Saturday, June 30, 2012

June's Joy Dare

I am taking the Joy Dare and counting to {an extra} 1,000 Gifts in 2012! Will you join me?

#457 - #546... June's grace-gifts... from the Giver of good gifts, the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

3 gifts orange:
:: Orange kalanchoes in new plant pots from the Habitat ReStore.
:: Orange paint on my office walls.
:: Orange Adorindack chairs in the backyard.

3 gifts funny:
:: My littlest nephew.
:: Little ones helping to blow out the birthday boy's candles.
:: Little children at play.

3 gifts from today's conversations:
:: Fully known, fully embraced, fully secured and fully loved by God!
:: Encouragement for a sister-in-Christ.
:: Excitement at church about upcoming Local Compassion Initiatives this summer.

3 gifts found in Christ:
:: Acceptance.
:: Security.
:: Love!

a gift of peace, of hope, of love:
:: A peace-filled smooth-sailing day.
:: Reading about giving hope... in the book, The Hole In Our Gospel.
:: God's lavish and relentless love for me.

3 gifts "ugly-beautiful":
:: Helping to plan a baby shower for those experiencing crisis pregnancies.
:: Beauty from ashes... coming to terms with past pains.
:: Trusting that God always makes everything beautiful in His own time.

3 gifts in what you are reading:
:: "Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now." ~ Saint Teresa of Avila.
:: "The true gospel is a call to self-denial. It is not a call to self-fulfillment." ~ John MacArthur.
:: "If Christ is Lord, then nothing He asked us to do is optional. His teachings become the operating system of our lives." ~ Richard Stearns, The Hole In Our Gospel.

3 gifts empty:
:: Empty To Fill... Chapter 10 of the book One Thousand Gifts.
:: The gift of being able to shop for groceries to fill an empty fridge.
:: An empty void... filled by my Heavenly Father... enabling me to love my earthly father.

3 gifts that made you really smile:
:: Blessing moms and moms-to-be who are experiencing crisis pregnancies.
:: My boy happily participating in the Baby Shower activities knowing we are serving "the least of these".
:: This precious little one!

a gift at 8, at 12, at 2:
:: Sleeping in!
:: Enjoying a warm, sunny and beautiful June Sunday.
:: Being together with our church family... at a picnic!

3 gifts painted:
:: My girl's artwork... impressive!
:: God painting the skies blue!
:: White picket fences in my boss' front yard.

3 gifts full:
:: A bag full of used clothing... headed to Malawi.
:: A full table at dinnertime... all of us home. ♥
:: Harvesting full heads of lettuce from the backyard garden.

3 gifts smelled:
:: Birthday roses!
:: Flowering lilac tree.
:: Freshly-baked cupcakes.

a gift unexpected, unwanted, unlikely:
:: My boy, a Millennium Kid, getting invited to participate in this!
:: Opportunity to speak to our entire church family on Sunday this summer... a little too much for this introverted heart... yet stepping out of the comfort zone in obedience... trusting that God will give me the words.
:: My parents celebrating 42 years of marriage... something I thought {as a child} was unlikely... God's grace truly is sufficient!

3 gifts in His Word:
:: I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. (1 Thessalonians 5:23, CEV)
:: Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. (Psalm 63:3, NIV)
:: For 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. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV)

3 gifts moving:
:: The three most precious people in my life: My hubby,
:: My girl... and,
:: My little man!

3 gifts found in your dad:
:: Passionate.
:: Determined.
:: Eccentric.

3 gifts from your Heavenly Father:
:: Unconditional love.
:: Security.
:: Safety.

3 gifts you became today in serving:
:: Humbled... as I put together the website for Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy!
:: Fulfilled... as I drove my parents to their medical appointments.
:: Overjoyed... as I read this letter from Florianlyn.

a gift bent, beautiful, loved:
:: Forsythia bush bending in the wind.
:: This beautiful day!!!
:: A good night's sleep.

3 gifts found in light:
:: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." ~ Jesus, John 8:12.
:: "The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?" ~ Psalm 27:1.
:: "... now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light." ~ Ephesians 5:8.

