Ann Voskamp
About the Author

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. oh to be that exuberant – such is my prayer today!

    it just changes everything doesn’t it? just started the nehemiah study with the beth moore blog siestas, so loving it already (my first workbook bible study). and persevering with a bible in a year plan that’s taken almost two years – the end is in sight! it’s been great, but now i’m hungry to dig deeper into the word with more specific studies.

  2. Brie! The Nehemiah Study?! With Kelly Minter!? Oh you will be so blessed. I just love Kelly and her heart is so hard after Christ and we sat down and she talked about what God was teaching her from the book of Nehemiah — amazing, yes? I am hungry with you, Brie! What Bible reading plan have you been using, Brie?

    • Hi Ann,

      I’ve been doing the ESV study on the Bible App – YouVersion – it’s a great Psalm, Wisdom, OT & NT daily, but at times I’ve found the hopping around a bit disjointed? My husband is also really enjoying a one-year programme put out by Holy Trinity Brompton (Alpha) here in London they have an app that can be downloaded for smartphones and give a daily devotional, also a great daily reading option, particularly if you want something on-the-go!

      Now off for some much-need lunch time study in the midst of an extremely busy and stressful day at work!

      Be blessed.

  3. I am also doing the Nehemiah study. I did the James-mercy triumphs study and it was so good. Trying to memorise the book of James and find that the words come to me to encourage me in all sorts of situations. The word is living and active!

  4. This post has opened my heart so much to the possibility of sharing this Word to my children as a book……..we haven’t, we don’t, we should, we will. Where do we start? How do I get them to know that this is the greatest story ever told? They will not like it in the beginning, thinking it is boring – not as fun as reading a book on their bookshelf. But I know, I know the meaning of these words and I will share, listen to the grumbles, and one day they will know what you and I know. We need these words daily so we can survive the days with Satan. Thanks to you and your son for the encouragement to start a Bible read aloud aside from devotions. This book is filled with love, mystery, action, a novel like read that is sure to be their favorite book one day like your son Malakai. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your honesty, Karen. Maybe you should start reading to them aloud? Perhaps in Genesis…the beginning of the story of God, our legacy. There is so much wonder in Genesis, so you could probably start in small chunks…Lead them to the Hope!

      • I have read a wonderful read-aloud day-by-day bible for kids that has been a family favorite, the Day by Day Kids Bible , divided up into 7 minute daily readings by date to finish it in one year. But the most amazing part about it is that she has organized it in the order in which the events actually occurred – Reading this to my kids was the first time I truly understood the sequence of events in a coherent fashion (since the usual bible jumps around and repeats….) For example, David’s psalms are placed with stories about his life. The Gospels are combined to tell the story of Jesus’ life as a whole. The scripture has been simplified in some cases, but not ficiontalized or robbed of its power, it is straight from God’s Word. It is worth a look – the bible that put it all together for my kids and that they keep asking for more. The Day By Day Kids Bible, by Karen Henley

  5. I am reading the Chronological Bible with the goal of reading the whole bible in a year. Every day God through His Word blesses me with fresh revelation and guidance. Every morning is sweet as I spend time reading, pondering and praying His Word.

  6. Oh to be filled with such passion as I read the Word of God. And hear the Word of God! Problem is, I don’t like reading out loud, period… Thankfully my kids are grasping a love of reading anyway! We have gone through the Jesus Storybook Bible a few times and need to do it again!
    For my personal time, I have been living in the Psalms and Proverbs… Talking to God like David did and soaking in the wisdom of Solomon.

    • Julie Ann, your words encourage me. The two things you mentioned are doable for me and I don’t feel overwhelmed with another to do. I end up feeling at times like I have failed in so many ways with my kids and myself in staying in the word. We do devotionals, bur i want more of a love for the word for myself and my kids. A good friend gave me the Jesus Storybook Bible. I feel encouraged to start reading it with my girls.

  7. Right now we’re in Luke. My youngest has his favorites that I read over and over again. I love it when he pops up in daily conversation and offers a nugget of truth he’s learned from our Bible reading actually using it in the right context, the meaning coming to fruition in his life. It’s the Living Word, is it not?

  8. This had me choking back emotion, Ann. Well written!! We are reading through 2 Chronicles and my 7 year old has permanent eyebrow furrow trying to keep the kings of Judah and the kings of Israel straight. She wants to memorize which ones walked in the way of the Lord and which did not. My 4 year old boy is definitely showing signs of living dangerously. I lose him a bit with some of the genealogy and geography, but his back stiffens and eyes glow wide when anyone is dying! I tend to cringe a little that this is perhaps all he’s taking from this, but I have learned to pray out loud too him and with them that we will find grace in the stories no matter what violence we come across. It’s an adventure, on many levels, but it is all good!!

    • Oh Kathy,I love this – yes, it is an adventure, isn’t it? Praying aloud with your children – such a gift to them. Love and grace.

    • Kathy, You may want to check out the What’s in the Bible DVD series ( for your 7 y.o. DVD #4 covers Chronicles and Kings, telling which kings followed God and which one didn’t. They’re really well done – I’ve been learning things, too! 🙂

    • When we read through Kings and Chronicles years ago when my kids were young we kept a big sheet of butcher paper on the wall with two columns for the Kings of Judah and the Kings of Israel. As we read each day we added the king’s name and a smiley face or frown for how he followed the Lord. Some needed both! Don’t we all?
      It’s very interesting too, to read the two accounts of each king (from Kings and Chron.) simultaneously. Some info gets repeated (good for remembering) but’s it’s fun to play ‘detective’ and see how the stories are different and what extra info. is added in a given account. I loved reading together in this way. Enjoy while you may!

  9. My husband and I are in the second year of the discipleship journal reading plan. There’s a lot of reading each day, but it has been so good for us to be in several parts of the Word at once. I fall behind and he asks if I’ve read this particular story. He misses a few days and I ask if he’s read that encouraging verse. We help each other hobble along and this has grown our union more than anything.

