Have you ever embarked on a new project and then found yourself overwhelmed? Maybe you've been working on something for a while, but things just haven't clicked.  Or... Maybe tell yourself that if you read another book on the subject and get some expert advice, you'll figure things out. Somewhere, deep in your spirit, you sense that you were created to do something significant.     Most of us have hopes and dreams. Have you noticed... some people not only know what they were created to do, but they are doing what they were created to do?  While on the other hand, some seem … [Read more...]

    Writer and theologian Thomas Merton penned this... We receive enlightenment only in proportion as we give ourselves more and more completely to God by humble submission and love. Last week, my small group was discussing options for our next study.  A list of possibilities was presented by our leader.  As the list was being read, one after the other got checked off the list until the topic of knowing God's will was suggested.  Immediately a man commented that he really needed to know God's will.  And with that, a new study was chosen. This morning I opened the new study guide in … [Read more...]

  Have you ever had a hard day and out of the blue a stranger flashed you a big smile as you entered a building?  Have you sent a friend an encouraging text or message? Have you lent a helping hand only to have the person you assisted express overwhelming gratitude for your small kindness? When I came across these wonderful life words by Zig Ziglar... Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart. immediately I remembered that the best things we can give are not only FREE for us to give... but those gifts return to us in double measure. So in the spirit of … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by!   Have you ever come across a sign or a quote that made you stop and think?     I was reading a magazine the other day and there was a sign in the publication that said something about "doing good.'  I thought having a quote like that on the wall would be a great encouragement to help me think about caring for others and not being so much about myself. Shortly thereafter, I saw this quote by Thoreau - Be not simply good - be good for something.  Many of us belong to the Good Girls' Club.  We follow the rules, keep our rooms … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! We had the most beautiful fall weekend.  My latest post will give you a glimpse of how we enjoyed it.  I hope you had a lovely weekend creating memories, and enjoying the fleeting beauties of the season. As we approach the "season" of gratitude, I thought I'd share this great gratitude quote I ran across.... When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. --Gilbert K. Chesterton Great words to live by.  Yes? If you missed stopping by this past week I shared some extraordinary goodness on … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! How was your day? Today I struggled... seemly seeing all the not-so-good things in my day.  That's a dangerous place to be.  And so the realization led me to put together this graphic that encourages me to "look a little harder."  Maybe it will be helpful for you, too. Look for something positive each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Did it help?  I hope this quote was just the little encouragement you need. If you missed stopping by this past week I shared some extraordinary goodness on the blog... How to Make Easy … [Read more...]

    That got your attention. Good grief... we're taught not to shout. So how in the world will shouting bring happiness?  Good question. These verses from the Book of Psalms opened my eyes... But make everyone rejoice who puts his trust in you. Keep them shouting for joy because you are defending them. Fill all who love you with your happiness. For you bless the godly man, O Lord; you protect him with your shield of love. Psalm 5:11-12     The psalmist pleads with God to "make" all who trust in Him rejoice. That's such an odd thing.  Doesn't it seem like … [Read more...]

    Today I'm going to be raw and real. The kind of real that reveals... The kind of real that talks about those things we hide in our heads and our hearts... The kind of real that hurts.   The calendar turned to August. It's a long hot month and usually more dry than humid. Except, this year. All the pent up humidity of the past several years had been stored up and finally... this August... released into the atmosphere. It was suffocating. Suffocating... Pretty much describes how I feel.   August is the month of my birth. Though I was due at … [Read more...]

  Is there something going on in your life that you're praying about and seeking God's help to see you through? Maybe you're like me. When I'm facing something big... I pray like crazy... I ask my close friends to pray like crazy... and when things don't seem to be moving along... I enlist others to pray... and possibly even seek advice. You know what my problem is? I lack faith.     Recently I read a story about an elderly woman's exchange with a young man.  He asked her what he should do to get God's help with his need. Her reply might surprise you. She told the … [Read more...]

