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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

3 Gifts Seen As Reflections

163. The most obvious reflection that come to mind are children. My children, my grands, young people that see me at church, at the store.

Dorothy Law Nolte
If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.
With what is your child living?
If I reflect Christ, others will reflect Christ. I am not perfect, as others see my imperfections and how I handle them - that is what I would hope for them to reflect..

l64. Once my girls reached junior high age, I always told them "It doesn't matter what you look like on the outside if you aren't pretty on the inside." 

When I look in the mirror at the end of the day, my image reflects my 60 years but it also reflects all that I have done, said and thought during the day. I can see inside for who I really am. And I hope I can pray, "Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin." Psalm 17:3.

165. God's Word reflects how I should be thinking, living, treating others. My measurement of "success" comes from that "mirror."

A Gift Worn Out, New, Made-Do

Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Or do without

160. A Gift Worn Out: When my Mom came home from hospital - after breaking her hip - my Dad had sorted through some things and he put her worn clothing items in a stack for her to decide what to do with them. One was a sweatshirt she had purchased Y.E.A.R.s ago! I know she didn't want to get rid of it - it was so soft - you know how sweatshirts get softer as they age - kind of like many of us. Our rules and regulations don't mean quite so much as we near the winter of our lives. It was a true gift for me to watch my parents as they decided what to keep - what to make do - with and what to throw away. (my Dad never throws anything away! - he just got a new rag!)

161. A Gift New: For my 60th birthday this year, Randy gave me a once in a lifetime gift! He took me to a very nice store and let me shop! We had so much fun. So I came home with some beautiful new clothes! (+ turquoise boots!) I expect these clothes to last me for many many years! Maybe even the rest of my life. - As much as I want to believe I will lose weight and they will become too big - - hmmm, I really doubt that will happen!

162. A Gift Made-do: Before the move to Jamaica in 1991, we went to an auction and bought a box full of sheets. White cotton sheets. I LOVED THOSE SHEETS! -especially in Jamaica. They were so cool when one would crawl into bed. I have one left. After all these years. But it was wearing out, I just couldn't bear to get rid of that old cotton sheet so I mended it. It's at the bottom of the bed so I really don't think guests notice it. If they do they are too polite to mention it!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

3 Gifts Before 11:00

157. Well, anytime you get up in the morning and all is well with the world, it's a gift, right? I'm thankful I was well and alive this morning to rise.

158. Having been housebound for a few days due to weather, being able to get out and go to Church was a great blessing.

159. After Church, we went to Brunch and realized the whole City apparently had been suffering from cabin fever! Going out with the husband was a great gift.

A Gift of Tin, Glass, Wood

154. A Gift of Tin: "Tin Cans" of food in our pantry - "Tins" in our pantry - wherever you're from, how ever you say it, whatever your canned goods are called, after a snow storm and being home bound - it's very nice to have the pantry restocked for the N.E.X.T. storm coming in tonight!

 155.   A Gift  of Glass: The most important gift of  "glass" I have ever received has been my eye glasses. I have had them since 4th grade and I am unable to go without them. Let me tell you a story including my glasses and an angel!  In 1999, I was in a car accident, my car flipped 4 times from front to back, landed on the wheels, my hands were still on the steering wheel and my first thought (believe it or not) was "I need my glasses. God, please help me find my glasses." Anyway, a man saw the accident and came to my window to see if he could help and I asked him if he could see my glasses anywhere. The drivers window was broken out - I figured they were in the grass somewhere. He found them on the floor in the back seat - folded exactly like they are in this picture. We were both very surprised. - I'm convinced an angel found them (caught them) folded them and put them in the back seat.

I am virtually blind with out my glasses. So thankful for this gift where the glass is so important for me to drive, to read, to see.

155. A Gift of Wood: My dining room table is such a great gift. With all the leaves in, it can usually seat whatever guests we have visiting. A meal shared, with everyone together, what a great great blessing.