    With the kids, all 4 under 5 years, we are reading the Gospel Story Bible each morning and the Jesus Storybook Bible in the evenings. I’ve really enjoyed the Gospel Story Bible as it tells so many stories, even the more obscure ones, but ties every story back to Christ. I would highly recommend it.

    Thank you, Lord, for Ann and her pure devotion to your Word and to You. I am so thankful that you have raised this humble woman up to be a mouthpiece for you in this season.

    Ann-I got to see you in Nashville a few weeks back and am still remembering that there’s nothing wrong with being broken. Thank you!

  10. Thank you for renewed inspiration to keep reading Him (The Word) to my little ones. Jesus is walking me through John this week. I love it so much already. And, yes Ann, it is all “grace upon grace” from His abundance (John 1:16)

  11. I cry too when I read Scripture. Scripture for me comes alive and I’m standing right in the midst of it all. It’s a gift. Like John and Daniel and Ezekiel. So, I cry. I’m living in Scripture. I live for Scripture. It’s a gift. Scripture is my reality. This world is an illusion to me.

  12. Oh, Ann, does this bring back precious memories of when our boys were young! Tom always read from The Word. I read from devotion books. Oh, they sat just as attentive as he read those bloody stories (which I thought were too gory for children)! Jonathan was especially so VERY eager to hear more! He lived those stories! And is now doing it with Abraham! Now, as I read this same story of Moses, I too weep! Tom has wept with others. Oh, to be one with Christ! How better could we have it! How very blessed we are!
    By the way, am praying for you many times a day especially this week! They must be doing a documentary on you???? God’s blessings and my love to all the Voskamps! 🙂

  13. i struggle with scripture reading both for myself and for/with my children.
    I am selfish with my time and full of pride and arrogance because I know God will wait!!!!! (I am shocked that I am admitting this).

    I also struggle with slowing my heart down to truly absorb and understand His word. all of it has been read many times and at times, it all just seems like words. ugh. I know it is my failure and not the failure of the WORD. I rest in amazing grace and mercy.

    I follow a bible study on my iPhone, encouraging parents. but truly, I am addicted to computer time.

    • Yes, Shannon, we all rest in His amazing grace and mercy. We all do. We all need Him in our every moment. Before you read, pray for God to guide your heart and mind. Pray this for your children as well. He is always there Shannon, and He love you so…

    • Shannon, I so understand you! I have been there more than once, and I lack discipline in so many areas. Try hard to remember how sweet the slow, honest times with Christ have been. It can take you back to a love for Him and His word that will have you hungering for more. I still struggle daily with wanting to check the news or email, or whatever instead of spend time with Him. Somedays, that wins. But, when I stop and determine to give God my attention, the blessing is immeasurable. The Scripture Typer Memory App Ann recommended a while ago on her blog is SO great! It has ignited my desire even more to ‘eat His word’, and hide it in my heart. I would totally recommend it. Also, Mt Zion Bible Institute on the internet has The Attributes of God, by A. W. Pink, plus a study guide for free. Reading that book, you will be astounded at the enormity of our God, and it will leave you wanting to know Him and be with Him more. Praying for you! Press on in faith!

  14. Beautiful. Your writing woos us to feel again… begs us to love the Word again… reminds us to cherish that which so easily becomes commonplace. Blessings to you and your family, Ann.

  15. Indeed — best. read. ever! Thanks for sharing this. It gives this pregnant mama, expecting our first living child and first boy (how does a woman raise a boy into a man?? I guess I’ll try to find out) so much hope and even more excitement for the adventures ahead…

  16. Isn’t this why God calls us to become like a child…hearts wide open…hearts ready to be touched at any moment. When I first came to the Lord in my 20’s I did not even know the books of the bible…I read it like a child…that child- like wonder…I could not get enough. I was building a love relationship…I had to know my Lover heart and mind. And this is what I tell my kids…read to build relationship…to spend time getting to know your Friend…never read just for knowledge sake…knowledge alone can puff up…building a living , loving relationship brings us to His feet.
    and look at those sweet pictures today…I love watching you dangerously becoming:)

    • Oh, the Truth in your words…read to build a relationship – yes! Spend time getting to know your Friend – yes! It brings us to His feet – yes! Your words are a gift to me today.

      • Ann…when we read the Bible for ourselves to build that friendship…then when we share…or in your case read…you read from a love relationship and not duty…your kids don’t only hear your sweet voice…but when you read it comes from the very depth of your heart…you are reading from your spirit and heart connection with your friend…the Author. Kids are very wise…they know…they know better than adults what is authentic.
        That is why I love listening to your voice , your heart read 1000 gifts…you bring it alive…I hear you read from your spirit…not just your words.

  17. With my first son, 21 now, I read the Bible, told him the stories. But through my involvement with an unhealthy church, what most might call a cult, I lost my way a bit. In leaving that environment (thank God) I became hardened, disillusioned and sad and as my second son, he’s 13 now, came along I failed to share the Word with him day by day as he grew. God has been using you, among other things, to bring me back to Him and I am mourning the loss of second son’s young years where I should have been sharing the stories, sharing God’s Word in storytime. I am still struggling to find the place we need to be, to find a community of believers… a place where we can worship, grow in faith, and serve as a family. I really don’t know how to share the Bible with my son at this age when it’s not been something we’ve done other than lead by example (he sees me reading now) and be ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15).

    • Hi Ann, The pains we heap upon one another & life heaps upon us, it’s hard. God is Healer, fixing what we can’t, helping us do what we can’t do. He will help you with your sons as you walk down that healing path.