3 gifts that are difficult:
:: To speak the truth in love.
:: To know when to speak... and when to just listen.
:: To prayerfully consider the above...

3 gifts found around a table:
:: My family.
:: Friends serving Jesus together.
:: Extended family eating and laughing together...

3 gifts in water, in words, in white:
:: Calm lake waters.
:: Words of Life!
:: Fluffy white clouds.

3 gifts today in someone older that you:
:: Listening to conversations between hubby's older sisters.
:: Words of wisdom... from my mom to my girl.
:: Celebrating 18 years with the grace of my life!

3 gifts in fabric:
:: Cool cotton bed sheets for summer nights!
:: Freshly laundered blankets...
:: Dish cloths to wipe down kitchen counters...

3 gifts framed by a frame:
:: Family photos that fill our walls.
:: This... on my office wall... 10+ Helps for Really Busy Moms.
:: And this, too... 10 Grace Prayers for Joyful Parenting.

3 gifts eaten:
:: Mini fruit tarts!
:: Summer fruits.
:: Filipino leche flan... yum!

a gift small, big, just right:
:: Short breaks during my work day.
:: Time to hear Helen Lee speak at a conference for moms.
:: All chores finished up just in time for the Canada Day long weekend!

3 gifts you gave today:
:: Prayers for a friend.
:: Encouraging words...
:: Prepped a last-minute dinner get-together with family.

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Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

Monday, June 25, 2012

18!

Celebrating 18 years today of being married to my best friend, the grace of my life and marveling anew at the goodness of our God... for He has gifted us with immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!

With a grateful heart... for a Good God who gives good gifts...













As I continue to count grace-gifts, these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1445 - #1457:

:: 18 years of God's faithfulness.
:: Time spent with my parents who are visiting.
:: Getting this website up and running!
:: My boy having a great night go-karting with his friends from church.
:: Awesome exam week for my girl.
:: My girl's piano exam all done... and good lessons learned.
:: My boy being part of this movement.
:: A letter from Florianlyn.
:: My girl nominating me as "Mom of the Year".
:: Hubby's sister and her family visiting.
:: Volunteering at WonderJam for Compassion and seeing at least 25 children sponsored!
:: Shaun Groves' amazing appeal at WonderJam... thought-provoking!
:: Awesome Sunday with our church family!

Happy Monday, friends!
May you be looking forward, as I am, to an awesome week of marveling at the goodness of our God!
When I realize that it is not God who is in my debt, but it is I who am in His great debt, then doesn't all become gift?
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!

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Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mom of the Year?!?


So… this week, my girl nominated me for the Walmart “Mom of the Year” award!

I thought to myself, “Ummm… “Mom of the Year”… really? I think not… well, at least I don’t think so anyway!”

You see, I don’t actually feel like a “Mom of the Year”… I’m not sure what the contest's selection criteria will be based on… but whatever they are, I’m sure I don’t qualify.

Friends, I have a confession to make… well, actually several confessions.

Here it comes…

This “Mom of the Year” nominee forgot to pick up her daughter from school this week. Not just once… but twice! Yikes!

This “Mom of the Year” nominee hasn’t made a decent home-cooked meal in weeks! She’s either herding her family into the van for a trip to the fast-food restaurant or ordering pizza or shoving something that cooks fairly quickly into the oven.

This “Mom of the Year” nominee is always behind on laundry… piles and piles of them… her own laundry, that is… because her kids wash their own!

This “Mom of the Year” nominee depends on her husband to get the dishes done each day.

This “Mom of the Year” nominee is always catching up on paying the bills, clearing her desk of paperwork, staying on top of deadlines, due dates and appointments.

This “Mom of the Year” nominee is always feeling behind on work… and playing catch up… good thing these deadlines only come once every month!

This “Mom of the Year” nominee has had a frazzling last few months… and wishes there were more hours to the day!

I could go on… and on and on… but I'm sure you get the picture already! I am certainly not qualified for the title of “Mom of the Year”.

