January’s Joy Dare: Week 1 {1000 Gifts in 2012}

“It’s habits that can imprison you
and it’s habits that can free you
and when thanks to God becomes a habit,
so joy in God becomes your life.”
Ann Voskamp

I’ve been recording grace-gifts since late August and what a blessing it has been. I can affirm that all the statistics Ann Voskamp mentioned below are true in my own life. Well, I don’t know how you measure happiness, but I do know that my happiness in Christ has increased. :o)

Voskamp wrote: And in this keeping habit of keeping a gratitude list?

1. Have a relative absence of stress and depression. (Woods et al., 2008)

2. Make progress towards important personal goals (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)

3. Report higher levels of determination and energy (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)

4. Feel closer in their relationships and desire to build stronger relationships (Algoe and Haidt, 2009)

5. Increase your happiness by 25% — (Who wouldn’t want a quarter more happiness!) (McCullough et al., 2002)

Even though I reached 1000 gifts on December 22, I have continued writing down the gifts God gives me each day because it has become a joyous habit. Over the next year, I hope to take part in her Joy Dare, which simplifies the process of listing grace-gifts just a little bit (not that it’s complicated or hard, but this helps narrow them down).

So, without further adieu, my first week of the Joy Dare

1. January 1 | 3 things about yourself you are grateful for
1100. the fact i am a sinner who’s been shown marvelous grace
1101. being diabetic, a constant reminder i’m a weak human who can’t do it on her own
1102. that i love to write, reflect, and record

2. January 2 | a gift outside, inside, on a plate
1103. snow falling as i drove, making me feel as if i was a character in a snow globe
1104. heat
1105. catalina chicken (new recipe!), stir-fried cabbage and peppers, sauteed green beans

3. January 3 | 3 lines you overheard that were graces
1106.  “Compassion isn’t compassion until you allow yourself to be interrupted…..surely God wants to use rescued people to rescue people.” -Christine Cain at Passion 2012
1107. “You cannot consume Him, but He can consume you.” -Beth Moore at Passion 2012
1108. “We raise our white flags. We surrender all to You. All for You!”

4. January 4 | one gift old, new, & blue | {also my birthday}
1109. my car, which went crazy chugga-chuggaing and had to go back to the shop
1110. starbucks gift cards, coach wallets, sweaters, and scarves
1111. facebook, which was the means for many warm birthday wishes

5. January 5 | something you’re reading, you’re making, you’re seeing
1112. grace for the good girl by emily p. freeman
1113. progress
1114. livestream of last passion 2012 session. heart-warming, -piercing, -grabbing

6. January 6| one thing in your bag, your fridge, your heart
1115. a gift card to starbucks
1116. sugar-free peppermint mocha creamer
1117. knowing i am complete in Christ

7. January 7 | 3 graces from people you love
1118. dad making coffee
1119. mom making grilled cheese & tomato soup
1120. spending time with shanna who treated me to dinner, a movie, good conversations, and lots of laughs.

8. January 8 | light that caught you, a reflection that surprised you, a shadow that fell lovely
1121. the Spirit opened my eyes a little wider to the beauty of Christ’s righteousness imparted to me
1122. my grandmother laying in her bed, reflected laying in her mother’s arms in the picture above
1123. the shadows of gifted teapots on the corner cupboard

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