"You are where you are for such a time as this -- not to make an impression -- but to make a difference." AnnVoskamp

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Gift on Paper, In a Person, In a Picture

85. A Gift on Paper: I've had so many written blessings today in birthday cards and greetings - how fun!

86. A Gift in Person: I was able to hear Ann Voskamp at Women of Faith in November and that was a real gift for me. Hearing her speak made it easier for me to read her book and to understand the way she writes.
87. In a Picture: My wedding pictures were taken by a friend I used to work with. She was killed in an accident a few months after my wedding. These pictures not only represent one of the most memorable days of my life, they are also a reminder of my friend, Michelle. I miss her.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

3 Old Things Seen New

82. My Dad is a farmer. He is also a very good welder. I've never known him to weld anything that wasn't for "work." Farm machinery - you know, that type of stuff... Until a few years ago. I went out to the farm and started seeing a new "hobby" for him. Making new things out of old stuff!

 This is a really cool turning clothes line! and behind it on the left is a storm shelter he welded together and then buried! Very clever.

 There are several "whirley gigs" around the place! What a blessing that my Dad can continue to do what he enjoys.

83. Randy and I supplement our retirement income by selling used books on Amazon. When we go to estate sales and garage sales - the books that seem old to others take on a "new" meaning for us because we see them as potential inventory. Our being able to do this job we love is a true blessing from God.

Our Inventory

84. Now, this grace may seem odd... Old things seen new - ME. Tomorrow I turn 60. Every day is a new adventure for me. Everyday I look for the blessings flowing over me. I don't have to look hard. They are just there. I went through a period of time when I felt old. I had a hard time seeing/feeling/grasping the blessings. But I kept looking to God. Kept "expecting" His grace. And one day, I felt Him again. Deep in my bones. Deep in my soul. I felt new again. - Even as new as I had  y.e.a.r.s. ago when I first accepted Him as my Savior. He had always been there by me. With me. God shows me grace in every breath I take.  

 A Woman Saved by Grace

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Song Heard, A Soft Word, A Light Seen

79. A Song Heard:  My favorite Hymn. I'm always encouraged when I hear this uplifting song. When Randy and I got married, we used this as our procession!

80. A soft word: A friend gave me a framed verse one time "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. I hear God best when I am still and listen for that quiet voice.

81. A light seen: We have a fabulous small group. So many Bible "scholars." I am so excited when I learn something new. I've always known and always said every time you study Gods Word you learn something new, I don't know why I'm always so astonished when that happens!! LOVE that light coming on as I learn a new truth from God's Word.

(I have 2 other songs I wanted to post with "Joyful, Joyful" but I'm tech challenged and just couldn't get it figured out... I will learn soon."

Monday, January 28, 2013

3 Graces Found in Friends

76. Accepting me for who I am.

77. Giving me support while knowing my faults.

78. Helping me be a better person.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

3 Gifts From the Kitchen

76. The first thought in my mind anytime I think of blessings in the kitchen is HOT WATER. When we lived overseas, I didn't have a hot water heater. All water for cleaning, washing dishes - had to be heated on the stove. Yes, we all took "cold" showers. I am so very thankful for running hot water.

77. Of course, you know, if I'm thankful for the hot water, I am also very very thankful for a dishwasher!! This is an appliance that I so love! I try NOT to ever complain about loading or unloading it!! I wish I would have had one of these all the years I was raising 4 kids!!

78. Now, I could go many different directions here. Food, other appliances but probably my favorite thing in my kitchen is my "Hippy Chick Wall Decor." And yes, that was the name on the side of the box when we bought it!!! And I do call it that and I do say it very fast!! L.O.V.E  it!

(it's about 38 inches across)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Gift Before Dawn, At Noon, and After Dark

73. A Gift Before Dawn: My Husband is an early riser. I'm not. That doesn't mean I'm not awake, it just means I stay in bed until around 7:30. I've found this is a good time for me to pray and read my "one thousand gifts devotional." This works well for me us.

