Friday, August 28, 2015

Gifts Found in August 2015 - Part 3

August 15th
3 Gifts Ugly-Beautiful

1.  The Gift of Messes:  The following lines in "Through it All", sung by Colton Dixon, could sum up a good part of my life:

"I have won and I have lost.
I got it right sometimes
but sometimes I did not.
Life's been a journey.
I've seen joy,
I've seen regret..."

Yes!  So true of much of my life; but...

"Oh and You have been my God
through all of it."

Thank you, God, that you have been with me through all of my life's messes..."Through it All"; and that...

2.  The Gift of God's GraceFrom Ann Voskamp:  "Yeah, you know those places where we're feeling empty?  Those formless places in us, our family,our year -

Right where our hopes haven't happened yet - the Spirit of God hovers now.  right where it's dark and it's deep, our Divine Helper hovers close.  Right where it's formless, it's not ever, ever, ever hopeless - because we have a Father who hovers near, His love spread over us like wings (Genesis 1:1-2).

And right now?  Right over our darkest, emptiest, most hopeless, most unspoken broken place - Grace hovers so close, it touches us, lights us...

Grace loves us -"

Oh, yes!  His Grace finds our ugly; our hidden; our deepest darkest places...and He covers us with His Grace and Light!!

I just love how Ann's words fit right in...oh, yeah!  She is the one who has brought the "One Thousand Gifts" to us!!  And, she never fails to have just the right words for me, when I am needing to hear or read them!

Thank you, Ann, for your beautiful, on-time words!  And, thank you, God, for bestowing these beautiful words in Ann's heart so she can share them with her readers!

3.  The Gift of Crafting:  My hobby is scrapbooking...I enjoy gathering with friends to create pages ("layouts" in scrappin' language!) that will hold photos and memories.

One of our events is called "Ugly Paper"...each participant brings three sheets of "ugly patterned paper - or, something we just have no idea what to do with!

We also include three sheets of solid paper that coordinate with the other paper.  Then, we are given a package of someone else's papers to create a are a few completed layouts from our last swap:

How can anything Disney be "ugly"!  And, there is nothing ugly about these layouts!

Thank you, God, for talented ladies who can create something beautiful from something "ugly"!

August 16th
3 Gifts of Family

1.  The Gift of Church FamilyComing together in Worship today, we celebrated in many ways as a family - a Church family.

We shared in music - singing and listening; guitar, flute, piano and organ - all bringing us together, as family...

We listened to His Word from Ephesians and John.

We celebrated three "stages" of lives:

a baby dedication;

presenting a Bible to one of our 2nd graders (a tradition in our Church family);

and a scholarship was presented to one of our Seniors, headed to college.

And, as many families do when we get together - our Church family gathered at the Table of our Lord to partake of Holy Communion.  In His body and His Blood, we are joined together as the Family of God around His Table...

Thanks be to God for His unfailing, unending Love.

2.  The Gift of Family Ties:  I am blessed with great family ties; my two brothers and I are close, thought not in miles.  I am also close to my two sister-in-law.  I also have two cousins I keep in touch with, thought they are also not very close in distance.

I am happy that my two girls are close - especially now that they are both adults, and mothers...which means the kids - cousins - are also close.  Again, my son is not close in distance; but close in all other ways.

What a blessing to have such close Family Ties.

3.  The Gift of Memories:  As we look to our past, what memories do we have of our family?  I wonder what those memories are that Bobby has of his past - his parents, his siblings, his first wife, his son...

I know there has been a dis-connect in these relationships; and, some have re-connected somewhat, but not completely.

I thank God for the memories he has, and pray for the re-connecting he hopes to have.

August 17th
3 Gifts in the Morning

1.  The Gift of Peace and Quiet:  Waking up in a different environment; no loud TV, or cat meow-ing; just semi-quiet voices hurrying school-age kids to get ready...

Hanging out at my daughter's house makes me feel I'm living in a home-fashion magazine: so clean, yet lived-in; such beautiful decorations, yet so welcoming...

I miss the Peace and Quiet when I go back home; yet, it is "home sweet home"!

