1,000 Gifts…Looking Back


I have decided to be grateful.

I feel guilty that such an admirable quality requires a decision on my part.

I wish I came by it naturally.

But the truth of the matter is my natural bent is to keep busy doing (I know you’re shocked) and  thinking (usually too much)  about doing.  All my “doing and thinking” seems to leave little time for reflection.

There is no time to be grateful.

Did I just say that?

Ann VosKamp writes in One Thousand Gifts that Satan’s first sin was the sin of ingratitude.  He wanted more, more power, more glory. “Satan is in essence an ingrate.”

When I read that, Conviction cupped  his hand under my chin, looked me in the eye and asked,

“Cindy, are you an ingrate?”

The Holy Spirit and I chatted. I’ll leave that private conversation private but I will tell you this, I began to do what Voskamp did. I began to record all the things that I was grateful for.

Voskamp shared the saying “A nail is driven out by another nail, habit is overcome by habit.” Friends…I want to be more grateful and by God’s grace I will drive out the habit of being too busy to be grateful. Recently, I made a new online friend who has been chasing gratitude for the past three years! (Check out her blog at www.juliesunne.com.) Her journey has prompted me to think, “If she can do it for three years I can surely do it for three weeks!

This first week I’m going to reflect on my past and all the things I’m grateful for about what has already been.

Can I give you a few examples of what I’ve already written?

• Creases in the pudgy hands of my eldest one year-old son.
• Blueberry muffins shared with my mother.
• Chocolate malts in neon colored aluminum glasses.
• Soaking up the sun on a Mexican beach with my beloved.
• A backpack in the sixth grade that made me feel “cool”.
• My father’s humor.
• Attending the ballet with my daughter.
• Praise from an elementary teacher over the first book I’d ever written.
• Building forts with my sister.
• Taking naps with my youngest son.

Perhaps you’d like to join me by recording what in your past has left you grateful.  If a hand written record seems stifling there’s another option. Voskamp has an app for your phone or iPad that you can use to keep track of your 1,000 Gifts! If you want the skinny on these options I encourage you to straight to Ann Voskamp’s site (click here for the Joy Dare).

However, if poking around the internet or taking the time to find a tool or “special way” to do this becomes a hindrance then…


Gratitude only requires one thing…

A grateful heart.

I hope you will journey with me this week and become intentional about being grateful for the things that are behind us.  Next week (I know you already guessed this ‘cuz you are all just smart like that) we’ll talk about being grateful in the moment.

An added bonus to today’s exercise in gratitude is a link up to my dear friend Angie Ryg’s Inspire Me Monday! It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear from (and share) about what inspires us! You may have found a recipe that you’re sure is from heaven…SHARE! Maybe you have a da’bomb decor’ idea that’s a snap…SHARE! Or perhaps your Monday has met you with words of inspiration…please SHARE!

These lovely ladies (including your DoAhead friend) will be co-hosting with Angie: Denise J. Hughes and Anita Strawn de Ojeda. Below are your  1-2-3′s for linking up and living life inspired!

1. Link up an inspirational post from the previous week (just one please.)

2. Visit two other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Share the inspiration three ways…you can tweet, share a post on Facebook, Pin-It, Instagram-It, WHATEVER form of social media you choose…just SHARE!

Let’s start linking and living large on this Inspire Me Monday!

Your DoAhead Friend,


  1. Being intentionally grateful with you Cindy!

  2. Cindy, I am humbled and honored you are encouraged by my gratitude journey. Since I am inherently selfish (hmm, maybe we all are?), I find I need to be intentionally thankful. There’s nothing magical about counting 3 gifts a day. It’s just that I need that reminder that recording those gifts offers me. I’m proud of you for taking the plunge. You won’t regret it, and maybe like me, you won’t ever quit. May God bless you with a joyful heart as you count the gems He sprinkles throughout your days.

  3. Perfect…three things a day. Sometimes I think I make things too hard. Three things a day…I can do this!! Thank you!

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