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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 2012: Miraculous Math

3 miracles:
  • 27 years of marriage
  • 24 years of motherhood
  • 238 days of counting joy

August 30, 2012: Small is Good

3 gifts very small:
  • the very small pill that keeps my allergies at bay
  • a very small step in a relationship
  • the very small voice of the Spirit, prompting when to speak and when to keep still

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29, 2012: Cooking up Joy

A gift one, two, three:
  • one sweet afternoon spent with a friend and sister in Christ
  • two new recipes tried for dinner, both very tasty
  • three around the dinner table tonight

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28, 2012: Gifts on the Calendar

3 gifts long awaited:
  • a lunch date with a friend 
  • plans in the works for a Girls' Night Out
  • reservations for a scrapbooking weekend

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012: New Things

3 gifts new:
  • a dear one's new job, started today.
  • a new runner for my kitchen table. On clearance at Target, thank you very much, and oh so cute.
  • this word of encouragement from Isaiah 43:19: 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.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26, 2012: Gifts Buttoned Up

A gift cut, sewn, buttoned:  
  •  seemingly insurmountable problems, not too great for my God who will go any length to bring me to himself.  I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.  I will give you hidden treasures, 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
  • the soft and comfy cushions of the couch.  Great for napping and lounging, for whiling away a rainy Sunday evening.
  • a pair of pants, finally mended and checked off my TO DO list

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25, 2012: Handle with Care

3 gifts fragile:
  • a relationship, easily damaged, much prayer required
  • my reading glasses, more and more frequently needed
  • hope for a prodigal's return

August 24, 2012: Gifts on Laundry Day

3 gifts moving:
  • the wash machine and dryer working through piles of laundry
  • the air conditioner keeping the house comfortably cool
  • the Holy Spirit, prompting me to keep loving and praying for one I love

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23, 2012: New Joy in Old Gifts

3 gifts old:
  • friendships.  I love making new friends, but there is something sweet about history with old friends.
  • memories.  The old things I have in my home, mostly belonging to my grandparents, hold so many memories and stories.
  • God's grace. Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Psalm 25:6

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22, 2012: Light at the End

3 gifts in light:
  • light at the end of the tunnel. News received today that my church has called a new teaching pastor and he accepted.
  • light in the eyes of our refugee family whenever I stop by to visit.
  • light God shines on my path so that I need not fear what is ahead. I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21, 2012: Turning Joy

A gift straight, curve, turn:
  • the straight edges of sweet, colorful canvas that I WON :) from Multiple Blessings by Caroline Simas. What could be better than winning something?!
  • the curve of the cheerful zinnias that I picked up at a farm stand for 10 cents a bloom.
  • the turn of my mood after getting things back in order after our weekend camping trip.  Organization strangely soothes my soul.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012: Serving up Joy

3 gifts in serving:  
  • simple math: the rate of joy return is always greater than time and energy expended.
  • it's what I was made for, a spiritual gift given to enrich not only the lives of those I serve, but my own as well as the church body.
  • it pleases my Lord.  Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. Ephesians 6:7

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012: The Joy of Worshiping the Creator

3 gifts in church:
  • three deer, a mother and two fawns, spotted while eating breakfast
  • the sounds of birds and crickets singing their Maker's praise
  • yellow wildflowers bobbing in the wind on the edge of our campsite
Unusual "church" gifts today since we worshiped in the Church of the Great Outdoors this Sunday

August 18, 2012: Written Joy

A gift red, read, written:
  • a red park permit hanging from our rear view mirror for a weekend of camping
  • a book read on my Kindle while spending the afternoon in a boat on the lake
  • my life, planned out, the details written out my my Creator.   all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012: Joy in the Morning

3 gifts in the morning:
  • a fresh start, new hope
  • the cool of the day
  • this encouragement in my devotions: But now, this is what the Lord says—
        he who created you, Jacob,
        he who formed you, Israel:
    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
        I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
    Isaiah 43:1

