Tag Archives: One Thousand Gifts

Can I Joy Dare You? Week 29

Can I Joy Dare You? – Week 29


Butterfly Batik Watercolour by Janis Cox

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As I continue to count the gifts I feel like I have been on a scavenger hunt seeking new things. Thanks so much to Ann Voskamp for leading this journey.

This week I am taking an art course at the Haliburton School of the Arts. It is called Experimental Watercolour by Kal Honey. If you are from Ontario and love art, consider checking out the summer brochure – lots of great classes.

So my pictures are few this week – if any – but I keep counting the gifts. I would love you to continue to link your posts.

July 17 ~ 3 gifts learned

  • I learned all about furnaces and air conditioning this past week as my daughter’s A/C decided it was too old to work (and this during a heat wave)
  • I learned how to keep cool; move around slowly; drink lots of fluids, have a shower and go to bed with wet hair
  • I learned there is a new Bible study starting in August – online, studying one passage of Scripture a week (hope I can find it again)

July 18 ~ 3 gifts musical

  • baby toys can come on suddenly when you least expect it
  • I love watching my grandbaby dance to the music
  • I love singing songs – praise and worship songs especially

July 19 ~ 3 gifts baked

  • it is a blessing our bread is already baked – either regular or gluten free
  • Grateful that we now have baked chips, not fried ones
  • I baked in the heat – over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees C.) and it was humid

July 20 ~ a gifts light, dark and shadow

  • light: I love the morning light waking me up
  • dark: it is so quiet in the dark
  • shadow: isn’t it wonderful how the trees provide such lovely shade, especially in the heat, while we played in the sandbox?

July 21 ~ 3 gifts story

  • Sunday’s sermon was on Mary and Martha – a story I know well as I have a children’s book, unfinished, based on this story
  • the stories in the Bible – so powerful
  • twice a month we have a storytelling course on Mondays – we are learning biblical storytelling – Highlands Biblical Storytellers.

July 22 ~ 3 gifts understated

  • we learned in art class today the difference in intensities – and it is good to vary the intensity of the colour – some to be understated or lower intensity
  • me – I have to learn not to be so intense – t0 let go of control – be understated
  • the lesson this morning from Oswald Chambers – It is NOT about me. I have to keep reminding myself

July 23 ~ a gift high, low and far away

  • high: I drank a chai tea this morning and actually had a high level of energy for most of the day
  • low: unfortunately now that it is nighttime – my energy level has hit bottom – low
  • far away: this week I am reminded of the Polish mission team, with which I have travelled 4 previous times, is so far away. Praying for them especially since they have lost half the team (before they arrived). Trusting God to figure this out.

Here are a few shots of the weird and wonderful things we have been doing this week.


An artist works with the strainer to see the types of marks that she can make on the paper. No brushes were allowed.


Bought for $1.00 at the Dollar Store – this artist uses it to create interesting textures.


This is my effort. I used the little squiggly thing at the top. Made from flower wire, it has a feathery end. Amazing how many different marks can be made from it.


One of the students had made this gadget – string, washers. Our instructor, Kal Honey, is shown using it.

CAN I DARE YOU? – Week 2

Can I Dare You – Week 2


As I continue to count the gifts I feel like I have been on a scavenger hunt seeking new things. A wonderful week searching and looking. Thanks so much to Ann Voskamp for leading this journey.

Jan. 7 ~ 3 Graces from People you love

  • Laughter at dance as we learn new steps and are using canes. Very funny! Watch out around me.
  • People like my paintings

Batik Turtle – a friend for Tadeo?

  • Hubby vacuumed as I still fight this bug

Jan. 8  ~ Light that caught you, a reflection that surprised you and a shadow that fell lovely

Light that caught me.

Reflection that Surprised Me


Snowball’s Shadow – so long – fell lovely

Jan. 9  ~ Gift in hand, gift walked by and gift sat with

  • Snowball jumped in my lap and I petted her and snuggled
  • We walked by a bunny that was camouflaged against the bushes – Snowball didn’t even see it
  • my hubby drove me to the Apple Store to fix my computer

Jan. 10 ~ Gift that is sour, gift that is sweet, and a gift that is just right

Sour lemons

Sweet Oranges


  • my first Bible study after the holidays – great Bible Babes

Jan. 11 ~ 3 yellow things

Yellow Bananas

My yellow morning devotional chair


Yellow flowers taken on a beach in northern Poland

Jan. 12 ~ Something above me, below me and beside me

Looking up at the palm trees on my retreat

Below me – bubbles from the waterfall at the retreat

  • new friends met at Cozy Mountain Lodge Retreat in Gilbert, Arizona – walking beside me

Jan. 13 ~ 3 sounds you hear

  • at the church service this morning – “roaring like a lion” from God’s Not Dead by the Newsboys.

