January’s Joy Dare: Week 4 {1000 Gifts in 2012}

“And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!”

{Psalm 107:22} 

My fourth week of the Joy Dare…closing in on 1200 gifts. He’s too good!

23. January 23 | 3 gifts found in Christ
1169. pardon
1170. peace
1171. guidance

24. January 24 | 3 things blue
1172. my 1000 gifts journal, a gift in itself from the sweet rings

1173. my new piccolo alumni hoodie arriving in the mail
1174. blue skies…smilin’ at me!
1175. (a fourth blue thing): conviction by a mug

25. January 25 | one grace borrowed, one grace found, one grace inherited
1176. patience for kids class on patience…not just borrowed, but given freely by the Spirit
1177. my house keys in the yard yesterday

1178. my mema’s crying when she laughs

26. January 26 | a gift before nine am, gift before noon, a gift after dark
1179. wearing a new fun on-sale top
1180. listening to all kinds of music at work {andrew peterson, nat king cole, bluegrassy david crowder, west side story, chris rice, stravinsky, sanctus real, and drum corps…just to name a few}
1181. playing with blocks with jack henry

27. January 27 | 3 gifts that might never have been
1182. an uncontrollable laughing spell
1183. wearing red to a basketball game
1184. a smile from the cranky, calloused postal worker

28. January 28 | 3 graces found in your friends
1185. an old encouraging card found
1186. laughs at josie’s with woodwinds. tumblrs are legit.
1187. smh-ing :o)

Woodwind brunch at Josie's...emphasis on the "wind." It was a blustery day! Love them.

29. January 29 | a song heard, a soft word, where you saw light
1188. because He lives
1189. {hard eucharisteo} is this right?
1190. light of the Gospel going forth into dark hearts
1191. meeting the Vejendlas, sweet missionaries to India, and seeing the sovereignty of God at work during our afternoon!

The Vejendlas with my family

The Vejendlas with our Nepali Friends





January’s Joy Dare: Week 3 {1000 Gifts in 2012}

“But they soon forgot His works;
they did not wait for His counsel.”

{Psalm 106:13} 

Part of my reading this week included Psalm 106, which served as an excellent reminder of how easy it is to forget the many marvelous things God has done. When we forget how He’s showed grace in the little things, it makes it hard to trust Him for the big things. May I ever be swift to thank Him for the thousands of ways He’s shown me grace.

So here it is…my third week of the Joy Dare

16. January 16 | 3 ways you witnessed happiness today
1148. in a bowl of chicken fried rice

1149. the laughter granny let out at the dave ramsey show
1150. the smile on the hospice girl’s face when we gave her a peppermint mocha to-go

17. January 17 | one gift that made you laugh, one gift that made you pray, one gift that made you quiet
1151. kristen’s commentary during “gone with the wind” (my fetus can’t eat no radishes)
1152. dad preaching at the  BFM winter conference
1153. colossians 3…humbled.

18. January 18 | 3 gifts from God’s Word
1154. proverbs 3:5-6 striking me fresh…and HARD.
1155. isaiah 26:3
1156. Jesus calming the storm by speaking. my heart is also calmed through His written Word.

19. January 19 | a grace in the kitchen, a grace in the weather, a grace that might never have been
1157. a fourth day of peppermint hot chocolate with kristen

1158. blue skies and sunshine
1159. a job-seeking guatemalan on my front porch—all because of a peanut butter sandwich

20. January 20 | 3 gifts you saw only when you got close-up
1160. a most beautiful V7/V chord in the new david crowder album
1161. how much people care about reaching their community for Christ…seen only after looking past the donuts and fliers
1162. {hard eucharisteo} trusting God is a beautiful thing. He delivers.

21. January 21 | one thing in the sky, one thing from your memory, one thing that’s ugly-beautiful
1163. stars
1164. reminiscing about super funny memories with shanna
1165. pancakes with blueberries and pecans, not the prettiest on the bottom, but delicious all around.

22. January 22 | one grace wrinkled, one grace smoothed, one grace unfolded
1166. my grandmother’s lovely 92-year-old face
1167. a white top, freshly ironed
1168. warm fleece pants

January’s Joy Dare: Week 2 {1000 Gifts in 2012}

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits!
{Psalm 103:2} 

My second week of the Joy Dare

9. January 9 | a gift in your hand, a gift you walked by, a gift you sat with
1124. a million dollar bill to let the walmart cashier know she was worth a million

1125. a ring on the cashier’s hand at old navy, sparking conversation, and making connection
1126. my parents eating dinner, a simple one: soup beans and cornbread. yum!

10. January 10 | a gift that’s sour, a gift that’s sweet, a gift that’s just right
1127. {hard eucharisteo} running late because of a slow-moving checkout at lifeway, a reminder that i’m on God’s timetable, not my own
1128. menchie’s mudpie with erin and side-splitting laughs to accompany
1129. sweet fellowship with the Tuesday night Bible study girls, discovering more holes

11. January 11 | 3 yellow things that strike you as fresh mercy
1130. david crowder’s final album. kyrie eleison.

1131. pulling up to my filipina sister’s yellow house to pick her up for church
1132. bold yellow packaging of new items at starbucks

12. January 12 | something above you, something below you, something beside you
1133. snow clouds delivering my favorite weather

1134. a comfortable, cushy office chair
1135. a friend with a cup of starbucks

13. January 13 | 3 sounds you hear
1136. my dog incessantly barking
1137. “that’s legit, yo” and “i needed that. thank you.”
1138. laughter ringing through my kitchen as frustrations were taken out on innocent peppermints

14. January 14 | 3 ways you glimpsed the startling grace of God
1139. that my Creator would love one so unworthy
1140. pancakes and bacon
1141. protected while at church by myself and even a friendly face as i walked to my car

15. January 15 | one thing you wore, one thing you gave away, one thing you shared
1142. pearls
1143. gifts for my friends (will be more specific once they’re surprised!)
1144.  desire to SHARE in His sufferings {colossians 1}
and a few extras because i just couldn’t stop…it was such a great day!
1145. sunday morning starjazz, driving down US-60 by snow-covered barns with horses

1146. “let the gospel cost you something”
1147. stories of how the Gospel has cost sweet saints

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