Friday, January 4, 2013

The Joy Dare ~ January 1 - 15

January 1 ~ Three Things Heard
  •   Laughter from my children enjoying each other.
  • The first I love you from my husband for the year.
  • The sound of the piano playing.  Even though my boys were playing their Christmas songs for the umpteenth time, it's always nice to hear the sound of the piano. 
January 2 ~ A Gift Outside, Inside, On a Plate
  • Sunshine!  When you live in the Pacific Northwest during the rainy season, those days of sunshine are a wonderful blessing, even when it's cold.
  • Friends playing.  The boys were able to have their neighbor friends over to play the Xbox.  I was not able to let that happen 6 short months ago because I was so sick.
  • A turkey and avocado sandwich.  Boy do I love the taste of avocados!   
January 3 ~ Three graces (gifts) you overheard
  • Laughter as we watched Mobbed together as a family.
  • The excitement in my daughter's voice when she answered the phone and it was her grandma needing to talk to her about her curtain project.
  • The joy my boys have when they are playing with each other, even when it gets a little crazy. 
January 4 ~ Something You're Reading, Making, Seeing      
  • Right now I'm reading 1 John.  Today this verse reminded me of the greatest thing for which I'm most thankful, the gift of Jesus.  "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us." 1 John 3:16 
  • Yesterday I made 13 meals to have ready during our busy month of January.  What a blessing to have the energy once again to do things like this.  
  • Today as we were putting away Christmas decorations, I got to see how my children are really growing up.  They finished cleaning up the last bit of things when I just needed to be done.
January 5 ~ Something Old, New, Blue

  • To the left of our computer is a secretariat type cabinet that is over 100 years old.  It was my great-grandparents, and I believe they got it for their wedding.  For us it contains pictures, and old beverage-ware that holds many dear memories for me, as well as giving us a place to store everyday things we need.     
  • I'm enjoying the new clothes I have needed to purchase because of my successful cancer treatment.  Not having fluid build up inside of me makes it much easier to shop for clothing.
  • The blue is rather funny.  Yesterday two of my children and I were reminiscing about how one of my son's favorite color was blue because his name starts with the same letter.  That fact made him decide that everything that was going to be his favorite had to be blue.
January 6 ~One thing in your bag, your fridge, your heart
  • In my bag is a small cosmetic case that my in-laws gave me when I was going through chemo.  Every time I see it it reminds me of how much they love, care and support me.
  • Wow!  My fridge....When I really stop to think about it, no matter what food or lack of food is in there, I have multitudes of reasons to be thankful because God has blessed us with so much food that we never go hungry.
  • In my heart I am thankful that I can call God my Father, my Dad.  I can go to him for any need and He will hear me because He cares for me so much.
January 7 ~ 3 Graces (gifts) from People You Know     
  • A Vanilla Soy Latte and great conversation with a friend.
  • A laugh watching my daughter and her friends try to take down the flags on a windy day.
  • A friend asking how my son was doing after his latest surgery on his ankle. 
January 8 ~ Dusky Light, Surprising Reflection, Lovely Shadow  

  • Light?  What's that in the Pacific Northwest this time of year. :-)  But when I think back to other times, I do like the dusky light that candles bring.
  • My reflection came from my Bible reading today.  I got to read Isaiah 40, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It wasn't a surprise to read verse 30, because I have read it and reflected on it so many times, but it was a surprise to get that in my daily email today.  

  • Once again, with all the rain we have right now, you don't see too many shadows.  But once again I can reflect back to Christmas and remember the lovely shadows that were cast when the Christmas garland above my kitchen cabinets was lit.  It still gives me the warm fuzzies every time I think about it. 
January 9 ~ A Gift Held, Passed By, Sat With
  • One of my greatest gifts is my children.  I am fortunate that even though my children are a little older, they still want to give me hugs when they wake up.  One of my sons likes to give me a hug while I hold him on my lap.  Lately our cat has been joining us.  It's something I think I will always treasure.
  • This one is rather amusing because it deals with sun. (Sure wish I would have had this yesterday.)  We have about a 25 minute drive to and from school each day where we have to travel over two large hills.  On the way home the sun came out and shone on one of these hills.  The site, even in winter, was breathtaking.  On the bottom of the hill are deciduous trees, which of course right now are barren.  The top half of the hills has conifers, or evergreens.  The sun shining on this hill was breathtaking.  It was wonderful driving past and over this hill to see the wonder of God's creation.
  • Soon one of my children will be entering high school.  I know life will never be the same once that happens because business will hit us at a whole new level.  That's why I treasure each of the sit-down dinners we have, even if it isn't with all our children.  Even if it is only 20 minutes, we have time to connect each day as a family.  I can't wait until tomorrow when we are all together again.    
January 10 ~ A Gift Sour, Sweet, Just Right
  • The noise of the boys when they get home from school is one that drives me batty many days.  They are in a very silly phase and if they could be silly all day long, they would.  But knowing that they are happy makes the sourness of the silliness bearable.
  • I tried a new recipe the other day that my kids fell in love with -- oatmeal cinnamon chip cookies.  They are really yummy!  The best part is that one of my sons who is insistent that   he doesn't like oatmeal cookies doesn't even realize the oatmeal is in there.

