Attitude of Gratitude

I was in the pen and notebook aisle in Target. A friend had the most delightful markers at Bible study and I had to have them. I purposely avoided looking at the notebook side of the aisle. You see, I have a problem. I have more journals than I know what to do with. And each one is precious. So precious I can’t decide what to write in them. Putting a pen to a page feels so. . . final.

Alas, I failed in my efforts and my eyes casually scanned the shelves of journals. Flowery, modern, lined, unlined, spiral bound, paper back, hard cover. So. Many. Choices. It was overwhelming. As I turned to look away, my eye caught on a tiny, gold covered book with a red and white sticker on the front. That’s right. It was on clearance. For just TWO DOLLARS I could own this tiny treasure. Upon further investigation, I discovered this notebook is water-resistant and made out of stones! Who wouldn’t buy a notebook made from stones? For two dollars.


Into the cart it went.

And then last night at Bible study, we decided our final Bible study before we all move will be Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts and I knew. This tiny, precious notebook was destined to become my gratitude journal.


I would like to become more thankful and aware of gifts in my life. So many days I just trudge through waiting, waiting, waiting. I’m waiting for Hawaii right now. Waiting to get orders so we can plan our next move. Waiting for our date tomorrow night. But what about right now? What about this very moment? Some days I wake up and literally determine to just get through this day. What if each day was a new blessing, an exciting adventure? What if I took each day and ran with it instead of ho-humming my way to bedtime?

I want to see the specialness and preciousness of each new morning, thank the Lord for the chance to open my eyes each day and begin again. Really embrace and cherish and love these people who I’m doing life with.  Discover the beauty that can be found in the ordinary, the everyday.

Someday I’m going to look back and remember the big things: vacations to Hawaii, post-deployment homecomings, moving to Alaska, the births of my children, my wedding. But will I remember Grace’s messy morning hair or the way Ben covers his eyes when we read a story about love?

Will I remember the time Sam slept the whole day long and could only be woken with promises of ice cream?

I don’t ever want to forget how Grace calls my dad Poppy and would love nothing more than to hold his hand and talk his ear off.


And if I’m being honest, there are times when the dreary things, the sad moments, the days when the kids are ornery and everything feels out of control, take over and that’s all I can see. And then I’m stuck. In the grey and the dreary and the cold.

I’m tired of all that. I know that there is warmth and joy and blessing right here. Right now. I can choose to focus on the ugly or I can choose to focus on the lovely.

Sure, the sun hasn’t shone in 3 months and there’s no real winter in Alaska, but I can look out any window in my house and see mountains and moose and bald eagles.

I can huff and puff about tripping over my husband’s clothes, but oh, how loving and unselfish he is and how very lucky I am to have him. And, by the way, my clothes are right there next to his on the floor.

So I’m going to focus on the gifts. The thousands upon thousands of gifts in my life. Things I’m thankful for. Snapshots I want to remember. Blessings in the ordinary moments.

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  1. Love this post. I so relate. I did Ann’s 1000 Gifts challenge after I read her book, too (did it online at, but I can tell, that it’s time for me to do it again. Thank you for the reminder, and for sharing your heart in a way that lets the rest of us out here know we’re not alone.


  2. Good for YOU!! Really really good! I started a gratitude journal in 2009, the year I chose JOY for my “one word”. Counting the gifts (Ann’s words) and/or just speaking them has made a world of difference in my life. Joy is no longer a word, it is a gift I keep unwrapping 🙂 I hope the same for you!


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