Oct 28, 2014

delighting in 1000 gifts // part 3

After a three-week break from blogging, I wanted to return to my reminiscing of the gifts God has blessed me with in the last year [ part one and two]. After reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp, I was inspired to start writing small as well as large "gifts" or blessings in my life. This soon changed the way I looked at each day. I started looking for gifts in the mundane, and they were brimming and awaiting to be noticed. Here are the gifts from January's trip to San Antonio. I've been down to San Antonio twice since then and so much has happened since. I loved looking back at these special moments that started it all. 

238. Walking down San Antonio's River Walk in January with two close girl friends in the blistery cold while dodging falling icicles from palm trees (that is pretty ironic, right?) 
240. Catching up with those two friends about what God is doing in our lives.
242. Experiencing the beautiful lobby of the historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio [see the post]
244. San Antonio's famous BBQ hotspot, Rudy's and catching up with friends who moved to S.A.
245. Exploring the caves of the Natural Bridge Caverns and the Wildlife Safari next door [see the post]
247. Two-stepping with a real cowboy. He was so good and I kept stepping on his toes!
248. Lunch with the girls at the Gristmill, a treehouse-like restaurant in the adorable Texan town of Gruene. We listened to live country music and visited cute antique shops and boutiques too [see the post]
251. Breakfast at La Madaleine in San Antonio, a French country kitchen cafe. 
252, 253, 255. Wayside Church's young adult group. We learned about the God's love. I got to meet some of my friend C's friends from Texas, including the handsome guy who later would become my boyfriend =) 
257. Walking through the historic missions [see the post]
258, 259. Enjoying the River Walk from a boat tour with my two friends and my handsome [see the post]. Then enjoyed dinner with lots of the young adults from the group we met earlier. And I got to sit next to the mister and chat during while eating delicious Tex-Mex (little did I know what joy the next 9 months would bring!)
262. Touring downtown San Antonio with friends [see the post]

Oct 7, 2014

delighting in 1000 gifts // part two

Last October, I started journaling daily blessings or 'gifts' after reading Ann Voscamp's One Thousand Gifts. I am going through my journal as I hit one year since I started and feeling so blessing in a year full of delight and joy, even amidst stress and busyness. 

I posted my favorite gifts of October 2013 and now I want to share my favorite gifts in November and December 2013:

74. Older couples telling about God's faithfulness through their lives
77. My mom's face when I bring her flowers during unexpected visits
78. She Reads Truth Bible studies
85. Sunday naps
97. Monthly massage and catching up with my massage therapist
101 & 102. A clean apartment and the smell of clean laundry
113. Collecting 262 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts collected from church
114. Surprising coworkers with pie and thank you cards
118. Serving lunch at Union Gospel Mission on Thanksgiving day
138. Writing Christmas cards 
145. Antique-shopping at Monticello Marketplace for Christmas decoration ideas 
and decorating my apartment
151. Spending the weekend with family in Leavenworth, Wa.
155. Sitting by a fireplace, sipping a warm drink
162. A Christmas gift from a sunday school kiddo. So sweet
176. Fog during my first jog of 2014. So pretty
189. Remembering that God is both sovereign AND good
193. My BFF's gift came in the mail
195. Paying off my undergrad school loan ($7,000!) to cut one loan off my list
204. Tea and goal-setting at Cafe Delirium 
218. Skype chat with Natalie from Heart Stirrings

Oct 3, 2014

delighting in #1000gifts // part one

Back in January, I blogged through my goal setting process using the amazing series by Lara Casey. On day two, I was prompted to prayerfully choose a word I hoped would define 2014. My word was:
d  e  l  i  g  h  t .
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will 
give you the desires of your heart." 
>> Psalm 37:4 << 

Here is what I wrote the first week of January:
God is a God who delights. Just look around you at unspoiled nature or the canvas of bright stars that sparkle on a clear night. He is a God of creativity and beauty, which are two forms of delight. And if His loved ones are to image Him [Gen. 1:26-27], we are made to delight as well. He first is the truest and eternal delight for those who look to Him as their Father.  

And from the delight we experience in Him, others flow out. These are extensions of the original and strongest delight found in God and should not overshadow or overpower the joy and fulfillment He gives, for then our earthly delights all tend to fizzle and wane.

