Two Unexpected Gifts from Gratitude

When I bought my GRATITUDE JOURNAL  a couple of years ago, I wondered if I’d ever fill it up. Would keeping a journal like this really make a difference?


 A few of my entries…


# 416. Thomas doesn’t have CELIAC. (My son Thomas and his girlfriend Brittany below.)



# 585. Katie’s perseverance. (My daughter Katie doesn’t give up.)



# 787. The way You blend the colors of the sky.



# 95. Laughing with Jamie. (My daughter Jamie isn’t afraid of anything or anyone!)



# 136. The sunrise–oh, the sunrise!



# 400. Laughing with B.J. last night.


# 211. Talking to Lynne and Kellie.



# 345. I’m not afraid! You’re with me wherever I go.



#1545. Lisa and me … praying for each other.



#667. Going to Lisa’s cabin today! (Friends Leigh Anne, Dayna, and another Lisa.)



# 1544. Robin. She understands.


# 503. Sweet talks with my sissy (Jennifer) and Mother.



# 580. DiAnn’s honesty. (She’s just as kind as she is honest.)



# 1165. Roses from Mother’s yard.



# 1190. The tiny sound of  Kitty Thelma drinking water.



# 1466. Still being in love after all these years. (35 in December!)



# 1331. My blog readers and their precious responses. This means you! Each one of you! I’ve written about you so many times, I started my second journal. 🙂


Writing down things I’m grateful for like Ann Voskamp does in ONE THOUSAND GIFTS changed my life in two unexpected ways: 

1. Re-reading my thoughts brought a second wave of gratitude even bigger than the first.

2. Whatever I choose to focus on–good or bad–seems to grow.

If you have a gratitude journal, share some of your entries. I’d love to hear about them.

My friend’s sites:










  1. Thanks for sharing Julie and for spurring me on to dig my gratitude journal back out and resume the gifts. Blessings and gratitude!

    • Julie says:

      Blessings and gratitude right back, Tom. You won’t believe the impact of re-reading!!

  2. I love that you added photos to your list J…counting gifts keeps me focused on all things good in my days. And like Tom, thank you for reminding me to go get my journal and start writing them down.

    • Julie says:

      And you thinking of starting out little One Thousand Gifts reading group is the reason I started doing this, Robin!!!

      Forever grateful.

  3. Roberta Messner says:

    Reminds me of the quote: “We write to taste life twice.” Not sure who said it. Love, Roberta Messner

    • Julie says:

      Ohhh, Roberta. Have never heard that. Sooooooooooooooo true.

  4. You are such a treasure! Thank you for including me in your list. I’m honored and so very grateful God blessed me with your precious friendship.

    Love you, sweet Julie.

  5. It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High ; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night… (Psalm 92:1,2 NAS)

    What I’ve learned most (learned, not always practiced!) on my thankfulness journey, is how easy it is to thank God for the wonderful good things in my life. And how very difficult it is to thank Him for the trials and ugly things along the way. That “in everything give thanks” is illusive at times, but brings peace and joy when I’ve acquired it.

    • Julie says:

      Ohh, yes, yes, yes. So true, Melody. Another lesson indeed! Thanks for the reminder, my friend.

  6. Reading this blog post with teary eyes…..the feeling of gratitude is mutual, my friend.

    • Julie says:

      Hugging you from my loft office in the woods.

      All my love, Kellie!!!!

  7. LOVE the message. LOVE the pictures. LOVE you!

    • Julie says:

      And love right back to you, my precious friend. I can’t think about you w/out smiling!!

  8. Yes! Loved the photos. They made the list even more special. Thank you. 🙂

    Today I’m thankful for safe travel, a husband who loves me, and a Savior who died for me. Thanks for making me stop and think!

    • Julie says:

      Welcome home, Vonda. Looks like your trip was amazing. And I’m thankful for your blog post and friendship!!

  9. Carolyn says:

    Another wonderful message reminding me of how grateful to know Jesus and His love for us.. Thankful to be able to receive your blogs and share them with people who I treasure in my life.. My gratitude journal has grown some and I do love reading them over and over again especially when I feel my spirit dragging.
    Thanks for being “YOU” and willing to share your life with me..Blessings to you always…

    • Carolyn, I’m so grateful to you. You’re such an encourager!! Your name is in my gratitude journal.

      Thank you, thank you!!!


  10. Brenda Greene says:

    Yay Julie Girl…you “hit” my heart with this blog!! Love that you number your gratitudes and added pictures! Too precious!!

    As I’ve written before, I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for several years now. Before falling asleep at night I try to write at least 3 things from the day that I’m grateful for. Therefore…MANY to re-read and remember

    It took a while to find this one, but I truly am grateful for this entry from Thursday May 3, 2012: “Blogging with Julie West Garmon…how cool is that?!! Grateful!” And this one from Sunday, June 24, 2012: “Grateful for 6:45 a.m walk (23 of 24 days) in cool of morning before Worship. Had forgotten how wonderful the world is waking up in the morning!” Another one that “popped out” from Wednesday, November 14, 2012: “Grateful for words to remind our first-born (E.R. nurse) that God must be using her as an “angel” in the lives of the families she’s had to console this week who have lost loved ones – the most recent a 16 year old girl who died in a single car accident…So sad. Prayers to the ones grieving.”

    Still amazes me how much I have to be grateful for! Think my entry tonight will be how much I am still grateful for Julie West Garmon and the good she brings out in the hearts of SO MANY!

    XOXO Sweetie

    • Ohhhh, Brenda.

      Such rich words from you. Lifting up the family who lost their daughter. And I’m grateful to your daughter too.

      Can’t believe you have my name in your journal and I have you in mine!!!

      Your kindness touched that sweet spot in my heart.

      So much love!!

  11. Kim says:

    I have often kept a journal over the years, but never with great consistency. Thanks to you and Ann Voscamp, I have read 1000 Gifts and made my gratitude journal a priority. Some of my favorite entries: #101. Listening to (my daughter) practice her viola. I know I have written it before, but I adore hearing her play. (I will write it again too I am sure.) #443. Finished reading 1000 Gifts. Really good, inspiring, deep, yet light and freeing. #684. Rain, lots of it. Off and on for several days. Love it. Cozy indoors. And #713. Dark blue sparkly toenails. Julie Garmon inspired fun! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing who you are each week.

    • Kim, that is wonderful!! I love reading what you’ve written. I’ve also found things I’ve double written. I think that’s perfectly okay!

      This made my morning. Thank YOU for letting me know my writing touches your write.

      So much love!

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