74. At Noon: Usually at noon most of us think of eating lunch. Or on the farm we had dinner at noon. I'm so very grateful that I have never gone hungry. God has always provided for me. What a real blessing.

75. After Dark: The best part of the day is cuddling with my husband at bedtime. A true gift.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Grace Borrowed, Found, Inherited

70. A Grace Borrowed: My friend Ellen loaned me a book a few weeks ago. The reason this is so special - and not just a general book loaning is because the one she loaned me had been autographed by the author and was her special copy!

71. A grace found: I have always enjoyed using a hymnal in my quiet times. I have always had a favorite Hymnal that I used and in the move I misplaced it one way or another. I contacted one of my old friends and she found a copy for me.

72. A Gift Inherited. Many years ago, my Grandma gave me several pieces of furniture that she had. But to me the furniture represents much more than "wood" formed together to make a useful piece. It represents my heritage. The piece that came across the water so many years ago, then rode in the wagon during the land run. - you know, that kind of heritage!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

3 Things Blue

70. Blue eyes run in our family. Not all of my grands have blue eyes - but many do!

71. The different blues of the sky.

72. I'm just thankful for the color blue. All shades, my favorite color. It is a happy color, as my friend Debra says, it is a calming color, it's a color I L.O.V.E. to wear. A world without this color would be a drab world indeed. Thank you God, for blue.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

3 Gifts Found in Christ

67. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28

68.  ".. and I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Matt 16: 18
69. "... that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life." John 3:15

3 of the many gifts found in Christ... rest, my church, eternal life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Gift Wrinkled, Smoothed, and Unfolded

64. A Gift Wrinkled: The wrinkles on my Grandma Velma's face always mesmerized me. Her face was so soft and I've always been convinced it was from her wrinkles. That spot at the base of her neck was the softest and I used to love to pat her there. She's been gone many years. Now, my face is growing soft like hers was. That spot at the base of my neck is getting softer and softer. What a blessing aging can be is.

65. A Gift Smoothed: Ironing. This is not  my favorite job to do. In fact, many times Randy does the ironing. - Okay, ALL the time. But what a blessing that we have clothes to iron, electricity to heat the iron and the ability to do the ironing. (and thank you Randy!)

66. A Gift Unfolded: When we do the laundry, after taking the clothes out of the dryer, we pile them on the bed to fold. They smell so clean and fresh.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Gift in Sky, Water, and Memory

61. I love the rolling clouds of a good old fashioned thunder storm! The thunder and the smell. What a gift we have in all the different weather patterns! Never a dull moment in the midwest!

62. Baptism. My Baptism, the baptism of my children. A gift that is more precious than anything anyone can give. Faith.

63. Since my mind is on baptism, the memory that comes to mind right now is my oldest son, Tim. He had asked to be baptized. One night after his bath time  he was probably about 7, he said "Mom, you don't have to worry about me getting baptized anymore, I knew all the right words and I just did it myself while I was taking a bath."  Love, love, love that memory!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

3 Gifts Only Seen Close Up

58. Flowers peeking out of the ground after a long winter of cold.

59. The wheat grains in the wheat stocks. My Dad's livelihood.

60. The freckles on my kids faces when they were young - (and even now) and my grands freckles. Love them!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

3 Gifts That Might Never Have Been

55. My beautiful youngest grand. My daughter had her oldest daughter and when they were ready to have another baby she had several miscarriages. It was so hard on her physically and emotionally and it was hard on her husband, too. I kept encouraging her that one would be good. Then - a gift from God - they had their youngest! She is a joy! and she is FUNNY!! 

56. My marriage is a gift that might never have been if I hadn't trusted God in giving me  a second chance.

57. I lived in Wichita in the late '80's and early '90's.  For me to come back is truly a gift that was given to me only through the grace of God.

Friday, January 18, 2013

3 Gifts From God's Word

52. The first gift I received from God is found in Genesis 1:27, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.

53. The most important gift from God is found in John 3:16, For God loved the world so much He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

54. God's gift to me that I can turn around to offer back to Him. Hebrews 13:15, Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Gift Bringing Laughter, Prayer, Quiet

48. Today we went to YAH - Young at Heart - at our church. Harlan Beaver, an 81 year old Christian gave his testimony. We laughed and cried with him as he shared about his life of faith and  60 years of marriage to a wonderful woman who died last year.

