This blog is my response to The Joy Dare by Ann Voskamp, author of the book "One Thousand Gifts". Every day (hopefully) I will be recording three things that bring me joy, three gifts from God, three things that I am grateful for.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29, 2012: Squeaky Clean by Grace

a gift dull, a gift shimmering, a gift cleaned
  • the dull pain in my arm.  I am trusting that it is a gift, healing, mending together.
  • the water shimmering, reflecting the landscape around it.
  • a clean heart. Available anytime, all I need do is ask. Grace.  Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Hebrews 10:22

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 28, 2012: The Gift of Remembering

3 gifts from the past that help you trust the future:
  • my wedding ring.  The vows my husband made when we were married help me trust that he will still be there for me in the future.  That he will still love me, still be faithful to me, still cherish me.  That forever means always.
  • my job and the timing of it helps me trust that God will provide a new job for my daughter too.  When I began looking for work over six years ago, I thought I'd find position by the time school started in September.  Not so.  I didn't begin until January.  But His timing was perfect after all.  My job is flexible and supplies the funds I desired to help my kids with their college tuition, exactly as I prayed for.
  • God's promise in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  These words were written by the prophet thousands of years ago, yet the promise is still true today, and tomorrow. 

February 27, 2012: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

3 ugly-beautiful gifts:
  •  rules. My first instinct when I see rules like these pool rules is to rebel. How dare anyone tell me what to do?  These rules are ridiculous!  But, really upon further thought, they are only for the safety of everyone using the pool. They are for our good, not meant to ruin anyone's fun but to ensure the enjoyment of all.  Really it's the same with God's rules. Sometimes they feel restrictive, but in actuality they are for my good, even for my blessing, my joy. Blessed is the one...whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,  which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3
  • feet.  Ugly, yet they are also beautiful in function.  They carry me everywhere I need to go and I certainly would never trade them.
  • the cross.  What could be uglier than an instrument of torture and death, yet it is also the most beautiful symbol of mercy and life. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 26, 2012: Reflections of Love

3 gifts reflected:
  • This bird loudly singing God's praises today reflected the Creator's glory and brought me joy.
  • The vibrant beauty of flowers reflect God's love for us.  As I admired a bush covered with brilliantly colored fuchsia flowers, I thought about how God created so much beauty in the world, much of it with no other purpose than our enjoyment. 
  • My husband's support of the ministry and volunteer work I love reflects his heart. He could pressure me to get a full-time job, but he values me and the passions God has given me.   As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27:19

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 25, 2012: The Gift of Family Fun

a gift nearly worn out, a gift new, a gift made-do:
  • my nearly worn out slippers.  My slippers are most always nearly worn out.  I wear them pretty much every day, all year long, when I am in the house.  I slide them on when I come home from work and they stay on my feel until I go to bed at night.  Then they sit next to the bed, waiting for me to  put them on when I wake up in the morning.
  • playing cards with my husband, parents and brother.  My husband and dad almost never play games with us, but tonight everyone played and it was great fun.
  • a made-do connection of what we call "Dutch cable" to watch a couple of basketball games tonight via the internet on the computer. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 24, 2012: Joy in the Morning

3 gifts before 11:00 am:
  • The gift of being warm and cozy inside when it's snowing and blowing outside.
  • The gift of a caring, compassionate physical therapist who encourages me to keep working.
  • The gift of God's Word from David's Psalm 103. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  He will not always accuse,  nor will he harbor his anger forever;  he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us (verses8-12). Hallelujah!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 23, 2012: The Gift of ASKing

a gift of tin, of glass, of wood:
  • a tin sign that hangs over my kitchen sink.  It reads, "Ask, Seek, Knock" (Matthew 7:7) Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  A reminder of the gift of prayer.  God invites us into a relationship with him, we are welcome to ask him for the things we need and even the things we want.  
  • a glass window in the stairwell of the second story of my house.  It is the only window in the house that faces east and it is a wonderful spot to peek at the sunrise in the morning.  
  • a wood table that sits in my front entryway.  A gift from my husband and children for Christmas.  I love the fact that my daughter picked it out and it is perfect for a spot that really needed something, but I didn't know what.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 22, 2012: The Gift of Polished Toes

