3 gifts yellow

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Thankful for homegrown sunflowers that look like daisies.
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Thankful for orangey-yellow sunshine, sweat and endorphins in the morning.
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Thankful for artsy music that is too slow to run to, but with colorful covers that are nice to look at.

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3 gifts cut

Thankful for a Saturday afternoon, four spoons, and one cut of Brick Street’s famous sweet potato cake to melt into together. That cream cheese icing…the sugar crash was worth it. 

Thankful for a kitchen (!!!!!) where I can stir, sautee, cut and microwave to my heart’s content.  Best thing I’ve made all week: garlic roasted brussels sprouts with goat cheese.

Thankful for the words that cut through the silence and the hugs that cut through the loneliness. We weren’t meant to do this life alone, friends!

3 gifts summer (and I’m back!)

Ann Voskamp’s blog reminded me of two things today:

1. Summer is over, and with the ending of this season comes the start of something fresh and beautiful and crisp and new.  She writes that September 1st is the new January 1st.  So today, I’m back at it with the blog because it is the start of a new season of my life.

2. The joy dare that I have hiccuped my way through this past year is not intended to be a burden or an obligation. It is not a to do list item or a piece of homework that I write down in my planner. No.  The beauty of the practice of gratitude is that there is freedom in it; Ann writes that it is a scavenger hunt for glimpses of God’s glory.  I can do scavenger hunts, especially when God’s glory is involved.

With that, here are three gifts summer:

Thankful for new friends in a city that loves new people (and new coffee shops). It’s never too late to experience your first Capitol Fourth, even as a native.

Thankful for another family trip to Bald Head Island, with my dear friend Maggie in tow.  There really is nothing better than bike rides, laughter and ice cream every day.

Thankful for a new dream put in my heart this summer. Excited to see where my path is guided, and I sure hope it involves the Rocky Mountain State. 

A gift of peace, of hope, of love

Thankful for 5 am wake-up songs from the birds outside my window.  I wasn’t so appreciative the rest of the day, because my eyes felt like they were permanently glued shut and I fell asleep while listening to Ree Drummond cook on the Food Newtork.  But those early morning hours were so still and cool, and I felt this simple peace, just from being alone and awake and alive, welcoming another day into existence.

Thankful for my plants, which are growing and making me so excited and hopeful. Can’t wait for my first swiss chard cucumber salad!

Thankful for the guys that love my best friends so well!

3 gifts found in Christ

Thankful for a relationship with my father that is rooted in Christ’s love.  Yesterday morning, we sat at the Silver Diner and ate and laughed and he read from the Word of God. This tradition, this simple breakfast routine, is something that has brought us immeasurably closer in the past few years.  To me, weekly breakfasts with dad are a living, breathing example of the connection we make over meals and intentional time together, and it happens because God created us with physical needs, including hunger.

Thankful for 1 John 4:19: We love because He first loved us.  God’s love for us is so abundant, and my good deeds and acts of service do not make me worthy of more love.  This summer, I want to be a sponge–soaking up every hug from a friend and cool morning and peaceful moment and belly-laugh–becoming more and more saturated with His love, so that I am so filled with joy and love that it flows from my heart without caution or fear on my part.

Thankful that being weak is SO human and SO normal, and it leads me back to comfort in Jesus’ sovereignty.  Yesterday I had one of those days where I felt empty of joy and absent of peace–instead, I cried big tears on the couch and felt anxious about silly things like falling asleep and seeing my friends.  But the truth, the true truth in God is this:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Ephesians 3:20-21

Oh, the relief! I don’t even have to be anxious about what I should think up for my future, because my purpose is to bring God glory through what he has imagined and created for my life. It certainly takes the pressure off.

3 gifts in conversation

Thankful for a spontaneous visit from a dear friend and a porch conversation that ranged from eating Jello through pantyhose to marriage.

Thankful for a friendly Trader Joe’s worker and his tips about good music and where to run in the area.

Thankful for my dad’s compliment to me—“That was the best cowboy cookie I have EVER had,” he told me last night.  He has been a cowboy cookie fan since 1975, when his friend first made them for him. I’ve made hundreds of cowboy cookies, but he deemed the batch I whipped up yesterday the “BEST EVER.” I’m ecstatic, proud, and flattered.  Cowboy Cookies, in case you are wondering, are just oatmeal-raisin-chocolate chip cookies. Not sure why they are called Cowboy Cookies. 

3 gifts funny

Thankful for the Bachelorette. I know, I know, it’s silly and unrealistic. But I love it! I love/hate the way Andi says “stahhhhhhhhp it”, and the ridiculous conversations she has, and mostly the adorkable and quirky pantsapreneur,  JJ. 76651610

Thankful for little kids who are curious and passionate and sweet and do funny things like walk into your house and immediately go down the stairs to explore. Can’t wait to have littles of my own to corral around and adventure with.

Thankful for friends that are far more spontaneous and funny than I am.  They lighten me up!