In Which I Reach One Thousand

However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts. – John Calvin

I began not knowing. Would this be just a passing interest? Just another good intention soon neglected? Would I reach one thousand? How long would it take?

I never pressed my thoughts for answers. Sometimes it’s best not to know. It’s too easy to stop before you start out of fear of failure. And too easy to let it become an accomplishment checked off a list and not allow the process to have its way with you.

Simply doing it was the only way to begin. One gift at a time. Counting one, two, three…

Months passed and the counting continued. Three hundred eight, nine, ten…

Seasons passed and the counting continued. Eight hundred fifty-four, five, six…

All in all, twenty months have come and gone, and through them I never stopped counting.

Today I arrive at one thousand.

But with the process has come knowing that this does not signal the end. For along the way, doing became being. As I counted the gifts of grace and gave thanks to God for each one, my mind and heart have been transformed.

Where I once saw lack, I now see gain.

Discontent has lost its hold.

I have become grateful.

Can the magnitude of such a change be understood by one who has not experienced such grace? It is no small thing. For my heart was full of sin. I could choose to count, but it was the Spirit of God that transformed by heart. The work was always His. I am humbled by His mercy and love.

Cultivate a thankful spirit! It will be to thee a perpetual feast. There is, or ought to be, with us no such thing as small mercies; all are great, because the least are undeserved. – J.R. MacDuff

I can think of no better response of gratitude to God than to continue giving thanks. To continue counting the gifts.

I count today with the greatest joy:

#993 evening moon against a most beautiful blue sky

#994 husband passing the firework lighting baton to son

#995 safety bucket of water close at hand

#996 bead board backsplash

#997 husband working so hard for my delight

#998 joy of the Lord

#999 a heart made grateful

#1000 God’s most personal and abundant love

I can’t help but pause and repeat the first gift listed, and in doing so dedicate the first of the next one thousand to a very special woman:

#1001 Ann Voskamp for being the spark that ignited this list of gratitude {humblest gratitude to you, Ann}

#1002 daisies

#1003 an opportunity to teach

#1004 friend for helping set it up

#1005 joy of serving the girls that God has placed in my care

#1006 daughter’s wisdom and excitement to serve the girls as well

#1007 evening ride in the country

#1008 riding with the windows down

#1009 gravel roads

#1010 horse farms

#1011 miles of fence lines

#1012 interesting cattle

#1013 getting out of the car for a closer look

#1014 all of them running for the barns

I learn that a friend has begun her own list of gifts.

#1015 And the knowing becomes a gift to me.

There is always time for gratitude and new beginnings. – J. Robert Moskin

Might you consider beginning the count and allow God to have His way with you?

In hope,

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. That is fabulous you made it past 1000, I am just new to this discovering of joy, in the 100’s but have been so amazed at all I have discovered in this short time. God is so good.

    • Oh yes, God is good. How wonderful that you’ve joined the Gratitude Community – Welcome! You are in for a real treat!

  2. t says

    I am pretty sure those are Scottish highland cattle…I think.
    Bravo at capturing your 1000…
    now onto 2000
    or 2million

    • That was our guess, but we weren’t sure.

      Yes, yes! 2 million! I’ll never end of praises and thanks and I’ll have an eternity to continue the count! 🙂

  3. hurray for 1000… I can’t wait to get there, it will be soon!! 🙂 I can’t wait to keep counting…

  4. Amy says

    Beautiful! So exciting you made it to 1000. . . and beyond! Love how you just kept going:) Blessings.

  5. vicki says

    I’ve just begun – not up to 50 yet, but already I have learnt so much. I can’t wait to say I have 1,000.

  6. Teena says

    Shelli, so strange to read this … just been thinking about this . I made it to 1000 a few months ago. It has transformed my life…. it took me several years…

    talking to Mandi last night… about being thankful…. I think early on… when I was younger I just wanted things to be easy but God coninues to grow me…

    thanks for sharing…