Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Gifts Found in June 2015 - Part 1

Ann Voskamp ushered in the month of June this way:

"Well, hello June!

" 'Whatever you do, do everything... *giving thanks*.' (Colossians 3:17)

"God's will is for us to give thanks *in all things* ...

"All research proves that if you daily count gifts you will be *25%* happier.  Who doesn't want to be 25% happier!!??"

I for one want to be 25% happier!  So, I am continuing to count God's gifts during the month of June, following Ann's book, "One Thousand Gifts".

June 1st
3 Gifts Orange

1.  The Gift of Writing - As I complete me second [post for the day - "Gifts Found in May Part 4" - I hit the button that posts my most recent writing...

for all to see!

And, once again, I have shared my thoughts!

2.  The Gift of Positive Fun - 

What more can I say but...orange is FUN and uplifts!

3.  The Gift of the Sun - A bit hidden today, but it was still a hot day!  And, I found this beautiful sun created by Candy Waters, the young autism artist...

I just cannot get enough of her beautiful art work!  Thank you, Candy!

June 2nd
3 Gifts Funny

1.  The Gift of Childhood - What joy to hear a child's laughter:  the "blowing bubbles and spit", followed by an infant's giggles; the cuddling of a toddler, blowing "raspberries" on his neck and hearing his laugh; an older toddler blowing "Nanna kisses" (basically the same as raspberries, but done on the neck like my grandmother - Nanna - did), and telling mommy, "MeMaw and PaPa are blowing "Nanna kisses" and laughing hysterically!

Oh, yes!  What gifts are received from these little ones!

2.  The Gift of Age - Yes, a gift!  While watching "America's Got Talent," we met 87 year old Shirley - classy, witty, special lady ... she told the judges she had been married 4 times; 3 died and she almost killed the 4th trying to get a divorce ... yes, funny lady!

And, she also sang "I'm Gonna Live Until I Die!"

Loved her humor and her perkiness!!

3.  The Gift of Giggles - Twins taking a bath in the sink and having a giggly fun time splashing in the bubbles!  So cute; had me laughing with them!

Watch how cute they are:

June 3rd
3 Gifts from Today's Conversations

1.  The Gift of Communication - Funny, it doesn't feel like we actually communicate!  What he doesn't hear; he assomes.

What I try to say, he doesn't hear and acts really ridiculous instead of just letting me know he didn't hear.

But, some times we actually do have a decent conversation ...

And some times I actually get a compliment; like when I said I really didn't like the color of my hair (from a recent "at-home color job"); and he said he thought it looked great!

2.  The Gift of Making Plans - My daughter called tonight and was telling me all the plans she had been making for our 4-day weekend trip!

We are going to have FUN!

3.  The Gift of Inward Beauty - I commented on another blogger's post on the Tuesday @ Ten prompt "If only".  Feeling a need to continue that "conversation", I put it on my status on Facebook...

And received a lot of positive comments, affirming the person I am.

This is part of my response to that post:

"If only! - I DO wish when I looked in the mirror I saw a different ME...but, I AM who I AM and this is who I will be!  Yet...there are things I DO wish were changed!

"The other day I had my hair cut short for the summer; needless to say, the hair dresser cut out all of the color - it needed a coloring job anyway! - and all that was left was the gray.

"I looked in the mirror and almost cried:  I LOOK LIKE MY MOTHER!

"Now, this is NOT a bad thing...but, I am not ready to BE my mother, to look like an 80something year old woman!

"So, I colored it...myself!  And instead of a nice warm brown, light or even dark brown with some red highlights...

"It turned out DARK and almost BLACK!"

"I did not like it - to start with - and was very vocal about it both in person to my family and friends; and also on Facebook, as in this status!

"Now, I wasn't fishing for any compliments - but I received several from a few different friends (even my online friends who have never even met me!...

"Telling me I was beautiful, inside and out; and reminding me that outward beauty is not as important as inward beauty...

So, the gift of inward beauty - acknowledged by many family and friends.

June 4th
3 Gifts Found in Christ

1.  The Gift of Rest - In Christ we can find rest for the weary.  Even though I woke up several times during the night, I had a fairly good night's rest -

The night before vacation with family who picked me up early to head to Orlando, Florida.

2.  The Gift of Sea Life - The amazing world under the sea - God's amazing creatures ...

We enjoyed the Sea Life Aquarium where we saw many sea creatures, many that would qualify to be included in a few days for "ugly beautiful"!