3 gifts that changed today:
  • The privilege of praying for a sister in Christ right at the time she was having a medical procedure.  Prayed for peace to wash over her.  She shared in an email tonight that she did feel God's peace as she went through the surgery. 
  • Lunch with my fellow Bible study leaders.  We shared good food and sweet fellowship. It is always a precious gift to spend time together.
  • A pedicure.  I have been saving a half-off coupon for a nearby nail salon and today was the day.  What a treat and my toes look great.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 21, 2012: Clothed in Joy

3 gifts white:
  • An appointment card for the physical therapist.  Had my evaluation today and he was very positive that I could get very good results with therapy.  I am so thankful to be looking forward to healing and restoration of my muscle. God is good!
  • My oven.  Admittedly I have been taking it for granted.  I had already forgotten all the problems I had with it until I got an email today from my aunt, who oddly enough has the same oven and is also having trouble with hers.  So, tonight I am grateful for a working oven and a pan of baked pasta for dinner.
  • My clothes.  Not literally--I hardly ever wear white, but I love the verse from Ecclesiastes 8 that I found when I looked up "white" on Bible Gateway. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil (verse 7)Not sure what it meant, I looked at a commentary and it explained that white symbolizes joy and cheerfulness. That is exactly what I want, to be clothed in joy and cheerfulness.  Thus my counting.  I have much to be joyful about, it's just that sometimes I need to look a little closer to see it. Give me eyes to see.

Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20, 2012: Gifts at Every Meal

a gift at breakfast, lunch, dinner:
  • Insight.  I read a devotional from Jesus Calling again at breakfast and one of the Scripture references was Colossians 3:15.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  The first word, "let" really caught my attention. It said to me that it wasn't just an automatic thing, that it required some cooperation on my part. Jesus isn't just going to overtake me with his peace, he wants me to desire it and to allow it, for me to submit to his peace. I also looked up the root meaning of the word "let" in the original Greek.  It was defined as 1) to be an umpire 2) to decide, determine 3) to direct, control, rule.  To be an umpire!  Wow--I love that imagery.  I must submit to Christ's authority as the umpire of my heart, to concede his ability make the calls, to have the final decision (and he doesn't need instant replay).   
  • Love.  My husband sent me a quick "I love you" text during the lunch hour.  The high point of my day.  The little things do mean a lot.
  • Contentment.  A few quiet moments to sit at the dinner table with my husband.  It's a blessing to have someone I love to listen as I tell about my day and then to return the favor.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 19, 2012: The Gift of Change

3 gifts that were 'Plan B's':
  • Lunch. Really planned to make soup for lunch today, but since it was such a beautiful sunny day my husband offered to grill, so we had some delicious chicken instead.  A surprising treat to grill in mid February!
  • Time.  I always like to be ready ahead when I am having people over.  I make lists so I don't forget anything and have the house clean ahead and the food prepared in advance.  Instead tonight I found myself throwing everything together at the last minute, cleaning the bathroom moments before the doorbell rang, still dressed in rumpled sweatpants.  All because my daughter was over and we were making seafoam candy while she did her laundry.  Not the way I normally prefer to roll, but I wouldn't trade the time with her for anything.
  • Friends.   What a blessed time tonight with some dear friends in our house church discussing both the Holy Spirit and our attitude toward our material possessions.  Good stuff and good people.  Love them and love journeying with them.  But as I was thinking about this 'Plan B' thing, I realized that they are second string. When we first joined a house church, it was a completely different group of people.  After a while, we merged with another house church and now, many years later, none of our original group is left.  Everyone in our house church is either from that merger or is completely new.  See, change isn't always bad, sometimes it's very good.

