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.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 31, 2013: Easter Joy

a gift heard, held, hoped for:
  • joyous hallelujahs heard in worship
  • my eldest held in my arms for a goodbye hug as the weekend ends too quickly
  • a lovely family Easter celebration, better than I hoped for

March 30, 2013: Joy Uncovered

3 gifts uncovered:
  • a mostly unused bed, all my chicks in the nest for the weekend
  • a pizza in its box, a casual family dinner shared and treasured
  • my good dishes, table set for Easter dinner

March 28, 2013: Hearts Entwined

3 gifts entwined:
  •  my heart with his, his good news my joy
  • our family with theirs, the two now one, white and black no longer noticed
  • the branches of a nearby tree, providing shelter for a cardinal pair

March 29, 2013: Strengthened by His Promises

3 gifts of His promises:
  • hope for tomorrow
  • encouragement to continue
  • strength for today

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013 Let the Redeemed Say So

3 gifts redeemed:
  • the afikomen at our Passover Seder
  • the hours he spent studying
  • me, the one deserving the cross. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. Galatians 3:13a
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 
 those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.

Psalm 107:1-3

March 26, 2013: Going, going...

3 gifts almost gone:
  • the cold that's been hanging on and on
  • winter!
  • a very busy week at work

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 25, 2013: Written on My Heart

A gift sung, written, painted:
  • the hymn "Blessed Be the Tie That Binds", hands held around the table, a special ending to our Passover Seder.
  • a sweet email from a friend
  • my toenails (but barely)--a last reminder of our February vacation

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 24, 2013: Love Spoken Here

3 gifts spoken:
  • the ancient words of the Passover Seder
  • thanks for help received
  • affirmations of love

March 23, 2013: Joy Welcome Here

a gift found in women today:
  • a spirit of generous hospitality 
  • joyous laughter
  • practical advice

March 22, 2013: Beats a Gift Card

3 gifts found in His word:
  • grace. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Ephesians 3:7
  • the Holy Spirit. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
  • eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

March 21, 2013: Singing for Joy

A gift salty, sweet, just right:
  • pretzels, one of my favorite quick snacks
  • a Tootsie roll, shared by someone at work
  • a fun evening out with a friend at our local high school's musical

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 20, 2013: Live, Love, Laugh

3 gifts that made you laugh:  
  • a joy-filled breakfast with the sisters in my Bible study group
  • sharing stories with  friends at lunch
  • a repeat of "Leave It to Beaver"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013: Gifts Eaten

3 gifts eaten:
  • leftover beef barley soup for lunch
  • Easter M&M's
  • dinner with my family

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013: Strawberry Joy

3 gifts red:
  • the tomatoes added to a pot of beef barley soup for dinner
  • her smiling face as "Head and shoulders, knees and toes" speeds up
  • strawberries topping a bowl of yogurt making a delicious lunch

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 17. 2013: Joy Hangs There

A gift turned, folded, hung:
  • the pages of the calendar turned as she counts down the days to her birthday
  • the permission slip to attend her first musical folded and tucked into her backpack
  • my Savior hung on the cross for my sin

March 16, 2013: Painful Thanks

3 hard Eucharisteos:
  • the consequences of past mistakes
  • the good God is working from a tragic loss
  • forced rest as a result of not feeling well

Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013: Giving Is Receiving

3 gifts given away:
  • time and a listening ear to she who needs a friend
  • help to one who has a hard time asking for it
  • encouragement to him who is working hard

March 14, 2013: Silent Space

3 gifts found in silence:
  • those Holy Spirit promptings, ideas, nudges
  • time to think, plan, dream
  • space to pray, praise, thank

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 13, 2013: Blessings All Around

3 gifts round:
  • sugar cookies, an irresistible treat shared by a friend
  • a gorgeous flower, lovingly crafted from batik fabric handmade by sisters in Ghana, Africa
  • a bowl of my favorite salad, further enhanced by the company of she whom I am blessed to call both  sister-in-law and friend

March 12, 2013: Running Water

a gift in wind, water, white:
  • blowing snow, though I am not happy to see it, it is in fact lovely swirling through the air
  • running water, clean and cold from my faucet, and the fact that I have never needed to carry it on my head in a jerry can from a contaminated river
  • my sins, cleansed. “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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 11, 2013: In Celebration

3 gifts read:
  • these wise words in a devotional:  As women, we can build up or tear down our husbands every day, merely by the respect we give, the words we choose, and the amount of faith in him we convey. Tracy Miles, "Building Up Your Marriage", Proverbs31.org
  • my daughter's baby book as I remember and give thanks for her life
  • the menu at a restaurant where we celebrated her birthday with lunch

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 10, 2013: On Guard Duty

3 gifts in Christ:
  • strength.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  • protection. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
  • new life. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

March 9, 2013: Road Work Ahead

3 gifts carved:
  • time carved out for a girls' weekend, friends who are gifts of God
  • memories forever carved in my mind and captured in scrapbooks
  • God's new path, a fresh start.  This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves...  "I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands."  Isaiah 43:16, 19

March 8, 2013: Living Out Loud

3 gifts loud:
  • the chatter as we girls headed off, excited to be getting away
  • the restaurant where we started off with lunch out, wanting to stretch out the fun
  • the room in which we gathered for the weekend, women's voices chatting, laughing, sharing

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 7, 2013: Cooking Up Love

3 gifts in the kitchen:
  • a delicous pot of vegetable soup, my first experiment with lentils--delicious!
  • my husband, enjoying a quiet dinner together after a hectic day
  • my daughter, home from vacation

March 6, 2013: Better than Chocolate

a gift bent, broken, beautiful:
  • my heart toward one who need sisters
  • last week's lunch date, rescheduled for today.  God's perfect timing a wonderful blessing
  • the women in my Bible study group, their love and fellowship the sweetest gift

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 5, 2012: Found Joy

3 gifts found:
  • time for a nap after not sleeping well the night before 
  • chocolate cookie dough in the freezer
  • encouragement from dinner with a friend

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013: Trusting Hard

3 gifts hard to give thanks for:
  • making a choice where one loses
  • yet another car problem
  • one who still wanders
and I can only offer gratitude by trusting in the one who "works ALL things together for good" (Romans 8:28)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 3, 2013: Wearing Joy

3 gifts wore:
  • hideously ugly bowling shoes for an afternoon of family fun
  • reading glasses that I wish I didn't need but am grateful to have
  • my favorite sweat pants for a relaxing evening at home

March 3, 2013: Green Goodness

3 things green:
  • a tossed salad at dinner, the start of a lovely evening out with a favorite aunt 
  • my house plants, bringing the outdoors in all year round
  • my Kindle, such a nice reading alternative

Friday, March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013: 3 at 3

3 gifts at 3pm: 
  • the end of a delightfully long lunch with a beloved cousin
  • a woman outside the restaurant walking two goats on a leash
  • blue skies and sunshine