Yet this is what my girl’s nomination looks like… she even made a video to go with it!
My mom’s goals in life aren’t typical. She’s never desired a promotion at work, doesn’t want to be rich & famous, & upgrading our house is not on her to-do list.
All she desires is that in some way, hope & love radiate out of her & spills onto others. She is the truest example of an ordinary person doing extraordinary things.
My mom changes lives. Our 5 sponsor children are just the beginning, and already, that’s 5 lives out of poverty & full of hope.
My mom inspires. She’s led many people to sponsor a child, build a Habitat home, serve at a soup kitchen or at least give some spare change.
My mom will fight for her whole life to see poverty end. People believe in hope because of my amazing, selfless mom. If you asked me, “What’s the most important thing your mom has taught you?” It would without a doubt be: My life is not about me.
My mom is mom of the year because she inspires, loves & gives hope. She continues to live the kind of life that will live on, even after she’s gone.
{Please pause the Playlist in the sidebar of this blog as you watch this video.}

Ah… Grace! My Heavenly Father’s amazing grace… it’s the only thing that is sufficient, the only thing that is enough… the only thing that allows me to be remotely close to being “Mom of the Year”.

One thing that this “Mom of the Year” nominee does know is this... that God is always good and she is always loved!

And, that is why I humbly accept the nomination of "Mom of the Year"… and happily indicate my charity/cause of choice… Compassion Canada {Cause #5443 SRIF}… and eagerly anticipate the good things that my gracious Heavenly Father wills to accomplish through this.

You see, the First Place winner of this "Mom of the Year" contest wins $100,000 for her charity/cause of choice. The Second to Eighth Place winners each win $10,000 for her charity/cause of choice. It would be absolutely awesome if I won… don’t you think?!?

I’m beyond excited! Let me tell you why…

The First Place Winner of the “Mom of the Year” award will be announced on September 29, 2012… the very same night that the Benefit Concert called Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy is happening… a concert our family is helping to plan… in order to raise the much-needed $30,000 required to build a permanent facility for Patnubay Child Development Centre, a Compassion project located in the island of Masbate, in the Philippines. This new facility will enable them to better serve the 272 impoverished children who are currently enrolled at Patnubay Child Development Centre. These are children whose family members live on less than $1.25 per day.

This is the very same cause that the “Mom of the Year” prize money will go towards! Exciting, eh?
{Side Note: Tickets for Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy are now available for purchase online! Please spread the word, friends! Ann Voskamp will be there… and so will a few of Toronto’s very gifted musical artists. It’s an evening you won’t want to miss!}
So... there you have it! I’d happily be known as “Mom of the Year” if it means getting this permanent facility built for Patnubay Child Development Centre… so that more children can be released from poverty in Jesus’ name!

In the meantime, I have no idea what my family can have for dinner tonight and it’s already 6pm. I better head to the kitchen and find something to whip into a decent dinner! Or maybe head out to the store to buy something already cooked!

Yikes! I told you… I’m no “Mom of the Year”… those shoes are much to tough to fill! ;-}

Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Letter from Florianlyn


With yesterday's mail came a gift... a letter from Florianlyn... not just any letter, but a particularly heart-warming one!
Bago po sa lahat lubos parin po ang aming pasasalamat sa Panginoon na patuloy parin nya kaming ginagabayan sa araw-araw lalong-lalo na po pagdating sa paghahanap buhay. Sa ngayon dagdag hanap-buhay po ang inaasikaso ni Mama sa pamamagitan po ng pagtitinda ng kakanin. Ako po ngayon ay nagtitinda sa school canteen namin salamat parin sa blessing na binigay ng Panginoon. Aasanan po ninyo na patuloy namin nalagaan ang binigay ninyong negosyo sa amin.
First of all, we are deeply thankful to God for His continuing daily guidance especially in the area of our livelihood. Right now, an added livelihood for our family is the selling of snacks in my school canteen. We are thankful for this blessing from God. Please be assured that we will continue to take care of the means of livelihood that you have given to us.
Wow! I couldn't help but shed tears of joy upon reading those precious words!