    • I am sorry to hear of your struggle to find a place of worship–I know first-hand that that’s a hard place to be in.
      Some of the materials from Answers in Genesis might be of interest to your son. Reading the book, “Adam and His Kin” by Ruth Beechick might also get him interested in reading the Bible. You sitting yourself down and watching a movie like “End of the Spear” (if you can handle a really intense and sometimes graphic movie–PG-13) when your son is around and then when he asks “What are you watching, Mom?” you tell him, “Oh, a story about what happens when these guys go to tell these jungle people about the Bible and they all get speared to death.” He’d probably be pretty interested in watching something like that. (If that’s too intense, there are animated ones in the Torchlighter’s series that you could watch when your son is around “just because someone online told you about it and you wanted to see what it was” The idea is that your son gets curious about what you’re doing; don’t bring home a movie and say, “let’s watch this together, honey” because he won’t go for it then.) Or you could casually start a conversation about how a situation in Star Wars or Avengers or whatever he’s interested in reminds you of the story in the Bible about_____________ (fill in the blank). Boys seem to like it when their moms are interested in what they think is cool (as long as their friends aren’t around) and if you listen and ask questions, they’ll tell you all about it (non-stop) :). And conversations about the Bible and God can sometimes spring out of that and generate interest in reading the Bible. Above all, pray! This is just what’s been working pretty well with my son who’s “not really interested” in reading the Bible lately. Hope it helps somewhat.

  18. What do you do when the word feels uninspired? When you’re reading through the curses on the Ammonites and you just can’t grasp how that can be your daily bread? I know it’s true and good, but it’s hard sometimes.

    • Hi Meredith …

      Maybe you were asking the question of Ann only … but I couldn’t help but pop in here, knowing so deeply this feeling, too. Those stories used to scare the daylights out of me! And frankly, they still do, which I think is OK.

      Not all bread tastes the same — some of it is bitter, hard to eat, harder still to swallow.

      For me — a woman who once doubted to the core, even doubting Christ’s very existence — this is part of how I came to know that the Bible was true, not fiction. If the Bible were a slick marketing tool, someone would have stripped all the hard stories out, leaving only the stuff that made us feel good. But it was left in … because it happened. And all these years later, these hard stories speak deeply into the places of our broken humanity … and straight into my sin.

      I don’t pretend to know what a lot of those stories mean. But I’m learning. I’m a student. And I’m sure God thinks I ask a lot of crazy questions, with my hand waving in the hand from my classroom desk. 🙂

      I *do* have a handmade bookmark, which I slip between the pages of the hard stories. In my handwriting it says this: “Keep reading. It’s not the end of the book.”

      Blessing upon blessing to you, Meredith, as you seek hard after Him … even in the hardest stories. Thanks be to God, our story has a Hero and the very best Happily Ever After.

      • Your thoughtfulness left me teary-eyed and stronger this morning, and it has taken me all day to get back to the computer and thank you. Thanks for taking a chink from your day to be a blessing.

        • Hi Meredith … I came back this morning, to see if you’d come by again. I’ve prayed for you today. And for me. And for all of us, really. For we are all just taking one step at a time, in a walk that sometimes feels like a stumble. Your honesty is a blessing. Let’s hold tight to the hand of the Father, who keeps us steady — and who loves us right in the middle of our hard questions. Much love and grace to you this day, Meredith.

  19. I am reading the stories of Moses in a chronological bible. I am constantly amazed at the new things I see. Praise God for life-long fresh manna!

    I also “discovered” the “Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally LLoyd Jones that I recommend to those who are struggling to understand (or even enjoy) the scripture. It is wonderful for young and old alike to show the overarching story of God’s incredible love. It creates a frames work that increases understanding of the bible itself. I actually use it in my women’s bible study. It’s wonderful!

  20. I find I go through seasons with Bible reading. Periods of great diligence, then periods where I can’t seem to sit down to do it. Especially in the summer when my kids are home from school and our routines are constantly changing, I find it hard to make the time that I should.

    A couple of years ago, I felt lead to read through the Chronological Bible in a year, and while I was glad that I finally read the Bible from beginning to end, I found the daily readings too long to properly digest. But without the structure of a plan, I’ve been a bit all over the place since. This winter, I kept being brought back to the book of James, and worked through Beth Moore’s study with a small group of women (other military chaplains’ wives). I loved the depth of the content and the intense consideration of one book, but when it finished, I again felt at loose ends. I am hoping that God will soon lead me to another specific book of the Bible to study. In the meantime, I have been reading through the devotional books that accompany Completely His by Shannon Ethridge. Each daily reading gives a good sized bible passage to read and then a reflection along with questions.

    I wish it were easier for me to just dive in to the Bible, but I find I need a plan, structure, or guide to follow.

    Please keep encouraging us with your stories, Ann. Your honesty, sincerity, and hunger for God are a blessing to all who read your words.

    Sherry (near Ottawa, ON)

    • Sherry, I just recommended this to another gal on here… Google Mt Zion Bible Chapel on the internet and search for The Attributes of God by A. W. Pink. It is my facorite book ever after the Bible. You can download a free study guide (you can also just read each chapter of the book online free). Commit to doing one chapter a week. They are very short chapters, but the depth of His character, outlined with scripture, has astounded me. Going through it a second time now. Blessings. Hope this is some encouragement. Laurel Rivera

  21. Two days ago, my 8 year old asked for a *real* bible. He doesn’t like that the childrens bibles lack the whole story. So we went and we bought him one, and he is SO happy with it, he has started to read it, and oh what grace!! The things he tells me, God has grabbed tight his little boy heart and wont let go. I cry even as I say this… what a gift this is for him, for me as his momma….

  22. Ann, this is so beautifully, richly relayed, and you have made God’s Word come alive here. It *is* alive!! When I was saved in my 20s, I couldn’t get enough of it and went through the horrendous trial of giving up alcohol. I started consuming His Word instead each morning, and then I’d read late into the night by the lamplight’s glow, His Word literally pressed against my chest as I finally drifted to sleep–His Word like a quilt of comfort warming my soul. God’s Word was alive when I read in Eph. 5:18 that I was not to fill up on dissipitating wine, but to be filled with His Spirit. And I continued to fill up on His Word. This gave me courage not to drink (not AA, not a psychiatrist–though those things can help)–but in my case, He showed me that He alone would help me. It was His living Word which gave me the courage to put down the bottle. I have never stopped drinking His Word. It is my life, my health, my comfort, my joy, my means of survival. And one day, I just picked up His Word, when it was so hard not to drink. God spoke “Joel” into my heart, when I didn’t even know the book existed! I opened the Bible one time to Joel and read in 2:19 that God would send me grain, NEW WINE, and oil, and that I would be satisfied in full with them. And I have been. I praise Him for the new wine of His Word, which is real, and living, and ever flowing. Oh, thank you for your excitement over and praise of His Word!! It is our very life!

