillness of life.

  11. I am so thankful for the gift of my children. I feel overwhelmed by motherhood when I don’t stop to thank God for each moment I have with my kids.

  12. Have enjoyed reading Ann for a while now and have wanted to read her book.

    I am thankful that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for me. The perfect man for such a unperfect me.

  13. Oh my! The list of things I’m grateful for could fill a multitude of pages and still only scratch the surface, but, if I must pick one, I will pick the most recent thing that I am grateful for: Long story short, I felt God ‘nudging’ me to try to raise my own scholarship to attend the She Speaks Conference and, ALL GLORY TO HIM – I HAVE THE FEE RAISED and will be attending the She Speaks Conference this year. Oh, well, I don’t have transportation yet but I KNOW if He provided the conference fee, He’ll provide a way to get me there!

    I just posted on my facebook earlier today upon finding out about having my scholarship raised: “I’m so humbled and in awe of God right now that I’m sitting here with tears streaming from my eyes.”

    If He wants you somewhere and you’re willing to go, He will see to it that you are there! Praise His Name!

  14. I’m thankful for the friend who gave this book to every lady in our Bible study class in our last meeting before we break for the summer.

  15. One thing I’m truly grateful for is the precious sound of belly laughs from children. You know the ones where they’re giggling with their whole bodies and inviting us to join them.

  16. I am thankful for a wonderful friend who wasn’t scared to ask the hard question…had I ever asked Jesus into my heart? I did in that moment and my life changed forever.

  17. I am thankful for God mercy to me! I hated my earthly father for many years because of how his alcoholism controlled our home. He is now in a nursing home and I am the only one he has that cares. The Lord allowed a change in my heart just a week before I had to make decisions on his behalf. God’s timing!! Awesome! I have learned to love this man I hated for so many years.

  18. Today my thanks overflows for the song of the cardinal in the back yard, the smell of the first peony opening in the garden today, and the Word sitting in my lap.
    Jean Sasse

    ‘The evidence of God’s presence far outweighs the proof of His absence.’

  19. I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness, the presence of His spirit within my heart, His Word which pierces my soul and draws me nearer to Him. For His son…without whom this life has no meaning. I’m grateful to have stumbled upon Ann’s book at a friend’s house which led me to her website where I read the 1st chapter…and now I’m reading my own copy of the book, savoring the lessons it holds. Ann’s words speak richly to my heart. To my grace list today I add the scent freshly mown grass mixed with the gasoline from my mower!

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