"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner


10 April 2014
*Affirmation from Jill
*Mr & Mrs Robin and Mr & Mrs Dove building their nests around our house
*Giant strawberries
*surprise new dress for A from Lisa
*Clover flowers all over our backyard
*Good neighbors
*My husband rocks for real
*B's successful pee-free nap

09 April 2014*Baby diapers sunning in the backyard
*B's haircut
*bubble bath for kids
*squirrels and bunnies for providing B with entertainment
*flowering plants outside
*officer who pulled up next to me at a red light to let me know my tail light was out

06 February 2014 ~ 3 Gifts Found OutsideReal, fluffy, big snowflakes actually sticking and creating a semblance of a winter wonderland outside my windows; the arrival of an annual newsletter that I look forward to every year (from my favorite math teacher of all time and his dear wife) in our mailbox;
PLUS: beautiful friends helping paint the nursery; laughter as I listen to a Francis Chan sermon as I work during nap time; I had evening commitments 4 nights this week (just thinking about it made me tired!), but God sorted it out and postponed two of them until next week (which was wide open); a good talk with Momma Jill to end a pretty good day
05 February 2014 ~ 3 Gifts Stitched, Hammered, Woven
Hooky orders, new-to-us dressers that we desperately needed, the love of Jesus woven so tightly into our family
PLUS: old friends, new friends, "Encore!" for 2014
29 January 2014 ~ A Song Heard, A Soft Word, Light Seen
"Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord..." (Chris Tomlin's "Everlasting God") and the accompanying "preaching to myself" moment that followed; toddler interruptions through the night and remembering that this will not be forever; so many clear-blue-sky-sunshine days here!
26 January 2014
life group friends, N, B being so good today
10 January 2014
Tanya, new friends, Adrienne's overwhelming generosity with her time and resources
09 January 2014 
MOMS and the reminder that we need not live so desperately; life group friendships; my sweet, sweet boy
07 December 2013 ~ 3 Gifts from My Savior
beauty of redemption, unparalleled love, this life

06 December 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Sweet
the joy of winter wonderland through my son's eyes, cuddles at night because of ice noises, hot chocolate at the Hamlets'

05 December 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Silver
cookie tins, frames on living room bookshelf holding beloved faces, glint of cooking utensils

04 December 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Circling, Crowning, Crafted
each passing day with my family, my Savior King, library story time and games

03 December 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Shining
Christmas lights, whirring blades of blender for morning smoothies, reflection off of running water from tap

02 December 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Bright
winter sunshine, early morning lights, smiles from B

01 December 2013 ~ 3 Gifts White
Ann Voskamp's Advent book, tissues, "sparkles" at bedtime

30 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Astonishing
great trip to Houston, B doing so well, blessing of my family

29 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Red
blood of Jesus, Christmas/Easter, reminder of Kerry's wedding

28 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts in Community
giving trees at church, friendships, family

27 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Handmade, Held, Happy
B's "Easter Bunny," Hope banner, B
26 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Preparing
hearts for Christmas, plans for weekend in Houston, Advent

25 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Ugly-Beautiful
me (beauty for ashes); laugh lines; loss/death

24 November, 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Humble
perspective from B about people, N and how hard he works, blessing of this life
23 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Only in Christ
completion, identity, purpose/meaning

22 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Grateful
home full of people I adore, that we are really okay, enough to give to others
21 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Family
Skype, my husband, so much love
20 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts of Tradition
Christmas decor, family/heritage, time together
19 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Autumn
unexpected brilliance of leaves this year, rain aplenty!, cooler temperatures - finally!
18 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Made, Shared, Passed On
cards, "artwork" by B, crocheted things

17 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts of Laughter
fun with my husband, friends, toddler humor

16 November 2013 ~ 3 Hard Eucharisteo
marriage, parenting/pregnancy, contentment

15 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Golden
wedding rings, sunsets, magic of fairy tales

14 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Silent
the hours between bedtime and waking, snow fall (I miss it), the first verse of "Silent Night" sung by my little boy
13 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Behind a Door
a nursery to be put together, a home of our very own, a soundly sleeping son
12 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts at Noon
anticipation of nap time, food aplenty, lunchtime connection with N
11 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts of Remembrance
No more deployments for N, escape of books in childhood, joy of pregnancy/early days with B

10 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Bible Reading
Isaiah 35, Luke 2, Titus

09 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Harvest
roses from the garden, pumpkins, love in B's heart

08 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Sweet, Salty, Sipped
coconut lime cookies, bacon, rooibos tea

07 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts from My Window
Trees! Rain! Unexpected glory of fall colors

06 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Government
protection, safety, help
05 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Acorn-Small
wedding ring, little fingers and toes, seeds (new beginnings)

04 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts that Start with "N"
My Nicholas, Now (the joy of the present), Nap time, November (anticipation of Christmas!)