  23. Loved your story. And your boy’s tears.

    I remember the first time I really read the words in my Bible that said only this: “Jesus wept.”

    I couldn’t stop crying.

    (Praying for you all week, brave friend.)

  24. You’re Kai….he feels.

    Oh, that we would all feel Him and experience Him in the deepest places. We can!

    I’m in Nehemiah. It’s tearing me all to pieces and breaking me in places that need broken. Nehemiah’s compassion…’s something I don’t naturally have. So I’m praying for it – and I know the Lord will give it – and I trust much good will come from having a heart like His. I’m also in Mark….and on those pages I see the compassion of Christ – and it drives me even more to ask for a compassion – filled heart.

    Compassion filled hearts – are what makes a difference in the world.

    Thank you for encouraging us to feast on the Word. Nothing will fill us like the Word will.

    Kate 🙂

  25. Yesterday my 3-year-old son said “books are booring”… and my heart still aches. I long for him to love words and the Word, and feel like I have failed. Too much TV, too many games on the iPhone, too much other stimulation, and I feel like a failure. But there is grace and forgiveness, and God is using you, Ann, to hope that we can move forward. Because loving the Word is too important to give up. I’m re-learning to love it after it became a Textbook in Bible College, after I thought I knew everything, after years of babies and not enough sleep or time. I’m digging in, shedding my pride, seeing with new eyes… and I trust that as I learn to love the Word again, God will pour it over into the lives of my two little boys. And maybe into my husband, too. Two tools I’ve been loving lately are the reading community, and the Jesus Storybook Bible. Blessings to you sweet sisters…

    • Picture Bible story books would be great for your 3 yr old Amanda…there are so many amazing illustrators that would captivate both of your boys!

    • Amanda, as a mom, I can relate to my heart being bruised when my children turned their noses at books and suffered from a 21st century case of ADOS — Attention Deficit Oooh Shiny!

      May I offer some suggestions? Imagine for a moment your family embracing a new bedtime adventure each night of acting out the Bible before you read it together as you tuck them in? Chose a story and bring it to life in ways that they can feel, see, take part in, and own — march around your home together as a family with trumpets, march around it seven times, explaining the story as you march, answering their questions, encouraging them to make noise, lots of noise, and to march confidently as they wait upon the Lord to “bring the walls down”. The walls that are coming down are more than just walls — it’s the distance between the Word and their heart — that’s what’s being changed.

      Imagine on a rainy night, as they are all bathed and into their PJs, climbing not into their beds but in a makeshift cardboard boat in the livingroom, or perhaps simply moving the sofa into the “ocean that is the livingroom floor”, and giving them a blanket as a net to catch fish. They don’t catch anything, and you could ask why, use it as a springboard for discussion, and then say “when we invite Jesus into our boat, into our hearts, it is then that we catch something!” And then as they invite Jesus into the boat, have your husband “fill their net” (stuffed animals?), and see their delight in bringing up the “catch” and count them.

      Each night, you could read that night’s enacted story out of their children’s Bible as you tuck them in, showing them the connection between the fun they’re having and the living Word lived out through your family.

      One day, before long, you’ll come out of the laundry room and find a boy perched on the kitchen table, lowering an action figure down by an inverted parachute onto the floor below where his brother anxiously waits — and before you are able to say “BOYS, what are you doing??? Get off the table this instant!” They’ll look surprised and say “But mamma, wait, we’re lowering the hurt man through the roof so Jesus can fix him!”

      One of my sons, now 13, once the “I don’t want to read, books are boring” boy, eventually learned that he could even avoid bedtime by asking me to read a devotional story with him, and then asking questions. I knew he was stalling and avoiding bedtime, but he was still getting fed the Word. And what mother can resist feeding her young?


  26. What a gift! I have so often felt that I have to make the story exciting, entertaining, or understandable for my children. In His grace, He is teaching me that He alone grants understanding and interest. All He asks me to do is be obedient, and call on Him for these other things. He is able. He desires…even more than I do…to fill my child with His story and draw her into relationship. He simply gives us the privilege of participating as we read His words to them. Again, what a gift!

  27. I looooove this –
    “We, the Word-God’s poiemas, are our realest real, when eating His Words.”

    And it’s so true. Why DON’T we read the Bible to them more?? The best stories of all time. Truth come alive!

    Great inspiration. [ I have a Hope and Levi, too! 🙂 ]

  28. Thank you, Ann! Precious words about THE precious Word! Our morning has been a mess, and prayer with my dear littles has been healing. Now to take them to the word! And as for Joseph! -my heart LOVES that story (and is sometimes a bit at odds with the pain of it)! I think it should be the crest of any family living in hard times or special needs (maybe all of us!). Our life has those twists and turns that I never would have imagined, but I know that it is all working to his glorious grace in the end!

  29. Good Morning Ann,
    Our church ladies, a group of about 30 are going through One Thousand Gifts this summer every other Tuesday – and it is such an amazing book and wonderful experience we are having as we go through it, I went through it last year with Bloom, and enjoyed that immensely! Thank you so much for the beautiful message that breathes through every chapter!

    I am also doing the Nehemiah study (Kelly Minter) on Beth Moore’s site, that is just getting started…. I love Nehemiah!

    In my own Bible reading time, I am reading straight thru the Old Testament and in Deuteronomy…glad they are almost to the Promise Land!!!

    One of our associate pastors spoke last week on why we believe what we believe and started with the Bible, and he was a former atheist, and now is so passionate about the Bible, he moved me to tears and gave me even a greater appreciation of this beautiful love letter God has written to His people, it is our life and breath and it is Truth!

