New Year of Giving Thanks (“One Thousand Gifts” book review)

Gold Brush Stroke

It began many years ago. A mystery. A quest if you will.

It started informally at first. With a feeling–an inkling. A mother’s intuition, a whisper really: There is something special about that daughter of mine, aside from being my child. She is trying to tell me something. I know it now, I knew it then.Rachel and Mom

Noticing the Gifts

I’d watch Rachel as she stalked a bug, giggle when she squealed with delight as a raindrop hit her nose, and marvel while she stood fascinated by the rising moon, every single time she saw it.

Deep down I wanted some of what she had. Her love for everyone, including the hard to love. Her excitement and joy at little happenings in her life. Her satisfaction with the simple.

What was it about her that I so admired then and continue to today? As a significantly globally delayed child, there are many things she cannot do. She can’t sing, jump, or write.

Yet she holds a treasure far richer than a chest of precious jewels. She lives with joy. And I knew I had to somehow discover the location of that treasure.

What began informally fourteen years ago with the birth of my daughter with special needs became formal in the pages of a book by Ann Voskamp: One Thousand Gifts.  In her bestselling book, Ann poetically describes the importance of noticing  the gifts God showers us with and expressing our gratitude.

For the first time, as I read One Thousand Gifts, I spotted the X on my treasure map: the source of Rachel’s joy.

It was all about taking time to notice and give thanks. Joy is cultivated when we recognize the richness and grace of the Lord manifested in our daily lives.

Joy is cultivated when we recognize the richness and grace of the Lord manifested in our daily lives. Share on X

The Gift of Giving Thanks

Rachel does just that.  She notices blessings in her life. All kinds of blessings. Not just the big and garish ones we can’t help seeing, but the little and subtle as well. 

She appreciates and celebrates life and gifts of all sizes and shapes.

Rachel appreciates all the little gracedrops showered on her each day–gems that bring her joy. She notices and is grateful!

And so began my formal habit of counting gifts. More than 1,300 entries later, I’m discovering the treasure is more precious than originally thought. It is priceless.

The habit of daily thanksgiving transforms the heart in amazing and dramatic ways. I would love to encourage you to begin today if you haven’t yet. It will change your life as you recognize the intensity of the Lord’s love for you.

Count your blessings. It will change your life as you recognize the intensity of the Lord's love for you. Share on X

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. His love is eternal. (Psalm 136:1)

Reflections: What are 3 things you are grateful for right now? 

[Sorry, the giveaway is over!] With thanksgiving in mind, I’m super excited to offer a GIVEAWAY of a copy of Ann’s book, One Thousand Gifts, AND her One Thousand Gifts Family Journal. One winner will receive both items.One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

Entering the giveaway is super easy. Just follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below . The giveaway will close midnight on Sunday, January 13.

I will host giveaways each remaining Wednesday in the month of January. Next weeks is a copy of the new bestseller Unglued by author Lysa Terkeurst. Don’t miss it.

By His Grace,



  1. Natasha Metzler on January 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    1. my book in print.
    2. my house warm.
    3. my husband close.

    Beautiful giveaway, Julie. I will definitely share. {hugs}

    • Julie Sunne on January 10, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      Love your three, Natasha! Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie Sunne on January 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Love your list, Natasha! Thanks for sharing.

  2. […] Sunday. Enter to win a One Thousand Gifts book and One Thousands Gift Family Journal by clicking here and following the Rafflecopter […]

  3. Rachel Wojnarowski on January 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Beautiful new blog interface! 🙂 Haven’t been by in awhile. Pinned your giveaway! 🙂

    • Julie Sunne on January 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      So wonderful to hear from you, Rachel. I’ve missed you. I know you’re swamped, too. Thanks for your support!

  4. Guest on January 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    love your blog.. thanks for the giveaway…hope to win.
    my (HIS)7 children
    warm sunshine
    His agape love

    • Julie Sunne on January 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      A wonderful list. I will have more giveaways this month and throughout the year. I’m glad you like my site–to God be the glory. Thanks for stopping.

  5. Maryann on January 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Gods Amazing Love
    Our New Assistant Pastor
    My beautiful family

    • Julie Sunne on January 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      Amen! Thanks for sharing, Maryann.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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