Scripture Photo :: and in all of our troubles I have great joy. 2 Cor. 7:4 ::


…and in all of our troubles I have great joy.
2 Corinthians 7:4b
New Century Version


When I read this the other day I was again struck with the realization that the Apostle Paul’s troubles were many.  Yet, because he trusted God and because the church there cared about him and encouraged him, he was able to choose joy.

And not a little.

Great joy.


Wouldn’t you like to have great joy?

By reading scripture, it seems that the only way to have great joy is to live in the midst of trouble.

If that is true….than I am in a pretty good spot to experience great joy.

Maybe you are feeling the same way.


We know that Paul had amazing faith.  He knew his call and counted all loss for knowing God.

I am grateful that it isn’t my faith that is required…but my willingness to trust and believe.

Joy does come to us when we put our trust in God.


Apple Blossoms :: Great Joy ::


There is something else to this picture that gave Paul his joy boost.

It was his church.  The fellowship of believers.

Paul didn’t make his journeys alone.  He made them in partnership with fellow believers, the few that went with him, and the many who were praying for him and supporting him as he needed, from their homes.

This journey that we are on is not meant to be a solo journey.  Sometimes we may be alone by circumstance.  But, we are not meant to stay alone.  First, we make a big mistake to think that we don’t need others.  And second, we also make a big mistake when we don’t reach out to someone on a difficult journey.

Paul was able to do incredible things because he believed in Jesus and his resurrection power.  And, because of the spiritual and physical assistance he received from his brothers and sisters in Christ.   This partnership of the flesh encouraged his flesh so that he could dig down even deeper to trust God.  It enabled him to serve with everything he had.


Want great joy?  

Trust God with everything you have and live in community.

Are you in a troubled time?  Allow the community of faith to minister to you.

Are you in a blessed time?  Minister to those in difficulty.

What’s the end result?

Great joy.


Apple Blossoms :: Joy Day! :: AnExtraordinaryDay

It’s Joy Day!

Today is the day we take time to look back over our past week and count gifts.  Join me in counting just ‘seven.’  The good things and the not so good things.  The Bible tells us that we should give thank for ALL things.

I’ll start…

I give thanks for:

  1. the provision of such lovely giveaways for the blogiversary
  2. a fun afternoon whipping the gardens into shape
  3. painful muscles from doing a hundred zillion squats
  4. a sacrificial hug from a dear sister
  5. chicken & dairy ‘sell by’ date discounts
  6. badly need rain
  7. knowing God is bigger than the “boogie man”

Okay…it’s your turn!  If you want your Joy Meter to rise, tap your ‘seven’ in the ‘Share Your Thoughts’ area below.  I can guarantee joy will come!!   Want to push your joy meter even higher?  Take the JOY DARE.

Finding JOY in the journey,


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Sharing with these Extraordinary spots:



  1. 1. God’s gift of our sweet Delainey, making my daughter a mother and me a grammy.
    2. Delainey’s sweetness and courage.
    3. Love for Delainey so great, so full, so joyous that it just busted out all over.
    4. My daughter’s courage and love for her daughter.
    5. The privilege I had to help care for this wonderful little girl.
    6. Now, the tears and heartache of missing this little girl that brought all the wonderful things mentioned above into our lives.
    7. The Hope and Promise of seeing our darling Delainey Belle soon.

    • Diane says

      Oh dear Susan…my you know God’s love and comfort as never before. I’m reminded of the words of the song….’He gives and takes away…blessed be His Name.” Tears always stream down my face when I sing it. It is so comforting to know that He knows…and loves us…and carries us through. [hugs]
      Thank you for sharing your tender joys.

  2. I love this. I put up a Tweet so hope you get some people dropping by.
    I also put up a linky for counting the gifts – so if you want to relink – please do so. I want to see if I can find out how many are counting the gifts.

  3. Gwen says

    I too liked this today. I struggle more now with different stuff from my traumatic brain injury so life is a yoyo. I get mixed up. I forget. I cry. Are these seizures? I’m afraid of forklifts or a bathroom in a store. And I weep. I cry. I hurt.
    Where to go?
    1. I meditated on Gods Word and I fell deeply asleep
    2. I cried out to Jesus for understanding
    3. I talk and weep aloud to my Savior to save me from this unpredictable journey
    4. I had a chance to pull a few weeds
    5. I got to see both my girls and have a big dinner! Plus a pretty dessert. Even with mint leaves on top!!
    6. Xander and I played with the big bubble wands and he giggled!!!
    7. I got to talk to Mom and hear of her day and chat
    8. Curt is scared now I think. Comfort him too Lord
    9. Beautiful hydrangeas both flat top and regular are in bloom
    10. God gives me hymns and verses just when I need them
    11. Jesus I long to look like me, act like me, think like me, do things like me….please will You heal me to be me?

    • Mel says

      (((((((( Gwen ))))))))))))

      From your lips to G-d’s ears…. I pray for you, Gwen.

    • Diane says

      My friend…my eyes moistened as I read your tappings this morning. I am so grateful for the closeness that you have with our loving heavenly Father and your family…yet I too long for your healing. Lord, in your graciousness and mercy, would you give Gwen a tangible glimpse today of your healing hand at work in her brain. Because nothing is impossible with you, we ask in the strong and mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.

  4. Mel says

    And all I have is a broken leg that refuses to heal? *sigh* When I shush long enough to look around me, I ‘get it’.

    Lovely photo of the blossoms with the fence behind it.
    They’re all lovely. But that one, I particularly was ‘wow-ed’ by.

