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.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 30, 2012: Gifts Given, Joy Received

3 gifts you gave:
  • a simple thank you (and isn't that sometimes the best gift of all?)
  • advice and hopefully wisdom regarding a major decision
  • a hand of friendship

June 29, 2012: Gifts In All Sizes

a gift small, big, just right:
  •  the cheapest gas we've bought in a long time
  •  a last minute trip to see our son for the weekend
  •  lunch with a group of special friends

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012: Joy at Every Meal

3 gifts eaten:
  • Unbelievably, this in my breakfast devotions: "Taste and see that I am good. (Psalm 34:8)  This command contains an invitation to experience My living Presence."  Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
  • My favorite thing to bring to work for lunch: vanilla yogurt, fresh fruit (strawberries today), and granola to sprinkle on top. 
  • An quick and easy dinner for a night too hot to cook: Grilled hamburgers with a slice of ripe Roma tomato.

June 27, 2012: Joy Framed

3 gifts framed in a frame:
  • a Mother's Day gift from my husband.  A framed print that reads "A true love story never ends".
  • a petitpoint needlework painstakingly and lovingly stitched by my grandmother.
  • an old photograph of my husband and his two brothers when they were young boys.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 26, 2012: The Many Fabrics of Joy

3 gifts in fabric:
  • the old chair my talented husband painted and reupholstered for me.
  • the fabric-covered balls in a metal basket on my kitchen counter--some bargain finds from a recent junking expedition.
  • the rolled up hand towel that I've been using for the past several months for my at-home physical therapy exercises.  I've gained most of the use of my shoulder back, praise God!

Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012: When I Grow Up, I Wanna' Be Just Like You

3 gifts today in someone older than you:
  • willingness to learn new things in my mom
  • generosity in my dad
  • an open heart in a friend

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24, 2012: The Gift of Clean Water

a gift in water, in words, in white:
  • the fact that it runs clean from my faucet.  
  • singing and praying this in worship: not my will, but yours.  Easier to say than to live out.
  • the Sunday paper and our lunchtime ritual of reading interesting bits aloud.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June 23, 2012: Table for Two

3 gifts found around a table:
  • shortcake with the last of the homegrown strawberries
  • our hands joined in prayer beseeching God on behalf of one needing of a miracle
  • space to discuss and dream

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012: Difficult to Count

3 gifts that are difficult:
  • a health setback
  • plans for a hard conversation
  • watching one you love struggle

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012: The Light of Life

3 gifts found in light:
  • life. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
  • God's presence. Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. Psalm 89:15
  • understanding. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 20, 2012: The Gift of True Friendship

a gift bent, beautiful, loved:
  • God's ear, to hear me.  I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Psalm 17:6
  • the sound of laughter as they learned to play Skip-Bo
  • a dear friend who shared both joys and sorrows over lunch

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19, 2012: The Joy in Being Poured Out

3 gifts you became today in serving:
  • energized
  • gracious
  • hopeful
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.1 Timothy 1:13

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012: The True Gift of the True Bread

3 gifts from your Heavenly Father:
  • forgiveness.   For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
  • value. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
  •  the true bread.  Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. John 6:32 Eucharisteo!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012: The Gift of Being a Daughter

3 gifts in your Dad:
  • his firm faith
  • his priority of family over career
  • his wisdom

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June 16, 2012: Sharing a Bowl of Joy

3 joys today:
  • healing in my back
  • sharing a bowl of strawberries for lunch with my husband
  • making preparations for Father's Day tomorrow
For some reason, the June Joy Dare is missing an entry for the 16th, so I got to choose my own joys today :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

June 15, 2012: Encouraging Gifts from His Word

3 gifts in His Word:
  •  [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! Hebrews 13:5 AMP
  • This is what the Lord says--“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:16a, 18-19
  • I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 13, 2012: A Gift from the Freezer

a gift unexpected, unwanted, unlikely:
  • the way the rest of the family fell in love with our newest family members
  • a very sore back from a probable pulled muscle
  • grace and enough ice and Ibuprofen to make it through my work day

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 14, 2012: The Fragrance of Joy

3 gifts smelled:
  • brownies baking for tonight's party
  • hamburgers grilling, his favorite American food
  • chlorine, from their first time ever swimming