February 18, 2012: Paper Gifts, Precious Gifts

3 gifts found on paper:
  • a thank you note from a friend.  People don't send so many of those anymore, everything tends toward e-mail, text or Facebook message, but I love nothing better than an actual handwritten note.  First there is the delight of getting something in the mail other than bills and junk.  Then there is the anticipation of reading it, which always brings a smile.  But the goodness of it doesn't just end there.  I almost always save a note or card and prop it up on my kitchen windowsill or display it on my china cabinet.  There it brings joy for days to come as I spot it over and again and remember. 
  • an envelope of old pictures.  Black and white pictures of my mom when she was a girl.  I love family pictures, and old photos have special meaning.  In this case, they allow a glimpse into a past before my time, to my heritage. What a treasure.
  • a reminder from God.  This morning I read a devotional from Jesus Calling.  The reading blessed me, but then I got to the end where Scripture references are listed.  One of them was Zephaniah 3:17, The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.  I wrote about this verse earlier this week, saying that it's hard for me to believe that God actually delights in me.  Two days later He is showing me that his Word is truth, that he does indeed delight in me, his daughter.  God is so good!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 17, 2012: The Joy of Giving

3 gifts found in giving/serving:
  • Joy.  Psalm 105:1-3 says,  Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.  When we give praise, we receive joy.  That's why God's Word tells us over and over again to praise the Lord.  Not because he needs it, although he is certainly worthy of it, but because we need it. 
  • Blessing. What we give, we will receive in return. Of course, that only means that I receive blessing if I give blessing.  If I give judgment, I will receive judgement.  If I give unforgiveness, that is what I will receive. Jesus said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Luke 6:37-38
  • Renown. Not as the world names it, but as God does. In Mark 10:43-45 Jesus said, "whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  
It's hard to have a servant's heart.  Giving goes against my human nature.  I want to take what is yours, to hoard what is mine. But a true servant, a real giver does just the opposite.  If I want to be a servant, a giver, I must be willing to be like Jesus, who gave his very life for those who rejected him, who hated him, who wanted to kill him.  And he did it with joy.  Can I?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 16, 2012: Gifts Undeserved

3 gifts in shadows:
  • opportunity.  This morning while brushing my teeth, I prayed that God would fill me with his grace and love so that it would spill out to others.  Fast forward to late afternoon, I've worked all day and have been waiting for almost an hour at the doctor's office.  It was very irritating, yet I managed to stay calm.  As I was leaving, I was wondering to myself what God's purpose was for me in the long wait. Then I remembered my petition that morning and was humbled to realize that I had indeed splashed a bit of his grace onto the office staff as I sweetly accepted the nurse's apology and commiserated with the receptionist about her workload. Blessed to be a blessing.
  • prayer. In the mail today was a postcard from Thailand.  It was just one brief sentence that read, "I am praying for you today" and was signed by the president of a ministry that I support, WAR International.  WAR rescues, aids and protects women at risk around the world who are in danger from trafficking, sexual slavery, and abuse.  Becky McDonald, along a team of volunteers, is currently in Thailand risking much to rescue women and she is sending me a postcard to say she is praying for ME?!  I felt so undeserving.  I should be the one praying for HER!  And yet, isn't that the beauty of the body of Christ?  We pray for each other.  We need each other. We help each other. 
  • love.  Sometimes it's hard for me to accept words of love from my husband, words whispered in the dark, spoken in the light.  It's difficult to conceive that he finds me beautiful.  It's the same with God.  I can mostly accept that he loves me, but to believe that he delights in me, that's a whole other matter. Yet his Word tells me that it's true, in more than one place. 2 Samuel 22:20, Psalm 147:11, Jeremiah 9:24, Zephaniah 3:17.  Amazing love.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 15, 2012: Lost and Found

a gift in losing something, in finding something, in making something:
  • lost my old life, found new life in Jesus.  That's the best trade ever! Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. Matthew 16:24-25.  I'm not always the best of disciples, but I'm still following along. 
  • found the glasses I had lost.  My husband and I went out for a Valentine's Day dinner and neither of us had our reading glasses.  You have never seen anything so pathetic as two old, half-blind people trying to read the menu in a dark restaurant.  Pathetic but funny. 
  • found satisfaction in making something new for my kitchen windowsill. I have the most lovely, wide kitchen windowsill and I enjoy having things on it that make me smile.  I was rather sad to take down my Valentine's decorations today, so I decided I needed something new there to cheer me up.  I started with a cute little green vase that I bought on sale a while ago for a dollar or two and then raided my scrapbooking stash to jazz it up a bit.  Cheap and easy joy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14, 2012: God's Love Is the Very Best Valentine Gift of All