Roaring like a lion
Roaring He’s roaring
He’s roaring like a lion
He’s Roaring He’s roaring

  • ducks landing in the lake
  • my hubby using a power drill to build me a new cabinet for my art supplies

Here is the video of My God’s Not Dead.… a great way to end the week.

My God’s Not Dead He’s surely Alive.

Please feel free to add your post link in the comments – we would love to see others who are counting the gifts and doing the JOY DARE


Counting to 3000

Gratitude Journal 2011 – 2012

Joining Ann Voskamp and the Joy Dare for 2012. I am still counting the gifts (since January 2011). Another 1000 this year and on to 3000 for 2013.

Are you keeping a list of gratitude? Here are Ann’s words.

Why bother keeping a gratitude list of His gifts?

Because if you keep a gratitude list, you:

1. Have a relative absence of stress and depression. (Woods et al., 2008)

2. Make progress towards important personal goals (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)

3. Report higher levels of determination and energy (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)

4. Feel closer in their relationships and desire to build stronger relationships (Algoe and Haidt, 2009)

5. Increase your happiness by 25%(Who wouldn’t want a quarter more happiness!) (McCullough et al., 2002)

Another way to do this is to make a Gratitude Box – in it you can drop notes of Gratitude (the whole family can participate). At the end of 2013 – you take out the pieces of paper and read over your year of blessings.

Another way to count the gifts

Here is my list for this week:

  • great visit will our kids and grandkids
  • good travelling weather (in the snowy north)
  • Putting treats for the birds on a little tree outside – cranberries, oranges
  • sweet singing around a little Christmas tree – O Christmas tree (outside)
  • putting grandkids to bed on the night before Christmas

And the stocking were hung…

  • surprise – Santa came – even stocking for hubby and myself
  • granddaughter (5) is learning to sew on a big sewing machine

Pinning the Fabric

Learning to Sew

Learning to Sew


Finished Product

Finished Product

  • delicious turkey made by son-in-law … mmm good
  • singing “Happy Birthday to Jesus” before our meal
  • relaxing on Boxing Day – even had a nap!
  • sleeping well while travelling
  • the peace and calm after a snowfall
  • watching baby find his voice, and use hand signals (10 months)
  • a sleigh ride for baby

Sleigh Ride for Baby

  • baby ‘s first attempt at crawling

  • a new trike

  • singing to daughter on the phone “Happy Birthday”
  • animal camouflage – beautiful pictures
  • reading to baby

reading to baby

  • singing to another daughter at dinner – “Happy Birthday”
  • hard Eucharisteo – I have a sore throat – YUCK
  • thanks to Tylenol, hot salt water gargle, Vit C, garlic … am coping
  • patience of my family as I am slow, slow and more slow with this bug
  • flying back to AZ

friday favorite things | finding joygratituesday1112


Counting to 3000

In January 2011 I started to count gifts after reading Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. It is a great way to stay focused on little and big blessings in my life. My fat little book is almost finished – time to find a new one.


I started off this week a little slowly as you will see but recuperated by the end of the week. Still saw many blessings.

Counting Gifts from God:

        • flu bug slowed me down – maybe that was a good thing?
        • the memory of the year 2002 – our daughter’s wedding
        • the memory of the year 2003 – the birth of our first granddaughter – Quinn
        • getting better from the flu bug – Vitamin C, lots of water, rest
        • great dinner with a long-time friend
        • the memory of year 2006 – birth of our first grandson – Hayden
        • the memory of year 2007 – birth of our second granddaughter – Carissa
        • time to read  – good book that was delivered from David C. Cook – unexpectedly,  Healer by Linda Windsor
        • the memory of year 2009 – birth of our second grandson – Russell
        • Bible Babes Christmas party


        • rain – yes rain in the desert
Raindrops on leaves in desert

Raindrops on leaves in desert


We got rain in the desert.

We got rain in the desert.



A puddle in the desert

A puddle in the desert




Puffed up cacti  - preparing for the dry to come.

Puffed up cacti – preparing for the dry to come.

        • more rain in the desert – puddles and fat cacti
        • the memory of year 2012 – birth of our third grandson – Bryce
        • looking for ear muffs (haven’t found them yet)
        • a disorganized symphony of music from the birds at 5pm
        • messaging my granddaughter at 7am (MST) Cool!
        • an unexpected and delightful review of Tadeo on Amazon
        • a new painting


          •  solution to hard water stains


Hard Water Solution

Hard Water Solution


Shiny glasses – and silverware!



Counting to 2000

One Thousand Gifts

I  reached 2000 this week. So next week I will be saying – Counting to 3000.

Someone handed me a paper the other day that said:

Things to Do Today

        • Ask God to help you prioritize your life.
        • Ask Him for guidance and courage.
        • Make God’s priorities your priorities.
        • If you do, you will receive God’s abundance and His peace.

