Full Measure of Love (and more)

Well, friends, an entire year lies before us. Our focus can be on the difficulties and struggles sure to come, or we can choose to anticipate those love gifts promised to be poured out in full measure.

To that end, I am joining Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience for her 2012 joy dare to capture those gifts, expanding my current list to include one thousand additional grace-points. Her original one thousand gifts dare has been a weekly tune-up for me. My prayer is that the  joy dare will firmly embed the practice of noticing the blessings in my life—developing a daily habit of joy.

Would you consider taking the joy dare with me? Identifying only three gifts a day will reach the one thousand mark in 1 year. Grab hold of Ann’s January calendar gift prompt (and each subsequent month as it presents itself) for great ideas or come up with your own.

Lately, the Lord has been gracious concerning many health issues in our family. Still other family members continue to struggle with scary, painful diagnoses. I am thankful we are not left to battle the ravages of sin alone. Here are more joy gifts in my life (see all of my gifts here):

226. The Lord has developed compassion in my heart, 227. My aging body has remained relatively healthy, and 228. I am blessed with the ability to master things quickly

229. The “greater light to govern the day” (Genesis 1:16), 230. My nativity display not yet taken down, and 231. Homemade chocolates

232. Hearing “I love you” 233. Being called a “dear friend”, and 234. Receiving “thank you, Mom”

something old, something new

235. My grandmother’s desk (a special remembrance of her), 236. A gift of beautiful mistletoe bowls, and 237. A gorgeous necklace from hubby

238. Encouragement to seek joy through Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, 239. The joy of knitting scarves and giving them away, and 240. The majestic pines swaying in the breeze outside my window

241. My special travel Bible, 242. Enjoying Egg Nog one last time, and 243. Mom and Dad overwintering far from us (miss them but thankful they can enjoy themselves)Bible

244. Being asked “Do you need anything else, Mom?” from my 10 year old, 245. Hubby’s dish-pan hands, and 246. My oldest allowing me a glimpse into his day away.

247. Meeting lovely people, 248. Realization that to be an overcomer of anything merely requires one step at a time, and 249. A rare family restaurant moment (all of us!)

250. Gift of sight, 251. Precious alone time to re-energize, 252. A little girl with silky soft hair, and 253. Fellowship and worship in God’s house

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:17–21).

What are all those little things that brighten your day? Choose to notice them first before focusing on the drudgeries an difficulties each day brings. Embrace the full measure of God’s love.

As a side note of thanks:

Last week I had the honor to be nominated for the Candle Lighter Award by Terri at What about God? Created by Kate at Believer Anyway, the intent of the Candle Lighter Award is to recognize those blogs that brings light to the world. Thank you, Terri and Kate—I am grateful and humbled.

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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