You see... upon coming home from our Missions Immersion trip to the Philippines last year, where we met sweet Florianlyn and her family... we sent them a family gift... to help them finish building their house and also for them to start-up a small convenience store.

As far as I can read in yesterday's letter, that money has successfully provided them with a livelihood {in just six short months}... they now have an added livelihood, aside from the convenience store... selling snacks at the school canteen!

This news comes on the heels of a rough couple of months... our family has received several criticisms in the form of "well-intentioned advice" saying that we are... "unwisely spending our money on the poor who will just squander our gift." I guess this quote by Jen Hatmaker, from her book Interrupted, is slowly but surely becoming true for our family:
I want... to be great because we fed hungry mommas and their babies. I'd like to be great because we battled poverty with not just our money but our hands and hearts. I desire the greatness that comes from not just seeking mercy but justice for those caught in a system with trapdoors. I hope to be part of a great movement of the Holy Spirit, who injects supernatural wind and fire into His mission. My version of great will come when others are scratching their heads and saying, "Wow, you live a really different life." {Emphasis mine.}
I guess what we've been encountering aren't criticisms after all, but compliments! :-)

I am currently reading the book The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns. I am currently on Chapter 19: Two Percent of Two Percent.
Jesus understood that our relationship to our money and possessions is an indication of our spiritual condition: "For where your treasure is," He said, "there your heart will be also" (Luke 12:34).
... the greatest defuser that we as Christians have at our disposal is the opportunity to take that which seeks to dominate us and simply give it away. You cannot serve the living God and be a hoarder of his resources. Giving, both how we give and how much we give, is the clearest outward expression of who our God really is (R. Scott Rodin, Stewards in the Kingdom).
The world would see the whole gospel - the good news of the kingdom of God - not just spoken but demonstrated, by people whose faith is not devoid of deeds but defined by love and backed up with action.
Therefore, as Christ-followers and citizens of heaven, where should we invest our money? I think the answer is pretty clear to me. :-)
But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven!
~ Philippians 3:20, The Message.
If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.
~ Matthew 10:39, The Message.
Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
~ Matthew 5:13, The Message.
My friends, I believe, this is how we should live here when our home is in heaven...
Christian hands never clasp and He doesn't give gifts for gain because a gift can never stop being a gift - a gift is always meant to be given...
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.
Click on the banner below to read more Walk With Him posts every Wednesday...
I promise you will be blessed! Today, we are writing about The Practice of Citizenship: How You Live Here When Your Home is in Heaven.


Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day Weekend

Focal living is a key way to begin living lives that are rich, fulfilling and meaningful. This can be the key to living the good life.
Our lives are shaped by our focus.

~ Dr. Arthur Boers, Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distraction
The counting of grace-gifts... 
It has truly become a focal practice for me these past couple of years! It has helped me to experience the lavish and extravagant love of my Heavenly Father in a way that I have not experienced before. It has drawn me closer to Jesus! This daily hunt for grace-gifts has made the goodness of God come into focus in my life!

Dr. Arthur Boers, author of Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distraction, was the guest teacher at church yesterday. Great insights! Check out his teaching by clicking on this video link... I promise you will be blessed! 

Before he taught, a video of our church's Habitat Group Build Day was shown... it was weird to see myself on the big screen... truly a humbling and worship-filled moment for me, God truly does use the unqualified. Dr. Boers talked about how participating in initiatives such as a Habitat Build can be a focal practice!

Here's that video:
{Please pause the Playlist on the sidebar of this blog as you watch this video.}

Our family had a great week, nicely paced and not too busy... and we had an awesome Father's Day weekend! My girl wrote this Father's Day blog post in honour of hubby... I love it! Friends, in the blog post you will read about the man I married... I truly am blessed beyond measure!!!

The highlight of our weekend was taking part in a Habitat Home Dedication on Sunday afternoon with a few people from our church family! Oh. So. Heartwarming! What an awesome way to celebrate Father's Day!!!

