So while I've been healing I've had an usual amount of time to think/pray/write/read. In addition to the Photography Project 52, I've been following the "Joy Dare" from One Thousand Gifts and compiling my thankfulness on a Word document (and with a couple photos).
Here goes... January’s Joy Dare:
1. 3 things about yourself you are grateful for
*healing from my surgery. Each day the pain lessens.
*Organized in order to focus my priorities
*equipped by the grace of God even though I don’t feel like it most of the time
2. a gift outside, inside, on a plate
*meal I didn’t make
3. 3 lines you overheard that were graces
*“you are forgiven” (from Lydia to Tobias)
*“I pray that mommy feels better.” (both of the big kids bedtime prayers)
*“Liz is doing better“
4. one gift old, new; blue
*Guinness: his steadfast love and protection. This dog has faithfully napped at my feet while I have been down and out
*Friendship: Living in Chambersburg, my hometown, it’s easy to develop the friends I’ve had for years (even decades) yet God has brought some new friends into my life recently – a blessing
*My baby girl’s bright blue eyes. Man, are they striking ☺
5. something you’re reading, you’re making, you’re seeing
*Being a Mary in a Martha world – a book a friend loaned to me while I’m recovering. I’m such a “Martha” and a goal for the year is to be more Mary-like spiritually and socially
*Over the Advent season I embraced a program designed for preschoolers that included a Bible reading, lesson, and ornament creation each day. I don’t consider myself a particularly “crafty” individual, however I found joy in witnessing my children grasp the reason for our celebration through a tangible creative outlet. The author of “Truth in the Tinsel” from Impress Your Kids is embarking on a new venture this year with a “Superhero” theme. I’m pumped to join her.
*Lydia learning about the world: disappointment, reacting to unkind words, persevering through challenges, caring for those in need
6. one thing in your bag, your fridge, your heart
*lip gloss. Never know when the need will arise and so thankful it’s there when it does
*cheese. Man, do I love cheese
*Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior
7. 3 graces from people you love
*My husband’s servant heart: how he has sacrificially cared for me, our children, and our home while I have been down and out. No complaints, prompt response to my requests (which at times could be unreasonable), big hugs and listening ears
*I am overwhelmed at the response of my family, friends, and sisters in Christ who have provided meals for our family over the past week. What an abundance of generosity in time and resources and such a tangible gift of love.
*My mother-in-law dedicated 2 entire days to caring for me and my children. Not only did she love us but demonstrated thoughtfulness and care as she did laundry, changed the sheets on our bed, reorganized my linen closet and bedside tables, and provided opportunity for quality nap and rest time. Really, what a comfort and peace
8. A light that caught you, a reflection that surprised you, a shadow that fell lovely
9. A gift in your hand, a gift you walked by, a gift you sat with
*School bags. 1st day all three kiddos were in “school” at the same time
* The big rock in my parents’ front yard = fond memories of riding, climbing, jumping off it, posing by it, parking beside it
*Tobias – with his baby sister asleep for the night and his big sister at a sleepover, Mark and I got to sit, just the 3 of us on the sofa “watching” Curious George
10. a gift that’s sour, a gift that’s sweet, a gift that’s Just. Right
*lemon – what a flavorful addition to my plain ice water or iced tea.
*Christmas cookies – yes, I’m still enjoying the gift of Christmas cookies. Mmmmmm…
* Yogurt – just the right amount of sweet and sour combined in creamy goodness
11. 3 yellow things that strike you as fresh mercy
*I came downstairs from putting Miriam for a nap to Tobias covered in paint. My flesh wanted to get angry with him, but the Lord stopped me as if to say, "Is this really something to get upset about? Love him and his crazy creativity and move on."
12. something above you, something below you, something beside you
*Ceiling. Really. I am so thankful for a roof over my head
*sidewalk. For the first time in 2 weeks I took a walk outside without pain.
*Lydia. Just hugged my arm and declared, “I want to snuggle.” Oh man, doesn’t get sweeter than that!
13. 3 sounds you hear
*Tobias tinkering on the piano
*The door open and the assurance that it is my faithful husband returning from work
14. 3 ways you glimpsed the startling grace of God.
*Renewed enthusiasm for where God has placed us in our church
15. one thing you wore, one thing you gave away, one thing you shared
*Sneakers. Today I exercised for the first time since my surgery.
*Mark’s road bike. Ok, I didn’t give it away, but he did. I struggled with, “why don’t you sell it? Since I’m not working we could use some extra cash.” but was convicted and am so thankful he gave it to a dear friend.
*Inspiration. I shared a story (and then links to resources) about how God is working through His Word in the hearts of my kids.
16. 3 ways you witnessed happiness today
*Tobias mixing all of his paints together, applying a crazy amount of mixed paint on his hand, and splashing it down on the paper, over and over again.
*I was just picking up random books off of the floor in the big kids room with Miri in my arms. All of the “up and down” must have amused her, she looked at me right in the eyes and behind her pacifier gave me the biggest grin
*Lydia eating dirty ice she found in the backyard
17. one gift that made you laugh, one gift that made you pray, one gift that made you quiet
25. one grace borrowed, one grace found, one grace inherited
* Freedom from an eating disorder – I was prayed through medical management, dietician, counciling. The Lord softened my heart and opened my eyes to the beautiful gift of life: abundant, free, victorious life.