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

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. Click To Tweet

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. Click To Tweet

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 book cover

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Yours in grace ≈


I am a blessed wife, mother of four, and follower of Jesus Christ, celebrating each messy day through His grace. I write, edit, and speak as God leads.

Posted in joy, Thankfulness
  • 1. my book in print.
    2. my house warm.
    3. my husband close.

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

    • Love your three, Natasha! Thanks for sharing.

    • Love your list, Natasha! Thanks for sharing.

  • Pingback: Dive In {and See the Work of the Lord} | Julie Sunne()

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

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

  • Guest

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

    • 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.

  • Maryann

    Gods Amazing Love
    Our New Assistant Pastor
    My beautiful family

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Everyday Praise

We were created for praise! Cultivate the practice of glorifying God daily. Let your heart find rest in the shelter of God's goodness.

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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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