And then, it was dinner with my side of the family to celebrate Father's Day!

My sisters and I with our Dad.

Our kids... cousins!!!

As I continue to count grace-gifts, these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1436 - #1444:

:: Baking cupcakes for my sister's birthday.
:: Attending a Tea Party for volunteers at my boy's school.
:: Volunteering with my co-workers as part of Nielsen Global Impact Day.
:: Dinner get-togethers with family and friends.
:: My parents celebrating 42 years of being married.
:: Packing up used clothes to send to Malawi.
:: A relaxing Saturday!
:: Time to do some gardening.
:: An awesome Father's Day weekend!!!

Happy Monday, friends!
May you be looking forward, as I am, to a new week of choosing what matters in this age of distraction. Friends, let's choose to give thanks with intentionality!
I feel Him hold me - flail child tired in Father's arms. And I can hear Him soothe soft, "Are your ways My ways, child? Can you eat my Manna, sustain on my Mystery? Can you believe that I tenderly, tirelessly, work all for the best good of the whole world - because my flame love for you can never, ever, be quenched?"
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!

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Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!



Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

Monday, June 11, 2012

One Year Older

Loved holding this precious little one... at the Baby Shower that
my sister's church hosted for clients of the Pregnancy Care Centre.
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it — we're called children of God! That's who we really are.

~ 1 John 3:1 (The Message)
God is always good and I am always loved! 
What an amazing truth to fully embrace as I celebrate becoming one year older! I had a great birthday weekend... busy, but low key and enjoyable, definitely my preferred way to celebrate. :-)

Friday started off with my boy having a day off from school! My girl also came home early and hubby had a low-key day in terms of work. Plus, my parents {who are visiting from the Philippines} spent the weekend with us. My sister and nephew also came for a visit. Family is truly a gift!

Sharing a birthday cake with my sister, just like old times!
Our birthdays are three days apart. :-)
Baby Shower gifts!!!

My sister, my mom, my girl and I spent some of the afternoon shopping and wrapping presents... for 8 clients of the Pregnancy Care Centre, an organization on which hubby serves as a Board Member. My sister's church hosted a Baby Shower for these precious moms and moms-to-be on Saturday! What a beautiful way to spend my birthday... wrapping gifts to give away... blessing those who are in need!

As I continue to count grace-gifts, these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1426 - #1435:

:: A wonderful weekend of celebration!
:: HIS lavish and relentless love!
:: Feeling blessed and being a blessing!
:: Family togetherness.
:: Birthday roses from hubby...
:: Starbucks gift card from my girl... and,
:: A beautiful watering can from my boy!
:: Attending my girl's school art show... seeing her impressive works of art!
:: Fresh-from-the-farm eggs and strawberries.
:: Church picnic!

Happy Monday, friends!
May you be looking forward, as I am, to a new week of basking in the marvelous love that the Father has extended to us!
And I feel it again today and I again breathe: A good God plans everything. Everything. So a good God can only... make plans for good.
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!

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Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!



Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thankful...

Today... I am reflecting, reminiscing back and expectantly looking forward... offering up endless thanks for God's grace in my life... soaring into another year of doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with the One who loves me lavishly and relentlessly... this lavish and relentless love that I've come to finally fully embrace.

It's no secret to those who know me that I am a fan of Ann Voskamp and her writing... today's reminiscing brought me back to when I first read Chapter 11 and the Afterword of her debut book, One Thousand Gifts. Let's walk down memory lane, shall we?
He's singing that song!  The one I really didn't believe He sang!  "He will take delight in you with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs" (Zephaniah 3:17).
Years of Christian discipleship, Bible study, churchgoing had been about me thinking about God; practicing eucharisteo was the very first I had really considered at length what God thought of me - this ridiculous and relentlessly pursuing love, so bold.  Everywhere, everything, Love!
Not take anything. Not ask anything, demand anything, petition anything.  I could simply give something to God.  A gift to Him!  Like He had given one thousand, countless, gifts to me!  This I could do!
... we're called to do more than believe in God; we're called to live in God.  
Communion with God, what was broken in the Garden, this is wholly restored when I want the God-communion more than I want the world-consumption.
Then came what Ann wrote in the Afterword...
"A-I-M-E-E." Loved one.
God is always good and I am always loved and eucharisteo has made me my truest self, "full of grace."  Doesn't eucharisteo rename all God's children their truest name:
"Loved one."
Aimee is the name of Ann's sister... the sister whose tragic death Ann wrote about in the starting pages of the book. The tragedy that marked the beginning of Ann's journey towards full communion with God.