Friday, February 22, 2013

3 Gifts That Changed Today

151. Every Thursday and Friday, Randy and I go "sale-ing."  So with "snow 2013" - yesterday and today we have stayed at home. It has been fun. We've watched a movie, westerns, HGTV, Randy and Andru have shoveled snow and I've cooked and baked! We've played numerous games of "Words With Friends" - Randy on the couch me in my chair! It has been nice. It has been relaxing. It's been a true gift. - and a big change from our regular Friday.

152. A change from yesterday - our driveway is cleared off.

153. My sweet husband had me change his profile picture on faceback. Big change!  : )
He is such a blessing - such a gift to me and I love it when I get to "help" him with stuff!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

3 Gifts White

148. This is really funny to me! 3 Gifts White! Our city has received 14.2 inches of snow since yesterday morning! Everything is white and beautiful!! Of course it's beautiful to me because I didn't have to get out! We need the moisture so badly. I hope my Dad got some of this moisture.

149. A white screen on blogger to fill with words that may not matter in the grand scheme of things - but they mean much to me - and to my husband. We are greatly blessed to have this "journal" of our lives.

150. Soft tissue. A luxury I am so thankful for. It is an object we take for granted - our children, our grandchildren may never understand the luxury this is.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Gift at Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

145. A Gift at Breakfast: 

146. A Gift at Lunch:

146. A Gift at Dinner:

Such a blessing to get some much needed moisture.

Monday, February 18, 2013

3 Gifts That Were Plan B

142. When I married in 1972, I married a grocer. After seven years he decided he  was being called into the full time ministry. It was a plan B. This plan B began some of the most God blessed years of my life. 

143. I  expected to be married to this grocer/minister for the rest of my life. Plan B is Randy. The very best Plan B in my life. I am so God Blessed with this Plan B that I am giddy with joy at all times. 

144. Anytime one lives with teens, one learns how to jump to Plan B - C - and sometimes D.  But God uses these times to teach flexibility and patience. I like plans but I have also learned that going with the flow blesses everyone involved.

3 Gifts on Paper

139. My most treasured "paper" is my Bible. 
"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

140. I need a new Bible. Mine is old and worn. It has my old name on it. BUT  when Randy and I talked about it I decided I just couldn't replace my old Bible. It has all my notes in it. And I love to read my notes as I read my Bible. I got this Bible in January 1990. So it has 23 years of notes. They are important to me. I have added other translations to my library but my Bible is my main source for study.

141. For a reader, all books are a gift. I'm so thankful for my love of reading and so thankful to live in a country that lets everyone enjoy the books they choose.

3 Gifts Found in Giving and Serving

136. A Gift in Serving: I  am so blessed to host our small group with my husband. We have been blessed with a home that has space for a group to gather, study, pray, fellowship and encourage one another to serve our God.

137. A Gift in Giving: I am blessed when I give gifts to others. When we go to our garage and estate sales, we often see items that make us think of others and if they aren't too expensive we buy them to present as gifts. - not to receive anything in return but because we like to give. It really is true that the giver is more blessed than the receiver.

138. A Gift in Giving: I get so excited when I see people using the gifts God has given them to use in a church body and for His kingdom. We've been God blessed in our church to have had an intensive study of our spiritual gifts. Now as we join together to use these gifts I am praying to see lives changed.

A Gift in Shadows

133. Psalm 17:3 is a verse I pray often  - "Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing, I have resolved that my mouth will not sin." 

But a gift in shadow's comes in verse 8: "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings." 

134.  Psalm 91:1 "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."

135. Psalm 36:7 "How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 

And what a wonderful feeling it is to be protected by God's protective shield, His shadow.

A Gift in Losing, Finding, Making Something

130. A Gift in Losing: I put things up - then I can't find them. I'm sure if I think this through I can find the "gift" in this... right now I'm hard pressed to think of the gift! I am thankful that I have things to put up - to lose....

131. A Gift in Finding: Anytime I find something that has been lost I say "God be Praised." - Which is what Katherine Luther used to say - according to the book "Kitty My Rib."