    And my joys?
    * the instant humility I found by coming here, this morning. Thank you.
    * the absence of he-who-was-doing-everything….cuz I CAN do it, slowly, but it gets done
    * the rain and frost–which slowed down my hurried brain and desire to do everything NOW
    * the walks I get to take–it means something is right, even if it’s not ALL right
    * the conversation the doc wants to have with me BEFORE deciding about my return full time to work (YEAH! He’s at least not immediately ruling it out!!!)
    * the singing Bug who sang to me about G-d’s love last night
    * plants that found pots! 🙂

  5. Beautiful pictures, and lovely joy thoughts. Sometimes happy can be hard, and only after the nighttime of weeping, joy, a process, “comes in the morning.” And sometimes even the community can fail one, as it did Paul by the time he wrote 2 Timothy—or, all but a few individuals. Yet he still had the joy of the Lord and the hope of heaven. For, as He said, “the Lord stood with me and strengthened me… and the Lord will deliver me.” Gracious, wonderful Lord!

    • Diane says

      Thank you Sylvia…. 🙂 Yes…the community often does fail one…and did Paul too. But…the community is integral to the best outcome. I’m grateful for Paul’s example of faithfulness in spite of all his hardships.
      I appreciate your thoughtful words and for taking the time to stop by.
      May your day overflow with JOY!

  6. Beth says

    These are simple but very profound insights you’ve pulled from the life of Paul, Diane. I know that I can see and feel “joy” much more clearly when I am in the middle of a trial. It stands out like a shining star in the night. And yes, the community of believers is always my support system. i don’t know how I’d survive without them. Thanks for this encouraging word, my friend.

    • Diane says

      Beth….I can’t tell you how much you helped me through your comments today. Thank you!
      May your joy cup overflow!!

  7. Tapping into that joy is a miracle in itself. So thankful that God gives us the Spirit to do that sort of work in us. I am joyful about the new community of believers that I’ve been a part of for the last 10 months. I feel such a freedom to worship the Lord together and that brings me great joy.

    • Diane says

      Oh Lisa…being beautifully connect to a body of believers is truly joyful!! I’m so happy for you.
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing that too!!

  8. Laura says

    Wonderful, Diane! I had to chuckle at your comment that you are in a pretty good spot to experience God’s joy. Yes, been feeling that some myself of late. Your images are lovely too. A breath of spring.

    • Diane says

      Somewhere in the midst of all this Laura, we have to keep a subtle sense of humor to buoy us along…yes? I’m sorry for your current ‘spot’ and will trust with you for God’s hand to move the rudder. Always….thanks for your words of encouragement. 🙂

  9. Thank you for the joyful post and the beautiful pictures!
    My joyful week:
    1. Seeing my son on Mother’s Day weekend.
    2. Phone calls from my other two children.
    3. Quality time with four precious grandchildren.
    4. Watching my granddaughter’s dance recital–and seeing her nail an aerial cartwheel!
    5. Time with a loving, supportive church family.
    6. Having enough money to be able to share with others.
    7. Tap class.

    • Diane says

      Thank you for sharing your joy here, Nancy!!
      You are so kind and your words are filled with gratitude.
      May your week overflow with HIS joy!

  10. I am linking up with you at Janis Cox’s. Thanks for sharing! Many more blessing and greatest joys to you this week! Love, Rachael @ Inking the Heart

    • Diane says

      Thank you Rachael….
      May you be over whelmed with HIS joy this week!

  11. Yes. I would prefer joy please. Smiles. An awesome inspiring post!.

  12. April says

    What a wonderful post, Diane. I remember during my husband’s deployment a few years ago, a friend of mine accused me of loving him more than God, because I was so distraught, lonely, miserable and down – she insisted that I needed to have Joy in the Lord despite at all. I think it’s good to note what joy looks like. Joy is not about having a smile on your face at all times and burying the bad feelings. It is possible to have joy in our Lord while still experiencing and living in grief and sorrow and distress.

    This week I am thankful for…
    1. the opportunity to meet so many amazing women from all over through the blog.
    2. the ability to provide for my family while my husband pursues a new career.
    3. the joy that lights up the faces of my kids when I pick them up from daycare every afternoon.
    4. good friends who have allowed us to invade their space for the past two months as we wait for our home to be ready.
    5. the blessings of a new church home where we are both encouraged and educated in God’s word.
    6. the hot cups of chai that I enjoy daily – sweet, spiced goodness!
    7. the love of a man who is amazingly supportive of my writing even when he doesn’t understand this blog life at all.

    Hope you have a great and joy-filled weekend!

    • Diane says

      Joy is a beautiful thing April. God is with us no matter what. Our pain may not be lessened….but we are buoyed and we can thank HIM for everything and He does something that is so hard to understand but truly lifts us up. I am so grateful for His Joy today.
      Thank you for taking time to share your ‘seven.’ You are so blessed by a good and loving God. I rejoice with you! [hugs]

  13. Marty says

    I’m so happy to have found your blog this morning through the Weekend Brew…what a terrific post! Seven things though…I have so much jumbled up inside so in no particular order:
    1. A difficult situation that brought sin to light but also repentance
    2. Wise friends who are able to give godly counsel
    3. Being able to help out a young Mother by keeping her kids so she can paint her bedroom
    4. Only having one car right now so my daily wanderings are short
    5. Women who are gifted in domestic arts that are willing to teach my daughters since I am not
    6. Being apart of a sweet couples adoption journey as we pray and help raise funds for them
    7. Going to worship this Lord’s Day with the sweet family of believers of my church


Please Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts!


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