I wish I could read the book from which this quote was taken. It's been my pleasure to have read a few of Ortberg's books and they have all spurred me on to a greater depth of thinking and towards the Lover of my soul.     “If your soul is healthy, no external circumstance can destroy your life. If your soul is unhealthy, no external circumstance can redeem your life.” – John Ortberg, Soul Keeping There is so much truth in this statement. In fact, I think you'll agree that it resonates with many of my recent JoyDay! posts.     So much of life is outside of our … [Read more...]

  "I just want my child to be happy." Have you said that? I think it might be the number one wish for many parents. We're all looking for happiness.     We'll feel better or be happier... if we drop a few pounds. if I could get more traffic to the blog. if we would get the yard re-seeded this spring. if my kids would do better in _______. if I could get that merit raise. if my spouse would ________. These are some of the kinds of things that we think we need or at least want.  Surely they will bring us happiness.   I see you rolling your … [Read more...]

A little over a week ago I went to a butterfly event at Meijer Gardens. Walking through an indoor tropical garden hoping to see a few fluttery creatures was the perfect way to spend an end-of-winter afternoon with a friend.   Butterflies are beautiful creatures, but have you ever wondered what the purpose is to their existence? We know that they feed on the nectar of flowers and similar to bees they are helpful to the pollination process of the flowers.  It isn't a pleasant thought, but as caterpillars, they provide food for creatures higher up on the food chain and to some degree as well … [Read more...]

Download this 5x7 Photo Art Printable for Personal Use.   Last week I had a great time hanging out with a few dear friends.  It was nice to take a blogging break and get refreshed.  My days were very full.  One afternoon we went to Meijer Gardens to see the butterfly exhibit.  There's nothing like being in a tropical garden for a few hours trying to capture butterflies with the camera for a wonderful break from the cold weather.  Though, I must say each day the temps were in the forties with my last day hitting 50 degrees! (Today it's supposed to hit 64 degrees!!  I'm ridiculously excited!) While there I … [Read more...]

Are you bold?  Would you call yourself a risk-taker? Or... does that cause you to feel anxious? In the past I was a bit of a risk-taker. Except in areas where I might injure my body. It's amazing what one broken arm and sleeping with ten pounds of sand hanging from a cast, while trying to sleep sitting up in a chair for six weeks, did to cure me from that. And then, there was that bad business decision which has made me much more cautious.     I think we can agree that we need to use discretion, common sense, and wisdom in our daily activities.  Fear, however, should not control … [Read more...]

Have you ever embarked on a new project and then found yourself overwhelmed? Maybe you've been working at something for a while, but things just haven't clicked.  Or... Maybe if you read another book on the subject and get some expert advice, you'll figure things out.   Most of us have hopes and dreams. Have you noticed... some people not only reach their dreams, but those dreams are spectacular when they come to fruition?  While on the other hand, some seem to move from one hope or dream to another, with nothing to show. I have a few dreams which have yet to come to fruition. Last … [Read more...]

  Do you love secrets? I'm thinking that secretly you do. Who doesn't love being an insider and knowing and hearing the secrets behind someone's success, recipes, DIY projects, relationships, or just about anything?   There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. ~ John Holmes This quote passed by my screen and I immediately loved it. And then I immediately tweaked it... There is no better exercise for the human heart than laying self down to lift others up. ~Diane Miller   This is my secret.     Available as a 5x7  art print … [Read more...]

The questions... "What makes you afraid?"  or "Of what are you afraid?" do not seem to hold the same intensity and emotion as this grammatically incorrect question... "What are you afraid of?" What are you afraid of? Maybe it's surgery, or loss of a job, or loss of a home, or illness, or accident, or... Most of us, if we're honest, we struggle with some sort of fear.  I know I do. I have a friend who is anxious about an upcoming court date.  Knowing that the judge can rule in her favor or not is almost debilitating.  She's asked me to pray for her and I do... but aside from praying all of us feel … [Read more...]