Category archives: Joy

When You're Looking for Peace

I step outside to a fall breeze and walk the long yard through leaves, some gold, some brown, to gather green tomatoes from my garden. And I heap them up in a tin pale with a wooden handle, 'cause there's something that makes me feel a bit like a pioneer woman when I've got my tin pale with it's wooden handle. I'm barefoot and glad that it's still a smidgen warm and I can do this.  The day's been peaceful. Because last night before we fell asleep, Brent and I prayed together and asked God to help us with our lives. And I'd confessed how I'd been on the internet too much again. That lap-top seemingly attached at the hip and it's got this grip on me that I don't like. And if Jesus is the greatest treasure, then I simply wanted more of Him. And this morning, soon as my eyelids fluttered[...]

Because Life Is Awful Hard

I've come to the conclusion, in my ripe old age of thirty-two, that life is just hard. Even an easy life is hard. Even a life where you married the man of your dreams, and you have two beautiful and hilarious kids and a nice, comfortable house and a great big yard and you live in a free country with more food in the pantry that you could eat in a week. Even with all that, life can be pretty excruciating on the heart. It just is. We all have our own reasons why.And deep down inside, in the middle of all the hard, we're all just looking for joy. We crave it. We just feel like there's gotta be something more than getting up and going to work and coming home and eating some food and watching a show and going to bed and getting up and doing it all over again. There's gotta be something mo[...]

When You're Just Plumb Scared and Want to Feel Safe

Some days, fear has this grip on me. Anxiety and worry take its toll and I find it hard to breathe. I can feel it in my skin, literally. Every once in a while, I get the shingles. Shingles isn’t just for old folks, apparently. Shingles can happen to worry warts, too. But, I’m a child of God. A little girl who belongs to a Great King. A Great King who never worries about a thing because He’s the biggest and the strongest. And I’ve got these promises. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deut. 33:27) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble…The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Psalm 46:1,7)So, I run to my Refuge and I hide in my Strong Tower and I just sit still and remember what I’ve got in Him. I[...]

What I Do When I'm Afraid of Life

Sometimes I get afraid of life. I can't explain all the reasons why, but I just kinda go through these spurts or seasons when I'm more prone to be fearful of things and my heart feels fragile and I have a hard time roping my imagination in.And it's strange because it's something that happens on the inside of me and I'm finding that it has nothing to do with what's going on, on the outside of me. Like, today for instance. Today is the most lovely, breezy, warm, full-of-light kind of day. And there's nothing in my life to be afraid of. At least nothing that I can see. But, for whatever reason, I have a lot of what-ifs running through my head, and before I know it, I'm plumb sceered! Scared of the world. Scared for my kids. Scared of what could happen in my life. Just scared. And I don't like[...]

Addicted to Color

We're addicted to color around here. And lately, we've been coloring everything. We color our eggs and our cream of wheat and our ice cubes and our cheeks and our shirts and our paper and our patio and pretty much anything we can get our hands on. We like color. Color makes everything so colorful. God must love color, too. Because He colored the whole world with it. Even the galaxies. Did you know the galaxies are different colors? Breathtaking colors. And underneath the sea, way down deep, there's all these colors, too.  I mean, He could have made everything black and white and we never would have known. But, He didn't. He made all these shades and hues and they make life brilliant and vibrant and nice to look around at.Do you ever wonder if God has a favorite color? Because it seems[...]

The Secret

The secret to happiness...Can't be found in all the stuff.(For after all, haven't you noticed that we always just need that one more thing?)And it's not in the flattering accolades and descriptions behind our names.(Because validation only makes us feel good for a moment...and then we're hungry for some more.)The secret to happiness...Is realizing that it's never very far away. Sometimes it's just right there in front of you.You just have to slow down enough to see.

When Your Life Feels Like One Big Project List

Some days I feel this stressful tension wrapping around my throat. Pressure to "get it all done" that chokes the life right out of me. The Cinderella song starts playing in my head:Cinderelly, CinderellyNight and day it's CinderellyMake the fire, fix the breakfastWash the dishes, do the mopping And the sweeping and the dustingThey always keep her hopping She goes around in circlesTill she's very, very dizzyStill they hollerKeep a-busy Cinderelly!Before I know it, I'm not happy anymore.  Golley-jeepers, folks, I just don't have time for happiness. No sirree--I've got way too much to get done. After all, isn't that what makes your life worth something? If you have a million things on your list and your knocking them out? So, I decide to put my head down and get to work. Knock it ou[...]

When You Feel Like You're Just Existing

Yesterday was a struggle for joy. Some days I just forget the meaning of life. I actually forget why I'm here and what's the point of everything and I sit at the table at the end of the day and mention to Brent that I feel like I'm just existing.My brain gets fuzzy and I feel confused because I look around me and there are so many things to be happy about and to be thankful for...but for some reason, joy just isn't there.What if Who I believe in isn't true? What if we just come to the end and find that all there is, is nothing.Doubt. Worry. Fear.Now, why am I here again? What is it that's so important? Would someone please help me see?I whisper prayers and voice my thoughts. Questions still come.I ask for eyes to see.I stop to gaze at black-eyed Susans. What is the meaning of all thi[...]

How to Savor Joy

There are countless ways that God graces our lives with His Presence...we only need eyes to see.He whispers His love to us in a thousand different languages.At times He shouts it out.We only need ears to hear.There's a joy-song just waiting to be sung with our lives.It's intoxicating and relentless.We only need a heart in tune.Lord, please wash away the blindness from our eyes. Please take away the deafness from our ears. And Jesus, please take the hardness from our hearts. We need eyes to truly see...ears to truly hear...hearts that can feel You. Especially in this daily grime of life. You are our Joy. We long to savor You.

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