Thursday, January 30, 2014

Joy Dare - Snowing Today

January Joy Dare Prompts (think of 3 gifts for each day - use prompts if you want!):
17. A Gift Bringing Laughter, Prayer, Quiet
18. 3 Gifts From God's Word
19. 3 Gifts That Might Never Have Been
20. 3 Gifts Only Seen Up Close
21. A Gift in Sky, Water, Memory

My list (picking up from the last list):
449. Baby boy long johns!
450. Being the "leader" of my Bible Study group, which gives me a lot of pause, but I find I am enjoying it
451.The still of the house in the early morning when everyone is asleep
452. The many layers of the Torah
453. Seeing that the people, who were used by God, were anything but perfect
454. Those beautiful passages in Isaiah
455. If Gabe had chosen a different career, we would never have Vespera
456. If we had not had Vespera, we would have never moved into this house and been 3 generations in one house!
457. If we had never moved to this house, we would never have had a space for Vespera and Niteo to be so close!
458. The dark chocolate brown of Mane's eyes
459. My mom's rings
460. The unique finger prints of every single person on earth
461. SNOW! I love snow so much better than cold.
462. Aurora loves the water, loves to swim, will work hard to swim.
463. Taking Vespera, Niteo & Mane out to walk on frozen Lake Sylvan over Christmas break.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Joy Dare - Other Familes in Action!

January Joy Dare Prompts (think of 3 gifts for each day - use prompts if you want!):
15. A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared
16. 3 Witnessed Blessings

My list (picking up from the last list):
443. Mango's old soft shirts
444. copies of Anne Lamott books
445. Cake!
446. We all SAW that guy out for a run in the middle of the windy-bizzard-conditions street last night.
447. The way one of my co-workers talks to clients at the salon. Wow. She's awesome. I have a lot to learn from her.
448. Sweet family at the salon yesterday that has clearly taken in an international college student. They have so much fun and love to go around, that she's been sucked in! She stayed with them over Christmas while her roommate went home for the year. The dad's name was Dan. I happened to glance down at the mom's phone when he texted her after taking the kids out for a walk. She has him listed in her phone as "My Danny." (not his actual name, but the point is made). The kids were teasing dad earlier in the day because mom was watching him snowblow the driveway out the window and talking about how sweet & handsome he was. International student was clearly so well attached...had gottten lice from the kiddos because she read books in bed with them at night! Good to see other families in action!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Celebration Cake

On Wednesday I made a cake, celebrating that my bone marrow is fine. It's like a birthday to know I won't be having a bone marrow transplant any time soon. The day before Christmas Eve I found out that I have the genetic mutation that runs in my family and predisposes people to myelodysplastic sydrome and acute myeloid leukemia (one or the other or both have affected 7 of my family members so far). On Janaury 17th, I had a bone marrow biopsy to see if there was any sign of either. Any significant trouble with my bone marrow would have indicated the need for a bone marrow transplant. On January 20th, I found out that my bone marrow is healthy (with the small caveat that some of my blood tests - not bone marrow - show some impaired immune functioning).

So, I made a celebration cake - the gluten free, sugar free kind with whipped cream on the top!

And when I broke the eggs over the bowl, into the flour and salt and butter, there was an egg with a double yolk. Follow the link to fall down the rabbit hole of the double yolks...

Sabbath Joy Dare

January Joy Dare Prompts (think of 3 gifts for each day - use prompts if you want!):
8. Dusky light, Surprising Reflection, Lovely Shadow
9. A Gift Held, Passed By, Sat With
10. A Gift Sour, Sweet, Just Right
11. 3 Yellow Gifts of Fresh Mercy
12. Something Above, Below, Beside
13. 3 Things About Yourself you are grateful for
14. 3 Startling Graces of God

