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

Friday, April 26, 2013

3 Gifts Close

325. Family 

+ extended family

326. Friends

327. Small Group

3 Gifts Found in Christ

322. "Be joyful always." 1 Thessalonians 5:16 

Through Christ I have true joy.

323. "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3: 15

Through Christ I have true peace.

324. "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.

Because of Christ, I enjoy true fellowship.

A Gift Stacked, Stashed, Stilled

319. A Gift Stacked: 

320. A Gift Stashed:

The Grand that lives with us enjoys his Gatorade! But we've found if we buy it in "bulk" he drinks it very quickly. So now we buy it and stash it away putting only 1 or 2 in fridge every day or 2... Saves money!!

321. A Gift Stilled:

The Husband after a L.O.N.G. day of sale-ing.

3 Gifts Square

I'm going to go with a theme on today's gifts. Not really square - but rectangle.

316. My computer. I am so very thankful for my computer for many reasons - but the main two are:

1. Because of my computer, I can work from home. Who knew what a blessing this would be for the Husband and I in retirement!

2. Because of my computer, I can blog. I love to write and this is an avenue for me to share my thoughts and to keep a "scrap book" of sorts. - or journal. 

317.  I'm a reader. I love books. I enjoy having them all around me. But I have also learned to appreciate my Kindle Fire. It is easy to carry in my purse or bag.  I also have a Bible on it and a devotional. It has more than just books - so depending on where I am or what I'm doing I can always use it.  This was a gift from the Husband and I love it.

318. The 3rd "square" I'm thankful for is my phone. The main reason - it keeps me connected with my family and friends. It is also smarter than me!! It does many of the things my computer and my Kindle can do - only on a smaller level.
The navigation is a must for our home business when we are sale-ing. Plus, on an entertainment level, the Husband and I love to play "Words With Friends" together and we do that on our phones.

The technology in my life has made my life easier 
and more enjoyable. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

3 Gifts Inherited

313. My parents were raised in the church. My parents raised me in the church. I inherited their faith. Then when I became an adult and was on my own - this faith I had been raised with became real to me. It was no longer "the faith I was raised with" but it became "my faith."  I am grateful for parents who loved me enough to share this true faith with me.

314.  My Aunt's always told me I inherited my Grandma Louthan's legs and butt (can I say butt on here?) bottom. Sometimes I wish I had inherited someone elses - For instance in the '60's I couldn't wear go go boots because my calves are too large. Still, in 2013 I have the same problem. (not with go go boots but with regular boots!) But it is a part of me and a part of my heritage and I've learned over the years that imperfections are a part of life and the way God made me - and I'm so thankful that God made me to be me.

315. My most important inheritance is eternal life. This is what I live for. I really like our churches Mission: LIFE. Living Intentionally For Eternity.

3 Gifts Woven Together

310. Some of our beautiful ladies at church meet on Monday evenings and they knit and crochet items to give to others in need. Many are just learning. They make leggings, slippers, booties, afghans, baby blankets - and anything you can imagine. I don't crochet or knit but I am so thankful for all they do and for the joy they share.

311. On Wednesday evenings, we have another group that make "prayer quilts." They are beautiful in looks and love. They make them to be tied  and when they put the ties in, they don't tie them, they display them in the foyer with a note about who they are for and why they need a prayer, then the members are able to stop, tie a tie and pray for the recipient. A beautiful way to pray for those in need and to make others aware of the need. 

312. We have a small group that meets in our home. On Tuesday mornings I attend a Ladies Bible Study. Any time you meet with another person to study God's Word and Pray - your hearts become woven with the love and encouragement of God. My heart is woven together with so many people I've prayed with and studied God's Word with over the last 50 years. I am so blessed.

3 Hard Eucharisteos

307. "God is trying to teach me something." This is what I said to the Husband today when I came home from Ladies Bible Study. I know what He wants me to learn.... I just keep regressing. Why is that? Why is it so hard to change? I could say it's because I'm 60 years old and I'm too old to learn new... but, I was this hard to teach while in my 20's. 30's. 40's. 50's. (sigh)  I just need to get over myself. I had no idea going from being the minister's wife to a normal church member would be so hard. I KNOW... crazy isn't it. I just need to get over myself.

308. Watching the news reports of tragedies like the Boston Marathon, Newtown, 9 11, Murrah Building, and on and on. It's hard to watch our world spiral downward. I pray, I cry, I'm ashamed to say I'm not as shocked by these atrocities as I once was. I heard a newswoman say just last week "This type of news has become the normal."  I pray to my God that none of this becomes normal to me, to my heart. I want what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable to be the normal. Surely, even a non-believer can look at these characteristics and see how this type of normal world would be much better.

Murrah Building April 19, 1995

309. I have an expectation of myself. I want to be kind. But sometimes my mouth opens and out comes these words that are anything but kind. I continually ask God to cleanse my heart, my mouth, my life - to be what He expects me to be.