Tears fell as I read the portion I quoted above from the Afterword. This book and the practice of eucharisteo has indeed transformed me. Eucharisteo has allowed me to see Grace every single day. Each new day, I am on the hunt for grace-gifts!

And... eucharisteo didn't need to rename me... like Ann, it has made me my truest self, "loved one." For my blog readers who do not know me in real life, that is my name.

Aimee --- it means loved one! :-)

Today, I celebrate... because God is always good and I am always loved!
You have looked deep into my heart, Lord,
    and you know all about me.
 You know when I am resting or when I am working,
    and from heaven you discover my thoughts.
 You notice everything I do and everywhere I go.
 Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say,
     and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side.
 I can’t understand all of this!
    Such wonderful knowledge is far above me.
 You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body,
     and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me.
Everything you do is marvelous!
    Of this I have no doubt.
 Nothing about me is hidden from you!
I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below,
     but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed.
Even before I was born, you had written in your book
    everything I would do.
 Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding,
    much more than I could ever imagine.
 I try to count your thoughts,
    but they outnumber the grains of sand on the beach.
And when I awake, I will find you nearby.
 Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything
    I am thinking.
 Don’t let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way
    that time has proven true. 


~ Excerpts from Psalm 139, CEV.

Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Unqualified

Kalanchoe and fern plants in plant pots from the Habitat ReStore
"My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn't think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.
What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important."

~ 1 Corinthians 1:26-28, CEV.
I am awed, anew... because God calls the unqualified. 
Again, great Sunday at church! The teaching we heard reminded me of God's extravagant love for us... relentlessly pursuing us as we lived the life of the prodigal son.
God is relentlessly pursuing me with an open invitation to experience His lavish love. Coming home is coming to the end of myself and opening myself up to be fully known, fully embraced, fully secured and fully loved. ~ Christa Hesselink.
As I continue to count grace-gifts, these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1416 - #1425:

:: That God still chooses to invite me to partner with Him, even though I am unfaithful and unqualified.
:: Ann Voskamp saying, "Yes!".
:: Learning more about the ministry of Matthew House.
:: Preparing to advocate for the Pregnancy Care Centre at this event.
:: A new month!
:: Rain... watering my garden.
:: Getting to know a sister-in-Christ, her strength so inspired me!
:: Giving a gift of One Thousand Gifts!
:: Eating yummy blooming onion at Ribfest!
:: My parents visiting... 

Happy Monday, friends!
May you be looking forward, as I am, to a new week of really living knowing that you are fully known, fully embraced, fully secured and fully loved by our Heavenly Father!
Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus. Eucharisteo, eucharisteo. That keeps the focus simple-sacred.
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!

Click on the banner below for more Multitudes on Mondays posts...
Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!



Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

Friday, June 1, 2012

May's Joy Dare

I am taking the Joy Dare and counting to {an extra} 1,000 Gifts in 2012! Will you join me?

#364 - #456... May's grace-gifts... from the Giver of good gifts, the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

3 gifts tasted:
:: A mid-morning latte brought home by hubby!
:: God's goodness! ♥
:: Strawberry banana kefir smoothie for lunch.

3 gifts flat:
:: A couriered package containing more work for me to do.
:: Flat envelope containing a cheque for Habitat Toronto.
:: Flats on my feet... Spring is here! ♥

3 gifts found in difficult people:
:: An opportunity to practice patience,
:: To show empathy, and most of all...
:: To see myself in them and realize my own brokenness.

