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 23, 2013

August 22, 2013: Darkness Dispelled

3 gifts in light:
  • supportive family, shining Christ's light by their love
  • sisters around the table, lightening a hard week with laughter
  • darkness dispelled, glory revealed. "For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:30-32

August 21, 2013: Straight to the Heart

a gift straight, curve, turn:
  • his friend's offer to come alongside, a gift straight to my heart
  • the curve of heads bowed in prayer, lifting up the broken
  • a sister's turn in attitude, encouraging to mine

August 20, 2013: Kings and Kingdoms

3 gifts of serving:
  • the surprise of never knowing quite what will happen
  • the joy of giving
  • the knowledge that I am bringing God's kingdom to earth

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013: Church Blessings

3 gifts in church:
  • the joy of worshiping together
  • the encouragement of Christian fellowship
  • the blessing of communion

August 18, 2013: Delight Written

a gift red, read, written:
  • painted toes red
  • good news read in a text as they shared their joy
  • delight written on her face as she splashed in the water

August 17, 2013: Morning Psalm

3 gifts in the morning:
  • a cup of hot tea
  • a word from the psalms
  • a refreshing shower

    August 16, 2013: Family Love

    3 gifts of family:
    • sharing
    • belonging
    • loving

    August 15, 2013: Beautiful Nail Scars

    3 gifts ugly-beautiful:
    • his nail scarred hands
    • my own intentions
    • creation's groaning

    August 14, 2013: This Is My Father's World

    A gift in a ring, curve, sphere:
    • a ring of the telephone and a vacation disaster averted
    • the curve of her smile at the results of so much hard work
    • the music of the spheres singing His praises

    August 13, 2013: As Green as a Gift

    3 gifts in green:
    • our lawn, reviving after a drought
    • fresh, locally grown beans 
    • the cover of my much read Kindle

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    August 12, 2013: Almost Ripe

    3 gifts half-hidden:
    • tomatoes on the vine, almost ripe
    • a pile of books waiting to be read
    • wisdom
      Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.  He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.
      He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
      Daniel 2:20-22

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    August 11, 2013: Metallic Joy

    3 gifts of metal:
    • the patio table where we enjoyed lunch
    • the cross around my neck, my testimony, His sacrifice
    • a cold drink on a hot day

    August 10, 2013: Brick Walls

    3 hard eucharisteo:
    • plans that are not my plans
    • endings
    • brick walls that prevent running ahead

    August 9, 2013: Glass Half Full

    a gift hole, whole, half:
    • the hole my feet made in the sand as I enjoyed an afternoon reading on the beach
    • whole joy in plans made for a girls' weekend
    • the half full glass he always manages to see

    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    August 8, 2013: Summer Fresh

    3 gifts in summer:
    • a more relaxed schedule
    • white fluffy clouds against a bright blue sky
    • fresh fruit and vegetables

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    August 7, 2013: Shining Out Light

    3 gifts in His word: 

     As for God, his way is perfect:
        The Lord’s word is flawless;
        he shields all who take refuge in him.   
     For who is God besides the Lord?
        And who is the Rock except our God?  

    It is God who arms me with strength
        and keeps my way secure.  

    He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
        he causes me to stand on the heights. 
    Psalm 18:30-33

    How good and pleasant it is
        when God’s people live together in unity!

     It is like precious oil poured on the head,
        running down on the beard,
    running down on Aaron’s beard,
        down on the collar of his robe. 
     It is as if the dew of Hermon
        were falling on Mount Zion.
    For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
        even life forevermore. 
    a song of ascents, Psalm 133

     For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

    August 6, 2013: Refreshing Water

    3 gifts in water:
    • the beauty of living in the Great Lakes State
    • the blessing of needed rain
    • the refreshment of a cool shower on a hot day

    August 5, 2013: Polished Joy

    a gift outside, inside, upside down:
    • a beautiful sunset
    • celebration lunch and pedicures
    • a change of plans

    August 4, 2013: Simple Sabbath Gifts

    3 gifts sitting:
    • relishing a family meal
    • sharing a row in church
    • enjoying a peaceful bike ride

    August 3, 2013: Good News

    A gift at 10am, 1pm, 10pm:
    • the joy of sharing good news
    • a major project tackled together
    • the satisfaction of a productive day

    August 2, 2013: Summer Gifts Eaten

    3 gifts eaten:
    • French Silk ice cream
    • hot buttery sweet corn
    • big juicy blueberries

    August 1, 2013: Popping Up Joy

    3 gifts white:
    • the clean crisp pages of a new book
    • freshly popped popcorn
    • an ice cold glass of milk

    July 31, 2013: Roadblocks

    3 gifts difficult:
    • further signs of a loved one's deteriorating health
    • the distance between
    • roadblocks

    Saturday, August 3, 2013

    July 30, 2013: Following the Shepherd

    3 gifts heard:
    • an always faithful cardinal, praises loud and clear
    • a delightfully unexpected act of generosity
    • the voice of the Shepherd. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

    Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    July 29, 2013: Together by Heart

    3 gifts together:
    • time to sit down at the table and share a meal
    • a few moments to chat at the end of a very long day
    • an unhurried phone conversation

    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    July 28, 2013: Good Beginnings

    3 gifts of beginnings:
    • a long walk with a friend to begin my Saturday
    • a portion from God's Word to begin my Sunday
    • a relaxing weekend getaway to begin my week