                    Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
                    Try me, O Savior, Know my thoughts I pray.
                    See if there be some wicked way in me;
                    Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.
                                                                  J. Edwin Orr

This first verse of "Cleanse Me" is a perfect prayer for me.


A Gift in a Bag, Box, Book

304. A Gift in a Bag: to me, any bag is a gift. I would go barefooted if it means getting a new bag. That being said, you would assume that I have a closet full of bags but as I've aged I've also learned to be conservative in this area of my life. I don't have many bags and those I have are relatively practical. But, while walking through department stores I love to browse through the bag section and look at all the styles I like. - and the colors! (the Husband tries to direct me around the  bag section..)

Vera Bradley Birthday Gifts!!

Even my family knows that bags are a gift to me!

305. A Gift in a Box: We receive our shipping supplies in boxes, delivered to the front door. The gift in the box represents the gift of being self employed and doing something we really LOVE. A true blessing.

306. A Gift in a Book: WOW... Where do I go with this one? The Bible, my favorite devotion, authors - WOW.  So many directions... But, the gift in a book is that I live in a country that doesn't limit what is being published in connections with politics, religion, personal beliefs or agendas. Not all books are worth reading but at this point my government lets me choose what I want to. Many people around the world don't have this gift.

3 Gifts Found Looking Up

301. Springtime! Trees budding!! A promise that all is made new!

 I posted this picture to remind you that
I live in Kansas.
Kansas: People of the South Wind.
Key word - wind.
and lot's of it!
Anyway, Trees budding out.

302. Again - living in the midwest - summers can be H.O.T. So one of the true gifts looking up - Our ceiling fans! (don't judge me for the brass fixtures - I married into this style...)

303. Looking at the heavens. Whether in praise, in judging the weather, or just keeping my head up. I enjoy Looking Up...

Friday, April 19, 2013

3 Gifts Bright

298. My Children.

299. My grands.

300. I'm also very thankful for electric light. Can you imagine how our lives would be without it?

3 Gifts Worn

295. My grand in a tutu!!

She is twirling so fast - it's a blur!!
as it should be!!

296. My oldest son Tim was fortunate  to be involved in a fundraising event. A group of men committed to NOT shaving their mustache for years several months. Tim was wearing his mustache to raise money for the Enid YWCA. The Enid YWCA offers sanctuary to abused women and their children while they are trying to remove themselves to a safer environment! Well done, Tim.

What a handsome mug!
(and I'm not talking about the coffee!)

297. I've worn glasses all my life since I was in the 4th grade. Well now my grand wears them, too. They can be a pain for a while but when you've worn them as long as I have you realize what a blessing it is to actually SEE!!!

3 Gifts Budding, Blooming




3 Gifts Opened Up

289. My heart after years of hurt.

290. Gifts. Who doesn't like gifts? I like getting gifts but more I LOVE giving gifts! 

291. The mail!! I love getting packages! We often order things online and I just love getting the packages! Even if it's just envelopes and boxes we order to ship our books in!! 

A Gift Hiding, Held, Heard

286. A Gift Hiding: I think I mentioned this in just the last month but such a wonderful gift I will mention again - Peek-a-boo with the littlest grand!! When she says, "Where are you?" in that sweet voice - I just melt!

287. A Gift Held: any baby is a gift. Holding him/her is a greater gift. I won't get on my soapbox since this is thanking God but I CANNOT comprehend the killing of babies before birth.

288. A Gift Heard: We attended a funeral this week and 2 ladies from our church sang some of the "old" hymns that the lady had requested. Their blended voices lifting praise up in song was a true blessing.

3 Gifts Rising Up

283. My grands getting taller!! They are rising up to manhood and into young ladies! What a joy.

284. I'm going to say the sun!! However, it's been a long time since I've actually watched it rise!! But when I "rise", I'm always glad the sun has too!!

285. Bread dough. I don't usually make bread loaves - but I do make rolls once in a while. Watching it rise is always satisfying.

3 Gifts Waited For

280. I always feel anticipation on waiting for the mail. From the first time I moved away from Oklahoma to Indiana in 1983. In those days we wrote letters to each other! Now I just enjoy seeing if I will be surprised by something special!! (it's usually bills! or annoying fliers!!) - But look, today it was a package with some media art rubber stamps!! YEA!

281.  We are having a "contest" at church. Each small group was to design their own group's t-shirt. Then on April 21st we are all wearing them to church and then having a pot-luck lunch!! I can't wait to see all the designs! (no picture yet! Have to wait until after the "contest")

282. I eagerly(?) waited for my 60th birthday! It's a milestone and for some odd reason I really looked forward to it! Now it's come and gone! 

Celebrating with my small group!!

3 Gifts Nailed Together

277. The Cross.

278. Our house.

279. Our bird houses. We are replacing the old ones that can't be repaired from the storm earlier in the year. 

3 Gifts @ 11:00, 2:00, 6:00

274. A Gift @ 11:00am: On Thursday's we go sale-ing. Our home business is fun for us and we enjoy our time searching for used books to resell.

