Sure Fire Remedy for Stinkin’ Thinkin’

Last week, my stinkin’ thinkin’ crept back in. If you’re familiar with Al-Anon or AA, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Stinking thinking means allowing thoughts that used to boss us around to return. To have their way. To do us in. My struggle isn’t with alcohol, but to worry, obsess, fix, and try to control–as ugly as it sounds.

I’ve been working my program for years, but Thursday stinkin’ thinkin’ tried to tie me in a tizzy.

And then the gentlest most obscure thought tiptoed in.

Why don’t you try to get to number 1,000 on your gratitude list?

Because I’d have to come up with sixteen things. Five is the most I’ve written in a day.


After reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp last year, I started listing things I’m grateful for in a little green journal.  With 984 gifts already noted, I decided to give it a shot.

I grabbed my journal and started snapping pictures.

#985. Clyde and Levi (our daughter’s Lab) having fun.

#986. Mounds candy bars. (I have Celiac Disease. Can’t eat wheat or gluten but Mounds are just fine!)

#987. Crunch of  fall leaves.

#988. My walking path.

#989. New copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.

#990. Summer slipping into fall–my favorite season.

 #991. Sweet aroma of the tea olive tree.

On a roll! Having too much fun to worry. 🙂

#992. Front porch gardenia is still thriving.

#993. Candlelight at my desk. Lord, You’re the Light of the world. And my heart.

#994. My novel characters and what they teach me.


#995. Ferns made it through October.

#996 One more pepper in the garden.

 #997. Laughing at our porch party this morning.

#998. Log parakeet house Rick is building in the backyard.

#999. Acorns falling at my feet.

and finally….

oh finally…..



Number 1,000. When someone asked my opinion, I spoke the truth in love. 🙂

Gratitude delivered me from my stinkin’ thinking.’

I’m on my way to number 2,000!

Has gratitude ever changed your outlook? I’d love to hear!






  1. Janette says:

    thank you for this encouraging post this morning…Stinking thinkin can abound and wow – just start praising the Lord! Counting, REALLY counting our blessings so we just don’t say the words “count our blessings” but LIST them and that is what I am going to be doing today too. THANKS! YOU and this post are on my list. BLESSINGS to you!

    • Janette, your comment reminds me of a song from my childhood…”Count your many blessings name them one by one.”

      Thank you, sweet friend. Response to this blog counts as another one for my gratitude journal!

  2. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm — needed to hear that this morning! My thinkin’ was starting to stink, I’m afraid. I like the fact you document your gifts via photo. Have a beautiful week, Julie!

    • Sooooo glad, Melody! I’m grateful right now to have Internet service back. It was out for almost 2 days!!!!! Your sweet comments mean so much. XO

  3. Went out to dinner last night with two great writer friends to celebrate two of our birthdays this month. What a blessing! We looked back at how far we’ve come (we’ve been together ten years) and looked forward into 2013 and set goals and listed aspirations and desires. There was a bit of stinkin’ thinkin’ when we sometimes got down the path of things that have gone wrong, but there is SO MUCH MORE gratefulness and appreciation than that. And who better to share our lives with than fellow, like-minded writers….like you, sweet Julie! As we head into the “thankful month” as I call it, I want to thank you for your friendship. You mean the world to me.

    • Amen, B.J.!!! So much more gratefulness than things gone wrong.

      Heck, I could list 1,000 reasons to be grateful for our friendship. You bless me so!!!


  4. Love this… I too am working my way through to 1000 gifts, I started in August this year and I am so grateful for the knee bending grace this journey is bringing me to. Thank you for sharing so honestly here.


    • Tonya….what you said is just beautiful, “Knee bending grace.” That’s where I am right now. And I’m grateful for the journey that brought me here.


  5. Gratitude ALWAYS changes my attitude! I still have not gotten that book. I have got to go get it soon. As soon as I saw your title I had to come over: I have been a member of Al-Anon for 7 years now. I am VERY grateful for THAT! XO, Pinky

    • Pinky, that was my grandmother (Mother’s mother’s) motto. To have the attitude of gratitude. So much truth there.

      We’re sisters!!! We have so much in common. XOXOXOXO “Hi, my name is Julie. :-)” So glad to know you understand. We speak the same language! ~~~~~

  6. Arie Strobel says:

    …and is Risk Taker on the list already? If not, you are up to 1001!

  7. Julie …I love this post so much. Your photos were icing on the cake – thank you for reminding me…pulling out my gratitude journal…
    (tell Ricky…WOW on that huge pumpkin and the log bird house!!!! oh my GOODNESS!!!)

  8. Sandra Walker says:

    Thanks, Julie! Just what I needed. Works every time!
    So thankful for your blog!

    • Sweet Sandra, I’m so thankful for you! Thanks for letting me know my blog finds a home in your heart.

      Blessings to you and yours~

  9. Brenda Greene says:

    Read this, Sweet Julie, and loved it immediately but was “under the weather” battling bronchitis and didn’t respond. (Much better today thanks to meds!)

    As I’ve shared before, I LOVE writing at least three things from my day that I’m thankful for every night before falling asleep, so I went to my gratitude journal to read back thru the year and see what I could share with you. I had to chuckle…for MANY nights, a “good night’s sleep” was the first entry from that day…isn’t that a sign of aging, or what?!!

    Think one of my favorite entries was “grateful for the Holy Spirit’s Presence and the angry words I wanted to fling at hubby but turned into songs of praise instead.” Totally not me at all! Knew it was “Divine Intervention!”

    Continued thanks, Julie Girl, for keeping us focused on the good things in life and your transparency! Keep on sharing….Love you! <3 <3

    P.S. I have to confess: being a Daily Guideposts "groupie" for 25+ years, I loved your entry today since I've begun to "see who you really are!" Daughters and I have been following the DG family for years – it's a gift under the Christmas tree each year and we immediately sit down Christmas night to catch up on what's going on in the lives of our "family." I'm even guilty of reading you and your Mom's entire entries before the New Year…can't help it! 🙂 Your blog helps me thru the L-O-N-G weeks before another of your devotionals "pop" up! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  10. Hey, Brenda! What a sweet, sweet note. I hope you’re feeling better. Readers will never know how much their encouragement means–it keeps me writing. 🙂

    Love, love your journal entries. Yep, I’ve thanked God for a few good nights of sleep too. Grinning at the honesty of “not flinging angry words at your husband.” That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Moment by moment Surrender.

    Love you my friend!


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