Saturday, December 27, 2014

Clearing Some Space This Christmas

December 21-27

Sun/Dec21~ 3 Gifts Lit

: Faces of children during Christmas program
: Celia all lit up with joy because all of her children came to church today for her birthday
:: Christmas lights on houses brightening a dark ride home from church

Mon/Dec22~ Gift with Rejoicing, Wonder, Praising

:: Rejoicing—News that out little friend Saul is home from the hospital
:: Wonder—Love offerings sent in from supporting churches for Christmas
:: Praising—Time together with John—just the two of us

Tues/Dec23~ 3 Gifts Starry

:: Jonathan singing a solo for the first time in Dad's church—Everyone was stunned by this shy boy’s beautiful voice.
:: Christmas cookie stars—Our church ladies and little girls baked and decorated over 200 Christmas cookies for the annual Christmas meals for two churches. Tonight after church during ‘snack time’, one man picked up a decorated cookie star that had a smiley face on it, and that put a smile on his face.
:: Eyes of children receiving gifts from our family

 Wed/Dec24~ 3 Gifts Humble

:: Quiet time with family with no place to go, no rushing through the day
:: Us, humbled by an extraordinary gift from former neighbors
:: Christmas decorations in the home kept simple this year

 Thurs/Dec25~ 3 Gifts Enjoying

:: New mug which husband and son carefully searched for all over town. My other favorite mug broke and the two of them shopped until they found a new perfect one. It’s just right.
:: Time with Dad who didn't feel well today
:: Watching Christmas movies with the family

 Fri/Dec26~ 3 Gifts in Christ

:: He came down to us to be in our every day life.
:: The love of God which is in Christ Jesus: Romans 8:39, “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
:: Becoming a new creature in Christ...all things become new: II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Sat/Dec27~ A Gift Found, Shared, Saved

:: Found - Photos of cousins  in Great Grandma's house in Holyoke, Massachusetts from when we were kids. I loved spending time with my cousins in that house. 
:: Shared - Family teamwork in taking care of my dad who has been really ill the last few days
:: Saved - Christmas cardinal spoon from my cousin Linda a few years ago. I love getting it out every Christmas with the decorations. 

December Joy Dare Link: 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Every Ordinary Moment

December 14-20

Sun/Dec14~ 3 Gifts Stamped :

:: God's Grace stamped in the Ridings' family history
:: Love for home church family I hugged this morning- forever and always stamped on my heart
:: My name stamped on my favorite Bible- gift from parents on my 21st birthday

Mon/Dec15~ Gift Gold, Scented, Bent Low:

:: Gold--Sunset spilling over mountains like liquid gold
:: Scented--Dinner at Chili's with my quiet steady husband
:: Bent Low--Dad's work worn body bent low in pain from traveling, yet still he has a good attitude. Glad I'm here to take care of him.

Tues/Dec16~ 3 Gifts Bethlehem-Unlikely

:: It was unlikely that something so life changing could happen in Bethlehem. Yet, it was prophesied and the promise of a Saviour was fulfilled. Mary believed the impossible in obedience to His will. God still blesses obedience and miracles still happen. As Christians, we can still believe in miracles that will change the world forever.
:: It was unlikely that there was support for the Jewish nation--A nation that at Christ's time, was under subjection to the Romans. Today, they rule themselves. So far we have been blessed as a nation because of our support of Israel. To have the same blessing as Israel, is a gift. Genesis 12:3,"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
:: It was unlikely that the Gentiles would ever be grafted into the 'olive branch' (Israel). Paul speaks of this in Romans 11 teaching that our holiness only comes from that Gift who was born in Bethlehem: Christ Himself. We receive the same blessing as Israel because of Christ; that is salvation.

Wed/Dec17~ 3 Gifts Frosted:

:: Frosted Christmas cookies made by our church ladies all ready for our annual Christmas meal this Saturday
:: Frost (fake though it is) on ceramic church given to us years ago by Mr. & Mrs. Trip, an elderly couple in our church when we lived in Oklahoma. It’s one of our favorite Christmas decorations.
:: Morning frost making everything glitter

Thurs/Dec18~ 3 Gifts Miraculous:

:: That the physical body has the ability to heal itself.
:: The spiritual/emotional body can suffer as well, and overcome
:: Christ—made flesh for me, for you

Fri/Dec19~ 3 Gifts Manger Small:

:: 1996—3lb 7oz  Jonathan born to us 61/2 weeks early. What a joy he was that day and continues to bring joy this very day
:: Box of old photos we went through recently documenting the gift of family
:: Box of homemade breads sent by one of my favorite cousins

Sat/Dec20~ 3 Gifts Angelic Song:

:: Son singing carols while doing chores
:: Children’s laughter at the church Christmas dinner
:: Two pastors, old in age, young at heart, enjoying sweet fellowship

December Joy Dare Link:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Comfort for the Wounds

December 7-13

Sun/Dec7~ 3 Gifts from our Saviour

:: Kindness and love toward man –Titus 3:4 ..”the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared”
:: Mercy that saved me—Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
:: Regeneration and Renewing –abundantly shed! Titus 3:6 –7 “Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 Mon/Dec8~ A Gift Hung, Held, Heard

:: Handmade ornaments given by mom in years past hung on the Christmas tree
:: Homemade pizza held in my hands! Good stuff! 
:: Heard--'This pizza is amazing!' 

