Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31

#71  A gift found on paper  -     today I read this: “Grace is a transforming power; to be melted by spiritual understandings of gospel truth.”  Tim Keller

#72  A gift found on paper  - today I read this: “The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible.  And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible.  Isn’t joy the art of God?”   - One Thousand Gifts

#73  a gift found in a person  - friendship  

#74  a gift found in a picture – photos of gifts given from the heart…






Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30

3 old things seen new

#68  the desk we found at our neighbor’s who were giving it away and fit perfectly in our son’s room. 


#69 Romans 8:31-39

#70   Listening for the first time to the long-ago stories from a woman in her 70’s about her childhood.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29

#64  when you saw light  -  in the kitchen at breakfast


Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.”  Psalm 97:11

God is light.  In him there is no darkness at all.”    1 John 1:6

#65 a soft word - peace

#66 a soft word - sigh…a wordless sigh. Even when we don’t know the right words to say, the Holy Spirit “does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs…” Romans 8:26

#67 a song heard  -  “I'm found in Your arms of love, Your love it has saved my soul, I'll run to Your arms of love, Your light's gonna lead me home.”   King of All Days

This morning during worship at church, God was present and had the songs, scripture, words on the screen, and teaching in between songs with purpose…for me. The first two songs sung had the reference to light…and that brought me joy thinking of today’s “joy dare” to find light…and remembered how I saw the sun rays shining through our kitchen window earlier that morning.

Then on the screen Romans 8 appeared…I had been studying chapter 8:26-30 the past 3 days! That chapter was written in a new and fresh way. Then one of the pastors spoke of how we need to know about the glory of God revealed in us and how hope saves us…and how when things are at the point in our life where we don’t even know what or how to pray, that the Holy Spirit makes prayers for us from our wordless sighs. And I had already thought that morning while looking at the sunlight of the other “joy dare” today which was “a soft word”…and to my amazement the words I had thought early that morning were peace and sigh!

Thank you, Abba, for Your Word, Your Presence, Your special and purposeful plans for me this morning…for Your gifts… for songs, for sighs and your light. “Let me remember the great mercies of my God. Give me the full measure of Your grace. Alive in Your Spirit I’m willing and able to make Your joy complete.” – yet another song that just started playing on Pandora as I type this post.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28

3 graces found in your friends

#61  nurturing and nurtured hearts

#62   prayers

#63  “The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you’ve had.”

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27

3 gifts that might never have been

#58  staying an extra semester at college because I had to have brain surgery… and at the end of that extra semester, starting dating the man I married.

#59  laughing so hard with a friend until our stomachs hurt

#60   making the time to study the Word…where I was given the gift of a little revelation of what GLORIFIED means:

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30

Studying Timothy Keller’s study of Romans, he asks the question why are those verbs in past tense? Because they are certain. Foreknew-called-justified-glorified are linked together and cannot be broken. Invited-found blameless-all sin eradicated and made perfect in body and soul.

And what is the ultimate purpose of those verses Paul wrote…those words…those promises to hold onto? To be conformed to the likeness of God’s Son, Jesus. To give us the opportunity to desire and work at being more like Him. To believe. So we can see our final glorification…eradication from all sin.

John Eldredge wrote, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” In the past (and even sometimes now and I’m sure will be in the future being made of flesh that I am) there’s been times when my heart has not felt fully alive…even barely alive. It’s as if I’ve put a veil over it to hide or avoid being conformed. But God is remaking us from the inside out. When we allow, 16 …whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

I had never before seen myself as being glorious to God in His eyes. Eldredge wrote, “God endowed you with glory when He created you, a glory so deep that all creation pales in comparison. A glory unique to you like the way you laugh is unique to you. Somewhere down deep inside we’ve been looking for that glory ever since.” (Waking the Dead p.78). When I first read that, I had never thought that He created me to have glory on earth by living in joy as His child. In order to live in His glory, He created in us spiritual gifts, dreams and passions that we can use to glorify Him as it glorifies us also. A reflection. Justification. A deep joy. Perfected. Glorified.

