January 23, 2012

Still Taking the Dare

Today I continue my count to two thousand as I participate in the Joy Dare.  There are gifts all around us.  Are you looking for them?

Three ways you witnessed happiness today:

1046.  attending the Sunday school bean supper

1047.  seeing my puppy wag his tail every time I pull in the driveway after work

1048.  Dr. Ring telling my mother, "It is a privilege to be a part of your life."

One gift that made you laugh, one gift that made you pray, one gift that made you quiet:

1049.  my husband is always making me laugh about something

1050.  our friend Lowell.  It is a gift to know him, and this week he is in the hospital very sick.

1051.  the church bells ringing as I leave work.  I work at a public university, but there is a church just off campus that plays old hymns through the bell tower.  I'm not sure if they play every hour, but they are definitely playing at 5:00 every day.  There is some quiet irony as I walk from my office to my car singing the hymns that play and wonder how many of these students don't know what they are hearing.

Three gifts from God's word:

1052.  Psalm 118:1 - Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

1053.  1 Peter 2:6 - As the Scriptures say, "I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced."

1054.  Hebrews 1:3 - The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.  When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

A grace in the kitchen, a grace in the weather, a grace that might never have been:

1055.  au gratin potatoes.  I made homemade au gratin potatoes for the first time and they were yummy!   I've made potatoes lots of ways from scratch, but not this old familiar tradition.

1056.  a blustery wind

1057.  Jill's adoption.  If she hadn't been adopted by the family who adopted her, I would never have met her.  She is very sick.  She is dying from pancreatic cancer.  She is only 46. I might never have known her, and I might never have been able to pray in these difficult days.

Three gifts you saw only when you got close up:

1058.  my puppy's wet nose

1059.  my mother's hands

1060.  learning more about my friend Judy

One thing in the sky, one thing from your memory, one thing that is ugly-beautiful:

1061.  a contrail left by an airplane

1062.  riding with my father in his GTO when I was a little girl

1063.  the death of my friend Wally last week.  The death and how it occurred (being hit by a car) was ugly, but his life was beautiful, and I anticipate that the Holy Spirit will be present at his funeral this week.

One grace wrinkled, one grace, smoothed, one grace unfolded:

1064.  a used napkin bunched up after cleaning barbecue off my hands

1065.  my freshly brushed hair

1066.  a clean wash cloth every morning

A blessing captured . . . my Christmas tree. (No my tree was not still up this week - I took it down last week!)



  1. What lovely gifts, Stephani! Praying for Wally's family and your friend, Jill.

  2. Stephani -- You and your circle of friends and family have been on my mind and in my prayers. I meant to pop over earlier and tell you. And I see here that you've added it to your list. It is by God's grace that we can celebrate lives well lived.

    Sending love to you ....

  3. Your so funny Stephani! I'm glad that you clarified that your tree was not STILL up! Even if it was still up, no judgement from me.
    What your doctor said to your mom says a lot about her character. How wonderful for you to hear that.
    I hope you have a great week.

  4. So very excited that you are continuing to count gifts beyond one thousand! It has been transforming for me and I only started again after a hiatus that should never have been taken. Your ugly-beautiful touched my heart and made me, once again, remember that our days are numbered and we need to live each one to God's glory. Thanks for sharing your list today!

  5. This post is so sweet, Stephani. I found my self sharing in some of your thoughts, thought about what i would have put instead for others...so filled with beauty. Dogs noses, mother's hands, church bells singing God's praise to those that can hear. Your mom's doctor...what a blessing, and au gratin potatoes. Gratitude beyond measure...

  6. Hi, My visit with you today has been a blessing; God definitely brought me over to your place.

    I have loved reading your gifts and by doing so has caused me to stop and reflect more on my own gifts.

    Hugs and blessings,

  7. LOVE these graces. Oh how I wish I would have known when I was in college what all those beautiful hymns were really saying. Praise Him that He opened my eyes finally.
    Gorgeous photo of your tree!! I think I took a VERY similar shot of mine. Although not as clear. *wink*
    I'm glad you're counting again!
    Love from the state next door,


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