Faith, Thanks Living

One thousand gifts in 2012: I Dare You

Many of us have made New Years Resolutions.  

A wish to create valuable habits.

Ann Voskamp writes,

We never cease working on the the habit of good food, good exercise, good time management.

Why ever lessen the habit of our grateful thanks to a good God?

snow flower

Ann has challenged us to count just three gifts a day

Three gifts a day

A joy dare.  Should we really need a dare to capture joy? 


Could counting three gifts a day change my attitude?  Change my situation?  Change my emotions?

I accepted this challenge last year. 

It changed my life. 

snow flower 2

Perspectives change. 

Thoughts shift. 

Fears diminish.

Habits transform. 

A habit of not complaining, but the habit of giving thanks; the habit of not worrying, but a habit worshipping. The habit of repeatedly giving God praise that our lives might become a prayer. Small is always the leverage of large. It’s one moment after the other, the small moments that turn a life. It’s the small actions that can change a life.

It’s habits that can imprison you and it’s habits that can free you and when thanks to God becomes a habit, so joy in God becomes your life.

Maybe a life needs change over and over again — that constant turning to God? Not so much resolutions but revolutions.  (Ann Voskamp)

Click here to print out January’s Joy Dare for 31 days of capturing gifts. 

I dare you.


10 thoughts on “One thousand gifts in 2012: I Dare You”

  1. Happy New Year my friend. This is a great idea to encourage your readers. I will follow suit. God bless you this year as you minister through your blog. I will be keeping you in prayer.

    1. Happy New Year to you, as well, Kerry-Ann. This “finding joy” dare was pivotal last year. I am thankful for the prompts Ann has provided (three a day) to keep me going. My entire family has jumped on board. I pray you will continue to encourage others and minister through your blog (or God’s blog through you). 🙂


  2. I am dared and I must say this writing was inspired by the Holy Spirit without a doubt. Just YESTERDAY (January 8th, 2012), I was ministering to a dear friend who has for many months now has had only a negative, defeatist, despondent and hopeless view of life due to emotional abuse and trauma suffered in the hands of close kin and friends over the years.

    I didn’t know what to tell my friend but as we took a leisure evening walk in the City of Nairobi, the Holy Spirit suddenly laid it upon my heart to exhort her to develop and nurture the habit of giving thanks. My challenge was: “write down three things every day you can rejoice about and tell God thanks for!” It’s worked for me over ten years now and hence my excitement when I read this blog!

    God bless you and may your labour of love bear even more fruit and reach even more readers around the world. Thank YOU for letting me be a part of what the LORD our God Whom we both serve, is doing in and through you in these last days before the return of our Saviour.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Brother Hermann,

      Thank you so much for the encouragement (and confirmation) to continue to find joy. To capture joy and grace. I once heard a preacher say that “giving thanks” is like pulling out and using the big cannon in the battle against the devil. Thanks living!

      You surely are blessing many as you minister in the name of Christ. And you have certainly blessed me.


  3. Another great post, Cristal! I spend so much time on my other blog (Blogger) that I often forget to come by here to check on lovely posts like this one.
    I remember reading Ann’s challenge and made a promise to myself to find 3 things a day, instead of the usual one a day… I have been far too slack! I have been so busy trying to capture my “Project 366 Rewind” (a photograph a day). However, as I write this, I realised that I could use the photos as inspiration for counting gifts as I am capturing the things I am grateful for…
    Again. lovely post and thanks for the reminder. I love your blog 🙂

    1. Thank you for the encouragment, Liz. I have to keep Ann’s montly challenge on the refrigerator. But, as I get in the groove of counting at least 3 a day, it becomes more of a habit. A lifestyle of thanks living!


    1. I am learning (slowly) that grateful heart is the place of worship in daily life. A practice of being in His presence. A developing of a habit of being refreshed moment by moment through Christ’s indwelling Spirit.

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