A Manta Ray
at Sea Life Aquarium

An Ornate Wobbegong

{The Ornate Wobbegong is a type of "carpet shark"
typically found lying still on the bottom of the ocean.
They "sit and wait" for their prey to come close,
then ambush them with a quick snap of its jaws
then swallows it whole!}

Yes!  "Ugly Beautiful" creatures!!

3.  The Gift of Togetherness - We enjoyed a wonderful vacation - four days of togetherness, sharing and having FUN together.  A tiring, but wonderful few days!

{NOTE:  I kept up with the "gifts found in June" during the days we were on vacation; but some were shared a day or so after the actual day!}

June 5th
A Gift of Peace, of Hope, of Love

A little relaxing today, maybe not really "peace"ful; but relaxing, especially since I wasn't feeling well.

So, I stayed with the boys - our hope for the future - 

Whom I truly love -

And enjoyed the Gifts of Peace, Hope and Love.

June 6th
3 Gifts "Ugly-Beautiful"

1.  The Gift of Language - In a multi-cultural world, an environment that attracts people from all around the world...

It may sound "ugly beautiful" hearing such a mix of different languages; but beautiful in a "connecting" sort of way - 

Languages can be so beautiful!  Like the accents of the British couple we spoke with on the bus to Legoland; and the excited group of Spanish-speaking people having a great time next to our cabana at Legoland Water Park.

2.  The Gift of Rain - Sure to spoil a wonderful day, the blackish gray clouds came rolling in, along with lightning and thunder.

A "beautiful" day turned "ugly" in a brief time...

But the rain only sprinkled a little, and the clouds slowly rolled away along with the lightning and thunder.

3.  The Gift of Outward Beauty - There is so much more to a person's beauty than a great body, beautiful hair, skin, etc.

And - to me - seeing a beautiful body scantily-clad, or wearing extremely revealing clothing is "ugly beautiful"...

Though beautiful, I feel the way a person dresses takes away from that beauty.

June 7th
3 Gifts in What You are Reading

1.  The Gift of Good Deeds - This quote from Desmond Tutu was shared on Facebook today -

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."

2.  The Gift of Teaching - The following was shared by my friend who is in treatment for cancer;the first quote is a portion of the eulogy for Beau Biden's funeral, given by President Obama:

'We do not know how long we've got here.  We don't know when fate will intervene.  We cannot discern God's plan.  What we do knnow is that with every minute that we've got, we can live our lives in a way that takes nothing for granted.  We can love deeply.  We can help people who need help.  We can teach our children what matters.  We can pass on empathy and compassion and selflessness.  We can teach them to have broad shoulders.'

And my friend added these words:

"If we at least try, bare minimum, so many things could improve without as much as a day passing by.  Always remember, we affect those that we come in contact with; a friend, a family member, a customer, a student, a stranger.  All it takes is a bit of effort.  How much does that cost us?  Very little.  But the payback can be immense!"

3.  The Gift of Sharing - Taken from "Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul", the short story "A Serendipitous Visit to Revelation Island", the author Noel Phillip Rodriguez says...

"...we are all inexplicably bound together, and that to commit ourselves to both the act of writing and to the free sharing of our ideas and efforts, provides us with a secret wealth that we should never doubt the value of."

Every day, we "free share" as we connect with others; not only through blogging, and reading others' blogs and commenting, but also as we share on Facebook (and other means of social media I don't do - like Twitter and Instagram).

Our words can do much good; 

Our words can do much bad, if taken the wrong way!

We must strive to make sure our words do good...

This is the first part of "Gifts Found in June 2015"; part 2 will be coming soon...


  1. What a lovely gift this post is! Truly a keeper. Thanks, Barbara!

    1. You are welcome, Andrew! I am blessed that I found Ann Voskamp's book, and started really looking for the gifts God gives to each of us EVERY SINGLE DAY, and most often they are found RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES!

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! Blessings to you and Barbara!!

  2. There are so many precious gifts. Thank you for sharing this post, Barbara.

    1. Yes, Romi! There ARE so many precious gifts; and many times they are right in front of our eyes - and sometimes we miss them!! Glad I started really looking...

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Lovely to read of all the gifts and good things which have come your way this month, and that even positive things can arise from things that look not so positive at the start. I smiled in sympathy with your comment about looking like your Mum - none of us are ever ready for that, I think!

    1. No, not ready to LOOK like my mother; although, I LOVED/LOVE my mother and am honored to look like her...just not ready for all that gray hair!!

      I have been amazed in finding these gifts - that He DOES give so much to us all!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Alexa - haven't "heard" from you for a while!!


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!

You are special to me; and your words help in more ways than I can number...Thank you just isn't enough!