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, 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

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 3, 2013: Free Gifts

a gift in faith, family, freedom:
  • the very fact that it IS a giftFor it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
  • a long weekend with my son
  • the birthday celebration for the land of the free

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 2, 3013: Gifts Written, Joy Read

3 gifts read:
  • an surprise email from a dear one I had lost contact with
  • a dinner menu, the precursor to time spent with an old friend
  • this urging in my morning devotions: "Let Me show you My way for you this day." (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling)

July 1, 2013: Mercy for Breakfast

3 gifts loved: 
  • a dear friend and the pleasure of time spent together over lunch
  • God's gracious mercy, new again this morning
  • my Savior, who prepares me the feast of himself

June 30, 2013: Gifts Intangible

3 gifts you gave today:
  • time
  • presence
  • encouragement

June 29, 2013: Thrifted Joy

a gift small, big, just right:
  • the album of memories I made her, received with delight
  • the joy of giving
  • the dress I found her at a thrift store, perfect for the wedding

June 28, 2013: Eating Joy

3 gifts eaten:
  • strawberry shortcake, berries freshly picked
  • dinner out at one of my favorite restaurants
  • my own words, a victory of increasing self-control the fruit of His Spirit

June 27, 2013: Framed


3 gifts framed by a frame:
  • the beautiful flowers in my backyard, framed by my kitchen windowsill
  • our wedding picture, framed and hanging, a daily reminder of that commitment
  • scripture art, bringing God's Word to my thoughts throughout the day

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June 26, 2013: The Fabric of Life

3 gifts in fabric:
  • freshly washed sheets, sweet and soft
  • colorful pillows that brighten up the front porch
  • favorite shorts, comfortable to change into after work

June 25, 2013: The Fruit of Old Age

3 gifts in someone older than me:
  • wisdom that comes with experience
  • patience learned in trial
  • generosity stemming from mature faith