132. A Gift in Making: I love to cook. I enjoy having good meals for the husband and Andru. I appreciate Pinterest which gives me new recipes all of the time. When I cook for my family I'm always happy. Then the husband cleans up! Best gift ever!! A gift from him and knowing he is my great gift from God. He is a dear.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

3 Ways I Feel the Love of God

127. When I have bad times - and we all have them at some time, I know God is with me. Even if I'm not calling out to Him, I know He is there. Even if I'm hiding from Him, I know He still sees me, He still loves me. I am assured of His presence of His love - e.v.e.n. when I am not allowing Him access to me. He guards me, He loves me, - He forgives me. Most important, He forgives me. His love pours down over me. I feel His love.

128. When I have good times - I know they come from Him. I know His blessings. His peace, His presence, His love. Even when I forget to thank Him, to praise Him - I know He is there. I know He loves me. He forgives me. His love pours down over me. I feel His love.

129. When life is just rocking along in a normal way - no bad times - nothing "exciting" just my normal life, I know He is with me. I feel His constant presence, His constant peace. I feel Him with me. He guards me, He loves me, He blesses me. He forgives me. I constantly feel His love. No matter where I am. His love pours down over me. I feel His love.

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

3 Gifts Behind Doors

124. My gift behind this back door is my Mom and Dad. Today is my day in Oklahoma. I had such a good visit with them. Not only am I blessed to have them as my parents, but that they are still with us!

125. On my way to Oklahoma I saw this truck. "Feed the Children." Behind this door is a man that is dedicated to deliver these goods where they are needed. He is a blessing to families all over.
"Founded in 1979, Feed The Children is an international nonprofit relief organization that delivers:
  • food
  • medicine
  • and other necessities
to children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disasters.
Feed The Children distributes more than 104 million pounds of food and essentials to children and families in all 50 states and around the world every year."

 126. Behind this door is my greatest gift. My husband. Our home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

3 Hard Eucharisteos

Finding thanks in the hard things of life...

November 26, 1961
121.  My small church in Oklahoma just wore out. All the members were older, the minister resigned and after much prayer, much thought, much agonizing, these beautiful, wonderful members decided to close their doors. This was one of the hardest times of my life but I was and am so very thankful that I had an opportunity to share in the lives of these people. Jonathan rang the church bell every Sunday after services until he went away to college. Then Jackson was living with us and he took over that responsibility until he went to live with his Mom. Then I took over this blessing! The day they sold the building at auction, before I left, I rang the bell one last time. Beautiful memories in that old building.

122. Going through a divorce after 37 years of marriage was another hard time in my life. When my marriage ended, I also lost my life long minister. That was a double blow. I determined to let God get me through these times and let Him give me the courage of Joshua and the grace and dignity of Esther. He provided. He blessed me tremendously. He helped me get through a "mess" while holding my head up high. I am so thankful for what He taught me during these bleak years. - and so very thankful for His blessings.

My Mom and Dad before their 50th wedding anniversary in 2007

123.  At 1:07am I awaken, hearing the muted sound of my parents voices through the wall.  Then I hear her walker as he helps her down the hall. I want to get up to help but I know they need to do this by themselves. I'm leaving tomorrow today. "Help me Lord to find joy in this. Help me to find your peace." 

At 1:43 things quiet down again. I have reached that time in my life. Children worrying caring for parents. I've heard about it for years. Helped with my Mother-in-law, Anne. But now it's my turn. All of our lives have been changed by that one fall. The one that broke her hip.

As I think  pray through this "gift hard" - I realize that thanksgiving - grace - joy can't be just this isolated instance of life with my parents but this life as a whole.
My story with my Mom begins H.E.R.E at this blog and it's been a gift  hard from that point.

I'm so thankful for my story with my Mom. With my Dad. I'm who I am today because of the foundational years from them.

And I would be very remiss if I left out my Thanksgiving for my brother and his wonderful wife - who became my sister when they married.

