Search Results for: joy day

Can you believe this is the last Joy Day! for 2014? Weekly we've been gathering together and counting the good and not-so-good things from the year. Often, I feel like I have nothing to give other than just being here and trusting God with you.  Kind of like friends who go for a walk together, not saying much, just being together for the journey. Always I ask God to give me something.  Something that will encourage your heart and mine.     This year has been a trying year. As the hands of the clock turned synchronously with the calendar's pages to the new year, I believed this … [Read more...]

Perfect love.  Is there really such a thing? This is the fourth Sunday in Advent. If you follow the tradition of lighting a candle each Sunday in Advent, you will be lighting the candle of love. Love. What can I say about love that hasn't already been said? Nothing. So, this morning as I was lying in bed, quiet, I asked God to speak the verse into my heart that he wanted me to consider here with you. After some silence... it came: "perfect love casts out fear"     I did not expect this verse for Christmas time.  But, as I reflect and consider it with you, let's look at the whole verse in its … [Read more...]

Quiet. Can you hear it? Right now the house is quiet, except that I can hear the fan of the furnace forcing warmth into the air.   Sometimes I crave quiet. There's something peaceful and holy in those quiet moments. My body relaxes.  My thoughts become like a child in a meadow... running free, arms in the air, twirling, and finally flopping down on the soft grasses and noticing a single blade, a tiny ant, and the scents of soil and wildflowers. In the quiet my senses come alive.  My imagination awakes.  My creative cells gather energy. In the quiet, the Holy Spirit speaks life and … [Read more...]

Do you clean your house for Christmas? I usually do a whole house cleaning in early November.  Generally I will have already done some cleaning in early fall, but in November I whip through the whole house, dusting the walls and ceilings, washing the windows, making my house sparkle in anticipation of Christmas.  One thing I always did in my old house was to put candles in my windows... and my windows had to be perfectly shined for the lights of Christmas.     This week I had a little bit of an "ah ha" moment. You know that I'm all about observing Advent... doing Advent readings, … [Read more...]

Today is the first day of Advent. It seems impossible for Christmas to be upon us, doesn't it?  The year has gone way too fast.   Do you observe Advent? I know many with younger children click off the days' march towards Christmas with candies or gifts. Others may light candles each night and read verses. And still others decorate a Jesse Tree.   Advent is a time of preparation. A time when we prepare our hearts for our Savior. A time when we await his second coming. And a time when we rejoice in his first coming     Typically I don't follow … [Read more...]

Whatever happens. Keep thanking God. Seriously?     Yesterday I received an email from a sweet friend asking me to pray for her.  She works from home and the company she works for had not sent any work all week.  So, she emailed them to find out why.  Their cold response was, "You are no longer working for us." What would be your response?  To go back to bed, pull the covers over your head, and sob? That's a natural response.  And it is perfectly okay. When jobs and people and homes are taken from us... it's natural to grieve.     Whatever happens, keep thanking God … [Read more...]

We're in the season of gratitude. Don't you feel it all around you?     Okay...I've exaggerated a little bit. When we're out in the marketplace we often get the opposite sense of that don't we? Like the person at the car wash who is just coming in behind you and sees that you're in a broken bay, and as you are backing up to switch bays, whips around you to be next in line at another bay, before you. Or what about the child who has a tantrum in every aisle because he isn't getting something he wants. Or, ________  you fill in the blank. We see selfish behavior in … [Read more...]

  "Is anything too hard for the Lord? No!" Genesis 18:14   Can you imagine sitting on your porch, resting at the heat of the day, and having the God of the universe stepping towards you on your walkway with two men? Seriously, that is mind-blowing.  That was a day in the life of Abraham.  If that wasn't enough, God and his two companions sat down and ate a meal with him.  During their conversation, God remarked, that a year from then Abraham and his wife Sara would have a son.  Now Sara was way, way past child-bearing years, so when she heard this remark, she laughed.  Out loud.  Of course she … [Read more...]

