A Thousand Gifts

On this page is the beginning list of who and what I am grateful for, inspired by Ann Voscamp’s Gratitude Community.  I no longer update this page, but keep a private gratitude journal, now 12 years old and over 3000 gratitudes long. You can read about my sense of God’s call to pay attention (and record) in 2010 what I am grateful for in A Thousand Gifts.

Gratitude Journal
Gratitude Journal

145. My prospectus finished and turned in to the committee to be approved! Finally!

146. Delicious crepes at Javasti

147. Helping friends lead a Lenten service at church.  My friend Kimberlee’s thought-provoking sermon: “Truth is not a what but a who.”

148. Lovely Seattle day with not a cloud in the sky.


149. The view from the top of the Space Needle

150.  The beauty of butterflies.


151. A little friend’s smile and laughter.


152. Peace about my decision to move to Texas for the next year.

153. Spending wonderful time with a friend I haven’t seen for 16 years.


121. Hearing the album, Hope of the Eternal, by my friend Lynn Mather Breitenbach.  I haven’t heard the songs since my tape wore out 15 years ago.  So many great memories.  “Come Sing Praises” and “To Zion” are a couple of my favorites.

122. A wonderful Reading Retreat at the monastery of St John the Evangelist.


123. A rekindled love and commitment to the work of prayer in theological education.

124. Close to a good draft of my dissertation proposal.

125. After a year of panic everytime I tried writing on my proposal, I’ve had three glorious days of intensive work and no anxiety–it makes writing so much more enjoyable.

126. God’s continued whispered encouragement that I have good things to say about prayer and that the academy needs to hear them.


127. Good sleep for three nights and no migraines for 5–always a thanksgiving!

128. An enormous flock of little people, with glitter wands and flashing wings…all fresh from Disney on Ice.  I felt like the train station (under the Boston Garden) had been transformed to a colorful, laughing world–so different from the usual sea of dark coats and somber commuter folk.

129. Thankful that I am spending my 40th birthday in Seattle.


130. For a year of firsts and discoveries about myself, for hope renewed after a long stretch of questions.

131. The music of Patty Griffin–she says in lyric and melody what I often feel.

132. Krista and Ben’s engagement!

133. My dear friend Cathee’s little person is a girl!!

134. A wonderful flight to Seattle, with stars in the sky and starry city lights glowing below.

135. Dear friend Kimberlee picking me up at the airport.

136. Hugs from Jack and Jane.

137. Late night conversation.

138. Sushi deliciousness!

139. A quiet day at St Mary-on-the-Lake Peace and Spirituality Center, the hush of prayer, tea water boiling, wind blowing, flowers blooming (yes, it is spring here in Seattle), time for photo lectio.


140.  Catching up with friends I haven’t seen in 13 years.

141.  A bald eagle posing for my camera.


142. The lovely warm welcome at Burke and Cindy’s, friends gathered, candles everywhere, laughter, conversation, delicious food.  A wonderful birthday!

143.  Treasured birthday gift: A lego X-wing fighter from Jack. (The remembered joy of watching Star Wars with him.)

144.  My parents singing happy birthday to me in harmony.

145. Church at Bethany. Now 17 years since I became a member of that community.

146. Grace of God ever present.


1. “Who, for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross.”

2. Sermon at Hope Christian—both conviction and comfort.

3. David Nevue’s music whispers God’s love to me and hope for joy.

4. Warm in a cozy room on a rainy night.

5. My Nikon D90.

6. Cleansing tears

7. A heart of flesh after what has seemed years of stone.

8. Visiting with my parents in Texas


9. Talking with my dear friend Amy on the phone.

10. A woman telling me out of the blue that God loves me and cares about me, even as I had wrote the question in my journal.

11. Fewer reading problems the past few days.

12. Not only the ability to fly in a plane without fear, but to have reached a point where I enjoy it tremendously.

13. A beautiful Christmas tree decorated with memories from four decades.

14. The Texas accent and people smiling at me on the street.

15. Wonderful talks with my dad today.


16. Freshly roasted and ground coffee.

17. Making pumpkin pudding with my mom.

18. For  Christmas here at my parents.

19. Fun cutting out paper dolls and sparking my mom to share a childhood memory of her own paper dolls.


20. Christmas gifts of beautiful craft paper and special edging scissors from my dad.

21. A new little person on the way to a friend.

22. The smell of the wood aisle at Hobby Lobby and at Lowe’s.  I remember working in a theatre scene shop in college, making stage sets–loved working with my hands, with the wood and the tools.

