Today I’m starting. After reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, I have to begin my own list of thanks. One thousand thanks. A grand of thanks. A grand thanks. Read on for my inspiration and challenge. Consider walking with me on this unique and blessed journey.

On the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, my son Kyle asked me what I was going to give up for Lent. I stammered and stuttered and finally said, “I think I’ll fast Wednesdays.” He was surprised. I was more surprised, since I hadn’t really thought about giving anything up and my blurted-out “sacrifice” was barely audible above the whining.

That afternoon while biking at the gym, I was enjoying Ann’s book and her beautiful descriptions of everyday blessings. When she spoke of her friend’s thank-you dare, I stopped pedaling and marveled: rather than whine my way through 40 days of Lent, what if I used this time of reflection to make my own list of 1000 things for which I am grateful, eternally grateful? What if I “gave it up” for God, as we’re encouraged to do with our applause? What If I used the next 40 days to note the big and small ways in which God has blessed my day, those things I look past, take for granted, and whine about, those things that have given/give life meaning and depth, those things that mean the world to me?

From now until Easter, I will prepare my list of 1000 things, and then on Sunday, April 8th, Easter morning, I will put that list in a beautiful envelope and into the offering plate during worship. With it will be a prayer in grateful acknowledgement for God’s love and favor.

With joy and thanksgiving, I now get to stop and remember God’s love and faithfulness. Today I start.


to My Father in Heaven from His Daughter Deanna

1)      Books that inspire and encourage

2)      God’s patience with me

3)      My husband Kurt

4)      My son Kyle

5)      My son Kevin