In Romans 8:30, “the past tense in the last word, ‘glorified’…is the most daring anticipation of faith.” - Denney

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26

#55 a gift before nine  -  seeing daffodils blooming in January when I was on my morning walk…a gift to get a glimpse of spring!


#56  a gift before noon  -  reading Romans 8:28  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

#57  a gift after dark – laughter in the playroom and watching college basketball!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25

#52   a grace borrowed  -  the Mark of the Lion novel series by Francine Rivers a  friend let me borrow

#53  a grace found – my weaknesses and strengths

#54  a grace inherited  -  a beautiful china cabinet from my grandmother that she had inherited from her mother.  I can kind of find myself to be like that cabinet sometimes… There are things inside it that I share with others to enjoy, but I also like to keep it closed sometimes to hide the mess in it.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24

Three things blue

#49  seeing the blue sky today peek through gray clouds that had been stubborn for four days.

#50  my son’s blue snowman masterpiece


#51  our blue-eyed family


Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23

Three gifts found in Christ

#46  Redemption

        “…and all are justified freely by his grace through the REDEMPTION that came by Christ Jesus.”  Romans 3:24

#47  Refuge

        “But let all who take REFUGE in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”   Psalm 5:10-12

#48  Reward

        “Do not be afraid…I am your shield and your great REWARD”  Genesis 15:1

January 22

#43  one grace wrinkled – the gift God gave me of loving to spend time with older adults and to hold their hands while listening to the lessons they learned in life.


(This was Louise and me…17 years ago)

#44 one grace smooth – the feel of holding and touching my newborn child…or her holding me…


(This was Libby and me…8 years ago)

#45 one grace unfolded – your bed on a cold, winter night…aahhh.  Or when you’ve had a long day that drained everything out of you…aaahhh. Or when you haven’t been home to sleep in your own bed for a while and then you do….  aahhhh.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 21

#41  one thing in the sky -

heron4.jpg (350×400)

our blue heron neighbor that we often see soaring over our town, our house and perched beside the pond across the street.  So graceful…  It’s wings seem to stretch out for miles!  Praying my joy will soar on wings like the heron’s …

#42  one thing from your memory -


What a fun weekend to spend with my sister and her family to celebrate my niece’s 3rd birthday.  This morning, as I was getting ready for the day in their guest room, memories started flowing as I looked at the dresser in the room.  That dresser was in our grandmother’s extra bedroom where my sister and I as children stayed when we went to visit her.  Memories of sitting on that bench while Mamaw brushed and curled our hair and told make believe stories about a little bear and his adventures.  Mamaw’s hair was as white as the dresser and her reflection…of Jesus.

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20

Gifts I saw only when I got close-up…


“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matthew 17:20


organ pipes from church on the bench my mother played on



January 19

#34  grace in the kitchen - small group



#35  grace in the weather – not a cloud in the bright blue sky morning

#36 grace that might never have been – life the past 19 years

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 18

#31  gift from God’s Word -  the confidence “Do not worry about what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at the time what you should say”.  (Luke 12:11-12)  And that is to give me confidence only through Christ, the Counselor, when it comes to sharing my faith with others, parenting, being a friend… Lord, I need to be reminded that Truth every day.

#32  gift from God’s Word -  the instruction “Celebrate always, pray constantly, and give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. (This is God’s will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed.)”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

#33  gift from God’s Word -  the promise  “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save! He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17

#28  gift that made you quiet – reading Jesus Calling in the quietness and stillness before the morning hustling began. 

Psalm 118:24  “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”    Or God says it like this…”Come to Me with a thankful heart, so that you can enjoy My Presence.  This is the day that I have made.  I want you to rejoice today, refusing to worry about tomorrow.”

#29  gift that made you pray – the Word and the Spirit’s teaching about the idols in my life.

