Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July's Joy Dare

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

#547 - #639... July's grace-gifts... from the Giver of good gifts, the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

3 gifts loved:
:: This Sunday morning teaching by Dr. Andrew Farley.
:: God keeping our land glorious and free... Happy Canada Day!
:: Gathering of extended family members for dinner.

3 gifts read:
:: My girl's "it's-the-start-of-summer" blog post.
:: The Lure of Calm Waters - a must-read for mom!
:: Joy, Beauty and Hope - a sponsor of 49 Compassion children! Wow!

a gift in faith, family, freedom:
:: "... being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
:: Being part of God's family!
:: "... for freedom that Christ has set us free."

a gift in red, white, and blue:
:: Pot of red impatiens in my front garden.
:: Cool, white, summery clothing for insanely hot days!
:: Blue summer skies...

3 gifts of persistence:
:: Marriage.
:: Motherhood.
:: Growing vegetables! :-)

3 gifts of enthusiasm:
:: A growing enthusiasm for this event!
:: Summer Friday family outings...
:: My girl's enthusiasm for accelerated Summer school.

a gift of challenge, conflict, change:
:: To step out of my comfort zone... a constant challenge.
:: The desire to stay comfortable... a good conflict.
:: Our Summer routine... a welcome change.

3 gifts water:
:: Rain... finally!
:: Clean water which flows freely from our taps.
:: A walk by the lake...

a gift of rhythm, rhyme, reason:
:: The sound of falling rain.
:: Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts... so lyrical, but most of all... points us to Jesus!
:: A sound mind...

3 gifts in weakness:
:: When my faith isn't enough, He still is faithful! ♥
:: When I'm afraid to step out of my comfort zone, He gently leads!
:: When I doubt, He reassures!

3 gifts in jars:
:: This treasure in jars of clay... an all-surpassing power from God!
:: Milk kefir in glass jars.
:: Tasty farm milk in old-fashioned milk jars.

a gift of life, growth, decline:
:: Blooming flowers in summer.
:: Colorado blue spruce in our front yard.
:: Days starting to get a wee bit shorter... sun going down earlier.

3 gifts curled:
:: Being curled up in bed, sleeping in on a Friday morning.
:: Her curls!
:: Curly garlic scapes... so yummy in a vegetable stir-fry!

3 gifts yellow:
:: Beautiful girl in yellow shirt.
:: Yellow begonias by the front door.
:: Big, bright yellow sun... abundant this summer!

3 gifts of stone:
:: Stones by the lake... beautifully smoothed by the rushing waves.
:: Stone sculptures by the lake.
:: "This Jesus is the stone you builders rejected; he has become the cornerstone!" (Acts 4:11, CEB)

3 gifts hanging down:
:: An abundance of clothes hanging in our closets.
:: Summer plants hanging off edge of plant beds.
:: Tomatoes hanging on... almost ripe!

3 gifts learned:
:: More about our church's Anabaptist history.
:: How it feels to be broken by God...
:: I am weak... but HE is strong!

3 gifts musical:
:: Birds singing...
:: Cicada sounds...
:: Tree leaves swaying as the wind blows...

3 gifts baked:
:: Fresh-baked muffins.
:: Store-bought chocolate cupcakes.
:: Raspberry pie for dessert.

a gift in light, dark, shadow:
:: Beautiful daylight highlighting all shades of green.
:: Bright moon in dark sky.
:: Shadows of tall trees.

3 gifts of story:
Three of Ann Voskamp's stories from Haiti...
:: What You Really Need to Know Before You Step Out into the World
:: How the American Dream becomes Christmas in July
:: The 1 Thing You Really have to Know About Your Family

3 gifts understated:
Seeing God in...
:: The beauty of flowers.
:: Intricate butterfly wings.
:: The calmness felt when sitting in amongst and enjoying His creation.

a gift high, low, far away:
:: Marking one year since embarking on our family's first missions immersion trip.
:: Trying hard not to slide back into comfort and forget what we saw...
:: Our Florianlyn and Rochelle, daughters via Compassion International... whom we met face-to-face during this trip.

3 gifts of sand:
:: Anticipation of spending a few days in sandy Cape Cod beaches.
:: God's plans, all beautiful... uncountable, like the sand of the sea. {Psalm 139:17-18}
:: The combination of sand and sunshine!

3 gifts of endings:
:: July's ending... summer half gone.
:: Ending of a ministry year... recounting God's goodness.
:: With every ending, there is always a beginning on the horizon.

3 gifts fresh:
:: A fresh lunch... made by my boy... for me!
:: Catching fresh air... on summer evening walks around the neighbourhood.
:: Feeling fresh after a good night's sleep.

a gift of vacation, at home, in relaxation:
:: Planning our family vacation... for later this summer.
:: Lots of time spent at home this summer.
:: A relaxed summer pace at work.

3 gifts of beginnings:
:: August's beginning... still quite a bit of summer left!
:: Beginning of a ministry year... anticipating great God-things!
:: With every beginning, there was en ending to celebrate and give thanks for!

3 gifts together:
:: Together, with my kids... putting sandwiches together for the homeless.
:: Together, with our church family... distributing the sandwiches on a Sandwich Run.
:: Together, with my boy... vegetable gardening!

3 gifts heard:
:: Awesome worship music on Sunday morning!
:: Great teaching series... on The Beatitudes, the first three so far... the rest to come in the next few weeks!
:: Birdsong!

3 gifts difficult:
:: A heart broken for the things that break God's heart.
:: Seeing brokenness...
:: Stories of beauty from ashes... like this one.

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

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

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