23. A young white-tailed deer prancing on the golf green.

24. The Lake Isle of Innisfree by Yeats.

25. Doing dishes with my dad tonight.

26. A Blue Moon shining light into my room.

27. Forgiveness and a deeper awareness of how my actions and speech affect others.

28. Time to rest here at home.

29. Talking with my dear friend Kimberlee.

30. For a friend who taught me lots this past year.

31. Fun crafting a gratitude journal.


32. A lovely sunset flight from Dallas to Boston.

33. For my parents’ love and that they are happy.

34. A new appreciation of Texas and my Texan birthright.

35. A quiet morning reading and journaling.

36. An anxiety-free day.

37. A lifting of an old grief.

38. Making the train after a long day.

39. Hope, not manufactured by me or my circumstances.

40. Soft blue and pink dawn.

41. Noisy crows waking the morning.

42. Watching the starlings warm up on the chimney edge.

Birds 3

43. A couple from my church renewal of vows ceremony.

44. Clean apartment!

45. That the past is never wasted.


60. A productive day.

61. Writing the call to worship. I miss doing that.

62. Two friends’ engagement.

65. The book “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldridge.


68. Tea with a friend.

69. A good talk with a friend.

70. Quiet evening sewing.

71. Finally–a handmade skirt that will fit!

72. Cooking real food for dinner–not prepackaged insta-meals.

73. Helping with chapel.

74. Four swans on the pond, seen from the train.

75. My friend’s joy about her trip to Disneyworld.

76. A strong and joyful vision of what I’d like the next decade to include.

77. Thankful for good food and aware of those who have little or none.

78. More confidence in my work.

79.  A joyful day on campus.

80.  Good conversations with students.

81. Sense of peace.

82. Praying through Prov. 31. Rich.

83. Yummy sushi–can’t believe I’ve been missing out all these years!


85.  A taste of runner’s high. A good workout.

86. A deep sense that All shall be well.

87. Enjoyable dinner with a friend and that her book is published!

88. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) movie night at church.

89. Two good nights of sleep.

90. Hearing talks at church by Suzanne, pediatric nurse and missionary on the Africa Mercy Ship, and Bruce, who travels to lower Siberia, bringing eye glasses.

91. Ann and her blog.

92. The grief that changes to quiet joy over time.

93. Cranford, such a beautiful story and call to community.

94. A week with little anxiety.

95.  Laughing on the phone with my mom and day.

96. More hope than I’ve had in months that I could write a dissertation.

97. For my life–family, friends, warm room, food, education, resources, work.

98. Such an encouraging email.

99. Twenty-fours with zero anxiety.  A miracle!

100. Good conversation with Deborah.

101. Great talk with Kimberlee.

102. Many recent reminders that it’s okay to desire marriage.

103. A sense of joy and well-being.

104. The Word in Christ and the gift of scripture.

105. My advisor’s patience and encouragement.

106. Getting emails from my dad.

107. Renewed inspiration for my work at STH.

108. An awesome talk with Amanda.

109. A great talk with Carolyn.

110. Silence at Hope Christian for prayer

111. Psalm 37:1-8, commands and promises.  Trust in the Lord, do good, take delight in the Lord, commit your way to the Lord, be still before the Lord, wait patience for the Lord, refrain from anger, do not fret.

112. While at Starbucks, seeing a lovely little girl in a tutu with a dad who obviously loves her.

113. The beautiful words of blogging women like Tonia at study in brown and Ann at Holy Experience, especially this post.  I see the joy of my parents 45-years together, read these stories, and feel a deep sense of hope.

114. Sleep!

115. Enjoying my parents.

116. Idea for a Day of Prayer at STH.

117. Great conversations with students.

118. A good proposal outline for my dissertation.

119. A preliminary good report after the MRI.

120. The baptism of little Zachary at church.

121. Sunshine!