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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hildebrand

Starting 2015 With Joy

All the empty boxes slid down the attic ladder and then down the stairs.

The gifts put in their right places.  The ornaments taken off the tree.  The manger scene gently wrapped back up.

Being it’s time to take them down isn’t necessarily a joy, because it does make me kind of sad.  But there’s so much joy to think of and remember this past month between Thanksgiving and this new year.

Today I’m counting these joys and thanking God for all He gave me this past month.

This year, I challenge you to take the JOY DARE.  I took it for the first time on January 5, 2012.  It’s worth it.  So worth it.  It makes me remember what God has done for me – what He gives each day.  Gifts.  Love.  Grace.  To me. And to you.

So here’s the end of 2014 and I’m looking forward and looking up to Him with gratitude already for what 2015 holds.


#2282  The feeling of walking out of the library with books in your arms

#2283  square dancing with dear friends celebrating a special birthday!




#2284  decorating for a friend’s party

#2285  raking leaves

#2286  eye doctors

#2287  not a long wait on time crunch afternoon

#2288  telling others, most I don’t know, about the IF:Gathering at a meeting

#2289  hearing others stories

#2290  bananas at its perfect time to eat

#2291  IV students here for dinner

#2292  hearing students lift each other up in encouraging words and prayers

#2293  tradition menu at Thanksgiving

#2294  time with family in Cary

#2295  the time and love my mom and aunt put into cooking

#2296  laughter about our dog eating the apple pie while we were out shopping the night of Thanksgiving and the story that will live on

#2297  shopping with my daughter and niece


#2298  our fam ice skating with my sister’s fam and watching/skating with nephew for his first time


#2299  mom playing Christmas music on her piano singing carols with her grandkids



#2300  back at church I grew up in decorated for Christmas



#2301  seeing sweet Polly

#2302  watching Gran play her organ


#2303  Church Chrismon tree and ornaments





#2304  Christmas shopping and coffee break and conversation with sis and bro in law day after Thanksgiving.  Just the 4 of us.

#2305  looking at Christmas tree listening to Visioncast

#2306  my husband’s job

#2307  on a walk and seeing houses and homes decorated

#2308  hearing “You’re Here” by Franesca Battistelli

#2310  our family time together reading about Jesus’ lineage most nights in December

#2311 friends who gave us that book

#2312  husband making Nativity gifts for friends


#2313  annual reunion with college friends


#2314  our server who asked us to pray for her

#2315  our SMC Advent Bible Study

#2316  the words women shared in the Advent study

#2317  the tree stump – in the Word and on my walk the next day


#2318  annual cookie decorating tradition


#2319  a bright, loud, beautiful, colorful mess

#2320  being in the Word with our people – our small group


#2321  Singing a Christmas carol to our neighbor “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, Hey!” with cookies flying off the plate the same time as Hey is heard!  Much laughter followed.

#2322  unexpected Saturday before Christmas snow


#2323  an early Christmas gift – a new camera!


#2324  Christmas eve traditions



#2325  Christmas morning traditions

#2326  giving children gifts

#2327  being with family to celebrate Christmas 4 times

#2328  family reenacting the Christmas story in Luke 2


#2329  the creative theme my husband’s grandparents put into their gift giving each year

#2330  a surprise massage Christmas gift with my sis

#2331  Jo’s hands

#2332  Hot Stones

#2333  Hearing Jo’s sky diving experience

#2334  burgers and fries with family on New Year’s Day along with black eyed peas salad

#2335  all-healthy Christmas




#2336  bowling and glow in the dark putt putt with friends

#2337  church willing to help us with IF

#2338  sister to talk with

#2339  evening at the restaurant to write blog posts while daughter at rehearsal

#2340  daughter performing 6x in December…especially at the retirement community


#2341  spending Christmas eve eve eve at the Motsingers with the kids

#2342  new word of year – look up

#2343  IF number rising

#2344  time by the Christmas tree in silence or with jazz Christmas music

#2345  walking at an outside NC Art museum with family

#2346  fresh air on a January afternoon




#2347  son’s imagination  – “appreciating nothing butt art this afternoon”

#2348  laughing hard playing Telestrations


#2349  all of the gifts I didn’t record in 2014

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