I’ve realized over the past year how healthy it’s been to offer thanks. I started on January 1 journaling three things a day that I’m thankful for and I continued all year to 1000.  This activity was prompted when I read A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  I learned so much about myself and God, and felt like my heart grew two sizes as I went on this journey of training my heart to be thankful, observe what it was I was thankful for, and then write it down.  It became a habit, a healthy one, and here’s why I think it’s healthy to continue:

  • I realized that mostly I thanked God for the obvious (food, clothes, shelter) but overlooked the hidden (a wave, a text, a piece of chocolate).

  • It took time each day to reflect upon, think about, and then write about what it was that I was thankful for.

  • Giving thanks for three things turned my heart upward when perhaps it had been downward all day long.

  • Three things, on some days, were hard to find after I’d journaled hundreds, but I kept looking, because I wanted them to all be different.

  • Often, my thanksgivings were just for temporal trivial things, but nonetheless, they made me smile at His attention to detail in my life with blessings in the leaves swaying in the wind, or the fact that a package arrived so soon…

  • It was a great year to do this exercise, as it was a year that I could have easily focused on all the negative; but giving thanks shifted my focus to the good.

  • Journaling thanksgivings in a pretty book has given me reference, a place to look back on, and place to grow from, as I start 2021.


I’m hoping to journal again 1000 thanks, but next year I’m going to be more purposeful to really look at life, creation, my heart, others, and so many more beautiful gifts in the world and notice every intricate detail of my Father’s hand at work in all of it.  I’m hoping that I will look forward to this daily exercise as much as I look forward to a big bucket of popcorn, knowing the satisfaction and thrill it will bring when I’m through.

Healthy habits aren’t just running and bending and eating and minimalizing, although that’s mostly what we’re told that brings us good health.  Healthy habits include daily noticing, thanking, praising and growing as we realize how full our hearts really are when we stop to acknowledge the One at work making them pump steadier and stronger.


The Daily Three
by Marcy Lytle

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