3 gifts before 9am:
:: Waking up in a warm and cozy bed.
:: Talking to my Heavenly Father.
:: Making a lunch for my girl.

a gift in a sign, a smile, a snack:
:: Brethren In Christ's (Canada) new Purpose Statement.
:: Many familiar smiling faces at our church's annual meeting.
:: A faith community sharing breakfast together.

3 gifts found in Christ:
:: My life.
:: My strength.
:: My song.

3 gifts about your home:
:: The people I share it with! ♥
:: A household of faith.
:: God's peace abounds...

3 gifts inside a closet:
:: Clothes... more than we need.
:: Fresh bed sheets!
:: Soft towels.

3 gifts found in the dark:
:: Good night's sleep!
:: The promise of hope...
:: Stars in the night sky.

a gift outside, inside, upside down:
:: Beautiful Spring day!
:: Luncheon with co-workers.
:: God's upside-down economy... not having to seek advancement at work.

3 gifts about your parents:
:: Hard-working.
:: Passionate in what they believe in.
:: Prays for us each and every day.

3 gifts held in hand today:
:: Funds our church family raised for the Pregnancy Care Centre.
:: My hand on my boy's shoulder as we walked the 5km route of the First Response Relay.
:: A yummy BBQ lunch at the finish line!

3 gifts found in your mother:
:: She lives the Gospel.
:: Her willingness to suffer.
:: She sees beauty in ashes.

a gift packed up, put away, put back:
:: A lunch for my girl.
:: Winter coats!!!
:: Freshly-laundered clothes put back in closets.

3 gifts about you:
:: My levelheadedness.
:: My organization skills.
:: My love of reading.

3 gifts found in His Word:
:: Glory.
:: Grace.
:: Truth.

a gift in a box, a bag, a book:
:: Box of magazines... more work to do.
:: Bag of dried mangoes... a gift for my boss.
:: Summer Book Club title: The Hole in Our Gospel.

3 gifts unexpected:
:: Beautiful end to an otherwise stressful week.
:: Time to start another garden bed... and,
:: Enough plants to transplant into it!

3 gifts from your childhood:
:: Day trips to the ocean-side.
:: Playing Scrabble with my mom and sisters.
:: Art lessons.

a gift sweet, sour, salty:
:: Banana chips!
:: Dill pickle chips!
:: Home-made kale chips!

3 gifts found in little people:
:: Innocence.
:: Purity.
:: Blind faith.

3 gifts that made you laugh:
:: My boy!
:: Neighbourhood children's conversation that I'd overheard.
:: The squirrel who frequents our backyard garden.

3 gifts found in community:
:: Togetherness.
:: Fellowship.
:: Support.

a gift in a plate, pot, package:
:: A plate of grilled pork chops!
:: A warm pot of steamed rice!
:: A package for our Haitian Compassion child, Bell Bradley!

3 gifts hard giving thanks for:
:: Being behind with work...
:: Being behind with laundry...
:: Being behind with making dinner...

a gift worn, white, whispered:
:: It's finally warm enough for shorts!
:: White flowers of woodruff plants blooming in the backyard.
:: God whispering, "You can trust... for My grace is sufficient!"

3 gifts found in church:
:: Being reminded that "God's reckless grace is our greatest hope..."
:: Joy in serving Jesus together with our church family!
:: Singing "How He Loves"! ♥

3 gifts in today's work:
:: A smooth-sailing work day...
:: With very minimal interruptions, and...
:: Very few emails!

a gift at 8am, 12pm, 8pm:
:: Waking up to a cloudy day.
:: Both my kids home for lunch today.
:: Walking towards our vehicle... hubby picking me up after a meeting... chatting with him on the drive home.

3 gifts blue:
:: Blue hydrangea blooms.
:: Blue Jays in the garden.
:: Bluish-purple blooms on my chives.

3 gifts you gave today:
:: The gift of full attention.
:: A gift to our Compassion LDP student... to help her sister and brand-new niece.
:: Serving my family with love.

Click on the banners below to learn more about counting to 1,000 Gifts...
Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!




Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!