Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Late in the Game, I'm Starting to Count Joys

     Just before the start of 2013, Ann Voskamp over at  A Holy Experience dared the world to count 1000 gifts--3 gifts that bring you joy a day, every day for the year.  To help folks out, she even created an app and published a journal for tracking the found joys, and sends out a monthly list of prompts.  I just discovered the challenge last night.  So, I am too late to be included in the related contest (one collector will win a new camera!), but I figured I would share and forward the dare onto us all.
     Those of you who know me, have often heard me talk about "catching the joyful moments."  And when things are really bad, I'll encourage you to, "Quick!  List 5 things that don't suck,"  as a reminder that not every moment of your day is ever truly hopeless.  So, this is right up my alley.
      I have a Cool Cousin to thank for introducing me to A Holy Experience.  This past year, Ann Voskamp traveled to Uganda right around the same time I was in Rwanda.   My cousin thought I would appreciate the blogposts about the trip.   I did.  The writing about her experiences was deeply moving.  Her other posts about daily life as a home-schooling, farmer's wife are also moving.   And then I found the dare to Count 1000 Gifts.  I believe I may have found a kindred spirit.  Go meet her for yourself.  And consider taking up her challenge.

     Today's prompt: 3 gifts yellow...

  • The black-eyed susans taking over the corner of my badly neglected perennial bed simply delight me.
  • The way it feels when Thing 1, Thing 2 and the Evil Genius  tease me when I pick yet another shade of yellow to paint some part of the house.  Currently, the exterior, the living room, the hallway, the upstairs hallway, and the upstairs bath are all shades of yellow.  I love that we are a family that laughs together.
  • Brand new yellow crayons (and all the rest of them) symbolize back-to-school for me. It's probably my favorite time of year.


  1. Hi Mama Allen,

    Nice to meet you. I too enjoy Ann's writing, her joy dare, and more. Have you read her book "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are"? It is phenomenal!

    Tell me more about your Rwanda trip. I lived in Africa for a while too.

    Jennifer Dougan

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  3. Hello, Jennifer! It is a pleasure to meet you, too.

    I have had the extreme good fortune to be able to travel with students to Rwanda twice in the past two years. Here is a link to the blog the students (with some help from me) kept while we traveled: http://globalcitizenswhs.blogspot.com/

    It is a long story as to how I got there. Last January, I wrote about a bit of it here on Prodigal Son's Mother. In a nutshell, though, I oversee the youth group of my Rotary Club. The youth are required to do three community service projects a year--one for their school, one for their community, and one international project. Four years ago, after having their interest sparked by a viewing of the movie Hotel Rwanda, the kids decided to not just send supplies, but to travel to Rwanda themselves as their international project. It was life changing in all the great and terrible ways that one can imagine.

    I'm currently planning a third trip for this coming June. This time, though, I won't be leading a student group. I'm bringing my family and we will be visiting the friends I have made and the places I have come to love.

    There is so much more, I'm sure, but I think this is a good enough introduction, eh?

    Peace, Kristen