Count Your Blessings

Can you believe January has come and gone already?!

I filled 5 pages as I completed month one of the Joy Dare – intentionally looking for and acknowledging gifts of grace from God. I realized I was not looking close enough when I got stuck on Jan. 20’s challenge “3 Gifts you saw only when you got close-up.” However, on Jan. 22, I knew immediately what or rather who “one grace wrinkled” would be.  There is a dear lady who gives the warmest hugs as she makes her way up the church aisle to her regular spot in pew two.  She sometimes questions what her gifts are and how, at her age, she can be used by God.  White haired and widowed this woman is strong.  She is a warrior – Prayer Warrior! Though she may be wrinkled, the love of Jesus radiates from her.

Since blue is my favorite color, I thought I’d share photos of gifts #69, 70, and 71; “Three things Blue”:

Blue-toned Lone Star Quilt. The last quilt Grandma made  me.  She taught me so much about life and quilts.  “Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.” author unknown

Blue Cheese Ball Dish. One of my favorite wedding presents.   I usually make and  serve an Apple Cheese Ball.

Hand-painted napkin rings Daughter brought from Russia.  She knows I like to set a pretty table. I love and miss her, but she is right where God wants her on the other side of the world.

Ninety-five gifts is only a beginning to count one thousand gifts in 2012.  Glancing over the list for February, I already see some challenges. Feb. 12 I will need to look up a word meaning before I’ll be able to look for those particular gifts.  On the 19th, “3 Plan Bs.” I really prefer to stick with Plan A.  If you want to join the fun, here is the list of joys for February.

Is life spinning out of control as you try to meet deadlines, get the kids dropped off at the right place and time and cross paths with your husband as your schedules collide?  Is your life crashing down all around you and wonder if you’ll be able to face another day?  Do you let your perspective of life focus on the negatives and what ifs?

STOP!!

Take a deep breath!

Now, give thanks to God that you were able to take that breath.  God loves each of you and has blessed you abundantly.  Some days we have to look hard for those blessings, but they ARE there.  Recognizing and capturing these gifts can turn our eyes from self to God.  Today I have found these “3 Gifts in Writing”

  1. LOVE “God told them, ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will.  Expect love, love, and more love!'” Jeremiah 31:3 (MSG)
  2. FORGIVENESS  “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,  O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.” Psalm 130:3, 4  (NIV)
  3. EVERLASTING LIFE “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

I can’t help but sing….

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
  Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

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