Thursday, January 3, 2013

Counting The Gifts I've Been Given

I read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp this past year.

Twice actually.  And I gave it to 4 people.

I loved it that much.  I don't read an entire book that doesn't revolve around a bible study often, and I had no idea when I first read this book a bible study was being done.  I was so excited when I found out.

Until I was asked to lead it.

Just reading the sentence, " ... and I think you should be the one to lead it." just about made me throw up.


Reluctantly, I said I'd pray about it.  What I've not told anyone to this day is my prayer was, "Lord, please, please find someone else to lead this study.  I don't want to do it."

He didn't.

Upon further investigation I discovered it's a DVD series study and comes with a handy study guide.  That I can do without the need of a Zofran IV.

A few weeks ago I bought the DVDs and watched all them in one night.  I got them on a Saturday and had to pass them to my pastor the next day.  All studies done through my church have to be approved by the session, and time was fast approaching for them to meet next.

By this time I was in love with the study.  So my prayer went from begging the Lord to find someone else to lead the study, to begging Him for them to approve it.

Approved it was, and now I cannot wait to get started.  January 14 the Monday night study will begin, and January 22 the Tuesday morning study begins.  Yes, I'm holding two studies at once.  Sounds a little nuts, I know, but I have become so passionate about this study.  I want to make it possible for every lady to participate.  It's just easier for there to be a daytime and a nighttime group.  Each group will only meet every other week, and they will alternate weeks.  Plus, I'm not having teach it.  I'm only facilitating.

I'm excited to get started, and can hardly wait!  In the meantime, I think I'm going to try something else.  Hopefully, I can keep this up.

Ann started The Joy Dare last year, and is doing it again this year.  Each day she gives you a category and you're supposed to list three gifts.  It's a count down to 1,000 gifts throughout the year.  The idea is you count 3 gifts per day, and by the end of the year you have counted at least 1,000 gifts ... 1095 to be exact.  You can read more about it here where she explains a little more in detail, and you can get a copy of January's Joy Dare  here at the end of this post by Ann.  Even though I'm a couple of days behind already, I think I'm going to attempt to do it.

I think it will be good for me to have some structure in being intentional about realizing the gifts the Lord has given me.  Realizing them, and being grateful for them.  Focusing on the bad comes so naturally to us, and I know for me, it's so easy to let it overwhelm me.

That's happening now.  Has been happening for months now.  I'm still fighting against a horrible depression and still on medication for the stomach ulcer that sent me to the ER doubled over in pain.  I'd love to remedy that.

I have a choice.  I can either wallow in all of the ugliness of life, or I can focus on the beauty of all I have been given.

... From everyone who has been given muchmuch will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. ~ Luke 12:48

Much I have been given, folks.  I'm off to count today's gifts, and hopefully, will write them out later today.

And if you'd like to join one of groups, even if you don't attend my church, let me know.  We'd love to have you join us.  I really think everyone is going to love this study.  I think it's the perfect one to do as we enter into this new year.  Being grateful for what we already have, rather than worrying over what we don't have.

I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. ~ Psalm 9:1

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