My list (picking up from the last list):
422. Shabbat Candles in the evening as the sun is going down
423. Finding a scripture that says we are the CANDLES of God. Mmmm... Going to have to reflect more on that one.
424. I always love the shadow of the dried flowers on the wall.
425. Holding Mango's hand through the hospital
426. The beautiful glass blown artwork at Mayo - just like the piece at MIA
427. Jo-Jo snuggling in my lap
428. TWO bags of grapefruit on the counter when you're trying to keep everyone from getting sick in the MN winter!
429. Chocolate wine for Shabbat
430. Crockpot chili simmering all day
431. Ha! Yellow! Remembering how Mane used to call herself "Yellow" when she was little.
432. Again, a memory: Of the yellow bridesmaid dress I wore for a delightful wedding! Mercy. What a mercy that marriage has been.
433. Yellow. The color of the walls in my kitchen, which I know I've mentioned in this list before...but how cozy on a winter morning!
434. The patterned ceiling of my kitchen. I don't know anyone else with such sweet old ceiling panels.
435. Hardwood floors. Nothing says peace, and earth, and grounded like the real wood floors of an old house.
436. The window beside me that looks out on my messy porch...with all the funny little do-dads, finger puppets, trinkets on the sill.
437. I'm pretty at home in my own mind. I love to think, reflect, puzzle through, sort...
438. I'm grateful for small feet that carry me everywhere and still do the job, even though they're small!
439. Freckles. Because Mango likes them.
440. That peace can still be found in such a torn up world.
441. Twins! That God made people to sometimes have twins! That the egg I broke for the celebration cake the other day had a double yolk!
442. That snowflakes are beautiful, albeit cold.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Joy Dare

I've been working on this 1000 Gifts list for a long time now, and I find myself constantly amazed by the gifts of every day. If I wrote here every day, I would totally be to 1000 by now...way past 1000. Every day is a gift, every sunrise, every sunset, every visit from a friend, every meal, every cup of tea...

I started keeping this list when I found that someone else on my mom-ing message board was keeping a list. Then I found my way over to Ann Voskamp's blog and discovered who she is and where the idea of 1000 Gifts comes from. This fall I read parts of the book. (Then I had to return it to the library.) And now this winter, my Bible study group is going to use the DVD small group study produced by Ann Voskamp.

I am still keeping a list. And, for now, I think I'll use the prompts suggested by the Joy Dare that Voskamp created last year to push me to broaden the scope, to notice things previously unnoticed. I may even pull Mane into the project (I see a craft book on the horizon). But, first, I need to get started myself.

I want to begin with the beginning of January. Each day has a prompt for 3 gifts. Today is the 23rd. So, I'll play catch-up for a while.

Anybody want to join me? Here's the way I roll: There are no rules. Nobody says you have to do the days in order, that you have to do it every day, that you have to follow the prompts, that you can't forget or have life get in the way. Those things get in the way of gratitude. It's called guilt...or shame...or perfectionism... But, the feeling that you have to do this in a certain way at a certain time or else it doesn't count is a distraction. It gets in the way of actually doing anything. So, do Something. One Thing. Anything. Whenever you can. It's better than No Thing.

January Prompts:
1. 3 Gifts Heard
2. A Gift Inside, Outisde, On a Plate
3. Graces You Overheard
4. A Gifts Old, New, Blue
5. Something you're Reading, Making, Seeing
6. One Thing in your Bag, your Fridge, your Heart
7. 3 Graces from People You Love

Those are the prompts. Here's my list (adding to my current list):
401. Fire in the fireplace
402. Humming heater in the kitchen to keep our feet warm on these cold, cold days
403. Those beautiful windchimes can be heard, even in the house, even in the winter, even with the door closed.
404. The stained glass window over the couch in the living room
405. Snow blowing off Lake Calhoun on the way to the salon...This got Mane all excited. It looked like a crazy blizzard, but it wasn't even snowing.
406. Enchiladas. I still remember learning to make them with Vespera and her story of how when the tortilla separates into layers in the hot oil it means that you'll have company for dinner.
407. Mane singing in the shower
408. Axel in the back seat of the car
409. The women of my Bible study catching up with each other and really working toward building a community of care and support.
410. My mom's rings
411. Mango's new video venture
412. Levi's hats
413. Pastrix
414. Cabbage Patch Hat for Mane
415. The red house across the snow...Thanks to my mother-in-law, there are some houses in the neighborhood with some COLOR!
416. Arnica
417. Spinach Dip
418. poor sick, sleeping family members - Mane and Mango. I love them to pieces.
419. Those words that Mango always says, that come so easily now from Mane because he led by example, "Is there anything I can do to help you?" What an amazing thing to teach our children. And I am spoiled that they are always trying to help me!
420. Photo books from my we can always remember.
421. Facebook messages from Vespera in Oaxaca.