    July 27, 2013: Weekend Getaway Gifts

    a gift on vacation, at home, in relaxation:
    • a weekend with dear friends at their cottage 
    • much needed rain 
    • a blazing bonfire, a glass of wine and good conversation

    Friday, July 26, 2013

    July 26: Summer Fresh

    3 gifts fresh:
    • blueberries, just enough for two pies
    • basil from my herb garden, delicious in last night's risotto
    • the air, after a refreshing rain

    July 25, 2013: Bood Ends

    3 gifts of endings:
    • the countdown to the last week of a difficult class
    • the satisfaction of finishing a good book
    • the joy of knowing that the ending is not the end. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11

    July 24, 2013: Grains of Sand

    3 gifts of sand:
    • the way it crunches under my feet
    • its irresistible draw to children and adults alike
    • the unfathomable mystery that its grains are outnumbered by God's thought: How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. Psalm 139:17-18

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    July 23, 2013: Dwelling in the Shelter

    a gift high, low, far away:
    • shelter. Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1
    • harmony. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16
    • access. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Ephesians 2:17-18

    Monday, July 22, 2013

    July 22, 2013: Refreshment

    3 gifts understated:
    • the comfort of the Psalms
    • headache relief
    • refreshing rain

    July 21, 2013: A Birthday Story

    3 gifts of story:
    • the 73rd year of her life story, a blessing
    • the Bible story of the Golden Calf, with fresh perspective
    • family stories around the table, laughter and the joy of being together

    July 20, 2013: Shifting Light

    a gift in light, dark, shadow:
    • home again, home again
    • the sorrow of endings
    • her loneliness, missing us

    Friday, July 19, 2013

    July 19, 2013: Joy from the Oven

    3 gifts baked:
    • peanut butter cookies, soft and fresh
    • angel food cake, topped with the last of our local strawberries, a nightly treat
    • chicken, our last night's feast, tender and juicy with a honey mustard marinade

    July 18, 2013: Cottage Music

    3 gifts musical:
    • the call of the loon, mournfully echoing over the lake 
    • the sound of the waves, washing constantly up on the shore
    • the whisper of the trees, leaves rusting in the warm breeze

    July 17, 2013: Vacation Lessons

    3 gifts learned:
    • generosity, from the neighbor who shares kayaks, battery chargers, and swings
    • joy, from the beauty of another gorgeous sunset, coloring the evening sky red, orange, yellow, purple
    • rest, from the opportunity to enjoy being surrounded by God's majesty, the sure knowledge that he controls all things

    July 16, 2013: The Fullness of God's Creation

    3 gifts hanging down:
    • tree branches that shade the patio, a pleasant respite from the hot summer's sun
    • fishing poles, dipping into the water at the first hint of evening
    • berries, deep blue, heavy and full on their bushes

    July 15, 2013: Stone Beauty

    3 gifts of stone:
    • the stone wall at the water's edge, beauty and purpose both
    • the promise of a fresh start. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. Revelation 2:17
    • the pits of the sweet cherries, generously gifted by a cottage neighbor

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    July 14, 2013: Summery Yellow Gifts

    3 gifts yellow:
    • the sun's setting ray reflecting on the lake
    • farm fresh summer squash
    • cheery wildflowers growing roadside

    July 13, 2013: Vacation Gifts

    3 gifts curled:
    • my toes in the sand
    • my hands around a ice cold glass of freshly brewed ice tea
    • my hair in the humidity of the lakeshore

    July 12, 2013: Full Nest, Happy Mom

    a gift of life, growth, decline:
    • a full nest
    • bushes full of big juicy blueberries
    • the very last picking of strawberries

    July 11, 2013: Peanut Butter Joy

    3 gifts in jars:
    • mango peach salsa
    • coconut oil
    • peanut butter

    July 10, 2013: Delighting in Weakness

    3 gifts in weakness:
    • it makes me more dependent on God
    • it breaks down false pride
    • it is then I am strong.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    July 9, 2013: The Rhythm of Life

    a gift of rhythm, rhyme, reason:
    • the rhythm of an ordinary week, the comfort of routine
    • the rhyme of music and the only way I know much Scripture
    • the reason I am able to do any good at all:  because he first loved me (1 John 4:19)

    July 8, 2013: Water of Life

    3 gifts water:
    • cleansing.  Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word. Ephesians 5:25-26
    • refreshing. You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. Psalm 68:9
    • new life. Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37b-38

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    July 7, 2013: Home Again, Home Again

    a gift of challenge, conflict, change:
    • the challenge of traveling in driving rain and hail
    • the conflict of emotions in returning home but leaving him
    • the change from strawberry season to blueberry season

    July 6, 2013: Work Weekend Enthusiasm

    3 gifts of enthusiasm:
    • new lighting in his kitchen
    • a freshly painted shed
    • our favorite barbeque for dinner

    Friday, July 5, 2013

    July 5, 2013: Persistently Counting Gifts

    3 gifts of persistence:
    • how nice his house looks as we pick away at remodeling projects
    • local sweet corn for dinner because she checked another farmer's market to find it
    • the shed freshly painted after eking every last drop of paint from the bucket

    July 4, 2013: Independence Day Gifts

    a gift in red, white and blue:
    • strawberry shortcake for dessert
    • clean sheets
    • the first local blueberries of the season