Taking The Joy Dare

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I sat down at the computer this morning with my coffee and logged into my Reader to catch up with all of you.  The first blog I read was that of my friend Stacey at 29 Lincoln Avenue.  She talked about gifts, and graces, and counting.  And starting over.

I began counting 1000 gifts with Ann Voskamp in February of last year.  I thought I was doing pretty well, coming here nearly every week to share with you the things in my life that I am thankful for.  But when I looked back at what I had accomplished last year, my list of graces, although beautiful and not to be forgotten, is just not enough.  On average, I gave thanks for only 1 gift each day last year.  I have so far to go.  I want to dig deeper.  To be more intentional in cultivating gratitude in my life.

Ann has asked us to take the Joy Dare.  To begin to count again and dare to record 1000 gifts in 2012.  I am not one to leave something unfinished.  But I do believe that this challenge will be good for my heart.  It helps me to cultivate gratitude in my life when I consistently offer up thanks and praise for the big and the small or seemingly insignificant, throughout my day.  And really, it is about recording just 3 things each day.  Surely, I can find three things each day to be thankful for.  It takes recording.  Writing them down.  It takes time.  It takes practice.  It takes being intentional.

“How my eyes see, perspective, is my key to enter into His gates. I can only do so with thanksgiving. If my inner eye has God seeping up through all things, then can’t I give thanks for anything? And if I can give thanks for the good things, the hard things, the absolute everything, I can enter the gates to glory. Living in His presence is fullness of joy- and seeing shows the way in.”
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

I will be using the One Thousand Gifts App on my lovely little iPhone to help me to record my gifts.  And Ann has a wonderful resource to help in finding those gifts each day in January.  You can download it here.

So today, 9 days into 2012, I begin again.  On my way to counting 1000 gifts in 2012!

I am taking the Joy Dare.  Dare to come along with me?

1.   My space heater that is keeping my feet warm.
2.   Freshly washed towels.
3.   Children who were ready early for school today.
4.   Coffee in the morning (afternoon, evening…all day really!)
5.   The sun shining brightly
6.   The birds chirping outside my kitchen window, as if saying, “good morning”.
7.   The NLT One Year Chronological Bible, which is helping me stay consistent.
8.   My “Jesus, 90 Days with the One and Only” study and friends who encourage me through it.
9.   Hot running water.
10.  The smell of vanilla in burning candles.
11.  Wedding planning with my daughter.
12.  Dinner and movie dates with beautiful girlfriends.
13.  Hugs and kisses.
14.  Friends who constantly encourage me.
15.  Katie’s last chemo treatment yesterday!  No more cancer!
16.  Making playdough towers with preschoolers.
17.  Little ones who eagerly listen to Bible stories.
18.  The honor of teaching little ones the importance of loving Jesus
19.  Family members who assisted financially during a rough week.
20.  For coupons, BOGO’s and freebies!
21.   Simple menu planning.
22.  The grace and strength to look inward as I pursue health and wholeness.
23.  A beautiful blog friend who is walking that journey with me.
24.  For my Kindle Fire!  It will help me to read more this year.
25.  My husbands 10-12 month job, after over two years of unemployment.
26.  For God’s constant reminders that He is with me.
27.  For restful sleep.

Linking up with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience, accepting the Joy Dare to count 1000 gifts in 2012.  Just 3 gifts a day.  Record them any way you choose.  I hope you will join me!


Seeking beauty in the ordinary and embracing life to the fullest. Thank you for stopping by and come again soon!

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47 Responses

  1. Hisglorygirl says:

    Wow! Breaking it down to three gifts a day sounds more do-able. I, like you, have been discouraged by how few I’m counting. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Carrie says:

    What a full, wonderful list!  I too am reading a chronological Bible this year – and I love how easy it is to read – especially after participating in the incredibly fast pace at Mom’s Toolbox 90-Day reading challenge.  I saved Ann’s January Joy Dare but I haven’t decided how to incorporate into my Mondays yet – I really want to count to 1,000 and not start back at 1!  Maybe I’ll simply add in the January thanksgivings with my others?  Thank you for sharing your list.

  3. Glad you are accepting the Joy Dare! I need to become more intentional on documenting those, too. I loved all your blessings. Worth of counting! Have a super blessed 2012!

  4. Stacey says:

    Yippee!  Love that picture and we’ll be in it together!  Awesome! 

  5. I loved reading all of your blessings. I printed out the Joy Dare list and I’m going to add them to my journal. They’re really going to help me to think outside my box as far as things to be truly thankful for. 

  6. mel.cary says:

    Beautiful list, 3 gifts a day.  Wonderful.

  7. Barbie says:

    Your welcome Hisglorygirl!  I know that we can find 3 things each day to be thankful for.  Blessings!

  8. Barbie says:

    Thanks for stopping by today Carrie!  You don’t have to start over.  There are may who are taking the joy challenge and just continuing on with where they are.  May you continue to find joy in your counting!

  9. Barbie says:

    Woo Hoo!  Thank you for writing about it.  I remember reading about it last week at Ann’s place but wasn’t sure how to go about it, since I already started.  Your post helped me to realize I simply have to begin again, with new eyes! 

