Saturday, February 8, 2014

Take the Joy Dare #3

I love having a week when it's hard to choose my favorite "joys", the best gifts. I read my little scribbles and think, Yes, that one! Oh, and of course, that one. But that one too! Overflowing over here. Over. Flowing. But I managed, not to contain the blessings, but to highlight just a few of the ways God has richly blessed me. Soak it up!

1) Bright nails (OPI California Raspberry)

Sometimes you have an awesome friend who suggests painting your nails bright to combat the winter blues. Said awesome friend's cousin (another awesome friend) loans you some beautiful polishes. And you spend a short portion of your evening brightening up your life! It works, friends. Sometimes all it takes is a bright coat of paint.

Painted nails - take that, winter!

2) My daughter's sweet smiles for her daddy

The other night at dinner, my daughter sat in her high chair with her usual unimpressed resting face (I'm being generous with my description. ha). Then my husband looked over at her and caught her gaze and she broke into the biggest, most beautiful smile! We all started laughing; it was a face of contagious joy. He looked away and she relaxed, looking back at her toys. He looked back over at her and again, her whole face lit up, showing us all of her gums. He would look away and look back and every single time, she shone like the sun. It was such a sweet, incredible moment.

3) Babies!!!!!

No, I'm not pregnant. But I am swimming in a world of life. My friends and loved ones and friends of loved ones are being blessed by the sweetest gifts from God. Life is so precious and each one of those little flutters, bean-sized ultrasounds, gender reveals, and piercing cries is evidence of His great grace and mercy. We are all miracles, friends, every last one of us.

4) Learning sign language

I set a goal for myself this year to learn seven signs a week (basically one a day). My daughter's severe hearing loss qualifies her for cochlear implants (well, so far), but we still plan to use sign language with her. We want her to be able to communicate on her own terms without having to rely on her electronic ears. It seems like an impossible feat, learning a whole new language with two tiny ones underfoot. But thankfully, God has blessed me with a great resource in one of my friends (who knows and teaches ASL... how cool is that?!) and with a strong motivation: my sweet girl. Over the past week, I learned more than 40 signs! I can't wait to learn more.

5) One month of gifts

February 1st marked one month of counting gifts, marked 90+ named blessings. The remarkable thing is how easy it is. I barely have to think to draw up three graces, three joys, three blessings for every single day. When I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed, I remind myself: what were yesterday's joys? What are today's? When fear threatens to creep in, I beat it back with thankfulness. Look at what God has done for you, all the ways He has provided and cared for you. What do you have to fear? My life is so rich and so full. I continue to mark it, leave evidence, show it all around. Look and see what God has done!

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