As we head toward Christmas – this second week of Advent – may you be filled with God’s presence and peace.

My gifts from this week:

        •  watching my grandbaby play peek-a-boo on Skype
        • learning to play Mexican Train Dominoes with Wayne – we are still confused
        • Twitter followers  – follow me on @AuthorJanisCox on Twitter
        • 1982 – memory of our third baby’s birth
        • warmth of the sunshine while we walk
        • warmth of the hot tub and the steam bath
        • things that are red: my apple every morning, my cozy red housecoat and red traffic lights to control the flow of cars and keep people safe
        •  pictures on the wall of my family
        • 1987 – memory of my hubby and I starting our company Pearlchem
        • sunsets in Arizona – amazing reds (someday I will remember my camera)
        • meeting new friends on Twitter @AuthorJanisCox and @UTCOP (Under the Cover of Prayer)
        • actually slept in until 7am
        • indulged in a nap
        • great Scrabble game
        • praise song words, “None but Jesus, crucified to set me free.” Hillsong

        • connecting with a friend in Poland
        • toes didn’t hurt at tap dance
        • 1996  – remembering son’s wedding
        • “Art in the Courtyard” – painting and selling books

Ethel teaching me watercolour batik.

        • Advent – an adventure with God
        • 2000 – new Christmas song “My Soul Magnifies the Lord” played with a full orchestra and sung by a youth choir



Counting to 2000 – almost there…

I am continuing to count the blessings of each day and linking to A Holy Experience on Mondays. Based on Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts.

One Thousand Gifts

        • I stepped out of my “shell” like Tadeo and went into my first bookstore to ask about carrying my book
        • bought Jesus Calling (leather bound) for $12.99 (50% off)
        • met a wonderful encouraging man, Sam, the manager at Berean Christian Books
        • felt a real closeness to God
        • received my first press release for Tadeo Turtle
        • great community of Haliburton, Ontario

From Skyline Park – overlooking the town of Haliburton

        • great art class – God inspires me to paint
        • a new tap dance step called the Tony Curtis
        • Wayne and I put up the creche and the hark the herald angel, shining bright for all to see in Arizona

        • encouragement from others especially my sister
        • great Bible Babes group in Arizona
        • peace – by listening to the quiet
        • new title for this website He Cares for You – 1 Peter 5:7
        • #1971 – my memory of the year 1971 – Wayne and I were married
        • God needs to work through me – not me work for God
        • “not by might, nor by power but by my Holy Spirit,” says the LORD ~ Zechariah 4:6
        • “it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” ~ Lamentations 3:26
        • #1975 – memory of the year of my first born son, Steven
        • slow down
        • #1977 – memory of the year of my second child, Sarah
        • great night at Red Mountain Community Church ~ women’s night, invited by a friend from Bible Babes

        • Christmas tree at Red Mountain

        • picture commissioned for the Women’s night – Celebrate Jesus – It’s True – stunning (the world, the stuff that affects us, the Light of Christ)

        • a new picture called “Tadeo Comes into the Light” – painted before I saw the picture above.

Tadeo climbs into the Light by Janis Cox

      • singing Ten Thousand Reasons by Matt Redman in church on Sunday

Counting to 2000

Counting to 2000

I have moved my list of counting gifts from Under the Cover of Prayer to my website. I will try to post my thank yous on Mondays and link to A Holy Experience.

        • emergency massage appointment – thank you, Holly
        • Helene and Karen who helped me at the Arts Fair

The Arts and Crafts Fair

        • meeting people who liked my book, Tadeo Turtle
        • faithful hubby who came for the last shift at the fair
        • selling stuffed Tadeos and getting orders for more

A bale of turtles

        • beautiful time with God
        • starting to learn Scriptures (learned 3 news ones this week)
        • meeting new friends online
        • beautiful walks in the sunshine

Walking around the lake

        • no more back pain
        • being able to pray for my pastor friend in Poland
        • reading the prepublication of Wonderstruck #livewonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg
        • learning to Tweet
        • Tadeo has his own Facebook page 
        • someone who trusted my cheque would arrive
        • flowers in the desert

Flowers blooming

        • memories of Haliburton and missing my home
        • trip to the olive grove
        • blue blue blue skies
        • watching little bird snatch crumbs under our table (oh I forgot my camera)
        • someone loving my little book (such encouragement)
        • reading Everything by Mary DeMuth
        • sleeping so soundly
        • tap dancing for fun and calling it “tapercize”
        • new friends through the Internet
        • learned a 4th scripture – I am slow but steady
        • fall leaves in the desert

Yes the leaves do fall – some of them, anyway. Fall in the desert

        • American Thanksgiving – a quiet day of thanks for us
        • microwaving leftovers
        • a good buy at Goodwill – a sewing table – the dining room table was too tall and I made a mess in the room

A new sewing table – reuse, recyle

        • a cozy red housecoat for cool mornings
        • sweet raisins on my oatmeal
        • working along side my hubby cleaning our home
        • watching Snowball – she is really funny




THANK YOU GOD – Five-Minute Fridays

Thank You God – Five-Minute Fridays

Okay – I am late – It is Saturday morning here in Arizona. Here is my 5 minutes on the words “Thank you”. Linking in with Lisa-Jo and Five-Minute Fridays.