  30. this made me crave for the days of sitting with my 6 children in the living room and reading to them. So miss it.

  31. My boys love the Old Testament – the stories, so full of drama and action…they really gravitate to that (I admit, I cheat a bit by using a children’s Bible – it’s abridged, with summaries of the stories and quotes from actual Scripture. Maybe I should be bold and read to them from the actual unabridged Old Testament?).

    I just finished reading through the Old Testament for the first time in my life – this girl who didn’t own a Bible till I was 36! It took me FOREVER – I’m not on the Bible in 90 Days plan. I read just a few verses – a chapter at most – early in the morningS. This practice has changed my life. Truly.

    {prayed for you as I jogged yesterday, Ann – for courage and inspiration! You are doing big thing through Him! And the week is almost done! Will pray some more today…}

  32. Right now I am doing the Beth Moore “Mercy Triumphs” study. Last night was session 7, and I am so sad to see it ending. Memorizing the book has been remarkable for my life, as I see daily application for the words of James. It’s amazing how one line will just pop out as I am going through my day, as the Holy Spirit guides me through the work He is doing in me!

    My daughter and I are reading Esther right now. Sophia is 5 and was amazed to hear about the party only for girls. She giggled through that section. I love reading to her, and although she uses it as a delay tactic before bedtime, how can anyone say no to a little one asking to read the bible? As an added bonus, my 2 year old gets to hear the stories as well.

    My son who is 7 likes the book of John. His name is Jonathan, and since that book is his daddy’s favorite, right now it is his favorite as well. Jonathan loves to hear the travels of Jesus and of his miracles.

    Thank you for all of your words.

  33. I am reading the Bible in 90 Days this summer and my heart is being captured once again by my Heavenly Father – who turns no one away who honestly seeks Him. I’m telling my girls the stories too.

    It is the best of reading this summer! Eyes wide open. Heart growing. Faith building.

    • Stacey! Heart captured all over again by Him in 90 days. Who doesn’t want this? Best Summer gift ever! Thank you for all the ways you live out His grace and Truth, Stacey — so grateful for you.

  34. I just started Old Testament survey at ORU. My kids have so hated my constant study. Maybe the answer that will ease all of our frustration is a read aloud daily! Thanks for sharing this story.

  35. That was one of my summer goals- to read the Bible daily with my children. Unfortunately, I haven’t done very well. But today’s a new day & I can start again! Thanks for the encouragement to do just that.

    I’m also doing te Nehemiah Siesta summer bible study (solo) – I just ordered my book yesterday & can’t wait to get started!

  36. I began reading the One Year Chronological Bible on January 1st. It is changing my life and I love it. Singlehandedly, the best thing I have ever done so far. Ann – I love you and your writing. Whatever is afoot on the farm, I pray for you. Remember to be strong and courageous….
    Love in Christ

  37. I’m learning to meditate on the Word….reading just a sentence or phrase at a time and chewing it over and over until I have squeezed everything out of it that the Lord wants me to know about it. I’m so used to the standard “chapter a day” or Bible plan way of reading that I found myself really just glossing over so much, so I could make the mental checkmark that I had done my reading for the day. Now, I’m learning to put the brakes on. Yesterday, I read Colossians 1:5, just that single verse. And it led me on a wonderful treasure hunt about the subject of hope. How it’s stored up in heaven FOR us. How it means confident expectation, not wishful wavering. How it’s meant to be applied to our lives today, not in the someday sweet by and by. So much nourishment in that single verse… and now, instead of watching my watch as the minutes pass, I’m getting lost in the Word, always hungry for more of what the Father has prepared for me.

  38. i was so surprised to read some of your words here, Ann. sometimes, its as though our hearts are saying the same thing, at the same time. i wrote a story a little similar yesterday in my writing journal about watching my child in worship and how it sparked questions in me: “when was the last time i threw arms out and face up to heaven and just surrendered like a child? when did i lose my passion? my love for God? when did i stop craving him?” yes, children make us see these things…i believe God gave them to us for this reason. {i will post that story soon}.

    being honest? for me, being online kills my ache, my drive, my cravings for God, for creation, for everyday beautiful rhythyms. its hard for me to grasp the need for reading the black and white on the pages, talking to an invisible God who doesnt audibly talk back and folding a pile of laundry that will just need to be washed and folded again tomorrow when there are people right on the other side of the screen giving me near- instantaneous gratification for my efforts. so what im trying to say not very succinctly-*blush*– is that i feel that all the instant gratification of social media keeps us moms and wives and children of God from these daily beautiful, very needful relationships that are right here in front of us to glory in if we will only still and be silent long enough to revel in it, to calm to see the steady, natural liturgical rhythym God has created. i dont know what i would have done without your blog, Ann–it changed my life–and still does–and i will continue reading–but really being honest? all the time spent on the internet reading and holding relationships? i dont know how anyone does it–maybe im the only one who is so weak? im finding that i’ve had to be brave and step away, not worry if i appear unloving in my solitude–because i feel God calling me to it. i thank God for Mrs. Sally Clarkson’s books–in one im reading she says when her children were little, she severely limited her time on the internet and did not get on it in the evening at all–i see the practical wisdom of this and soak it in. these things and my own sin of course, my own unintentional or intentional turning from God when i dont want to feel His correction or disapproval for my hard heart…those are the things that keep me from Him.

    reading right now…i turn to the Psalms at night when i have insomnia and to prevent insomnia–because God’s word soothes my soul like nothing else can. also, the girls and i have been going through the sermon on the mount and reading it aloud together, learning from the NIV and the Message what Jesus’ words mean to us in our daily lives, and having them write down some scripture. i would love to take it one step further and read the whole love story to them as the greatest read-aloud ever!

    you always inspire, dear Ann who walks full of grace. thank you for these words here today, that completely leave me undone, at the foot of the cross, make my hunger come alive– I wept along with you. “I laugh through the ache! He is Joseph! Kai is Kai! God is God! We are well! The Word has done it…We weep out of recognition. This story is us. This is the read that is deeply revelational. We see us.”

    sorry for writing a book here–i have so much to say after reading your blog for over a year! ~smile~

    • Nicole….