2.  The Gift of a "Do-Over":  Ever want a "do-over" know, you've had a bad day; said or did something wrong; treated someone badly; over-looked an opportunity, etc. etc.

Well, each day when the sun rises after "resting for the night", we have the perfect opportunity to do just that -


Thank you, God, for a new day and the opportunnity for a "Do-Over"!

3.  The Gift of Meditation:  In the quiet of a morning - becoming more routine! - I sit in quiet and peace, reading the Bible, the morning devotion, reflecting on God's Word.  sometimes, a verse sticks with me; and some verses come back on other days - a Word from God...

Listen for God's voice in the peace and quiet...

Do you hear Him speaking to you?

August 18th
A Gift Red, Read, Written

The Gift of the Story of My Life:  Recently, I wrote a post for the tuesday @ Ten prompt, "Who Are You?  I Am..."

{Check out that post here}

It isn't always easy to write about oneself; and that is what I wrote, taken from a couple of different sources I had written them for.

But, my story is unfinished; I am still on my life's journey.  Only God knows the outcome!

August 19th
3 Gifts in Church Travel

{Today is the start of a little vacation trip for us; so, it's a "travel" day!  This is why I changed the "gift" for today to Travel!}

1.  The Gift of God's Masterpiece(s):  As I drive along the interstate, headed to our vacation destination, I can't help but see the beautiful blue sky, with a mixture of white and gray clouds...

And, just as we focus on His Word when we gather in church, I focus on His Masterpiece(s)...

"The skies proclaim the work of His hands..."  Psalm 19:1b - NIV

2.  The Gift of Welcome:  As we cross into Georgia, just before the Welcome Center, the sign welcomes us with:

The welcome station was filled with shaded areas for picnics, walking your dog, or letting the kids run out some energy...plenty of greenery and flowering plants.

3.  The Gift of Hospitality:  Just as we gather at the Table of the Lord at Church...when traveling, it's always nice when you can gather around the table with loved ones for a delicious home-cooked meal.  I am thankful for both of these occasions!

August 20th
3 Gifts of Serving

1.  The Gift of Sharing:  They prepared, served and cleaned up; they shared their home, and they served to our, drink, a place to stay, to sleep, to be "at home" with them.

For these gifts of serving, I am truly grateful!

2.  The Gift of Filling Needs:  The servers at Chick-fil-A are always so polite, welcoming, and open to "fill our needs" - refilling drinks, delivering our food to the table.

And, at the "original" Chick-fil-A, The Dwarf House, they did the same thing...a tradition of serving; of filling the needs of customers!

3.  The Gift of Greeting:  Several restaurants, including the fast food, call out a greeting when a customer walks in...

At The Varsity in Atlanta, as a server or a cashier is available, they call out "What'll Ya Have?"  "What'll Ya Have?"

August 21st
A Gift Straight, Curve, Turn

{This sounds "travel-related" to me!}

And, with traveling comes taking unfamiliar routes...some are straight, others may curve this way or that; and sometimes we miss the turn and have to u-turn!

Thankful for the chance to travel and see the USA - like we did in our "early years" together.  And, thankful for safe travels and not getting lost!

This ends Part 3; make sure you check out Part 1 and Part 2.


  1. What beautiful gifts, Barbara.....yes, I do hear God speaking to me, quite often. I'm in a period of sleeplessness just now, and He just sent me to read the Book of can it be that He knows us so well? (I'm constantly astonished!)....[and thankful that He sent me you...and you sent me Ann Voskamp....]

    1. Thank you for reading, and sharing your comment! I am so thankful also that we have connected; and that Ann's book and her "gifts" idea has taken on so much for me/for us! I have started the second notebook where I write the gifts, then transfer them to my blog where I share them! I hope to continue to do that, even if there are only a few readers!

      God speaks to us in many ways, and I fear my life is taking on too much again so that I am not taking the right amount of time to listen for his voice...I need to ponder that one more!


Thank you for stopping by to read my post today! I appreciate your reading and commenting - your comments are a welcome encouragement for me to continue one of my favorite things - writing!

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