Several months ago, I read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and something resonated deep inside my soul. There had been hole where I had often fallen into, and I realized that if I looked around to see the joys all around me, I could avoid that pit of despair. At the same time, I joined a few online communities and got into tweeting like crazy. When I finished the book, I saw that I was also nearing my 1000th tweet.

I don’t really believe in coincidences.

So this is my journey – tweeting my way through 1000 simple joys in my life.

I use a pretty simple system: using the hashtag #1000joys and a number, I’m accepting the One Thousand Gifts dare to “Live Fully Right Where You Are”. You can follow along on Twitter or follow this page as I will update it as I go. I also periodically post updates with a new set of joys every few weeks.

This is my life and all the joy it brings.


1: Praying for each other over social media.

2: Making new friends in far-off places

3: Eating food with friends

4: Shopping for shoes.

5: Love.

6: Kale and chicken salads.

7: Out-of-the-blue roadtrip plans.

8: Capacity for compassion.

9: God’s solace.

10: Frozen pizza

11: Flannel pants

12: Long talks on the phone

13: Crossing that last bill off the to-do list

14: A good book.

15: A robin nesting in snow drifts

16: A peptalk from my director

17: Friendly customers who let me help them

18: Going home early

19: #biceptyme

20: Mullet talks over breakfast

21: Snow on the Ohio hills with glaring sun & good times

22: Hot tea with a sore throat

23: Sleeping in on weekends

24: Friends who stick around for late night talks on literature & life

25: Reconnecting with friend-s over a story that evokes emotion and pain and peace and joy

26: Spiritual gifts

27: Doors opening for new work

28: Pouring rain to wash away the ice and snow

29: A bride’s smile during rehearsal

30: A bright wedding day in February

31: Finding what is lost & naming what is unknown

32: Cooking in my own kitchen

33: Cute shoes.

34: New network connections

35: An inspiring word from a stranger

36: Feeling valued & valuable at my job

37: Curly and cute hair days

38: System restores

39: Bad news that doesn’t spoil the whole day

40: Meeting people & your reputation precedes you

41: Impulse foods

42: Discovering that Saturdays will not be full of work

43: Wine & food & conversation

44: Hearing other people’s journeys of faith

45: TGIF

46: Community and faith intermingling with food and friends

48: Jeans Friday at work

49: Warm homemade bread & butter

50: Sweet & acid tang of coffee in the morning

51: Diving into the Hebrew of a Psalm in blissful silence

52: Community

53: Brainstorming English essays and talking about composers with Ben

54: Following a random hashtag just because.

55: Free stuff

56: Early morning birds with their own sweet songs

57: The dull ache for friends who were near & are now far

58: A clean-ish house

59: A close hospital with good doctors & nurses

60: Prescription drugs & health insurance

61: Sick days at work

62: A loving community

63: An amazing mom with grace, a scour pad, and mean cooking skills

64: A humble and quiet brother with a heart for others

65: Booze

66: Laughing over inside jokes, outside jokes, and misheard jokes

67: The morning hours when the house is quiet and the rain is loud

68: The soothing bliss of cool cream on a hot burn

69: Losing track of the days and wishing the challenge would go on forever

70: Morning lag as my body protests another early rise to work and to pay the bills with a peaceful heart

71: The scurry of a mouse

72: Modern medicine

73: Flexible coworkers

74: The ability for bodies to heal themselves

75: Knowing you’ve helped someone else

76: A power outage that makes you stop and rest from a busy schedule

77: The lovely smell of breakfast cooking

78: A fresh cup of joe

79: Good hair days

80: Roll-the-windows-down weather in March

81: An imagination that can dream and read of far-off lands

82: Books!

83: The halting, beautiful sounds of chords, hums, and strums as a new song is composed by my husband

84: Dreams and imagination

85: Wednesdays that have a little more sleep

86: Nightly rituals of aliens & good guys

87: A roof & walls that are perfectly cozy

88: Tears of joy and sadness and longing held back by a simple wish for a time gone by and a friendship forged short and strong

89: Recovery is cooking 2 dinners and dessert.

