The Gift of Counting [more than 1,000 gifts]

Gold Brush Stroke

Drum roll, please! I am excited to announce I am officially over one thousand in my list of One Thousand (or more) Gifts. I’m telling you this, not to pat my back, but to sing the praises of keeping such a list.silver lining

I began purposely jotting down things I am thankful for on August 23, 2011, in response to Ann Voskamp’s bestselling book One Thousand Gifts, a Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Now nearly 13 months later, I’ve posted my 1,011th blessing–and counting.

What an incredible gift it has been to take this dare.

In my original One Thousand (or more) Gifts post I wrote:

“This is what Rachel has been trying to “tell” me for 13 years–in order to truly live joyfully, we must notice and be thankful for the little things, the millions of tiny gifts of grace God passes out to us throughout our lifetime. Rachel lives this! After 44 years, it is time for me to start living it as well.”

I have to honestly say, while Rachel still lives it, I still do not–not fully. But I’m closer, much closer. Noticing God’s gifts comes much easier to me than it did 13 months ago. I think of the Lord more.

Now when my day turns south, I’m not stuck in the quicksand of self-pity. My mind automatically searches for a silver lining, a sliver piercing the dark, a gem set in the grime of life. Instead of focusing on the rain, I look for the rainbow.

God knew what this exercise would do for me. How it would lighten my load. How it would bring me a greater measure of peace and joy. He knew it would begin renewal in my heart and draw me closer to Him.

It can do the same for you. Why not start today?

Join Ann’s Joy Dare: Begin a life of gratitude. Transform your heart; count just three gifts a day. Count them in a journal or in a digital format–whichever way you are comfortable.

The important thing is, do it. Let the joy of the Lord permeate your life.

“Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout triumphantly to Him in song” (Psalm 95:2).

Share in the Discussion: Are you intentional about thanking God daily for the gifts in your life? If so, how has that practice blessed you? If not, what is stopping you?

Linking #991–1,011 (click here to read the entire list) with Ann Voskamp for

multitudesonmondaysbutton2 1

  • Clean Inbox: deleted 2 yrs of emails!; New laptop is ready to take over; Natural oasis in middle of concrete jungle
  • Fresh air to breathe; Opportunity to address the “hard” stuff with boy number 3; Kiss from sweet daughter
  • Seeing messes of my life redeemed in lives of Bible heroes; Power & majesty of God revealed in creation; More kittens
  • Meeting @bobvanderplaats; Lunch out with my hubby; Thoughtful questions from and discussion with my 16-year-old son
  • Mist-shrouded lake; Camp Courageous: a special place for Rach to spend the weekend; We serve a God of forgiveness
  • Playing tennis with my 11 year old; This day & every day–period; Peppermint tea when a cold threatens to take over
  • Cool, still, irresistible evening; Witnessing the miracle of baptism; Celebrating the beauty of a new life

Know that I am blessed by your visits and value your comments. I love to pray for you and hear your stories! If you find my writings encouraging, please share them with others. It’s super easy, just click one of the buttons below. And if you haven’t yet, please consider subscribing to my site by email or RSS feed. You’ll get each post delivered right to you.

By His Grace,



  1. Linda on September 17, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Your steadfastness inspires me – next year I hope to be the one who is celebrating 1000 or more Gifts of Thankfulness!

    • juliesunne on September 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      I’m cheering you on in that quest, Linda!

  2. Dawn St Amand Paoletta on September 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Visiting from Ann’s place and CONGRATULATIONS! I actually keep two lists – one on the Blog and one Paper one! Well, I actually appreciate your list sharing and joining in the journey with you. Nice to meet you for the first time, Julie!

    • juliesunne on September 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Dawn. It is so important to encourage each other on this journey.

  3. Rachel Wojnarowski (@RachelWojo) on September 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I love this, Friend. I can so relate to everything you said. We can continue the journey together!

    • juliesunne on September 18, 2012 at 7:48 am

      I love that, Rachel!

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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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