J is for Joy Dare

by melissakiefer

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credit: (via pinterest) facelessletdown.tumblr.com

I loved Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. I’ve been telling everyone I know to read it. Her words are still resonating with me. The ugly-beautiful. Eucharisteo. The fact that we can’t give thanks and feel fear at the same time. All is good, all is grace. To know God loves me and lavishes me with good gifts. And the way I can bless back is to caress Him with thanks. “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul.”

The real Joy Dare and Ann’s healing, convicting, Spirit-filled words can be found on her blog, http://www.aholyexperience.com. I don’t follow the rules, though, because I don’t follow rules (as I skip around on my letters again for the A-Z blog challenge). I just offer spontaneous thanks, which I think is the real purpose. I write the specifics down so that I can remember, and so that I don’t fall into the habit of blanket prayers of gratitude which can become a going-through-the-motions act filled with no real gratitude at all.
My list of joy (which will become a thousand things and then a thousand more):
1. Kind old man I met on walk carrying single white daisy home to his wife.
2. An always happy-to-see-me companion in my dog who has been through moves and changes with me. And adapts. And keeps her joy. And happily explores it all. (I could learn from her).
3. My husband, the eye that beholds me and sees beauty in my flaws, forgives me in my craziness, knows what I need, and loves me with an unconditional love. It is this small glimpse that allows me to open my eyes wider and understand the love-dance of Savior and Beloved.
4. Hymns. A back-to-basics simplicity that I needed. Those words! That richness!
5. The chance to be around kids again in whatever capacity. And all that they teach me.
6. Josh getting out his guitar. Singing together on a random Tuesday night.
7. The words, “Let’s go fishing.”
8. Friends who keep in touch.
9. For the breaking of winter and the emerging of spring. Colorful beauty. Growing life.
10. For breaking me apart. For slowly putting me back together better.
11. For Josh’s excitement in his work. For God’s faithfulness and timing.
12. Herbs on windowsills.
13. Glowing fires in the night, the circle of lawn chairs around the warmth
14. Formed family, community
15. The way there is always coffee in this community. And music, always music. And laughter and children.
16. Wise and spunky older man. A kindred soul. The way God gives me “grandpas”
17. Again–little. kids. The way they are shy at first and then suddenly not shy at all. And for baby fever and for having it. Sort of. Almost.
18. Basketball. High fives. Celebratory dance moves.
19. Witnessing kindness. In all ages.
20. Feeling young. Energy. Excitement. Dancing. Refreshment.
21. A jog that felt so needed and so good.
22. A full day to write. Soothing words. Soothing pot of tea.
23. Falling asleep together.
24. Morning. Sun.
25. The promise.

So, what’s on yours?