If I sat down to write a year in review blog it would probably be very short yet it would hold so much. Everything has changed so much and I often catch myself, staring at my husband saying things like "Can you believe that one year ago I was crying over the fact that I had *ruined* Zoe for sleeping on her own" as Zoe now sleeps blissfully happy in her crib.

Looking back through this year it's been such a haze of rapid change. We've only lived in this house 13 months and there are still boxes to unpack. So much has happened, is happening that I've felt a lot of life has been a blur.

This year I hope to be a bit more intentional about my time and to really focus on a deeper understanding and relationship with Jesus. I plan to seek after the joy and peace that come from a closer walk with Him with more fervor than this last year.

Enter a blog/life challenge. Enter The Joy Dare. Simply put, a little daily focus on Joy. Joy, a God given gift.

I'm late to the party, but i don't intend to give up and trow in the towel...I'll just start late and try to catch up.

I doubt I'll blog it everyday, but I'll try and keep an updated list here on the blog.

So here we go:
Day 1:
3 things about yourself that you are grateful for:

Hmmmm... this isn't easy to think of right off the bat. I mean, i think I have pretty eyes but am I grateful for them? Are my eyes a "about me" anyway?

I am grateful that I am stubborn. I don't think I am the type to just dig my heels in because I want to, but when I passionately believe in something, I get pretty rooted. I grab onto God and I use all my tenacity to hang onto or fight for what I think is right.

I am grateful that I am so vulnerable. Vulnerability rarely feels very good and has opened me up to a world of hurt and mistreatment by people I was emotionally vulnerable too. I have wept bitter tears over betrayal and relationships lost. I have felt hurt deeper than I care to remember. I have also had true, honest, deep relationships that have brought me the sweetest tears and greatest laughs.

I am grateful that I bore Eden. I did not carry her alone. I did not bear the burden of her death alone. God was every bit of strength in those many months of her short life, and He is my sustaining force, to this very moment. Still, I am grateful that I heard from Him and obeyed. I am grateful everyday that I loved her like I loved all the others. I am soooo grateful that she was allowed to live and that I got to choose that for her.

Day 2:
A gift outside, inside, and on a plate.

I am still a little cold from one of my nighttime walks. When i slip out at night and join up with my friend and we walk we do so much more than exercise our bodies. We laugh and plan and mostly dream. We share each others burdens and joys. We offer encouragement and a listening ear. I love these walks.

And when I came inside, it was still and quiet. The chaos of the day had melted and my family are all nestled in bed, healthy and warm.

I will probably eat one of my favorite Christmas cookies before I head off to bed. The box is half empty and when they are gone, they'll be gone until November. But tonight I will delight in them and how they taste delicious and remind me of the Christmas wonder of my childhood.

How about you? How would you answer The Joy Dare?
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