Friday, January 24, 2014

Discipline of Thanks • Round 2

Ann Voskamp came up with this terrific calendar of gratitude that gives you three unique things to be thankful for in each day. It's a way of worship that raises in me an awareness of Christ's presence. If you struggle with being present or feel you've lost joy, try the remedy of gratitude.

JAN10 - A Gift Sour, Sweet, Just Right

  • Sour: This video. It leaves a sour feeling in my stomach, but the awareness of pornography and sex trafficking is severely important. I'm thankful for this film that is being made that could change the church's approach toward the problem.
  • Sweet: Homemade cookies for the Admin office from the UGM kitchen. Someone stop me from eating more of these!
  • Just Right: Oliver's Geography Class ended and what is the one class available to take its place? Jr. Astronaut Club! It's one of his dreams he has consistently talked about for the last couple of years. Going to space! He is ecstatic.
JAN11 - 3 Yellow Gifts of Fresh Mercy
  • Surprising stretches of bright sunlight on this dreary, windy day.
  • Our yellow hen, Goldy, gifted us an egg today!
  • Mirabelle's warm, post-nap glow.
JAN12 - Something Above, Below, Beside
  • Above: God's response to Moses' anxieties and questions about the future: "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14
  • Beside: Sharing scriptures with my oldest from our devotionals. "Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ." Ephesians 4:32
  • Below: The boys in their bedroom in the basement expending some of their energy and creativity on Lincoln Logs and plastic, creepy-crawly creatures. Their floor is covered.
JAN13 - 3 Things About Yourself You Are Grateful For
  • I'm very uncritical (sometimes to a fault, but I'm often very grateful for this quality as it is probably less stressful of a way to live).
  • I can easily see the big picture. It's not hard for me to step back and look at the overall situation. This is very useful when designing!
  • I always, always want to grow and change for the better, even when it's hard.
JAN14 - 3 Startling Graces of God
  • His peace in saying yes when saying no might be a more logical answer.
  • Fast progress on the next UGM newsletter. Very startling!
  • New friendships and time to cultivate it
JAN15 - A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared
  • Worn: Shane's sweater that shrunk and sorta-kinda fits me now!
  • Given Away: a chunk of dark chocolate to my coworker in the last hour of the work day
  • Shared: A movie with creative friends - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (TOTALLY recommend this one!)
JAN16 - 3 Witnessed Blessings
  • Other kids saying hi to Oliver at his school. He is a likable kid and it makes me happy.
  • Women & children lining up at the Crisis Shelter to check in.
  • A young mother and her daughter's vulnerability in being photographed for the Mission in order to spread the word about the enormous number of homeless women and children in our city/state/nation. She was in awe that she was chosen for the opportunity and raw in her trust that God would protect and provide for her. "I feel special."

Amanda and Daisy - Photo Credit: Jim Swoboda

JAN17 - A Gift Bringing Laughter, Prayer, Quiet

  • Laughter: Mirabelle right out of bed running with excited laughter to the living room to find her doll and squeeze it with utmost affection! It's how I feel each morning for you, sweet Mirabelle, when my eyes first open.
  • Prayer: God showed me just the verses I needed today in a comment on Ann Voskamp's Facebook page to still me as I am anxious to know God's plans saying, "Are we there yet, Dad? Are we there yet? How about now? Tomorrow? Next week?" Job 23:8-10 "Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold."
  • Quiet: A deadline that forced my office door shut most of the day.
JAN18 - 3 Gifts From God’s Word
  • And my God shall supply all my needs...
  • Follow me.
  • God, the Lord, is my strength. ...He makes me tread on high places.
JAN19 - 3 Gifts That Might Never Have Been
  • Skipped church. Cartoons for them and rare chill time for me!
  • 3 a.m. design progress due to a restless night of weaning.
  • I almost stayed home to get some things done and I would've missed the best football game I've ever paid attention to. Plus great food and fun people. That was FUN! And Lord knows we need it. GO SEAHAWKS!
JAN20 - 3 Gifts Only Seen Close Up
  • Mirabelle’s soft baby skin and fine, wispy hair.
  • My acne that started appearing once I started weaning Mirabelle. I think the gift here is the humbling opportunity of growth in the area of self-consciousness, which is certainly something I desire freedom from.
  • Oliver’s little Angry Bird he made from scrap paper. Seeing my children be creative like this is incredibly satisfying! I can imagine more clearly now that God, our Father, receives joy from our ideas and mini-creations. :)
JAN21 - A Gift in Sky, Water, Memory
  • Sky: It’s getting lighter! It’s no longer pitch black when I leave work.
  • Water: The cute face behind this cup of water
  • Memory: A few years ago I played Quelf with my siblings and my brother got the worst scenarios dealt to him and I crack up every time I think of it. I'm sorry, Evan, for laughing...kind of.
JAN22 - A Gift Wrinkled, Smoothed, Unfolded
  • Wrinkled: Kid artwork and school papers that are overflowing our living room.
  • Smoothed: brushing Mirabelle’s hair. Makes her happy and calms her.
  • Unfolded: The mystery of when my sister is going to go to have this baby. TODAY!
JAN23 - 3 Gifts Found in Christ
  • His GRACE is sufficient and His POWER made perfect in my weakness. Mind blowing. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • New life - in so many ways. Welcome to the world, Ezra Neuman Hall. 7 lbs. 2 oz. 20 inches long. My sweet nephew whom I love so much already.
Photo Credit: @nocoastsurfer
  • His presence. It’s always a well that overflows and I’m never without. Can I remember that?

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