      “being honest? for me, being online kills my ache, my drive, my cravings for God, for creation, for everyday beautiful rhythyms. ”

      Thank you.

      Please know I am nodding, reaching over and squeezing your hand and nodding. Thanking Jesus for you… (((Nicole)))

  39. There is nothing in all the world that is as sweet as God’s story in the Bible. His words are life, hope, encouragement, strength, transformation . . . I love that I can spend my life inexhaustibly pursuing knowledge of God that will never end. What a fantastic adventure full of the greatest riches! Thank you for so eloquently illustrating and communicating this truth!! Thank you for your example of the joy of feeding these words to our children. Wonderful!

  40. A quick backdrop: my oldest son recently received a pretty “bad report”, from a national test, on his listening and comprehension; my second son has high functioning autism; my third son is just learning to read and trying to find confidence; my little girl is just 2, but oh how she can learn quick (!); my husband is a worship leader who is learning how to lead others in a life of worship; and I am a bundle of mess who is trying to hide His Word in me that I may survive this “spiritual heart surgery” I am undergoing. We began a family reading after breakfast or supper. A chapter a day, beginning in Acts. In the mornings I wake to “go away” with my Father for an hour or so and the kids come down and try to settle down to a routine of Bible reading and journaling. My husband goes in a bit early and first thing tries to read and study and write. Passions are growing in him, healing and understanding is happening in me, comprehension, writing and teaching skills are developing in my oldest, a love for The Word and memorization is filling my second, a smile and courage is overcoming my youngest boy, and my little girl…well, hopefully the development of grace and joy (the meaning of her name)! I know no other way to breathe in and out, even in the midst of trying to type this out and children yelling and crying and needing me (so I must go), than to inhale His very breath and to exhale only because of His grace! I will keep on walking with the husband and 4 littles with this “Dangerous Book” in hand and in mind and in heart and in soul because to be “safe” would mean to forsake the One Who has never forsaken us! (So loving you and your words, Ann! Just wishing a bit that you were coming to Denver with WOF:) Thank you for praying for our city of Colorado Springs. Would you also pray that we would have this great opportunity to help spread His love!?)

  41. I searched for and purchased a chapterless, verseless Bible, so that it would read more like a book. Biblica sells this. It is the TNIV The Books of the Bible. I encourage you to try it. It isn’t the version of my choice, but it is great to read through the Bible in this “new” way.

  42. Jesus is the Word and so the WORD WRITTEN is Jesus right there in front of me. I adore this. Hebrews has been the greatest adventure for me as I have so long struggled with belief, feeling it impossible at times. That book just tells me my story plain as day and I know that I can enter God’s rest here and now or stay out in the desert and die there–I have tried to live in the desert in every way I can muster, but then I’ve tasted Water and it keeps calling me back and back for the relief it offers. I only wish I didn’t keep trying to live without it!

  43. Thank you..thank you..thank you! I have 7 year old twins that I have failed….I start doing devotions with them and stop…not staying consistent at all. I am inspired and excited to start reading them God’s Word…the stories I grew up learning…making it real to them. Making Him real to them and in turn more real to me!!

    Thank you for your heart and all that I learn from your posts!

  44. Yes…so beautiful. Your stories are always so encouraging – and beautiful because they are REAL. Beautiful gifts from God.
    Thank you.


  45. Loved the story Ann!!!

    I listen to the Bible in a year. This year I’m using Today’s NIV version & am up to Song of Songs. Having done a number of Bible studies I can always repeat a story in my head as it is read to me.

    Listening to my pastor for the last 8 years I can tell what some of the books are about. James–about taming the tongue, etc.

    Love listening to the Bible first thing in the morning and praying about my day!

  46. The hardest part of reading scripture, especially the Old Testament is all the killing. And not just the wars. To cleanse a nation of evil is one thing, but this is a bloody mess and humans are still doing it to each other. I know. It is how evil we are, but most of it was demanded by the Lord. And if they showed mercy and kept someone alive, they were punished for it…

    It’s just very hard to read. But I’m making my way through again. Trying to find the good in all the mess.

  47. Spiritual seeds were sown by my Mother and my Grandmother reading Hurlburt’s Bible Story Book to me. At the time, like lots of kids, I really wanted to be outside, but TBTG, that didn’t occur.
    About 20 years ago I began reading a One Year Bible, then about 5 years ago switched to a Daily Chronological Bible.
    Before I began with the Chronological, while still reading the Daily, I said, OK God, I want to see how you interact with your people. So I paid attention to the quiet voices, the visions, dreams, clouds,
    The next year, in January, I said OK God, I want to see and hear how you interact with your people in the NT. Somewhere, end of Mark, beginning of Luke, I said, I don’t get it God, I don’t see the wind, the pillars, the mighty acts – and, as clear as a bell, HE Said, “That’s me, with skin on.” Even now, as I type, it gives me goosebumps and tears. In an instant the scales had fallen from my eyes and heart, and I saw Yeshua as I had never seen Him before. And now the Word is forever changed. TBTG for your gifts and talents. God Bless.

  48. Ann, I wept as I read of the emotion of Kai as you read Joseph’s story to him. But mostly I wept for the years I raised my two children and did not do this. We took them to church, they met Jesus, we prayed over our food and when we tucked them into bed at night, but we didn’t pour the Word into them. They are now 23 and 26 and wandering far away from Him. This is my deepest pain, and I struggle each day to trust that the Prodigals will return because His wooing love endures forever. How I regret that we did not do this….younger ladies, add to your gratitude journals that you have the opportunity to do this while your children are still at home. I would give ANYTHING to go back with the understanding I now have of how important this is. Thank you, Ann, for what you are doing to prevent regrets like mine. You are such a gift to so many.