Tues/Dec9~ 3 Gifts Ugly-Beatiful

:: Ugly--Scratch marks on backdoor window from our sweet dog, Zap; Beautiful--She's looking for her boy to come say hi. 
:: Ugly-- Stretch marks on my stomach; Beautiful-- A reminder that I am blessed to be a mother. 
:: Ugly--Lopsided Christmas tree to be planted outside after Christmas; Beautiful-- Keeping Christmas humble 

Wed/Dec10~ 3 Gifts Unframed Art:

:: Juárez city lights at night from the top of the mountain
::The art of grace painted by the Master Artist
:: Moon peeking through front yard branches

Thurs/Dec11~ 3 Gifts Ice Cold

 :: Ice cold drinking water on a warm airplane flight
:: Ice cold cokes brought by my cousin and aunt who picked us up from the airport (along with a bad full of Krystal burgers!)
:: Ice cold nights- perfect sleeping weather after one very long day

Fri/Dec12~ 3 Gifts Berry Red

:: Red cherry on top of Chick- fil- A peppermint milk shake —milkshakes sucked down while touring my Aunt Madeline’s cute little town all decorated for Christmas
:: Red faces of nieces and nephew flushed from play (and they know how to play!)
::  Red ornaments gracing the Christmas tree

(My son Jonathan and my nieces and nephew)

Sat/Dec13~ 3 Gifts Striped

:: Striped lines on highways keeping traffic on their own sides of the road...mostly (The story behind that is we were on our way to a family reunion. My aunt was driving. In Atlanta traffic. I think my issues with other drivers are hereditary. She ‘talks’ to other drivers as well. My dad was praying in the backseat. Out loud.) 
:: Striped candy canes bringing smiles on children
:: White lights wrapped around pillars on front porches (looked liked stripes to me...very pretty)

December Joy Dare Link:

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Quieter You Are...

November 30-December 6

Sun/Nov30~ 3 Gifts Astonishing

:: True this, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Ps. 30:5b
:: Since coming off a lot of sugar in my diet, UNsweet tea can taste so refreshing! 
:: Juárez, Mexico will never be nominated as the most beautiful city in the world, yet from the view of the mountains every which way you look, to the handiwork of her people, and to her colorful culture, beauty is there to be noticed. 

Mon/Dec1~3 Gifts White

:: Clouds like stretched cotton across the sky
:: Swirl of creamer in morning coffee
:: Candles burning softly on the dinner table 

Tues/Dec2~ 3 Gifts Bright

:: Bright eyed son always ready to 'connect' in the morning with hugs and conversation. ((The other morning, he woke up talking about a blast that happened in 1908 in Siberia...Alrighty, then))
:: Bright pink clouds at sunrise
:: Bright Christmas decorations in all the stores

View from our living room window this morning

Wed/Dec3~ 3 Gifts Shining

:: Christmas trees and tinsel displayed in windows
:: Christmas lights on houses and in yards
:: 9 year old Victoria's face excited about baking Christmas cookies on Saturday at church

Thurs/Dec4~ Gift Circling, Crowning, Crafted

:: Us, mom and son, circling around stores today looking at Christmas decorations
:: 'Tis the season for crowning Christ as King -- If only we would do this daily in our lives.
:: Handmade wreath crafted by Sunday School kids last year. I had forgotten about it until I opened the bin of Christmas decorations. 

Fri/Dec5~ 3 Gifts Silver

:: Silver teapot boiling water for my newly purchased herbal Brain Booster Tea (Amazing stuff here!) —I've given up coffee for a bit. I felt it was making me sluggish and I've been struggling with energy lately. Busy busy! This tea is glorious. I also ordered the Ginger Snap Tea.  Also, very tasty.
:: Silver hoop earrings worn today — gift from a friend
:: Christmas cards with silver bells and trees sent with best wishes for a Merry Christmas.

 Sat/Dec6~ 3 Gifts Sweet

:: Breakfast made by John —I've been exhausted and overwhelmed and he has stepped in more lately making breakfast..and cleaning up afterwards! Such a huge help.
:: Hair color appointment made at the encouragement of John
:: Christmas cookies made with ladies in our church in Mexico. We baked and decorated 18 dozen!! These will be for our annual Christmas meal coming up in  a few weeks.

December Joy Dare Printable: