Eleven days ago I started A Grand Thanks, a special project to use the 40 days of Lent to list 1000 things for which I am thankful. I expected my list to force me to stop and notice the snowdrops in my garden and the beautiful shades of green outside my office window. Guess what I wasn’t expecting to see? Read on.

Thanks to Ann Voskamp, I have had the delightful opportunity to stop and appreciate. Ann’s book One Thousand Gifts inspired me to leave the pity party, to find time for quiet reflection. My list started with the obvious (and very important!), like God and my family, but before the end of Day 2, I had added highlighter to Item 27 regarding God’s Counsel, a voice of reason that came through loudly and clearly as I was whining my way through taxes. Two days later I was highlighting Items 66 and 73 as I recalled two ways in which I had experienced God’s Surprise and Delight. Earlier this week Item 134 recalled another moment of God’s Counsel and then just a day ago, I added a new category: God’s Answer to Prayer.

My project to step into moments of gratitude quickly shined the light on God’s love and grace yet again. By taking the time to say thank you, I saw time after time of God’s love and faithfulness. And I’m only at Item 185!