#30  gift that you made laugh – an older woman at an Assisted Living community whom I’m nudging to trust me to help her write her life/ faith journey.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16

# 25  Today I witnessed happiness when my husband was at lunch at his favorite Mexican restaurant for his birthday (and got to wear a sombrero!) with our family.


#26  I also witnessed happiness seeing and listening to little sister giggling from her gut with big brother.

#27  I also witnessed happiness and laughter while my husband and I talked on “face talk” with his brother and sister-in-law.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15

#22 something you wore - fuzzy pajama pants

#23 something you shared - my joy dares…today (for the first time), I started keeping a blog (thanks to the help of my husband!) to share the simple and maybe even complex gifts from God in my journey. I’d like to share it with you and you can do this, too! I dare you!

#24 something you gave away - time

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14

#20   I glimpsed the startling grace of God when I’m given time to be a “stay-at-home-mom” and time to reflect, journal, study the Word, go to bible study, be in a life-giving and life-support small group… why and how did I get this grace?  Only Jesus…

But then I read Beyond Words by Frederick Buechner about grace.  He wrote, “Grace is something you can never get but can only be given.  There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberry and cream.  A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams.  Most tears are grace.  The smell of rain is grace.  Somebody loving you is grace.  Loving somebody is grace.  Have you ever tried to love somebody?”

#21  Another glimpse of the grace of God is my sweet mother, celebrate her birthday today.  She raised me in the church, our second home.  I remember as a young child running through the large sanctuary with the high-huge stained glass window on the back wall…bright colors of blue, purple, red and especially yellow in the shape of a sun as rays of sun shooting through them that reached half way through what seem to little me, the huge holy place. Not only did the sun shine through that amazing piece of art, but the Son did, too.  And there were stained glass windows on another wall portraying different stories in the bible that I studied for a long time trying to piece it together.  And all during those times, as I studied those majestic shapes and colors and stories, mom practiced the organ.  I remember hearing the melody of God’s goodness rolling through the pipes and hearing her tiny fingers pressing the keys and her tiny feet pumping the petals.  God and the stained glass windows looked so big and us so small.  That’s the gift of a glimpse of the startling grace of God…





Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13

3 things you hear

#16 chimes ringing as I take a walk with my dog on a brisk, windy morning

#17 the wind blowing the chimes

#18 Song “Walk with me” by Caedmon’s Call (but I love to hear the words of almost all of them)


#19 Song “Untitled Hymn” by Chris Rice (and someday ask to be played at my funeral)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12

#13 A gift that is above : HOT water coming out of the shower head on a cold winter morning

#14 A gift that is below: slippers. I love to wear my soft, fuzzy slippers to keep my cold feet warm


#15 A gift that is beside: my husband, who’s beside me every step I take

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11

#10 A yellow gift – road signs that keep us safe, give us boundaries…like the Word

#11 A yellow gift – a colored pastel drawing of the little yellow sunshine in the corner of a piece of paper my 7 year old daughter colored of a snowman on our fridge.


#12 A yellow gift – My Holy Ground, sacred refuge…our yellow sunroom where I commune with the Lord.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10

#7 A gift that’s sour – seeing Grady and Libby licking a lemon giggling and silly faces
#8 A gift that’s sweet –  The sweet gift Jesus gave me to unexpectedly run into a friend and spiritual leader, I had not seen in a while.

#9 A gift that’s Just.Right. – a coca cola from the fountain

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9

#4 Gift in hand – the Joy Dare I printed…an unexpected breath of fresh air;

#5 gift walked by – a bird feeder filled with the sounds of joy-filled chirps on a gray and drizzly day;


#6 gift sat with – my little sister at a quick-passing-through lunch who I don’t get to see very often.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6

#1 Joy in my purse – a mini spiral notebook to use to jot joys that come to mind when I’m out and about.

#2 Joy in the fridge – an apple covered in layers of white and dark chocolate and toffee sprinkles, sitting on lace and wrapped in clear, crinkly wrap.


#3 Joy in heart – JESUS!