Friday, October 30, 2015

3 gifts on Time: The Joy Dare

I often do not see time as a gift.  I am slightly OCD. I get a rush in being organized even with my time, but the pressure to get everything done that I would like creates added stress. 

I remember showing a friend of mine "my ideal week" schedule and she told me how just looking at it, stressed her out!

I am thankful for this joy dare that causes me to stop and see things as gifts. 

 As a homeschool mom of a preschooler and two elementary kids most of my mornings are consumed with teaching, cleaning and cooking all at the same time. I understand this is my season. Unfortunately, I am often deceived that being a mom isn't enough and I miss the gifts of taking time to enjoy this season of giggles, simple tears, big faith, tender kisses and tight hugs.

The Lord is showing me to open up my eyes because...
As I spent hours yesterday washing, folding and putting away laundry I was clouded by the vastness of the job and had to search deep and hard for it's beauty.

 My little girl came up to me and said "Mommy I know what I want to be  when I grow up" (she is only 3). I responded "really?" as I picked up her fragile little frame and put her onto my lap. She said "yes, I want to be a mommy when I grow up".  

Those words were medicine to my soul. Even after all my failures, and there are quite a few, she sees what I am doing daily as something admirable. Thank you Lord Jesus for making my broken beautiful. 

So this is my life verse and prayer. I want to live carefully and wisely, so that I make the most of every opportunity to show Christ in my life. I don't want to live thoughtlessly but I want to know my Lord so intimately that I understand what pleases Him most, so that He is most glorified. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

3 gifts in Christ: The Joy Dare

1. In Christ I am greatly blessed...
My sleep, my rising up each day, the ability to see, to breathe, to laugh, to cry is a gift given by God through Christ because all things were created through him and for him. In Christ I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

2. In Christ I am highly favored...
He chose me with all my stubborn, defiant, rebellious sin. He spared not his own Son so that I  can have free access to the holy of holies. I can draw near  with a true heart in full assurance of  faith because I am highly favored in Christ.

3. In Christ I am deeply loved...
 I love Him because He loved me first. He paid the ultimate price to show me His love...
why do I doubt it?

There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him . 
Oswald Chambers

Here is a link to the song

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A gift Humbling, Honoring, Happy: The Joy Dare

an honoring gift...
"Service is the overflow which pours from a life filled with love and devotion...The Son of God reveals Himself in me, and out of devotion to Him service becomes my everyday way of life."
 Oswald Chambers

A humbling gift...
The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him. The goal of the call of God is His satisfaction, not simply that we should do something for Him. 
Oswald Chambers

A happy gift...
 at the creek with the kiddos and friends

Tell me about your gifts...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

3 gifts extravagant: The Joy Dare


  1. spending much more than necessary or wise
  2. excessively high
  3. exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions, demands, opinions, or passions.
  4. going beyond what is deserved or justifiable 
  5. obsolete. wandering beyond bounds.

1. I am thankful for the excessively high price Jesus paid on the cross for my sins

2. I am thankful that my husband got up early on the only day he allows himself to sleep in to make breakfast and help clean up

3. I am thankful that God demands me to forgive exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions, demands, opinions, or passions.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, October 26, 2015

3 gifts Accomplished and 3 gifts enjoying: The Joy Dare

When I read the gifts I was to be looking for I was excited to read  3 gifts accomplished.  I thought to myself..."Oh this one will be easy. I know how to get things done."  I began my day with thriving to display my "skills".

Tackling the market in the rain

Homeschooling on Saturday to get done before Christmas
(we are on the peruvian school schedule)


As most of you know, I get a rush in getting tasks done! 

But I am so thankful for how my gracious Father is opening up my eyes and changing my perspective.

Busy is a choice, Stress is a choice, Joy is a choice
Choose Well
Ann Voskamp

So I decided to focus on my 3 gifts enjoying...

Enjoying the gift of imagination...

Enjoying the gift of the Holy Spirit transforming lives...

Enjoying the gift of silly girls and their desire to know God
There is one hiding under the counter

Can't wait to hear from you!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

3 Gifts Begun: The Joy Dare

 Ok, so yesterday's gifts were a bit  more challenging for me as well as the day itself. 
So, here is what I came up with: "3 gifts begun"

#1 His incomprehensible grace in my life ...