(This "Hard Eucharisteos" was first published in November of 2012. But once I decided to begin the joy-dare with 2013 I realized my gift - hard is the same and so chose to share it again.)


3 Gifts in Working

118. I have never been more blessed than when working from home. I am a home-body. I love being at home and I am so very thankful that I can now work from home. Besides, I'm doing what I love to do! 

119. My co-worker! Working with my husband is a blessing beyond belief! Love what I do, love where I do it and love who I work with!

120. I am blessed with having great flexibility in my work. Being my own boss (well, I do let Randy think he's the boss)  : )  lets me get off the schedule when I need too.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

3 Gifts of Laughter

I love laughter. I believe it is good for the soul. I believe it heals. I love to laugh. I love to make others laugh. I believe God loves laughter.

115. The laughter I shared with Dalene, Ellen, and others during the fellowship time between Sunday School and Church. Such a wonderful feeling. Then during the sermon, when the full congregation laughed with Pastor Brad while he was telling of being at "home" during a family reunion. It is such a blessing to laugh with others at church.

116. Randy and I always have a good time and we seem to laugh a lot. Blessings from God.
117. One of my favorite movies is "Mary Poppins." In the past I've had the joyous opportunity to have "slumber parties" with my grands. We always watched this movie and had such good times. The boys have outgrown this fun time! we always have fun and it's so fun to hear the laughter. - And to laugh with with them.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

3 Surprise Gifts - Unexpected Grace

112. I love reading my Bible. I think I've even mentioned before, I even love just holding my Bible. God's Word. I have favorite books, favorite verses. But it is always a surprise when I read a verse - again - yet it says something new to me. Depending on where I am in my life and what God needs to say to me - it's always a new blessing to learn. It is an unexpected grace - every time.

113. We have friends coming this evening for dinner. New friends to me - old friends for Randy. It has been an unexpected grace the way his friends have accepted me so readily. We have such good times and good discussions.

@ the Nifty Nut House

114. One of my favorite books of the Bible is Esther. She is an amazing woman. An amazing example. I've always enjoyed the book for the "story" it tells us. But a few years ago, when my life got turned upside down, I looked at Esther in a different light. I wanted her grace. I wanted her dignity. I wanted to be quiet when I needed to be quiet. I wanted to listen. - to learn. I wanted to act when it was God telling me to act. It was an unexpected grace to take this Queen's characteristics and learn from them.


(when I say "story" in this blog, I do not mean I think of anything in the Bible as just a story. I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. - Every word of it. You can check out my "what I believe" tab to read my beliefs.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Gift Broken, Fixed, Thrifted

109. A Gift Broken: We headed to Hutchinson today to go to an estate sale. On our way back we stopped in Yoder and ate at Carriage Crossing. We had the nicest waitress ever! (I highly recommend this restaurant) As we pulled into Carriage Crossing we noticed our van was smoking. It didn't really seem much of a gift at that time but became a gift with -

110. A Gift Fixed: When we left the Carriage Crossing in Yoder we headed to Haven which was just a few miles up the road and went to the Shep Chevrolet dealership. I can honestly say, I have never been to a car dealership with such friendly people. Very kind and nice. They gave us a loaner car and are repairing the van. Then are bringing it to us this evening here at home. I believe they have acquired some new customers. It's always a gift when someone is kind.

111. A Gift Thrifted: Every week our good buys - "thrifts" - at sales are always a gift. We depend on this inventory to pay my health insurance. 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Gift at 11:30, 2:30, 6:30

106. On Thursdays we go to estate sales and garage sales, today as I was watching for 11:30 to roll around for my gift prompt I was thinking about how blessed I am to have a car - that gets good gas mileage - to travel all over the city to buy inventory for a job I love.

107. Again, I was watching for 2:30 to come around and we were at the Home Show. I am blessed to have two good legs to walk around and enjoy something as simple as a Home Show. 