90: The safety of a friend amidst tragedy.

91: Full range of motion.

92: A wedding invite.

93: Spring rains and new life.

94: Spurts of cleaning mojo.

95: Bust-a-gut laughing with friends.

96: Intimate sharing of life stories.

97: People who look out for me.

98: Words of affirmation.

99: Small tokens of appreciation.

100: A kind word on a hard day at work.

101: Coffee steam rising from a mug of brew on a chilly April morning.

102: Spring frost on the windshield.

103: Feeling prepared.

104: 7 women filled with the Holy Spirit

105: A meal after church

106: First sunburn of the season

107: A dress code of dresses & fun

108: Being upbeat when the wind is cold & the snow is falling

109: Uplifting community that encourages and motivates

110: Taco salads

111: Morning texts

112: Comforting hugs to ease away the stress

113: A small group full of love & understanding

114: A full fridge

115: Bagel sandwiches

116: Team building at work

117: Productive meetings

118: Feeling confident at work that I know my job well

119: Locksmiths

120: Celebrating engagements

121: Turkish tea

122: Long walks talking about love stories

123: Forgiveness among friends

124: Phone calls back home

125: Coffee-flavored smoothies

126: Brightening someone’s day by resolving a sticky issue

127: Fresh salads

128: Yummy leftovers and easy meals

129: The last crumbs of chips and seasonings at the bottom of the bag

130: Playing games long-distance with friends

131: Radio stories that are meaningful if painful

132: Long hugs that ease grief

133: Knowing that even when my belief wavers and my strength fails, God hasn’t given up on me and his plan for my life on earth

134: Auto-correct

135: A hard lemonade to finish off a hard day’s work

136: The delicious smell of homemade food

137: A juicy burger

138: Enough rabbit trails during small group to tempt Elmer Fudd

139: The earnest prayer of believers for each other’s concerns & those around us

140: Surviving another day at the office

141: Smartphone bible apps

142: That moment of value & validation when I’m feeling overworked

143: Beating that one level in the game

144: Eating a quarter of a loaf of bread and feeling full of goodness

145: Two functioning, healed hands

146: A stocked pantry

147: Crockpot meals

148: Summer hours at work

149: Free gift cards

150: That there is such a thing as a free lunch

151: A dishwasher

152: The death of long-distance phone call limits

153: Online bill paying

154: A closet full of clothes

155: Beautiful friendships

156: The community for the few months I was involved & met such wonderful and strong women of God

157: A stormy sky and gorgeous sunset

158: Laughing in the car on a roadtrip

159: Blues and politics and spaceships with the brothers

160: Open door policies

161: Friday night cocktails

162: Air conditioning

163: Cozy sweatshirts from youth group retreats long gone

164: Mango vodka martinis with raspberries while watching The Great Gatsby with my darling

165: Frozen pizza & off-brand cola

166: Trusting God as the rain pours down because the storm was beautiful before, during, and after

167: Clearance party items

168: A cold Whiskey Pepsi

169: A husband with a fashion sense

170: The rain held off until I got home

171: A great discussion on the fruits of the Spirit versus the desires of the flesh and what it means for us today

172: Plans that fall through that lead to much-needed alone time

173: The laundry-toting husband

174: Crockpot dinners on crazy days

175: The blessing of marriage

176: Seeing the joy on the bride and groom’s face as they see each other

177: Being a helping hand

178: Praise music that fills the house as my husband practices for worship team

179: Sleeping in after a long day of travel and joy

180: Good weather for a wedding on a cold day in May

181: Hugs from surrogate parents

182: Tears of happiness at a mother-son dance

183: Arriving safely home on flooded streets

184: Last-minute potlucks at work to celebrate a birthday

185: Hand-me-down bookcases

186: Four-day weekends

187: Sharing secrets and squeals with tom-boy friends after a long day at work

188: The flicker of a candle

189: Reading books in bed

190: Family jokes and bad puns

191: The white noise of a fan to beckon sleep

193: Best friend phone calls

194: Long talks with my dad

195: Business lead waiting in my email

196: Quick and yummy dinners with just enough leftovers

197: Neighbor reconciliation

198: Call backs from new clients

199: Resonating with a stranger about shared life experiences.

