Finding Inspiration One Year Later, God Keeps Showing Off

This week I am finding inspiration everywhere. I don’t even have to look for it. It keeps popping up. It is almost like God keeps showing off. It’s OK. He is God. He can show off whenever He wants to.

It inspires me.

He took center stage earlier this week at my kitchen table. It looked like this:

Remember how I shared How God Used Ann Voskamp to heal my heart? I was becoming a bitter nasty person that August day a year ago when I walked in to a Christian bookstore and picked up One Thousand Gifts. Just because the cover was pretty. Deep, I know.

And so one year ago with reluctance I began to count the gifts—the everyday blessings that God gives to us. The old hymn I learned in the Methodist church as a little girl in West Virginia kept playing in my head all year long throughout this process. Grace, grace, God’s grace.

“Eucharisto—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.” ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

At first it was hard. I wasn’t in a place to open my heart up to this spirit of gratitude. But slowly as the year progressed, the list became easier. God kept showing off to me. He was revealing His glory in the day-to-day. Through my deep hurt and disappointments, He showed me beauty. It looked like this…

130. The perfect day at Rocky Mountain National Park with my girl. 9/9/11

240. Time with Grandma. 11/1/11

314. Pie! 11/24/11

500. Three years at Family Life Services—my passion and calling meet. 3/19/12

622. Your word inspiring me! 4/22/12

651. Jeff continuing to get strong and healthy. What craziness! 5/3/12

706. Jacob turning into a man before my very eyes. 5/7/12

848. Provision PRAYED FOR and GRANTED. 6/15/12

897. Firefighters to contain the beast on the mountain. 7/4/12

973. Time away with my lover. 8/1/12

This week I made it. On August 13, 2012 almost a year to the day I started counting, I came to the end of listing my 1000 gifts.

I was so inspired! I flipped through my small notebook and looked at all of the ways God keeps showing off in my life. I was completely giddy!

So I said a prayer of thanksgiving for this past year. And I continued finding inspiration in my time with Him.

And I began to write…

1001. Courage to keep writing the gifts.

What has God been doing to show off in your life lately? Where are you finding inspiration?







  1. I just love the concept of God “showing off,” Julie. I’ll keep watch! Thanks.

  2. I just got that book yesterday!! I’m so excited to start it!

    Courtney Reynolds Hill 🙂

  3. Laura Knox says:

    I just finished it 2 nights ago–and my list is around 100 gifts right now. But I cannot believe how much God has changed my heart in just that short list. Thank you for recommending it on your blog–I honestly wouldn’t have read it if you hadn’t shared how it had changed your life. Julie Abel’s recommendation goes a LONG way in my mind! 😉 Love you, friend!

    • Awe Laura, I am so glad God used it in your life. Honestly, due to my background in the Christian resource market- I was so cynical. I typically never step foot into Christian bookstores. Too much Jesus junk for my blood! But God for sure directed my steps me to pick up this book last August. Continue to seek God’s blessings in the everyday friend. BTW, when are you going to start blogging?

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