108. At 6:30 we were at a Yearly Church Business Meeting! UGH, right? Actually, it was not too bad! I've been in the "church" business almost all of my adult life and I will admit, although Randy didn't drag me to the meeting "kicking and screaming" I didn't have a great attitude about going. All was really pretty good but the very best part was the presentation of two men into the ministry - with an ordination service at a later date. This was a true gift. Watching men dedicate themselves to full time ministry.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

3 Gifts Found Outside

103. I call this my happy place! Looking out our living room window into our backyard. When I go to the dentist (my least favorite place! - Sorry Dr. Hall) I close my eyes and picture this view. It's comforting! It's peaceful! A true gift.


 Even in winter I think it's beautiful!

104. My Kansas backyard has a little bit of Oklahoma in it! My windmill. It was in my yard in Oklahoma. I've had it for years. I bought it when I learned that the vibration of the blades spinning keep moles out of your yard. The Oklahoma wind blew it over several times. The blade circle has blown off many times. Then my Dad fixed it. He welded, repaired and painted. He made some incredible stakes to hold it firm to the ground. My dear husband let me bring it. Actually, I didn't ask, he just put it in the back of the truck and made a place for it here in our yard. So this is a gift from "Atwoods," from my Dad and my husband!  The blessing from God.

Even in the winter - I enjoy it!
105. No pictures from last year but I love entertaining outside on the deck. It's such a joy to have stimulating discussions, to enjoy the outdoors, to enjoy friends. I enjoy doing this inside, too, but outside it seems more like a mini-vacation! Another true blessing from God.

A Gift Stitched, Hammered, Woven

100. A Gift Stitched: Quilting and Quilts. It's an art putting quilt pieces together. I love fabric. I've received some beautiful quilts as gifts and I've made some quilts and given as gifts. Quilting is a gift that brings many peace and comfort.

 Purchased at the Mennonite Sale in 2011.

 Given to us as a wedding gift 
by Jean Ann Jantzen French.
Purchased at the Mennonite Sale in 2011

101. A Gift Hammered: Last year for our first anniversary we bought each other a playhouse for our Grands. Then we put it together!! What fun we had! It was our first major project together and was a bonding gift, too!

 Our Finished Project!

102. A Gift Woven: A few years ago, my daughter, Holly was teaching English as a Second Language in Texas. She purchased a beautiful spread from one of her students. Her student was from Burundi, they were refugees from the Rwandan genocide from 1994. This was a gift woven from the student, to Holly, to me. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

3 Gifts Found When Bent Down

97. All of my grands - when young. Now I look UP to two of them - in the eyes (almost) of the third and bend down to only 2!! They grow up so fast!

98. Our daffodils and hyacinths are peeking out of the ground.

99. My lower shelves of books! 


3 Gifts Found in Writing

Well, yesterday's prompts and today's could/should be interchanged for me!!

94. 4 in 1. My children's Birth Certificates. Each birth was a great blessing to me. 

95. My Marriage Certificate.

96. Every once in a while I receive a letter from the wonderful people that were members of my church in Oklahoma. I love hearing from these beautiful people. I Cherish these letters.

3 Gifts on Paper

91. I'm trying to be more organized with my blogging for this year. I'm hoping this schedule on paper will be a gift to my life!

92. I have a small trunk on my dresser. I put all the cards Randy gives me in this. 

93. I've mentioned the hymnal I was missing and my friend found one for me and sent it to me. One of the reasons I enjoy this hymnal so much is because it has the songs I learned as a child - in our small Southern Baptist Church. It also has the hymns I learned and loved as a young adult becoming so active in my home church Oakwood Christian Church.


Friday, February 1, 2013

3 Gifts Red

88. I love flowers. I can truly see the hand of God each spring when the flowers start blooming. I don't have a favorite color but I think every flower garden should proudly show off red!

89. One of my grands has red hair. I always wanted a red headed boy. I had to wait for grands to get him! He is so handsome! He truly is a gift from God.

90. Several years ago, I was very ill. While in hospital I had to have 2 units of blood. Truly a gift red. We are such a blessed world that has the capabilities to cure disease and heal those who are ill. The miracle of healing - blessed.