  •  A perfect family dinner was had tonight.  I had turkey pumpkin chili and french bread cooking most of the day, so there was very little prep that needed to be done.  The entire family was home and we were actually able to have some good family conversation again.  Those times are precious and will be gone all too soon.
 January 11 ~ 3 Yellow Graces of Fresh Mercy
This morning when I saw what I was supposed to look for I thought this was going to be the hardest one yet.  Then things started coming to me quickly and I will actually have more than three today!  I love it when God does things like that. 
  • This picture of me is an important one because of the yellow shirt.  This one was taken on my birthday this past June when things were not going well.  My children had a track meet that day and I had spent three days resting up just so I could go and enjoy it.  This picture of me that was taken with my children is my computer wallpaper.  I leave it there not only because I like the picture, but also because it reminds me of where I was and now how far God has brought me.  It reminds me that even though I am still not completely healthy, God had this great plan for me that only He could design and organize,  What a difference seven months make.
  • I got my hair cut again today.  My hair dresser has lovely "yellow" hair.  What a blessing it is to be able to get my hair cut every six weeks again.  Even better was her comment about how healthy my hair now is.
  • We have sunshine today!  Have you heard the song "The Bluest Skies Are In Seattle"  by Perry Como?  Well today I have to say once again that is true.  Not only do we have amazing blue skies today (after you click on the link make sure you scroll down to see the mountains, too.) but we also had some frost this morning.  The combination of all three made for some amazing pictures as I drove around this morning.  Plus I also got to enjoy coffee with some wonderful ladies this morning.  And we had to close the shades in the coffee shop because of the sun streaming in on us. 

  •  This is the family planner that I have.  The days are getting fuller and fuller with all the activities we have coming up.  Some people might look at their full schedules and wonder how in the world they are going to make it through another busy week.  Sometimes I wonder that too, but what is great for me is that I can do all these things again without having to rest up, pick and choose, or even just miss them.  Once again all I can do is give glory to God for all of this.  7 short months ago we never would have thought this was possible.
  • The last yellow thing that I am thankful for today is a crown.  This morning one of my devotions mentioned a crown.  It made me think of my Savior who is our King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  There is nothing I am more thankful for than this.
January 12 ~ Something Above, Below, Beside 
  • I'm always thankful for the roof above my head.  We might not have a big house, but we have one that keeps us warm and dry.  It might not have the latest and greatest, but it is a house full of love.  
  • I'm thankful for the beauty of the land I live in, especially the valleys.  It's amazing seeing the beauty of them when you are on top of a hill.  It also reminds me that whatever valley I go through in life, God will always be there to guide me through.
  • Today I got to sit beside many friends as we watched basketball together.  Some of these friends go back years of being in grade school together, others are newer friends who will journey with me as we enter high school years with our children.  Knowing that these friends believe as I do in Jesus who is the only one who can save us makes those friendships even better.
January 13 ~ Three things about yourself for which you are grateful
  • I am thankful for my love of music.  I love being able to play the piano for church as well as sing in church with my fellow believers.  
  • I am thankful for my healthy hair.  After having chemo on and off for three years, it's nice to hear my hairdresser say I have healthy hair and that I have options on how I can style it.  I love the darker color of it right now, too.  God gives us little blessings even in the hard times.
  • I am thankful for the faith God, through baptism, created in me.  Without that faith I never would have been able to get through the years of battling cancer.  I am thankful that God loves me so much he constantly gives me ways to strengthen my faith.  

January 14 ~ Three Startling Graces of God

  • Grace from God is startling.  It's undeserved.  It's unearned.  It's love.  God did it all because he loves us so muchHe sent his son to die for us so we could go home to Heaven to be with him forever. 

  • It's amazing to me how God has had our entire plan worked out from the beginning.  He knew the struggles we were going to have and always has a way for us to overcome them in some way, whether it be by relieving us from the struggle, or just by helping us through it every day.  And every plan that God has He has not only for us, but for the good of His Kingdom.  Only an all-knowing, perfect God could do something like that.

  • Forgiveness is another thing that amazes me.  There I times where I struggle forgiving my children or my spouse or a friend because they do the same things over and over and over again.  But then I look at myself and realize I do the same thing to God every day.  Yet He forgives me every day, every hour, every minute I sin.  And He does it because of the great sacrifice He made by offering up His son to die for all of our sins.  It is the only perfect payment.  Even more amazing to me is this verse:

    He has forgiven us.  Our sins are forgotten because of the blood of Jesus.  To God be the Glory!

January 15 ~ A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared
  • My engagement ring will always be special because my husband bought it on his own.  We never went together looking for rings.  He had his own idea in mind and it fit me perfectly -- black hills gold with three small diamonds.  It's still as beautiful to me today as it was the day he gave it to me.
  • One of my favorite gifts that I've given away were the photo collages the kids made for their grandparents last Christmas.  They each came up with their own reasons that they loved each of their grandparents.  There was no suggestions from me.  The looks on their faces when they read what the kids picked were priceless.
  • Another gift I loved giving away was my twin's clothes.  I had kept quite a few of them for sentimental reasons.  Then there was another family in our church circle who had twins boys.  I just knew they were the right fit for these clothes.  When I was able to drop off three large boxes of clothes, it made my heart smile. 
  • One gift that was shared this Christmas was at our close friend's house on Christmas Eve.  They decided to give their son, daughter, son-in-law and my boys' Nerf guns.  I've never seen five people try and get out those Nerf Guns so quickly so they could have a Nerf Gun fight.  
  • Another shared gift came when I was having a harder time in my cancer journey.  We had always wanted to take our children to a musical, but the right one never came along, until Aladdin.  A co-worker of my husband's found a way for us to get amazing seats together at a discounted rate.  That was a special day for me since I was able to go out with my family and enjoy some time together.


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