Today I want to remind you that no matter how difficult the day seems... God has promised rich and glorious blessings to each of us who have chosen to call him Lord. Many of those blessings come in the most unexpected ways. I'll be sharing just one here today.     Early each morning, I post an inspiring greeting on Facebook.  Today it was this verse: I pray also that you will have greater understanding in your heart so you will know the hope to which he has called us and that you will know how rich and glorious are the blessings God has promised his holy people. Ephesians … [Read more...]

  We talk about living with joy here at An Extraordinary Day.  All the time. But, it doesn't always happen, does it? What do you think is your number one joy stealer?     Fretting! Let's stop for a minute and think about this. If you find yourself stewing on something, fretting about it, trying to figure out how something will or won't happen, you are expending a lot of mental energy. Wasted energy. Fretting does not produce anything other than more worry. All the fretting in the world doesn't change the outcome of a problem.   Fretting is a real joy … [Read more...]

I love reading the book of Proverbs in the Bible. It's so rich with wisdom for living a good life. It's amazing how just a few sentences can open our eyes and set us on the right road.   When I was in college and interviewing for my first 'real' job, I memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 from the New American Standard Bible. Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. I remember walking in to the big interview continuously repeating the words in my mind. It gave me peace, despite the trembling knees, … [Read more...]

Every where you look this time of year... midst the dying...there is beauty.   There's something magical about autumn light. There is more contrast.  And intensity.   And then there is all that brilliant color that greets us... It's as if a bird had flown through the trees with a flaming torch, igniting fire upon fire. Ever notice how individual leaves become red or golden embers illuminated by the sun? And then there is the farmers' harvest...brimming with color.  Apples, pumpkins, squash, peppers, tomatoes. Our world is awash with color and texture and light. Even … [Read more...]

Have you ever wondered... If God is perfect and complete in every way....why do we praise God? Why does he need, even require, us to do that? I struggled with that concept for a long time. Because I love God and want to obey him, I praised him, but it always seemed strange to me. I didn't get it. What I did 'get' was that when I did, my outlook changed and I had a better view of life, living, and those around me. Knowing that praising produced positive things in me helped me to continue the practice. And then... I had an Ah Ha! moment. Recently in my reading I came across the wise words of two … [Read more...]

During my reading time this week, I came across a quote from a renowned preacher of the late 19th century, Charles Spurgeon. I struggled with sharing it with you for the Joy Day! post. The quote doesn't feel very joyful.  It's even a bit stern.  But, I couldn't shake myself from it.     With that in mind...let's imagine that we are sitting at a lovely table drinking our favorite fancy coffee or tea and enjoying a tasty treat. After the usual pleasantries, indulging in the delicacies from the table, and conversational catching up, I look you in the eye and say, "I think it's time we … [Read more...]

  How to win the mind battle.  Once and for all.   Today I'm sharing a simple, doable exercise to help you win that battle going on in your mind. "Once and for all?" you ask. I know...is that really possible?   And then I wonder, "Who am I to suggest that this battle can be conquered once and for all?" After all, I just spent the better part of a week on the roller coaster of positive/negative thoughts.   Speaking of roller coasters... I'm sure there are a number of reasons that people get on roller coasters.  Many ride because it's fun.  They love the exhilaration of … [Read more...]

For most of my life I would wake up in the middle of the night, briefly think about the future, and the thought of an endless forever would send me into a panic attack. It was awful.  My mind just could not wrap itself around the concept of forever. Though, for the most part, I didn't have a fear of tomorrow, or next week, or even next year, that fear of the great unknown future would freak me out. Our minds are a battleground.  How we direct and control our thoughts is critical. This week I read a few experts from C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters (affiliate link).  There the demon Screwtape points out … [Read more...]

Have you ever been sitting absolutely still but found your body trembling? Were you trembling from excitement?  Anticipation? Anxiety?  Or maybe fear?   Lately that is a state in which I often find myself. Some days it's much better than others.   This week has been a mixture of joy and sadness. Over three days I was blessed to have out-of-town guests.  My friend and her daughter came for a brief overnight visit, and another friend and her husband came to spend the day with us.  I can't tell you what bright spots those days were in my summer. It was so good to see far-away … [Read more...]