He's still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be

'Cause He's still workin' on me 

#2  The complexity of deep friendships in progress...

#3 The gift of another year...
Happy Birthday, sister!

What are your 3 gifts begun? Can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, October 23, 2015

"Take the Joy Dare" with me

It isn't November yet, or a new year, but I've decided to start counting. I want you to join me as often as you can. 

 What is the "Joy Dare"?

 A long time ago a friend encouraged Ann VosKamp to start counting her blessings. She has written a book about her journey. I am not asking you to read her book but I am asking you to start counting with me. 

If we write out 3 things we are grateful each day by this time next year we will have counted 1000 blessings or "gifts" as she puts it. 

She has so kindly made a calendar with prompts to help us "see" the gifts around us.

Yesterday, I was to look for the gift of silent, still and strong. Here is what I found:

A strong man
that faithfully serves God with all he is and has for God's glory not his own. 
I am very thankful for this man.

The stillness of my heart as I listen to God's truth through song.
The perfect wisdom of our God
by Getty

The perfect wisdom of our God
Revealed in all the universe:
All things created by His hand
And held together at His command.
He knows the mysteries of the seas,
The secrets of the stars are His;
He guides the planets on their way
And turns the earth through another day.

The matchless wisdom of His ways
That mark the path of righteousness;
His word a lamp unto my feet,
His Spirit teaching and guiding me.
And O the mystery of the Cross,
That God should suffer for the lost,
So that the fool might shame the wise,
And all the glory might go to Christ!

O grant me wisdom from above,
To pray for peace and cling to love,
And teach me humbly to receive
The sun and rain of Your sovereignty.
Each strand of sorrow has a place
Within this tapestry of grace;
So through the trials I choose to say:
"Your perfect will in Your perfect way.

The silence caused by a cremolada refreshing throats on a hot day.

I look forward to hearing about your gifts!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Learning to release expectations

In my quest for unfading beauty I am learning that the root of joy is gratitude. Being thankful for the smallest gifts my heavenly Father graciously bestows. Unfortunately gratitude is not my default. But my loving Father continually gives me opportunities to open my eyes to the ugliness of my ungrateful heart.

For example, yesterday we had an amazing day planned of hiking, through one of the 7th new wonders of the world. Sounds pretty amazing! Yet, since I am married to the most frugal man in the world, we took the more economical route.
I was leery about taking the "national train" but pleasantly surprised. Yes there were some extra people sitting in the aisles and there was no food or extras but it was decent. I kept prepping myself to look for the hidden blessing and to relax and savour the moment.
 Our hotel that night was simple and comfy. A one star hotel. No bells or whistles but clean and sufficient. We got up early in search for some good cheap breakfast.  I was hoping for something light but nice. Maybe a little quaint cafĂ©.
My money savvy hubby asked a police officer where could we get some cheap breakfast. The kind guard suggested the local market. Let me inform you about "local market restaurants".  They are not known for their higiene nor taste. Yes, the food is cheap but their motto is "eat at your own risk" (ok not really but it sure seems like it). I was not pleased at all and truly struggling to be thankful. I kept praying and asking God to protect us and to help me not spoil the rest of the trip. 

I was thankful for the hour hike that followed. I used most of my time praying and meditating on truth in order to respond correctly. It was definitely a battle of my will versus what I knew God's word  to say. 

We had a wonderful time exploring the ruins, yet still in my heart I thought “God I can understand sacrificing on a daily basis for the sake of the gospel but vacation is different, right? When we vacation it's ok to splurge to stay somewhere "nice" and  to enjoy a higher standard of dining, right?"

That evening I reviewed my day and thanked my precious Father for the many blessings He graciously bestows each day. I asked Him to forgive me for wanting more and for being ungrateful.
This morning we rushed to the airport and to our my surprise, the airlines offered us an extra day in Cusco. They offered to put us up for the night at a four star hotel, pay our meals, pay our transportation, give us vouchers for later flights, as well as pay for the change of flights. I was surprised, excited, and extremely rebuked! 

We took the offer...
 to stay in a 350 year old colonial Spanish "casona"!

We ate delicious food...

 We did a little more sight seeing

 And had an amazing hot shower!

I am continually amazed at His grace and mercy towards me in spite of my sin.

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