  49. The line ‘the cement gives a way and I am alive’… oh that our lives and hearts can be fully alive and fully feeling the depth of the word. You amaze me. May God continue to pour HIS blessing upon you and your writing. It is a gift for us all.

  50. I read the Bible one summer. Beginning to end. And the gnawing hunger for more has never left me. It is bread. It is water. It is blood, spilled and broken. Without it, I die.

    May all children, ever single one within our reach, be fed the life-giving manna.

  51. Adore this post!
    I am using the slackers and shirkers Bible reading plan and just loving being in different parts of the Word throughout the week. I am also leading Priscilla Shirer’s Jonah study about navigating a life interrupted for two women that have very interrupted lives…a nudge from the Lord to just do it and it has been a blessing. Thanks to one of your links
    my 8 year old Caleb is starting his day following along with the Kids Daily Audio Bible…we both enjoy it so much.
    Summer can pull one from every side…pursuing hard to stay close to Him and His Word no matter the strength of the tugs.

  52. I am reading the book of Hebrews aloud with just my God and me. I will be teaching it at Community Bible Study next year. I read it silently and now I am reading it aloud so I can absorb it better. My children are all grown. I read the the Golden Bible story to them that my mother read to us. They also loved their Bible stories on tape with picture books. When our second son died my husband bought out oldest son a Bible in his brother’s memory. He was nine years old and read it from cover to cover. The pain and loss of his brother/best friend broke his heart and crushed his faith. He had a deep love for God as a small child. I believe that God will bring the prodigal home, that He will restore the years the locusts have eaten and the circle will once again be unbroken. Ever grateful – Pat

  53. Oh, Ann! The sweet hearts of your children (and husband) often make me tear up. What a wonderful gift you are giving them. I often have many regrets for not giving my daughter a love for the eternal Word. So glad others are reading the Chronological Bible. Our small group has worked our way through it twice and loved it both times. I am also working through Beth’s James study (love the subtitle, Mercy Triumphs) and am trying to rev up my 61 year old brain to memorize the book. So far, chapter 1 is somewhat conquered! A sweet friend is praying for me to not only memorize the book, but that I will have mind of Christ that can truly take hold of it. It’s amazing how easily the words fit into our days.
    Thank you so much for sharing your family and life with us.
    p.s.–Your husband is right–you really are quite beautiful,inside AND outside:)

  54. Wow. I am so encouraged by this article. We really can have children that love God and love His Word. It truly is the greatest Book ever written. Thanks for this today! I needed fresh motivation.

  55. Ann, you are a gifted storyteller. I could see and feel the intensity in the room as you read aloud that ‘dangerous’ book! My husband is a children’s pastor and all I could think as I read…oh if every parent would read this and realize just what you realized and experienced. The WORD – alive and so exciting.
    Thank you!!

  56. […] this today and I thought to myself, “My Frans must see this!!!!”   . . . a new perspective on summer reading. . . Share this:TwitterFacebookPinterestEmailLike […]

  57. Oh, that is a great story…and one of my favorite’s too, because I’ve always wondered about that moment when Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers…and how after all that time, he still loves them 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I didn’t see who had written the article when I started reading…and I thought, this sounds like Ann Voskamp…and voila, I was right 🙂 🙂 🙂 So funny 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Thanks for blessing me today with this great post. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  58. My kids are so young.. and still so hungry for the word… I too wonder where does it come from? But really, I know the answer comes from Him above. Our two year old daughter always asks for “her bible” when we read stories- the one she most loves is The Jesus Storybook Bible.. and her and her brother (4yrs old) often ask for the “Jesus songs”, which are some sing along CDs we have. How exciting and easy their young faith is! Why do we often lose that when we get older?

    Praying for you Ann, and excited at the mystery you are creating on the farm this week!

  59. Oh how beautiful this is Ann. Oh my goodness. I am encouraged beyond words with this post. In April my husband and I started to read the Bible to our 4 and 2 year old starting with Genesis. A friend of mine encouraged me to do so after she finished reading the entire Bible with her three children who are all under 5 yrs old. I am beyond blessed by seeing the work God is doing in my children’s life through this.

    The story of Joseph probably one of my most favorite stories. Haven’t we all felt like Joseph at one time or another?

    I was going through a very dark and hurtful time about a year and a half ago, and my go to story was that of Joseph. I never noticed before how Joseph’s son’s names Ephraim and Mannaseh mean “Causing to Forget” and “Be Fruitful”. Isn’t that just a picture of how God helps us move on past pain and into a place of complete joy in Him?

    Thank you again Ann for a peek into your life on The Farm.

  60. I just finished memorizing the book of James after studying Mercy Triumphs with Beth Moore. I’m sad! It’s like coming back from a honeymoon….I remember where I was when I was memorizing chapter 1….or when I was memorizing the part about saying ‘today or tomorrow we will do this or that’…..All through this, the enemy kept asking me why I was doing it….but you said it perfectly….it is the best read ever! It is the best book ever, and it is holy…written by God Himself…the greatest author ever….why would I not want to hide it in my heart! What an honor that He would patiently tutor me and instruct me in such a way! That He was pleased to do it!
    I remember reading about David and Goliath, and although I knew the story, I could almost hear the drama music in the background of my mind as I read (as if I were viewing a movie) ………and yes……I will forever hear Joseph wailing…..wailing so loud that even Pharoh heard about it….and through that broken heart, imploring ‘Is my father still alive’? The day I knew without a doubt that the Bible was true was the day I read that Judas went out and hung himself. It was like the Holy Spirit let a lead weight drop in the pit of my stomach….and that lead weight was the truth. Not always would the truth be that heavy….but I saw it that day stark and bleak……… for Judas.
    So…on to the next read…wherever God leads….I must say, Isaiah looks like an amazing, personal love letter from God…maybe I’ll go there!
    Thanks for sharing this Anne….I forget what a great treasure our God has given us! Thanks for sharing your family. Much love, Sandra

  61. Our two week old grandson shares your son Malakai’s name! I pray that our little one will grow to love reading the Bible too. His family has been inspired by yours to do Bib;e reading after every meal and it’s a joy to see little ones listening and discussing. Thank you for sharing your family with us, Ann.

