Lifting hearts to God in thanks and praise.

The Joy Dare

Already I have printed off and then given away and printed again January’s Joy Dare. Twice: two neighbors. I don’t mind, it’s a sort of spur of the moment thing, to give the one off my fridge, knowing that I can print another more easily than telling someone where to find it (you can click here). I almost printed two extras tonight, but thought, why ruin a good thing? So mine goes back up on the fridge until another person needs it.

“It’s like a treasure hunt,” I say, “Three a day, and clues are given. You can use anything to record them.” Last year in Lent I gave out gratitude journals like candy. This year, all year, monthly joy dares?

But it has to be full of grace. If I don’t find the exact thing for the prompt, no worries. If I started late, January 5, no worries. It’s about enJOYing God, praising him. So I press on in joy.

1.1 3 things I am grateful for about myself
expressive eyes
loving smile
nose that smells well, even though I never thought it pretty!

1.2 a gift outside, inside, on a plate
Sunset and the views while driving down 101 in CA from SF to Santa Barbara (SB)
My husband driving the boring stretch of road
Dim Sum in Oakland before we headed home (boy was it all good, especially dan tat!)

1.3 3 lines overheard that were graces
I was stressed this day, thinking to jump in to schoolwork although we weren’t recovered from our trip. So anxiety ruled, until I realized:
It’s Park Day (meet the other homeschoolers at a park)
It’s prep week for Daddy, why not us? (We did spelling daily)
It’s more important to lose the stress than to cram the schoolwork.

1.4 one gift old, new, blue
the old cast iron form for making gingerbread houses that we hadn’t used yet this season
making a new stable with the old form, not using one side and one roof, Ravinia making people and animals

Ann’s gorgeous picture of the farmhouse, blue snow light hearkening me back to New England days

1.5 something you’re reading, you’re making, you’re seeing
reading blog posts!
crocheting snowflake discloths (one to be sent to a farm in Canada…)
seeing transformation in the movie Silent Night, set on Christmas Eve during WWII

1.6 One thing in your bag, your fridge, your heart
the pen with the poinsettia flower stuck on it, that often falls out of my bag!
January’s Joy Dare on my fridge
fear, and then joy, that Ravinia’s epiphany play happened well after all (and videoed!)

1.7 3 graces from people you love
Maurice’s hug
Dad’s hug and mutual backrub
Ravinia’s calm sleep and happy waking

1.8 light that caught you, a reflection that suprised you, a shadow that fell lovely
The candles on the coffee table during our home service of evening prayer (maybe next week a picture)
The idea that I could treat everyone I met as if they were Christians (as opposed to assuming they aren’t) if my goal is not conversion but discipleship.
Sparkle of two twinkling votive holders, set against their shadows.

There’s more, so much more, but some of it just gets expressed to God (over and over, sometimes) and the day ends without it getting written. These prompts though, they stretch us, don’t they? Bring out of us not only the answer to the prompt but also the reflection on a day and how we saw God at work, or at least have things to thank him for. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

If you print out the dare and have or want to start a blog, link up your list on Mondays by clicking below!


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