49. Praying together with our small group on Tuesday evenings.

50. The peaceful quiet I felt when I heard about my friends Mother dying earlier this week after a battle with cancer. My friend, Diane, is in my thoughts often.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

3 Witnessed Blessings

46.  Randy taking 3 Middle School boys to their youth group. Sowing seeds.

47.  A kindness from the Schwan's man to my Mom and Dad.

48.  Witnessing the fellowship and camaraderie in our small group. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared

A Gift Worn
43. The "gift" I wear that means the most to me are my wedding rings. Randy picked them out himself and he couldn't have done a better job! I love them. I love what they represent.
I love that the man I love gave them to me.

A Gift Given Away
44. A few months ago, at an estate sale, I purchased beautiful copies of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I fell in love with the covers, the illustrations - everything about them are beautiful.  My grand daughter, Lauren, asked for Jane Eyre for Christmas. What better copy to give as a gift than this set I found. So I gave them to her - and I'm so excited she has such beautiful copies to keep as her own.

A Gift Shared
45. I have several grands that share my love of reading. So not too long ago, I purchased Patty Reed's Doll, I read it and now I've passed it on to another grand to read. Once she's read it, I'm hoping to have a mini-book-club with her and discuss it! Can't wait to share in this with her.


Monday, January 14, 2013

3 Startling Graces of God

Grace - receiving something you don't deserve.
Startling - surprising, astonishing.

40. I've been most surprised and undeserving of my husband. God has given me a gift I never ever imagined.

41. I'm so very thankful for the years I was granted in serving in churches. I loved being a part of Ministry. Every experience was a surprise and a blessing.

42. Our small group. So very excited for this grace as we grow spiritually and in friendships. I'm not sure what I "expected" but I am so surprised by the rapport in this group.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

3 Things About Myself That I am Grateful For

37. I have discovered that I am resilient. This was a good thing for me to learn.

38. I love to laugh and am thankful to have a sense of humor.

39. Several years ago, I came across this quote: 
"Be kinder than necessary - for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." 
  "Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."  Attributed to both T.H. Thompson and John Watson
I have tried to live this quote.  One time Randy said to me, "You are the kindest person I have ever met." This means so much to me because I really do strive to live this lifestyle.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Something Above, Below, Beside

34. The assurance I have in Heaven.

35. The book inventory we carry and store in the basement storage room!

36. Psalm 16:8 "I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." He is always at my side.

Friday, January 11, 2013

3 Yellow Gifts of Fresh Mercy

31. I love flowers. In the early spring my backyard flowerbeds erupt in yellow daffodils. That's when I know, a new beginning is around the corner. God's promise to me that before long, my yard will be full of yellows, reds. purples, - green. Spring. Breathe deep. Smell the dirt. Thank you, Lord.  

32. I'm a list maker. God has blessed me with a need for organization! These small yellow legal pads are perfect to make lists and notes. I have one in my purse, one in my Bible bag, one in the kitchen, one on my desk and extra ones in a drawer of my desk. They keep me sane.

 33.  My favorite vegetable. I like it on the cob. I like it off the cob. I like it grilled. I like it frozen. I like it out of a can. However, the only way I like "creamed corn" is in fritters!!

But there's more to this corn than you can see. 

I'm from a small town in Oklahoma. There is a Christian couple that lives in this same area. (neither of us lives(ed) "in town" I lived in the country - as do they. This picture is a part of their crop. Even though we attended different churches, even though we never "hung" out together - every time I see corn, I think of them, say a prayer for them. You see, they raise another "crop", too. They raise children. - But you should hear that story from them.  Check out their Blog at  One More Ladybug

*Thank you to Connie Johnson for her picture of their corn!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Gift Sour, Sweet, Just Right

31. Lemons, of course! I don't anymore, but when I was a child I would ask my Mom for a lemon and would cut it in half, put salt on it and eat it!! I loved them.