3 ways you feel the love of God:
  • through my husband.   He loves me because of Christ in him.  He has stayed faithful to me for 26 1/2 years because of Christ in him.  He remains committed to me no matter what the future holds because of Christ in him. That is a gift for which I am truly grateful. 
  • through the Word.  God tells me over and over again how much he loves me. If you've never seen the video from fathersloveletter.com you should really check it out.  Today. On Valentine's Day.  Or any day.  
  • when I worship.  I have always liked to sing, and especially to sing in worship.  Worship just brings me close to God, it's a very intimate thing to me and I feel God's presence there.  I become more aware of his love for me and mine for him. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012: $10 Worth of Joy, Please

3 gifts found behind a door today:
  • 4 fun, frivolous little home decor items.  I stopped at one of my favorite stores today after work.  It's an antique/secondhand/re-purpose store.  Always different and interesting to browse through.    Nothing I actually needed, but each one makes me smile.  For a total of $10, that's pretty good therapy!
  • the makings for a delicious pot of vegetable tortellini soup for dinner.  Found dibs of this and dabs of that and managed to put together a great meal.  I really should go to the grocery store, but it was awfully nice not to.
  • The comfort and peace of coming home.  I do love my house.  I breathe a sigh of relief whenever I get there.  It's the place where I can truly relax and be myself.  I'm especially grateful to have a home tonight when so many people don't. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12, 2012: When It's Hard to Give Thanks

3 hard eucharisteos:
eucharisteos: a verb; from the Greek [yoo-khar-is-teh'-o] To be grateful, feel thankful, give thanks.

In Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, and Luke 22:19, during the final hours of his earthly life, his last moments to teach his disciples, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it.  A simple act, yet so rich in meaning.  He took bread, gave thanks and broke it.  Jesus, the Bread of Life (John 6:35), gave thanks and willingly allowed his body to be broken, laying down his life for me.

Eucharisteos is not always easy, not always joyful, not always fun to blog about.  Sometimes eucharisteos is hard, painful, even gut-wrenching.  Knowing what was before him, Jesus gave eucharisteos.  Can I?
  • The injured muscle in my arm. I don't know why it happened, I don't know when it will heal.  I hate feeling like I am carrying around a useless appendage that won't cooperate with anything I want it to do.  Yet, I am thanking God for it today, knowing that 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells me to give thanks in all circumstances (emphasis mine). Not just the circumstances where the outcome looks positive or where there is no suffering involved.
  • A painful incident with my son several years ago.  It still causes me sorrow when I think of it, but I remembered it this morning when I was in church.  I love my church.  It's a beautiful place full of broken, but healing, people who are just placing one foot in front of the other in an effort to follow the way of Christ.  And the thing is, if it weren't for what happened to my son, I don't know if I would have been there this morning.  Often we see through the glass dimly, but this time I believe I understand a portion of why God allowed.  It was for greater good, for my son's growth and mine.  It brought us nearer to the foot of the cross and, although it's a bit gory, I want to be there.
  • A family member's divorce.  Horrible, ugly, agonizing.  God says he hates divorce, not because he enjoys making up rules and wants to wreck our fun, but because he knows how it rips apart families, causes grief and heartache.  It's hard, very hard.  Again I don't know why.  I don't comprehend at all, but again I can see him working good.  It has caused us to band together as a family, to lean on each other a little more, to express our feelings out loud.  A hard eucharisteo.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 11, 2012: When Work Is a Gift

3 gifts found in working:
This being a Saturday, I didn't do much of what anyone might call actual work, but I did work on several projects that were indeed gifts.
  • The gift of memories.  I had a needlework piece that my Grandma did for my Mom at least 30 years ago.  It no longer had a frame and I've been on the lookout for one. Found it yesterday and so today my husband and I worked on getting fitting it in the frame and hung on the wall.  I love it!
  • The gift of creativity .  I worked on Valentine's cards yesterday and  then today to finish them up. I tried out several of the ideas I had pinned from Pinterest and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
  • The gift of giving. Made some Valentine's treats for our Girls' Night Out tonight.  We sampled them for dessert and during the movie. Frosting on top of the cake!