But when He is rejoiced in most, we experience that spark of delight, or as fitting to this post, a get-me-fired-up! attitude that leads to change . . .  a soul-searching, life-altering, others-focused change that ripples its effects in the years to come. I want a year of delight!
One year ago in October,  I started reading Ann Vocamp's One Thousand Gifts and was inspired to start a journal and catalogue atleast three daily gifts given from God. They could be small things that brought a spark to my day, like a fresh bouquet of flowers from the farmer's market, or something big like an answered prayer. In the last year, I have been so blessed. God indeed is a God who gives and it was so awesome to intentionally look at each day, looking for blessings even in the hardest of days. And as I started looking for these blessings in each day, I experienced delight both in God's goodness and faithfulness over me as well as delight in the simple things that bring so much joy in life.

As a hoorah! for a full year of sticking with it,  I wanted to share some of my favorite "gifts" I journaled in the last year that brought delight. My goal is to reach 1000 gifts by the end of the year, and I am steadily getting closer. Here's to a year full of delight!

Here are twenty gifts from October 2013. I'll share more throughout the month!

1. For the grace, love, and redemption of God.
4. Tea while reading on my couch in a quiet room
5. My neighbor friend who has been such a blessing to me in the last two years.
8. Encouraging women in the blogging world who have become good friends
9. My community groups (both the one I had in Seattle and the one I have now)
11. Warm blankets and a warm bed after a long day
13. Traveling to Europe two summers in a row
14. Hand-written letters from friends, especially on rough days
16. Jogging around a nearby trail
19. Seeing good friends happily married and when the time is right, as glowing mamas with darling babies in their arms (two friends had infants in this season)
27. Vibrant autumn colors 
29. Finding a dress that's a perfect fit
33. The sweet melody of waves against a shore
34. Crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-inside French baguettes. Yum!
35. Adorable stationary shops, like Stuhlberg's in Queen Anne area of Seattle
39. My favorite Seattle park, Green Lake
40. Reconnecting with my old roomies when I visit Seattle
43. Warm stew on a chilly night
51. Seeing my nephew Caleb grow and hearing him laugh
61. Making a nervous pediatric patient laugh by being my goofy self

Oct 1, 2014

goodbye september // hello october!

"I am so glad I live in a 
world where there are 
O c t o b e r s ! "
>>> Anne of Green Gables <<<

September Goals
+ jog and/or gym twice a week  --> finally back in my routine & it feels good! 
+ Finish reading Meet Me in the Meadows and The Golden Key (by George Macdonald)
+ Get to bed by 11:30pm 50% of the nights --> roughly 50%, yes!
+ Meet with my "little sister" I mentor  --> I will meet with her tomorrow!
+ Dig deep in the new Hosea study from She Reads Truth --> SO GOOD!
+ Catch up on some of my favorite blogs, such as this one and this one
+ liver detox cleanse  --> starting a detox this weekend!
+ Write to my Compassion International child --> she wrote me a sweet letter too!
+ Attend a nurse practitioner seminar on mental health --> it was great!
+ 2 new recipe --> paleo minestrone soup and artichoke & tomato chicken
+ memorize 2 verses from Hosea study Hosea -->  Hosea 12:6, 6:3, and Psalm 19:7
September was a busy and productive month! It was the first month in a long time that I finished almost all of my goals. I tried to check on the goals throughout the month and put several of them on a 'to-do' list in my phone to remind myself of the commitments I made for this month.  I made some healthy personal changes this month to give me more rest and feel so good going into a new month. I am hopeful for what is to come. Bring it on, October!
October Goals
>> work out twice a week
>> Finish reading Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist & start Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers
>> Memorize scripture weekly with Greg as well as focus on  Psalm 19:7-8 from the Open Your Bible study by She Reads Truth that I did in September (which was SO good)
>> Review atleast 4 different Bible studies I've done in the last year by using my journals and re-reading the Scriptures so the truths continue to settle in my heart and mind.
>> Write to my Compassion International child monthly
>> 10 Day herbal detox along with paleo-ish 
>> 1 new recipe
>> Meet with my little sister
>> Get to bed by 11:00 on work nights 
>> Try to do Bible study devotions before 10pm (if I do them last thing before bed, I am exhausted and tend to rush through it)
>> Make a habit out of praying before and after my Bible devotions
>> Continue to journal 3 blessings per day in my 100 Gifts journal
>> Snail mail: 4 letters in the next month
>> Review atleast 1 lecture from my grad school powerpoint slides that is practical for my work setting
>> Continue to check my online budgets monthly

My cozy little apartment is ready for fall with my mini pumpkins and dried flowers. That's about as festive as it'll get for now.