Monday, January 7, 2013

Joy Dare, Counting 1,000 Gifts

A Holy Experience 

 Did you know that if you find three things to be thankful for every day for a year, you will have collected 1,000 gifts?  According to Anne Voskamp, it's true. And Anne Voskamp KNOWS about giving thanks for 1,000 Gifts. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Literally.

And, seriously, you NEED the book!

How do I know? Cause EVERYONE needs this book.

For real.

Anyhooo ...

So yeah, 3 gifts per day, one year, one THOUSAND gifts. 1,000 to thank the Lord for.

Oh, I can do that.

And then, just in case you get stuck, she will even give you suggestions of where to FIND these gifts.

I am taking the dare. You should too...

 Here are my first seven days worth:

1. The sound of laughter from my girls as they watch a movie so familiar that they laugh before the funny even happens.
2. The soft sound as hubby steals a kiss on the cheek as he passes by.
3. The loud smack of a snowball on the window when the girls (and Hubby) try to get me to join them in a snowball fight ... followed by the sound of screams and squeals when I come running out the door after them.
4. The gift of having had my longing for a white Christmas come true. And the still sparkling snow that blankets the ground.
5. The provision of a home to call our own and the warmth that it brings both body and heart.
6. Plain & simple? Gluten free food that does not taste like feet or cardboard. Praise Him for flavor!!!
7. Sophie playing make believe with her toys - they are so very sweet and polite to each other.
8. Two sweet girls reading and learning their own Bible memory verses.
9 A scuffle in the bathroom and voices raised. Then a few minutes later and apology and an "it's OK, I love you Sophie" ... grace indeed.
10. Old photographs on my wall marking a rich heritage, so deep in love for the Lord and for each other. Blessed.
11. A new life, growing in a belly in Arizona. A grandchild. A gift.
12. A blue mug that ties me to a different kind of family - friends who are sisters in Christ. fRamily (family you would choose for friends, friends you love like family). And a precious NEW inheritance. Or should I say inHAIRitance?  (siestas just smiled)
13. Reading teh book of James over and over and over again in preparation for memorization. AND reading the Little House books with my girls the way my mommy read them with me!
14. Making memories with my family - board games, classic books, snowball fights and the Wii Fit obstacle course.
15. See a True Bosom Friend off on a new adventure. A bitter sweet gift to be sure, but honored to pray them off as they heed His call on their lives.
16. A bag of gluten free cookies that Hubby brought home as a surprise. He ROCKS and they are actually quite good.
17. Some ice cold milk from the fridge, into which gluten free cookies can be dipped, making them taste even sweeter!
18. A heart full of love for this man who thinks of me in sweet little ways through the day. SO Blessed!
19. A brother, there for me my whole life through, who exemplifies loyalty and grace, loves fiercely and stands beside me no matter what. This just happens to be his birthday! Happy Birthday Jimmy!!!
20. A friend who drops everything for a sister in need, promises to protect, pray and hold her up to the One who heals. Lord Jesus, come!
21. A man who overlooks the half-done, botched up, messes left, laundry scattered, house un-dusted,and  floors un-vacuumed to praise the one thing done well. His grace astounds me and makes me love the Author of Grace all the more.

So ... go. 3 gifts per day. I DARE you!!!

No Promises ...

So, here's the thing.  I like to think big. REAL big.

Like, I don't just say I want to get healthy and then try.

No, I say something like "I will lose 50 pounds in the next 6 months, run 1,000 miles in the next year and write a book, which will become a best seller and give all the millions of dollars I make to the church! Just watch y'all, cause I will!"

And then I don't.

So then I don't say anything at all.

Until the next time ...

... and the next time... and the time after that.

And then I wonder why no one pays attention anymore.

So ... what now?  Well, now I am gonna take notice and learn from my past. And then I am gonna make no promises.

Except for one.  To do my best.

Or, maybe two. To be honest.

Starting now.

I have a plan (on paper this time) but I am not going to share it and make promises. I am just going to follow it. And tell you about it. And fall on my face. And tell you about it. And have successes. And tell you about it. And do my best. And tell you about it.

As part of that plan, I have started running again.  The good news is, since New Year's, I have run more than I did the whole month of December. Maybe even November too.  In fact, on the 3rd, I joked that I had run every day this whole year.

And then I didn't run the 3rd.


But on the 4th, when I realized it would be two days with no workout and I did NOT want to fall in that rut again, I laced up my shoes at 10:14 PM and got on the treadmill.  It was hard. It was slow. But it was AT NIGHT (I am sooooooooooooo not a night runner. First thing in the AM for me, thank-ya-very-much!). And I did it.

And then nothing on the 5th. Or the 6th.

Dern. Dern. Dern.

And then I saw hubbster making a list of HIS goals for 2013. And there was a workout plan on that list.  So, I suggested ... or, ya know, BEGGED ... that we do it together.  And he agreed!!!!

So, this morning we got up at 5 AM (even though we stayed up til after 11 watching Downton Abbey (WOOT! WOOT!) ... well, I stayed up while he snoozed on the couch) and did it.

Go. Stinkin. Us.

He wanted to start slow, so he did some weights and stretches, etc...  And I did week 2, day 2 of the C25K program.  And it rocked. I am sooooooooo very thankful that he made that sacrifice for me.   And that we are in this together.

No promises ... but I think this might be a good year.