  62. What a wonderful desire to cultivate in children. This story is what I hope will happen some day with my own family. Since I started reading the NLT, I’ve gotten a much better sense of the narrative in scripture because I simply end up reading more in one sitting. 1 Samuel through 2 Kings is my favorite stretch of scripture, though the story of Abraham was quite relevant for me when we moved from Vermont to Connecticut and then from Connecticut to Ohio. Abraham’s story has all the elements of a classic road trip story, only God shows up!

    I’m sure it’s no surprise to you Ann that I have a hard time getting into the Psalms, but I’m currently reading through the Divine Hours to up my Psalm exposure.

  63. To Ann: Could you tell us what version of the Bible you read aloud? The only clue I could see is it has a blue cover with a brown leaf on the front. Also…do you read straight through to the children Gen. To Rev..or…skip around to the stories. Seems like a book like Lev. Would be hard to keep their attention and some passages might be a bit too brutal or graphic for younger ears. Enjoy your writing so much. Thank you.

  64. The tears just dripped down my face as I read this! I have seen this hunger in my kids before!! We have lost it now, allowing the busyness in. But I believe we will start again! It is never to late to teach this love! It is funny that two nights ago I sat on my couch in tears reading a book but I can’t remember that last time I let God’s Word touch me that deeply! I know that it has but it has been a while! This makes me hunger again! Thank you for me and for my kids!

  65. Once again Ann, you have moved me to tears. I have so many regrets for not doing more with my children when they were younger…and now we are seeing the fruit of our being lax in taking it upon ourselves to train them and teach them.
    Mamas of young children…seize the day. There will be a time when you will no longer have the full attention of your children, and you do not want to live with those regrets.

    I have been doing internet searches all morning, looking for some of the Beth Moore online studies that many here have recommended…but all I can find are studies I would have to pay for…..either by signing up somewhere for a study, or purchasing a book and study guide. That is just not possible for me right now…we have just gone through a huge financial upheaval and lost our home to foreclosure in December. Right now all I can afford is….well, free.
    Any suggestions?

  66. Thank you Ann-full of grace…have recently started your book~what a breath of fresh air. Just found your blog and watched your interview with Patrick Henry. What a love you have for your children, evident. You are so right, there is nothing more important than the outcome of the six souls placed in your nourishing care! The only two I was allowed to carry momentarily, are awaiting me….keep your quiet place, oh so not a lonely place. The world would have us to think that it is….curl up, stay there. Only come out when the Father is calling. Everyone else would have you come out at their bidding. Take care…love you sister!

  67. Dear Ann,

    My husband and I will have been married 42 years on July 1. We have been reading the Two Year Bible published by Tyndale House in the New Living Translation for 10 years now (since its publication). I wished we’d have been reading it the whole 42 years, but we’re grateful for the 10. We LOVE it. Right now we are reading Isaiah, how glorious are the words of the one whose lips the angel touched with a hot coal and declared guiltless and sin-free after he said he was a man of unclean lips. When the Lord asked for someone to go for Him, Isaiah said, “Send me!”

    I’m also studying hope through my First Place 4 Health study group at church. It is a rich study and I am being convicted on many levels. I want to tell you, Ann, that when I was memorizing the book of Colossians with you last year and using Scripture Typer, my 11-year-old granddaughter was so enthralled with the site that she memorized the first chapter of Genesis the week she stayed with me. Her almost-6-year-old brother accepted Jesus as his Savior this past Sunday. The Word is alive in their young hearts. I understand what you tell about here, Ann.


  68. Last Sunday one of the Bible readings was from Isaiah 49: 1-6. The verse “It is too small a thing that you should be my servant . . . I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth”. This inspires me. I remember a couple years ago (and I know we still talk about in (In) Courage) about our God-sized dreams. Here God is telling a prophet that he will not give him “a small thing to do” but rather a God-sized thing to do.

    This makes me further reflect on the gifts God has given me and where he is taking me. It makes me firmly believe in God -sized dreams.

  69. I’ve just finished reading this article and most of the comments and I’ve been so blessed and encouraged. Thank you so much ladies for sharing your hearts.

  70. “The Word holds up a mirror and the Word peels back the mask and the words are who we are. We weep out of recognition. This story is us. This is the read that is deeply revelational. We see us.” AV

    When I came to really know the Lord as a young teacher, I asked the Lord to give me a love for His Word–and more than thirty years later I see how He has blessed me with His love. The Bible is the longest love letter ever written! I have read through the Bible many times over, have many translations of Bibles, because each is like one of the many facets of a diamond, revealing something new each time; have the Bible on CD, in print, online, on kindle, on palm pilot; have a one-year Bible, chronological Bible, devotional Bible, life-application study Bible… But my favorite is the Children’s Bible which I have read aloud to my students and have taught them to proclaim the Word to one another, for as Ann reminds us, His story is our story. One of my most favorite passages is Nehemiah 8:1-12 in which Ezra, the teacher of the Law, reads the Word aloud to the people and explains it to them. They weep in recognition of their sinfulness but Nehemiah, the governor tells them, “This day is holy to our God. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Our God is a God of love, and that is cause for rejoicing!

    Thank you, Ann, for being brave enough to share your story with us, a story that connects us to one other…

  71. Oh Ann, such a gift of writing God has given you… I am a 61 yr old gramma and I had to go get the kleenex while reading this…yes, it may be because I have 6 beautiful (gifts) grandchildren that I pray will have a ‘hunger’ for the Word…a ‘hunger’ for Life-giving words. But it is also because I myself have found Life in God’s Word – the only Living Word that gives Life as you read it – no other book can do that.
    Thank you so much for such a great reminder to all of us today, to stay in the Word, the Word that gives us Life!
    May our God continue to richly bless you and your family!
    Much love,
    Susan G.