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012: Forever Family

3 gifts of family:
  • heart connection.  because family isn't always born.
  • belonging, knowing there is a place where you are ever accepted.
  • familiarity. there is comfort in others knowing your history, your flaws. and whom love you anyway.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012: The Gift of Groceries

3 gifts ugly-beautiful:
  • my grocery bill.   Ugly in length and total, beautiful in prospect
  • the dust in my house.  Ugly in view, beautiful in purpose.
  • an ending.  Ugly in uncertainty, beautiful in trust.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14, 2012: Breakthrough Joy

a gift in a ring, curve, sphere:
  • literally, my mother's ring.  A constant reminder to pray for my children.
  • my path, curved so that I can't see what lies ahead.  But there is no need to fear because Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.  Psalm 119:105
  • the sun breaking through the morning fog

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012: Green as Grass

3 gifts in green:
  • the lawn after some much needed rain
  • a delicious salad for dinner 
  • God's rest.  The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
    he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
    Psalm 23:1-3a

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 12, 2012: Joy in Preparations

3 gifts half hidden:
  • our old camping equipment in the basement.  Glad we hung onto it so that we can look forward to a weekend getaway.
  • the sun today.  A relief as we set up the tents in the backyard to see if we still remember how.
  • a very old picture of our son (now an adult) taking a bath in one of the very dish tubs we will be taking on our camping trip.  Fun memories!

August 11, 2012: JOYFULL

3 gifts metal:
  • the air conditioning unit, working so mightily this summer
  • my husband's toolbox, full of tools to fix our son's car
  • a license plate on the highway reading JOYFULL and my husband's observation that he could get one like that for me

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012: The Gift of Growth

3 hard eucharisteos:
  • growth through trial
  • a car breakdown on the side of the highway
  • letting go

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 9, 2012: Raining Down Gifts

a gift hole, whole, half:
  • the hole in my heart after learning of a major issue with a friend's son, one who I love and have prayed for many years.  The gift the knowledge that my God is a miracle worker. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. Job 9:10
  • a whole evening of laughter and fellowship with a wonderful group of Christian women.
  • a half inch of much needed rain

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 8, 2012: Wildflower Joy

3 gifts in summer:
  • lunch with a special friend who works at a school and can only do lunch on school breaks
  • sunshine, uplifting my soul
  • wildflowers growing roadside, joy while driving

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012: Peace from His Word

3 gifts in His Word:
  • from my morning devotions: Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.   2 Thessalonians 3:16
  • from a email: Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Psalm 25:5
  • from a friend's Facebook post: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012: Watery Joy

3 gifts in water:
  • an Earl Grey teabag as a mid-morning pick-me-up at work
  • fresh corn on the cob from a local farm stand
  • a pitcher of ice water on the dinner table, my daughter and her boyfriend joining us to make an ordinary weeknight meal special

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 5, 2012: Upside-down Joy

A gift outside, inside, upside down:
  • the beauty of the lake in the morning, smooth as glass
  • an impromptu visit from my son
  • the upside-down economy of God.  That we give away blessings to multiply them.  That we are cleansed by blood.  That the least become the greatest.

August 4, 2012: The Joy of Paddling and Playing

3 gifts sitting:
  • a slow and gentle kayak tour of the lake
  • an afternoon spent relaxing on the raft we call "the party barge"
  • a group of friends around the table playing board game

August 3, 2012: Joy in a Pie Plate

gifts at 10am, 1pm, 10pm:
  • a fresh blueberry pie waiting on the kitchen counter
  • lunch out with my mom
  • a beautifully clear starry night

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2, 2012: The Gift of Plenty

3 gifts eaten:
  • the last of the season's fresh blueberries
  • pizza, after my husband answered my what to make for dinner dilemma with this answer
  • plenty.  I have no want, no need; God has richly blessed me with daily bread and so much much more.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1, 2012: White Can Be the Color of Joy

3 gifts white:
  • a fresh, new page on the calendar
  • a bottle of kiwi pear wine from a local winery opened for tonight's birthday dinner 
  • simple, yet delicious recipe for peach crumble shared by a friend