Lover of God, wife, mother, British missionary in Peru... click here to learn more about Anna and this blog and how it can serve you.

A Thousand Gifts Challenge

Can you think of a thousand things you are thankful for?

For many months I have wanted to write about thankfulness. For weeks, I have been asking God to show me how to cultivate thankfulness in my life and in the life of our community.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a concrete answer.

We have been talking about gratitude and embracing the moment in our Thursday night Bible Study. We have been talking about how it is not our lives that need to change, but our attitudes to our lives. Many inconveniences and troubles affect our lives. Life is out of our control and many things can potentially rock us and lead us down roads of complaint and moaning and even to depression and despair.

So how do we respond?

Everything is about perspective.

If we want to have joy in our lives now, we have to start being thankful for what we do have.

Enter Ann Voskamp’s book ‘A Thousand Gifts’. In this book, Ann too wonders how she can be more thankful, in a practical way. A friend challenges her to write a list of one thousand things that she loves, that she is thankful for, a thousand gifts from God. That list becomes a habit which changes her life.

I have started my list. Currently, I am at 354. I write a dozen or so things a day, and the habit is life-transforming. This week thieves took off with thousands of dollars of our car electrics, and all I found myself doing was looking for ways I could thank God in the situation!

Not all things are huge gifts, in fact many are simply things that point me more towards God:

89: Sinking into bed

98: Trying out a new recipe

132: Seeing Daniel and Joel cuddled up on the sofa watching TV

142: White ducks

158: Open fires

150: The beginning of the day

Many of these things, I am only thankful for and realize I love because I have taken a moment to consider them.

And as I consider the things that do make me alive, I become more alive. As I highlight my thankfulness, I am filled with joy.

Don’t rush through today – consider the moments God has given you to enjoy. Be thankful.

What are you going to put on your list?

Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work— this is a gift of God. - Ecclesiastes 5:19


The week I was angry at God