200: The buoy of a sad heart when God doesn’t give up on your dreams when you were about to.

201: A delicious dinner with visiting grandparents

202: Dog-kisses from my best childhood friend

203: Talking life, love, and money

204: Hazelnut coffee in the morning

205: Writing up a contract for my dream job

206: Sleeping in on Saturday morning

207: The exciting feeling of a brand new day arriving

208: Hot showers on a warm morning

209: Saturdays at home with my darling love

210: Unexpected sibling nights

211: Watching brother-in-laws playing video games together

212: Realizing that life can be interesting

213: Checking items off the to-do list

214: eBooks to that save time, money, & sanity

215: Used bookstores and the smell of old books

216: Celebration of singleness & marriage

217: Doting on a wonderful friend with all the pomp she deserves

218: Cocktails

219: Hot wings & high heels

220: Word games

221: Telling love stories & heartbreak tales

222: Baby James giggling, smiling, & snoring

223: a cool breeze on a hot walk

224: lunch-ready leftovers

225: God’s tugging on my heart for more time with him and less about me

226: Orange lilies blooming

227: A racing heartbeat after a mile walk

228: Owls dancing on the moon

229: Color-coded water bottles

230: Grass clippings and rain puddles

231: Evergreen trees with budding pinecones

232: Women telling stories of body image growing up

233: Being an hour early then ten minutes late

234: Netflix binge-watching sessions

235: Fixed water pipes & resumed water pressure

235: Gin and tonics

236: YouTube shows

237: Custom lockscreens with Bible verses

238: The calmness of starting a new adventure

239: Free long-distance calls

240: The blessing of being so close to family

241: Relaxing weekends

242: Productive wedding meetings

243: Breakfast burritos and morning musings

244: Psuedo-bachelorette parties and real life talks

245: Spiritual mothers and mentors throughout my life

246: Fiber therapy in mustard yellow

247: Binge-watching TV shows

248: Beautiful rugs with exotic patterns

249: 15-minute cleanups to spruce up the house

250: Blueberry bagels and cream cheese

251: Sharing of burdens – past and present

252: Adoption approval for Kayte and Ryan

253: Being real about life, love, and loss

254: A caring hug

255: Fresh fruit on a summer day

256: Hot summer rains

257: Texts of encouragement

258: Sudden showers

259: The smooth glide of yarn over needles

260: Elena’s safe arrival into this world

261: Ever-changing melodies of an electric guitar

262: Sleeping in on days off

263: Walking the same paths from a decade ago

264: Lively spiritual discussions over donuts and coffee

265: Sharing knowledge at a scenic overlook

266: Gender-bending menu choices

267: Puppy kisses

268: Hot tub talks under the stars

269: Wind-swept hair during speed boat rides

270: Experiencing the sublime

271: Playing in the sand and silt

272: A good grip on a great camera

273: Reliving the joys of a fun morning through photos

274: Free pedicures in red clay and sand

275: Rain that held off just long enough

276: The sound of rushing waterfalls

277: Quick read books

278: $3 shoes

279: Community of prayer and petition

280: Frothing coffee

281: Howl of the hunt for chipmunks

282: Sweet cantaloupe

283: The comfort of my own bed

284: Gentle wakeup calls

285: Playing video games late into the night

286: Sunday truth from SheReadsTruth

287: Wild and crazy dance moves

288: Building relationships over southern cooking

289: Homemade spaghetti sauce


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