A Life-Changing Challenge

Do you read books? I know, having little ones is like a anti-book-reading potion. I used to read a lot more. I've read parent books and marriage books. I've learned a few good things here and there but I've never had a book change me...

Years ago, like 8 years ago, I began to hear a lot of talk about a book called "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I heard it was impactful and even had been life changing to some. So eventually, long after I heard about the book, I got a copy. I read it slowly, and to be honest, I never finished it. However, her beautiful description, her list of gifts, and her story of freedom through gratitude was striking, compelling, and very inspiring! 

I decided to give it a go. So on July 19, 2014 I started my 1,000 Gift List in my journal. Counting each one by number.

#1 Windows down, sunshine, country music, two precious darlings in the back seat, hair flying.

#250 That, because of God['s provision], I get the honor of being home with my kids! I get to be a teacher! I get to do both. WHAT A GIFT!

#500 Building a driftwood house.

It started to change me! Change my perspective. I began to see life through a new lens, a "I am deeply loved" lens. As I actively looked for the God-gifts everywhere, I was seeing His LOVE everywhere.

#750 My niece's laughter.

It was amazing to see just how many gifts, an ENDLESS amount, I was surrounded by at any given moment!

And finally...
On November 5, 2015, a year and four months later, spanning across four different journals, I finally reached my goal, one thousand gifts!

#1,000 Love! Everlasting, infinite, and indescribable love of God! That love outpouring on us, trickling down in our marriage, and to our children. In growth and smiles and trust in the midst of pain. For Love that heals us when we are broken and Love that moves mountains. Love, my Savior, Who gave ALL to display His GREAT Love for us! 

I went on to fill up a whole journal with just thankful things! A beautiful reminder of all I've been given. Even in my darkest moments being able to recall the gifts "happy children", "loving husband", "sunshine" has made even the hardest day more beautiful. Becoming aware of all these amazing love gifts that surround me has changed me. 

It's been nearly three and a half years since I completed my One Thousand Gifts Challenge and, to this day, I continue to write down my gifts. And you know what?! It did change my life! I now hold happy memories in my mind even through the most difficult life moments because I CHOOSE to count the gifts of love I've been given. I choose to focus on what I have instead of what I lack. I choose to count the beautiful things in my life instead of the broken. It doesn't make the hard, the bad, and the broken not exist BUT it balances out my heart and my head to see a fuller picture. It opens up my eyes to the Love and to God's presence in every moment and in every day.

I encourage you to count your gifts. You have more than you ever imagine! You are loved more than you know! There is beautiful things everywhere in spite of the pain. 

#1 Baby holding colorful pens
#2 Curiousity
#3 Kindness of a sibling
#4 Hard working husband
#5 A twisty, curly tree outside my window
#6 Baby toes spread wide
#7 Colorful journals all over my bed
#8 Memories to hold and cherish
#9 Baby smiles, talk, and joy
#10 A new day to love and live!

So go count your gifts today Mama. Pay attention to those little treasures you have been given. Touch them, feel them, enjoy them. You are doing amazing!! Keep going! Rejoice! Find joy in today. 



  1. I've seen that in the areas I appreciate - like art, music, philosophy, people watching, song writing; I'm not so good at any of these that they are demanding, but good enough that I can enjoy them fully.
    Thanks for sharing! I guess I'll have to start listing and see if I can get to 1,000
    I did just buy a journal today at the thrift store!

    1. Oh fun!! Yes, enjoy the beautiful things. ☺️


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