32. I don't eat many sweets but I do like sweet tea. I enjoy subtly sweet. - peppernuts or cookies that aren't real sweet. I enjoy blueberries.

33. I am so contented right where I am in my life - it is "just right."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Gift Held, Passed By and Sat With

 25. I love my Bible. Randy and I have talked about getting me a new one, but this one I've had since 1999 and it has so many notes in it. I don't want to start over. Of course I am more than pleased to study this book, to read it, but often, I just like to hold it. God's Word. It brings me peace.


26. The Oklahoma landscape is a gift to me. I love all that I see. Every time I pass a field of cattle, I think of the song "He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills." I can see God in all that is around me.  

27. I hate it that my Mom broke her hip, but I have been blessed by setting with her - and with my dad. God can uses all circumstances to bless us - if we let him.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

dusky light, surprising reflection, lovely shadow

Had I looked at my gifts for today - earlier in the day - I would have tried taking pictures for these graces. But I was preparing for our small group this evening and didn't look until after 9:00 pm. I usually do this when I wake up... But didn't today. But - even without pictures I do have some gifts from God that can fit into this category! YEA, God!

22. I love the evenings. When things are slowing down and Randy and I are in the living room sharing our time together. Either reading or enjoying some of the television shows we like. We almost always have the blinds up and can watch the sun set and look out on the beautiful yard God created and Randy maintains with lots of work!

23. I often stop and take a second look when I'm passing a mirror and with a glance, I see my Aunt Linda! I think it's interesting that I look more like her than my Mom. - or at least to me I do. It's always a surprise. But a blessing too. Don't you think it's a blessing when you look like you "belong" to a family? 

24. I am so very thankful for the shade trees in our back yard. It seems like such an oasis on those hot summer days. The shadows cover almost the whole back yard.


Monday, January 7, 2013

3 Graces From People You Love

19. My husband cleans the kitchen every day. I love that he does this.
20. The love and support I receive from my children and their spouses.

21. My step daughter and her family have accepted me without hesitation.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

One thing in my bag, my fridge, my heart

16. My miscellaneous bag I carry in my bag. I'm so thankful for this small bag because it keeps things from making a mess in my purse. It includes small scissors, a small tape measure, lip balm, nitroglycerin tablets, Tylenol, hand sanitizer, and a few more things!

17. I am so thankful that I have never gone hungry. God has always provided me with enough to eat. I'm thankful for everything I have in my fridge.

18. I have so much love in my heart. I'm thankful for Jesus, Randy, my kids, my grand kids, my many friends, relatives. I'm so very thankful for all those I carry in my heart.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Something your reading, making, seeing.

13. Something I'm reading: Right now I am reading "Church History in Plain Language: Third Edition" by Bruce Shelley.

14. Something I'm making:  I'm trying to make my blog a better blog.

15. Something I'm seeing: I've watched the last of the snow melt from the back yard today.  (So very thankful for the moisture.)


Friday, January 4, 2013

A Gift Old, New and Blue

 10. My Great Grandma's bed

 11. To record our lives.

12. To remind me of my gifts

Thursday, January 3, 2013

3 Graces Overheard

Grace. Receiving what you don't deserve.

3 Graces Overheard:

7. "Mom"

8. "Grammy"  "Mammy"

9. The first time Randy said "I love you." This was pure grace.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Gift Outside, Inside, On a Plate

4. Our Deck. 
I am so thankful for this peaceful place to spend time.
5. Our home. Here with Randy. 
So blessed.
6. God knows my love for fried chicken, 
mashed potatoes & gravy.
A love since my childhood.

3 Gifts Heard

I'm going to confuse everyone by starting with number one since it is the first day of a new year. I received a copy of "One Thousand Gifts Devotional" for Christmas and am starting at the beginning - having saved all of my other gifts! 

3 Gifts Heard:

1. Randy telling me he loves me.

2. The voices of my grands.

3. Music. Hymns. Praise songs. Instrumental solos. Orchestras.