Friday, February 10, 2012

January 10, 2012: The Gift of Laughter

3 times you heard laughter today:
  • at the pharmacy.  The cheeriest pharmacy tech helped me today when I picked up a prescription.  She was kind and had a good sense of humor, and didn't seem to rushed to chat for a moment.
  • in my car.  I was driving home and there were some people in their front yard with their dog.  The dog was absolutely loving the fresh falling snow, jumping up and down, very excited.  It made me laugh out loud.
  • at a restaurant.  My husband and I went out for dinner tonight since we had some coupons that were about to expire.  We took advantage of one, but had another we wouldn't be able to use.  It was for $10 off $30 but all of the tables around us were couples and since the prices are inexpensive, I knew their tabs wouldn't be that much.  I peeked into another part of the restaurant and spotted a large family,  went up to them and gave them the coupon.  They were thrilled.  It was so much fun to be able to randomly surprise someone like that.  The highlight of my day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 9, 2012: Small Graces, Largely Unexpected

3 gifts that were surprises--unexpected grace!
  • 2 of the members at the church where I work who were more than happy to fold the Sunday bulletins for me today.  It's one thing to have people be willing to help you out, it's another thing entirely to have them be so glad to do it.  That's servant love, a reminder of God's love to me.  Micah 7:18 tells us how God delights to show us mercy.  I might begrudgingly show mercy, but when is the last time (ever?) that I delighted to show mercy to another?
  • Plans for a girls' night out with one of my sisters-in-law and our daughters.   Surprising, but pleasing, that they are willing to hang with the old ladies (especially on a weekend). Of course the fact that we are footing the bill probably doesn't hurt!
  • Grace from a staff member at my church when informed her of last minute changes in the schedule for Bible study next week.  She couldn't have been any nicer about it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 8, 2012: God's Repairing Love

a gift broken, a gift fixed, a gift thrifted:
  • A gift broken: the light breaking through the clouds this morning.  It was beautiful, soft pinks and oranges, and now has given rise to a startlingly blue sunny day.  
  • A gift fixed: my spirit during leader's meeting before Bible study this morning.  We spent some time in listening prayer, quietly attentive for anything God might speak to us.  Over and over again I felt as though he whispered, "Oh how I love you".  Amazingly, when we shared afterward, two other women also heard those same words.  The balm of perfect love a gift to a heart in need of repair.
  • A gift thrifted: the Valentine's banner that hangs on my china cabinet.  Another great idea I found on Pinterest.  The paper is pages torn from a secondhand book, the hearts are saved scraps left over from other projects, the buttons from a hodgepodge collection, some possibly from my Grandma's sewing cabinet.  It was simple enough to do with only one working hand, yet it makes me feel very happy and happy is a gift indeed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 7, 2012: Gifts Wrapped in Red

3 gifts red:
  • Red velvet cake, so generously delivered by my thoughtful friend, Patti.  She brought us some to-die-for minestrone soup, chock full of vegetables and Italian sausage, a loaf of crusty bread, and a slab of absolutely delicious looking red velvet cake.  Loved the soup and bread, trying to hold off on the cake until later.  The food was a gift, but more than that the friend is a gift.
  • Bags of Valentine treats, all prepared for the other leaders and the women in my Bible study group.  I'm excited about them--such a cute idea that I found on Pinterest :)
  • My sins, formerly red, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1:18

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6, 2012: The Gift of Freedom

