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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25, 2012: Finishing Well

3 gifts finished:
  • hours of packing and preparation for a long work weekend at my son's new house
  • a tense situation, resolved by honest communication
  • Christ's work on earth, on my behalf.   Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24, 2012: The Gift of Humor

3 gifts funny:
  • an email from my husband to start off my day at work
  • a joke in the Reader's Digest, often a favorite place for a good chuckle
  • a cartoon posted on Facebook

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 23, 2012: Gifts of Refreshment

3 gifts in quiet:
  • the presence of God, who comes not in wind or earthquake or fire, but in a gentle whisper          (1 Kings 19:11-13)
  • the waters where the Shepherd leads for times of refreshment (Psalm 23:1-3)
  • time to relax and rest on a Sunday afternoon

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 22, 2012: The Gift of Salsa

a gift rattling, receding, reclaiming:
  • the wash machine and dryer rattling all day while my daughter hangs out and does her laundry
  • the pile of tomatoes on my kitchen counter receding as I chop them into homemade salsa 
  • space in our basement and garage reclaiming as we fill a trailer in preparation to visit our son and deliver all the stuff we've been storing for him until he bought a house

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21, 2012: It's Good to Live in the Information Age

3 gifts in information:
  • an email confirming dinner with a friend next week
  • a phone call making plans to go shopping with my daughter tonight
  • a text sharing good news from a sister and friend

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012: A Bucket Full of Joy

3 gifts in salvation:
  • grace.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.  Ephesians 2:8
  • security.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior.     2 Samuel 22:2-4
  • joy! Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.  Isaiah 12:2-3

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19, 2012: The Gift of Gab

3 gifts in conversation:
  • its increase.  Every time I talk with the mom of our refugee family, her English is better.
  • spiritual truth via Facebook chat about the way Satan dupes us into believing the lie that we should keep our struggles to ourselves because they are too embarrassing to share.
  • contagious excitement for starting a new Bible study after conversations with the women in my group.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 18, 2012: Freckles and Faithfulness

 A gift fixed, folded, freckled:
  • a double rainbow fixed in the sky tonight by a God who always keeps his promises
  • my hands and heart folded in prayer today at the request of a friend who is wounded, a privilege to be entrusted
  • miniature gourds with freckled flesh, purchased 10 for a dollar at my favorite farm stand

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012: The Beauty of the Ugly

3 gifts ugly-beautiful:
  • the cross, literally ugly as sin. but there could be nothing more beautiful as that instrument of torture and death where my Savior died for me
  • the approaching thunderstorm
  • the remaining three zinnias in a vase on my kitchen counter, with brown edges and fading petals but clinging to summer's joy

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 16, 2012: Fanning the Flames of Joy

3 gifts shared:
  • dinner and fellowship around a campfire with friends from our house church tonight
  • worship with brothers and sisters in Christ at church this morning
  • excitement with our son over remodeling plans for his new house

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September 15, 2012: Perfectly Paired

3 gifts paired:
  • my son with a great roommate in college, who continues to be a wonderful friend and hiking partner
  • the paint chips we picked out for my son's new house
  • my husband and I on the couch as we watched college football this afternoon.  Let's go blue!

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012: Drawing from the Well

3 gifts drawn:
  • living water from the well of life.  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  John 4:13-14
  • the sword of the Spirit, enabling me to stand. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes...Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6:11, 17
  • my heart toward His. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 13, 2012: Grapes and Sacrifice

a gift scented, scrawled, started:
  • Concord grapes at the grocery store, so strongly scented I could smell them as I walked past the display.  A visceral reminder of my Savior's blood sacrifice on my behalf; communion being the only time I really drink grape juice.
  • a haircut appointment, scrawled on my calendar--much needed and appreciated.
  • a new recipe card started tonight when a friend shared the directions for a yummy salad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012: Gifts That Are Out of This World

3 gifts in His word:
  • This comfort:  Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!  Isaiah 30:18
  • This promise:  Jesus replied... "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."   John 14:27
  • This reminder: Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.    1 Peter 4:8

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012: Because He Is All Good

3 hard eucharisteos:

{the hard discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty.  To give thanks for all things at all times because He is all good.}  Ann Voskamp
  • my boss' retirement plans
  • remembrances of September 11
  • cancelling our weekend camping plans

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012: Hanging on for the Ride

3 gifts moving:
  • the wheels of my bike as my husband and I enjoyed a ride in the cool of the evening
  • the Spirit in our church as we stand ready, on tiptoe, for what God has next
  • plans forward for a new Bible study group

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September 9, 2012: Forever Framed

3 gifts framed: 
  • forever memories of a 19-year old's first ever birthday celebration.
  • the vision for the future of our church. New beginnings!  
  • pictures sent of a loved one's new apartment.  Much fun to share her excitement.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September 8, 2012: Marvelous Deeds

a gift made, masked, marveled:
  • garlic bread and meatballs for dinner, made in-house at our favorite Italian restaurant
  • the kindness of strangers honking their horn and gesturing, masked as some sort of anger management problem, in reality letting us know that our tablet was on the hood of our car (and we already about two miles from home)
  • a beautiful night sky, marvelously glorifying the Creator. For you alone are great and do marvelous deeds, you alone are God. Psalm 86:10

Friday, September 7, 2012

September 7, 2012: The Joy of Giving

3 gifts given:
  • the gift of time.  Time to spend with my mom watching two episodes of Downton Abbey.
  • the gift of courtesy.  Three different service people who were very friendly and polite.
  • the gift of consideration.  Granting someone in line with only a few items permission to go ahead of me and my full grocery cart.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 6, 2012: Growing Excitement

3 gifts growing:
  • my button-bursting pride in my son, who received the keys to his first house today
  • the spots of fall color on the trees, becoming more prevalent and pronounced daily
  • my excitement as plans are formed for an upcoming girls' shopping weekend

September 5, 2012: Autumn Beauty

3 gifts of autumn:
  • white chicken chili for dinner
  • the beauty of the trees, leaves becoming tinged with red
  • sleeping with windows open as the nights cool down

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4, 2012: Simple Summer Gifts

a gift cool, warm, sun-soaked:
  • the bottle of water I keep in the fridge at work, so refreshing when my office gets warm in the afternoon
  • bowls of white chicken chili for dinner tonight, a quick and easy recipe, surprisingly good
  • a ripe tomato, diced to top the chili, red through and through

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 2, 2012: Cuts That Bear Fruit

3 gifts cut: 
  • scrapbooking paper cut for an album
  • cheese cut to accompany a glass of my favorite Moscato
  • that which is not fruitful, cut away by the Master Gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2

September 1, 2012: The Last Joys of Summer

3 gifts summer:
  • sweet corn dripping with butter
  • red, ripe  juicy tomatoes
  • an abundance and variety of wildflowers when one has eyes open to see

September 3, 2012: Golden Gifts

3 gifts yellow:
  • the summer sun on the last day of a long family weekend
  • a cold can of Mountain Dew shared with a special niece
  • goldenrod blooming abundantly in the woods