275. A Gift @ 2:00pm: once we finish with our sales, we come home and usually take a few minutes to rest.

276. A Gift @ 6:00pm: we usually have dinner at 5:30 and by 6:00 we are either finishing up our meal or cleaning the kitchen.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

3 Gifts in His Word

271. The book of Nehemiah is our Bible study subject for Tuesday mornings. I am loving this study. Nehemiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible.

272.  Esther is another of my favorites. I love her story. I am so thankful that God gave me the grace and dignity of Esther while I was struggling in my life.

273. The best gift of God's word is His Son, Jesus. 

3 Gifts Surprisingly Found

268. I surprisingly found the peace that passes all understanding during the turmoil of my divorce. I'm not sure why I was so surprised by it. - It is a promise from God. But I was.

269. Probably the biggest surprise of my life was finding Randy!! Wow. God truly blessed me there.

270. What a surprise to find joy, peace, to find revival in jotting down 1000 gifts.

3 Gifts White

265. The snow. We need the moisture so badly and it was a true blessing.

266. A blank piece of paper. There is so much promise in having a blank piece of paper. Knowing it can contain your story, a picture - so many possibilities. So much hope.

267. I love rice!! I love my rice maker and I use it quite often. I like rice with milk and sugar. I like rice with butter, salt and pepper. I like rice with other meals! I just like rice!

3 Gifts Round

262. Ava and Alyssa playing ring - around - the - rosie!!

263. The tires on our vehicles. These vehicles take us to church, sale-ing, to Oklahoma, everywhere we go. I'm thankful someone invented them and I'm thankful that we have them.

264. Dishes, bowls, - implements to serve others and each other. Whether we're home alone or when we open our home to guests.

A Gift Heard, Held, Hoped For

259. A Gift Heard: After Bible Study yesterday morning, four of us went to lunch. Hearing the voices of friends talk about their Ministry Passion's, their spiritual journeys, the laughter and tears.... a very true gift!

260. A Gift Held: Randy and I hold hands often...

261. A Gift Hoped For: We are praying for a successful season sale-ing for our book business.

3 Gifts Uncovered


The promise of spring uncovered as the snow begins to melt.


Playing peek-a-boo with Alyssa and her beautiful uncovered eyes!!!


Beginning a new life in a new marriage -

Uncovering our mutual gift of


A gift.

A joy.

An opening of hearts for each other and for others.

3 Gifts of His Promises

 Deuteronomy 31:6

He loves me. He will never leave me.

 Jeremiah 29:11

He has plans for me!

Matthew 11: 28-29

He will give me rest.

Monday, April 15, 2013

3 Gifts Entwined

250. Giving Birth. Anytime you give birth to a person - your lives are entwined forever. - Even birth mothers that are so wonderful as to give their babies a chance through adoption. Their lives are still entwined.

251. Marriage. This lifetime commitment. Entwines two lives forever - no matter the circumstances. If one loses a spouse through death or divorce - that commitment still entwines you.

252.  Church. Committing to a group of believers entwines your lives for the work of the Kingdom of God. Even if you move - your lives are entwined.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

3 Gifts Redeemed

re·deem  (r-dm)
tr.v. re·deemedre·deem·ingre·deems
1. To recover ownership of by paying a specified sum.
2. To pay off (a promissory note, for example).
3. To turn in (coupons, for example) and receive something in exchange.
4. To fulfill (a pledge, for example).
5. To convert into cash: 
6. To set free; rescue or ransom.
7. To save from a state of sinfulness and its consequences. 
8. To make up for:
9. To restore the honor, worth, or reputation of: 

247.  There are a few songs we sing at church that go through my mind. I have saved them to my playlist on Spotify and listen often. One of these is "I've Been Redeemed" by Big Daddy Weave. I sing this often in my mind - be so very thankful I don't sing it aloud!!! I can't carry a tune!

I'm thankful today that Big Daddy Weave has presented us with a song that can express our feelings of being redeemed.

248. My salvation. I am thankful that I have been able to have the Gospel presented to me in such a way as to be the foundation for the Faith I hold so dear. To be saved from a state of sinfulness and and its consequences. 

249.  My pledge. I'm thankful that my commitment to Christ is more than words but it is also action. A lifestyle. My lifestyle. When I vary from it, The Holy Spirit guides me back into the arms of Jesus.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

3 Gifts Almost Gone

244.  We are almost out of printer paper.  What this represents is our business at home and our small group! I love working from home and that I get to work with the husband. We love our small group. We enjoy preparing for them, we enjoy the study with them, and we enjoy them!  So, I am so very thankful for what running out of copy paper and ink represents for our lives!

245.  Winter? I've thought this several times then we get more snow!! But I am so thankful for the moisture! God be praised!

246. Time. I was pondering important things last week.  : )  when I realized, I am not middle aged any more!!! When did this happen? I was just middle aged. Now I'm not! As my oldest daughter pointed out - she is middle aged!!! Wow. As I'm nearing the slide down the back side of the hill - I am so thankful I know the end of this story! Yea, God!