3 gifts found outside:
  • The American flag.  After watching the news on television last night, so much turmoil in the world, my attention was captured by the flag flying briskly in the wind today as I drove to work.  I am so grateful to live in a free country.  Sometimes I get disgusted by politics, but I certainly wouldn't want to live anywhere else!  Perspective is a gift too.
  • My car, freshly painted and looking (nearly) new again.  My husband spent Saturday afternoon fixing the rust on my car and it looks much better.  I don't much care about what kind of car I drive, but I will admit it was a little embarrassing to have ever growing rust spots.  
  • The lengthening daylight.  It was delightful to sit at the kitchen table tonight eating dinner, and not needing to close the blinds because of the darkness.  I love the fact that the days are growing noticeably longer because that means that spring is coming!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 5, 2012: Stitched in with Love

one gift stitched, one hammered, one woven:
  • one gift stitched: me, and the comfort and peace it brings to know that. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. (Psalm 139:5).   He keeps me protected and warm, stitched in by his loving care.
  • one gift hammered: the keyboard and drums during worship in church this morning.  My church's worship band is among the best I've ever heard and I love to worship there more than anywhere else.  There is the most beautiful spirit of truth and love when we sing together in praise to our God. 
  • one gift woven: the complexity and richness of God's Word.  Heard a teaching at church this morning that once again revolutionized a passage of Scripture that I've heard many times.  Acts 12:1-17 is the story of Peter's miraculous release from prison.  It's also an archetype of my (and your) miraculous release from the prison of our own making. We all create prisons for ourselves, prisons built by choices to addictions like anger, fear, jealousy, approval, money, anxiety, work.  The miracle is that all it takes for our release is the choice to reach out and take the outstretched hand of the one who died to set us free.  "The Spirit of the Lord is on me [Jesus], because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free."  (Luke 4:18)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February 4, 2012: Looking for Good Gifts in Times of Trial

3 gifts found when bent down:  Not doing much literal bending down today because frankly it's painful, so I am counting gifts found when bent down with an injury to the muscle in my arm.
  • the depth of my husband's love.  Not being able to get yourself dressed is rather humbling, but my dear husband truly is glad to help me in any and every way.  It's nice to know that's still true after 26 1/2 years of marriage. 
  • contentment.  For the first couple of days, I thought I would go nuts just sitting around, not able to do much.  Today I find myself more at peace.
  • single-mindedness.  I can't multi-task, so I am forced to focus on the one thing I can do at a time with one hand.
There is always blessing in suffering when we count it as joy, looking for the good, looking for God. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3

Friday, February 3, 2012

February 3, 2012: A Gift in an Injury

3 gifts found in writing:
2 quotes that resonated with me found while web surfing on favorite sites today with little else to do, and 1 quote from God's Word that has echoed in my heart all week, taking on new meaning after slipping and falling down the steps in my house yesterday .
  • " In a world that is so ready to believe what is false, people so ready to behave falsely it is more than hard to be real. We become used to pasting on the false smile and saying we are "Fine!"  when fine is generally the last thing we feel." (transitional-woman.blogspot.com)
  •  "our hearts leak and will always end up empty when we find our worth in anything but who we are in Christ. Our value is not measured by what others think of us..." (reneeswope.com)
  • I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD,  the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—   he who watches over you will not slumber. (Psalm 121:1-3)  I ponder this Scripture as I sit on the couch, typing one handed, injured and a little lonely.  I believe that my Lord is the Maker of heaven and earth, the maker of me, the maker of steps.  I believe that he has the power to keep me from falling. Therefore I can only conclude that he has some greater good in mind, some purpose for keeping me on the couch, sore groggy and tired.  Perhaps he has a quiet word to whisper to my soul and needed me to slow down to hear it. I don't pretend to know the answer but will attempt to wait patiently as he teaches. (P.S. the photo was borrowed from my son, who took it while hiking, injured, in the Sierra Nevada this summer, isn't it beautiful?)  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1, 2012: Gifts Around the Clock

a gift found at 11:30 am, at 2:30 pm, at 6:30 pm:
  • at 11:30: the peace that comes after Bible study finishes, the blessing of joy, a contentment that comes from living out my passion.  A Gift with a capital G.
  • at 2:30: laughing out loud at an email from a friend.  Laughter is good medicine and a good gift.
  • at 6:30: a quiet night with my husband, nothing on the calendar.  A pot of turkey black bean chili and time to spend together.  Gifts of food for the body and soul.