03 November 2013 ~ 3 Gathered, Given, Good
Halloween candy, cowl for Melanie, friends

02 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Worn
all the hooky orders I've had, hand-me-downs for B, that we have such an abundance of clothes that laundry can be considered a chore

01 November 2013 ~ 3 Gifts Eaten
coconut lime cookies, spiced latte decaf coffee, PW's zuppa toscana
PLUS: package from Tanya, Halloween cards for B from Lita & Grandma Jo, B's delight at trick-or-treating with "our friends"
08 September 2012 
Miss Barbara's surprise gift of classic books for B, "Grandma Jo," RAIN!

15 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts Ugly-Beautiful
my childhood in Cameroon (seeing the worst of poverty but learning compassion and generosity firsthand), family (so many offenses, slights, pains, and hurts ... but still intact), spiritual gifts of mercy and discernment

13 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts in Green
little basil plant sitting on the kitchen windowsill, toddler art smears on B's first painting, brussel sprouts for lunch

12 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts Half-Hidden
My sewing machine on top of the dryer in the laundry room; a frame sitting on the cluttered counter that holds a photo of much-loved, not-often-seen-in-person faces; the stereo that sits on top of the kitchen cabinets that plays the music to which we have stompin' dance parties each day

11 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts of Metal
engagement/wedding rings (the promise of always), crochet hooks to make many gifts of love, airplanes bringing people together

10 August 2012 ~ 3 Hard Eucharisteo
Giving thanks that my little boy's illness is a temporary thing; for my body, with extra pounds and imperfections, knit and women by He who is the Greatest Artist of all; for throughout-the-night snuggles with my boy (the ache of muscles unrested, but the sweetest of baby smells and the softness of baby skin)
09 August 2012 ~ A Gift Whole, Hole, and Half
Whole - Our family, just as it is right now, regardless of how much bigger it might get in the future
Hole - 7 drilled by my sweet husband so our "love" pepper plant could be transplanted
Half - breakfast eaten by my sick toddler
08 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts in Summer
water in all forms, our anniversary, birthdays of loved ones

07 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts in His Word
Romans 8:28 - He always works for my GOOD
John 15:2 - Thankful to be pruned, even though it is often uncomfortable, rather than cut off and discarded
Ephesians 4:16 - Though we are broken, we are part of one body
06 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts in Water
raspberries in iced lemon water, giggling son in the swimming pool, rainbow suds in the dishwater

05 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts Outside, Inside, Upside-Down
RAIN!, naps, memories of hanging out at the pool as a child

04 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts Sitting
breaking fast with strangers at a picnic table at the farmers' market, playing with toddlers at a birthday party, the weekly gift of sharing a pew with my husband as we worship Abba together
03 August 2012 ~ A Gift at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 10 p.m.
10 a.m. - The incessant babble of a toddler in bright yellow sunglasses delighting in the outside world (and trucks) on our walk around the neighborhood
1 p.m. - Quick and easy access to medicine for B's hives. Reminder that this wouldn't be nearly as easy overseas in a developing nation.
10 p.m. - Celebrating how we are fearfully and wonderfully made as I watch the Olympics
02 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts Eaten
basil spinach omelette wrap, bulgogi with kimchi, caramel macchiato ice cream

01 August 2012 ~ 3 Gifts White
My coffeemaker on bleary-eyed mornings after staying up too late watching the Olympics, diapers sunning on the drying rack, wispy clouds in the impossibly blue sky

31 July 2012 ~ 3 Gifts Difficult
The time waiting for news (trust!), toddlerhood (and yet so grateful for my boy), cleaning up the kitchen at the end of the day (but thankful for the abundant provision of food, dishes, pots, running water...)

30 July 2012 ~ 3 Gifts Heard
The crazy laughter of my full-of-mischief little boy, the glad "Hello!" of my husband walking in the door from work, the beeping sounds of a Skype call connecting us to my parents in Africa

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