One Thousand Gifts


The heart that is constantly overflowing with gratitude
will be safe from those attacks of resentfulness and gloom
that bother so many persons. – A.W. Tozer

November… the month of thanksgiving. It was this month three years ago that Ann Voskamp began a list of thanksgiving that has blossomed into a Gratitude Community. This is her beginning:

It is the beginning of the list season: lists of menus, lists of hand-made projects, lists of addresses, lists of baking goodies … lists of gifts.

I too begin… but only, currently, one list: A List of a Thousand Things, beginning with #1. I am daily jotting down items on my Thousand Gifts List, working, one-by-one, up to a thousand gifts. Not of gifts I want. But of gifts I have.

As the moments slip down the hour glass of time, I am scratching down the gifts—just as they happen, as they arrive, as they are unwrapped—that He has given that make my life grace, the daily graces that He gives in an infinite number of ways, that stir me. {emphasis mine}

This idea, this list, seems utterly fitting for me. And so I began (one week ago, to be exact) a list of my own. A list of One Thousand Gifts. That God gives to me. One at a time. To a watchful eye. Its purpose is not so much the list itself, but the watchful eye that sees the gifts and recognizes them as such. Even more, it’s about recognizing the Giver. And worshiping Him through heartfelt gratitude.

This list will be mine alone, different from any other’s, because, as Ann points out, “God has made me uniquely me.” And while I present it here for all who pass through and care to take a glance, it is a very personal reflection of the life God is working out in me.

1. Ann Voskamp for being the spark that ignited this list of gratitude
2. my journal and comfy chair
3. words written on earth below and heard in heaven above
4. a new day with new beginnings
5. sound of school bus bringing son home
6. smell of scented candles each time I descend the stairs
7. son mowing
8. time for writing

9. husband willing to get out of a comfy chair to help me
10. little girl giggles
11. bedtime kisses
12. lying next to my husband
13. ending our day conversing
14. his body twitching as sleep overtakes him
15. the soft tick of the clock in our bathroom
16. that helps me stay on time in the morning
17. falling asleep with thoughts of gratitude

18. morning hugs from son
19. that they happen every morning
20. our old clock

21. that runs almost ten minutes slow when it’s nearly time to rewind it

22. daughter bringing doll downstairs with her every morning…and taking her back to bed every night

23. dining table turned bible study center

As my first day of gratitude-seeking came to a close, I wondered how long before it would be tested. Not long at all…the very next morning:

24. spilled breakfast drink (because as quickly as it fell I knew it was a test)
25. my clumsiness that makes me laugh and not take myself too seriously
26. nearby paper towel that would not have been there the week before
27. daughter willing to run downstairs and fetch a clean shirt off the drying rack
28. even though she’s afraid to go in the basement alone

29. miraculous time to clean up, change my clothes, make another one, everything else that had to be done, and still getting her to school on time

I can honestly say that my reaction was different because I was intentially looking for gifts of grace. And so…

30. singing songs of praise for a few quiet moments in my car
31. Tuesday morning bible study
32. and the friends that gather there
33. tears that easily flow
34. in sadness and in joy
35. words spoken to me through the lesson
36. extra time with God when I came home
37. very little new work awaiting me, especially since I started late, having spent time with God
38. warm sun shining on my desk
39. a thesaurus to enhance my words as I exercise atrophied writing muscles; and coming up with “atrophied” without using the thesaurus
40. wonderful news from Angie
41. husband finding and buying me the most beautiful gratitude journal

42. and giving me this grace four days earlier than expected through my plan to buy one myself

43. a camera to add visual reminders of my One Thousand Gifts

44. rubies and gold…in trees and scattered on my lawn

45. sound of sump pump keeping basement dry
46. package delivered for husband that I know will grace him
47. talking on phone with far away friend
48. lasagna from Mom B.

49. quiet morning, quiet heart

50. first leaf pile, compliments of our maple tree
51. husband coaxing it to give up a few more leaves
52. jumping in and tossing them about

53. an opportunity to grace daughter
54. listening to the wind tossle leaves
55. writing idea sparked56. standing on tip-toe to kiss son’s forehead…he’s growing so tall

57. crosses…gifts given two years ago that still bless me every day

58. nephew
59. being an aunt

60. daughter’s birthday celebrations

61. Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration Registration
62. anticipation of future plans (Lord willing)
63. first week of gratitude living…heart already changing

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

In this season of lists, I invite you to begin a gratitude list of your own. Learn more about the list of One Thousand Gifts here.

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. Inksstillwet says

    So glad you’re joining in the gratitude community! I know it has enhanced my sight to see Him working in the small and big aspects of my life! I can’t wait for the Scripture Memory weekend either! I’d love to meet you when we get there! I loved your list, so thoughtful and encouraging.

  2. Sandy says

    Shelli, I am always thinking of all of the gifts I have to be thankful for, but you write about them so much more beautifully than I do. Oh, I don't mean that in an envious way. I just love your heart!

  3. Traci Michele says

    SO NICE TO MEET YOU! Don't you love this idea and being part of the gratitude community! It truly changes your outlook on life!

    Thanks for sharing!


    Come check out my gratitude list when you have a chance 🙂

  4. Cara S. says

    Shelli- you list is amazing! I love Ann's blog. She has brought me so much joy and I am very blessed to have met so many wonderful women in this funny little blog world. I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I saw your blog on the bloom book club ning site and then browsed through your blog and we follow a lot of the same blogs 😉 I am going to follow you now! Stop by and see me if you get a chance 🙂 I need to get started on my gratitude list now!!

  5. design gal says

    just found your blog and love it! so nice to hear uplifting messages!

  6. Denise says

    Shelli I loved your list and the whole idea of it. You have such a good and loving heart. We all need reminding that the simple joys in life are usually the ones that leave the most lasting impressions.

  7. Sandy says

    Hello Shelli,
    Just came upon your blog. I just started
    listing my 1,000 gifts, too. Thanks for
    such a delightful and encouraging list.
    Look forward to finding how your list
    Your children are beautiful.
    In Christ,
    Sandy McPherson

  8. Lindsey @ A New Life says

    Came over from Traci's blog…love your list of gratitude and the reminder to look for the beauty in everyday life.

    Have a blessed day!