  10. Jennifer Barker says:

    I have to say that this intentional giving of thanks is an excellent practice! Like you said, it requires  making a conscious decision to do it.
    I love your list!

    • Barbie says:

      Thanks for stopping by Jennifer.  Yes, being intentional is work.  I am hoping that after a few week so doing so, my eyes will see more clearly!

  11. Veronica Hill says:

    I also read Stacey’s post and am taking the dare! I am working on getting my list up to speed ~ where did the first 9 days of 2012 go?!? 

  12. Jenifer Metzger says:

    Love your list.  I am excited about starting my 1000 gifts over for 2012.  God has greatly blessed me and I love counting those blessings.

  13. Y’all are convicting me… I’ll start from the beginning, too. On next week’s post, I’ll start at number one again!  🙂

    Great list, Barbie! SO much to be thankful for! 

  14. Venessa says:

    I have just started this book! I may have to see if I can get caught up on this dare…who doesnt love a good dare?

    • Barbie says:

      Ha ha! Good for you! You can do a post today or tomorrow for the first 27 gifts. Then, just write down 3 every day and post another 21 each week! Woo Hoo, another thing we are doing together. We have to meet one day!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful list of blessings, Barbie, and a great commitment to focus on finding God’s gifts each day.   How exciting that your daughter is getting married and your husband has work – God is so good!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Love that picture at the top of the post!
    One way I found it to be easier…I carry around a notebook with me. It’s my prayer journal, and in it I record all the gifts as they hit me. I couldn’t believe how many I had this week! Also the app (if you have a smart phone) is great for keeping track when you’re on the go as well. 

    • Barbie says:

      I have downloaded the app and I am good to go. The thing about the notebook is, if I forget to put it in my purse, then all is lost. But my phone, it’s with me always! Thanks for stopping by today.

  17. Kerri Smith says:

    What a beautiful joy-filled list! I need to become more intentional in recording my list…..and linking up again! Thank you for the encouragement ….I will take the joy dare!

  18. Lea says:

    Oh, thanks Barbie, I had no idea there was an app for this.  I just downloaded it on my IPad. Maybe I can be more consistent with this now.  Yes, it must be intentional, just as you said.

    Blessings to you dear friend for a wonderful 2012!

    • Barbie says:

      I love the app.  I have been trying to record “in the moment” but last night as I lay in bed and though about my blessings, I grabbed my phone and then went to sleep!  Blessings my friend!

  19. Alene Snodgrass says:

    I love your post. I woke up this morning thinking I need to join the Joy Dare. To count, to remember, to stop and reflect. Beautiful! Blessings sweet friend.


  20. sarah says:

    thats awesome – I plan to do something of the same sort, but for my daughters…kindof like a daily notebook recording the things I am thankful for or bring me joy in being their mommy each day. Thanks for the further inspiration to do this! 🙂 And thanks for your sweet comment on my blog! love to you friend…so much to be joyful about!!

  21. Cyndi Spivey says:

    I love reading what your thankful for Barbie! I laughed when I read coffee, I’m with you girl!!
    Have a wonderful day friend,

  22. Wonderful Barbie! I need to do this too — even if I don’t blog about it. Just having joy and a grateful heart changes any focus that needs tweaking.

    Bless you friend!

  23. Rosann says:

    Hi Barbie,

    I’m praying you through a year of gifts! 🙂 As you know I’m taking the challenge as well and I’m very excited about it. I also have the app on my iPhone and have noticed how much easier it is to quickly record something when I’m on the go or even standing in my kitchen waiting for the water to boil for pasta. It feels so good to log my gratitude. I was doing so throughout 2011 but not with the same intentional purpose as I seem to have this year with this challenge. I love it! So glad your husband has found work for the time being. We still haven’t heard anything from my husband’s job interview, but they told us they’d be in touch within a week or so. I’m not worrying about it though. It’s in God’s hands. If God wants him to work there, He’ll make it happen. And if not, my hubby will continue to pursue other opportunities while he works to grow his business.
    Hugs to you my friend,

  24. Photographing Mom says:

    This book is so awesome! Loved your list!!

  25. Crissy says:

     I came across your blog today and I love this idea of counting 1000 gifts in 2012. In 2011 I made some similar challenges for myself and it helped me to stay encouraged and encourage others along the way. I will start this challenge today 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  26. Nikki says:

    Love this, Barbie. Having that app is the ONLY reason I want a smartphone! 🙂 But I will keep writing them down. One by one. And dare I say we can do this??? Yes–let’s dare to choose joy! 

  27. Tamika Eason says:

    Ann is starting a revolution of rejoicing! I’m happy to join in on the explosion, because God is so worthy!

    I tend to rush through life and miss the gems of giving thanks. I pray this will change all that.

  28. I love what Ann is doing and how it is catching fire.  The idea of counting joy all year long.  You will certainly be able to come up with far more than 3 things each day, of that I’m certain.  This is going to be a great year for you because you’ve made the commitment to make it so.  Awesome!

  29. Barbie says:

    Good for you Crissy.  Do you have a blog?  I’d love to visit you.  Thanks for stopping by!

  30. Love being on this joy dare journey with you! My first time!

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