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12, 2012: The Gift Among Us

3 gifts full: 
  • a leftover container that I brought to work for lunch, filled with Pad ThaiUmmm!
  • a bowl full of strawberries that my husband stopped to pick on the way home for work
  • Jesus. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012: A Fresh Coat of Joy

3 gifts painted:
  • the light fixtures on the front of our porch and garage.  A fresh coat of paint and they look brand new :)
  • smiles permanently painted on my face and the face of our refugee family today when, after they have been here for 7 weeks, we finally were able to phone their daughter/sister back in Africa
  • the Carol Roeda magnets on my fridge that everyone loves to play with

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10, 2012: It's the Little Things

a gift at 8, at 12, at 2:
  • sleeping in 
  • a son interpreting the Scripture reading for his mother in church 
  • reading the Sunday paper with my husband at the kitchen table

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 9, 2012: Sundae Joy on Saturday

3 gifts that made you really smile:
  • inviting our refugee family to a pool party
  • going out to buy them bathing suits
  • stopping for a McDonald's hot fudge sundae on the way home

Friday, June 8, 2012

June 8, 2012: Full of Joy

3 gifts empty:
  • the calendar for tomorrow.  A whole Saturday with nothing in particular to do!
  • the tomb.  The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Matthew 28:5-6
  • my water bottle after a soul-refreshing bike ride on a trail in the woods.  Saw 3 rabbits, 2 deer, a hedgehog, many birds and countless wildflowers. My bottle may be empty, but my joy is full!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 7, 2012: The Gift of Genuine Grace

3 gifts in what you are reading:
  • A challenge to be genuinely gracious: "grace is a dangerous thing and too often those who speak the most about grace are the most graceless of all."  (Ann Voskamp, "Why You Really May Need to be Done with Safe: Being a Dangerous Disciple of the Unsafe God", www.aholyexperience.com)
  • A reminder of God's sufficiency: "We each came to a moment of brokenness, and what we found there was God.  And He was enough.  We are all the same." (Joe Kissack, The Fourth Fisherman
  • A dare to trust that God is big enough: I will go before you and level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.  I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:2-3  "I wonder what might happen if we dared to ask for the impossible just a little more often."  (Lysa Terkeurst, "Asking God for the Impossible", www.proverbs31.org)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 6, 2012: Avocado Joy

3 gifts "ugly-beautiful"
  • a bicycle donated to our refugee mom.  An antique 5-speed with fenders, yet to her it is beautiful freedom, something she would have never even dreamed of owning.
  • an avocado.  Ugly on the outside, beautifully yummy on the inside.
  • me, oftentimes.  Just the opposite of the avocado: beauty on the outside, not so much on the inside. The ugliness of sin, of trying again and failing again.  Thankfully Jesus is in the beauty makeover business! And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 5, 2012: Joy Reclaimed

a gift of peace, of hope, of love:
  • despair replaced by peace when overwhelmed by the unfairness of the challenges our refugee family continues to face
  • hope reclaimed in prayer.  It is God who arms them with strength and keeps their way secure. 2 Samuel 22:33.
  • sadness removed by the unconditional love I receive every time we visit them

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012: The Gift of Strength

3 gifts found in Christ:
  • the ability to do even those things that are hard or seem undesirable.  I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  • the capacity to forgive.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
  • the perfect example of love. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 3, 2012: Joy in Unity

3 gifts from today's conversations:
  • encouragement that God is not only the creator, but re-builder of families
  • gratitude for unity in my marriage
  • pleasure from the right functioning of the body of Christ.  From him [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June 2, 2012: Sometimes You Gotta' Laugh

3 gifts funny:
  • several lines in tonight's episode of CSI: Miami, which added a little levity to the normal intensity of the show
  • the matching cough and sniffles that my husband and I have.  We are strange, sickly bedfellows this weekend
  • paper products blowing all over today at the graduation open house we attended as we introduced our refugee family to yet another new American custom

June 1, 2012: Orange You Joyful Today?

3 gifts orange:
  • the handle of my trusty scissors.  A tool not as needed as the sword of the Spirit, but still appreciated.
  • the sweet potatoes in dinner's soup.  Day 3 of my clean-out-the-freezer initiative.
  • the bottle containing a prescription.  Doubly counted after our refugee family's first doctor visit.