Counting the Gifts of God

I have been counting the gifts of God since I finished reading Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts in February 2011. (I read it 4 times and used it as a book study in a women’s group too). I am nearing the 2000th gift.

I will continue this spiritual discipline as it makes me conscious of all that God has bestowed upon me. It makes me aware of my world, the people, places and things that make it up. And it brings me closer to God.

Ann’s subtitle is “A Dare to LIVE FULLY right where you are”.

Saying “thank You” to God has become part of my daily life as I practice this discipline.

It takes practice.

It takes work.

Five minute is not long enough to talk on “thank You, to God”.

Thank you, Ann for your words:

“I want to be in God and God to be in me, to exchange love and blessing and caresses … this moment is a divine interchange” (One Thousand Gifts, page 217 – emphasis is mine).

Thank You, God:

I am living fully with my hands wide open.

Are you counting the gifts of God? If not, why not?

The word JOY is used throughout Ann’s book.

“Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped . God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy” (One Thousand Gifts, page 57).

The words from I’m Counting on God are just beautiful.

Here are the lyrics. Read them slowly – let them sink in.

Counting on God

I’m in a fight not physical
And I’m in a war
But not with this world
You are the light that’s beautiful
And I want more
I want all that’s Yours

Joy unspeakable that won’t go away
And just enough strength
To live for today
So I never have to worry
What tomorrow will bring
‘Cause my faith is on solid rock
I am counting on God

I am counting on
I am counting on God

The miracle of Christ in me
Is the mystery that sets me free
I’m nothing like I used to be
Open up your eyes you’ll see

Jared Anderson
© 2007 Vertical Worship Songs

Here is the Desperation Band singing I’m Counting on God – I have put this in my posts before but if you haven’t heard it please listen.

Five-Minute Fridays

Counting the Gifts on Monday

I decided to continue my counting of gifts at my website instead of Under the Cover of Prayer. So on Mondays I will be joining others who count their gifts.


Counting to 2000 – One Thousand Gifts – I am at 1920 – almost 2000

    • a cloudy day with a few raindrops in the desert
    • herons keeping watch 
    • birthday party for a Bible Babe
    • getting organized (binder, place for folders)
    • solutions to computer glitches
    • learning to take my time
    • speaking French with a friend
    • Skyping my daughter and grandbaby
    • BIG FAITH sermon at Broadway Christian Church
    • videocam with daughter and grandchildren
    • funny faces of grandchild
    • daughter happy teaching kindergarten
    • watching Lola and Snowball walk together
    • help from different sources – God-led I am certain
    • Facetime with my granddaugther
    • rabbits in the desert
    • God continues to wake me at 6am
    • friends at The Word Guild and Inscribe
    • healing of a sore back
    • memories of my Mom
    • reviewing One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
    • “Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing” – Ann Voskamp

    • seeking answers by reading the Bible
    • preparing to step out without fear
    • goal to memorize Scripture


We have a special visitor today – Ann Voskamp – writer of One Thousand Gifts. The whole post can be found at How to Pray. This is partly reprinted with her permission.

How to Pray and the Best Way to Work

by Ann Voskamp

A life could really be full of all the best things:

Worried-full for nothing, thank-full for everything, prayer-full in all things.

“True, whole prayer is nothing but love,” offered St. Augustine. Is the only reason we don’t really pray is because we really don’t love? If one’s not praying regularly, it’s only because something else is regularly loved more than God.

Sometimes weeds go deep. I wrestle mine and there’s a taproot: Prayer becomes what we live when we want to get hold of God, not just get a hold of what we want. Yes. I want to parade happy too.

And real prayer isn’t about changing God’s mind but about finding God’s heart — and letting His heart change my mind.

Is this why God urges us to pray without ceasing? We need to pray without ceasing — because it’s the only way to live in communion. Without prayer, how can our life and His will have anything in common? Without prayer, we have nothing in common with God. Without prayer — we have no fellowship, no relationship, no worship. But when we enter into prayer, He enters into our thoughts and then we have much in common and the conversation never ends and we have our heart’s real desire — communion with Christ.

Please read the whole post.

Thank you Ann for your wonderful spirit-filled words. I love the line.

“If one’s not praying regularly, it’s only because something else is regularly loved more than God.”

Whew – we really have to think about that. What a challenge!