It was interesting to me to listen to other shoppers when I was in the stores earlier this weekend.  I was amazed at how intentional and sometimes intense people were in finding and deciding upon their purchases.  Most of us have a plan in mind when we go shopping, or even when we begin our Christmas decorating.

How many of us have a personal plan for the Christmas season?  

Often we are so busy doing….that we don’t take time to be in the moment.  We don’t take time to ponder the reason for the season.  We just go.  And I am very experienced at getting into that mode.  So…

Last week I invited you to join me in observing Advent.

I shared with you links to digital or print devotionals for helping you along your Advent journey each day and to consider creating your own Advent candle ‘wreath’ as a way of taking time each day to breathe.

Each Sunday, a new Advent Candle is lit for the week.  And so I thought it would be meaningful to observe Advent together on Joy Day!

Shall we begin?


The Candle of Hope :: Advent ::


This first Sunday in Advent we light the candle of Hope.

As light shines in the darkness and the darkness can not extinguish the light, so the candle of Hope represents the hope we have in Jesus.  Especially during Advent, we look forward to his coming.  We look forward to when he will finally right all the wrongs, when we will live in peace with one another.

Isaiah wrote…

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s Temple
will be the highest of all mountains.
It will be raised higher than the hills.
There will be a steady stream of people from all nations going there.
People from many places will go there and say,
“Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the Temple of the God of Jacob.
Then God will teach us his way of living,
and we will follow him.”

His teaching, the Lord’s message, will begin in Jerusalem on Mount Zion
and will go out to all the world.
Then God will act as judge to end arguments between nations.
He will decide what is right for people from many lands.
They will stop using their weapons for war.
They will hammer their swords into plows
and use their spears to make tools for harvesting.
All fighting between nations will end.
They will never again train for war.

Isaiah 2:2-4


Hope :: Light the Candle of Hope ::


Let’s rejoice in the hope of Jesus.

Life is not easy.  Many of us have challenges we never dreamed we would be facing.  But, we can face each new day and its challenge in the power and strength of Jesus.  Because He is our Hope.

These verses from the Book of Romans say it so well…

Since we have been acquitted and made right through faith, we are able to experience true and lasting peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King. 2 Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. 3 And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, 4 which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. 5 And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.

May your be filled this week with Jesus, our Hope.



JoyDay! :: First Sunday in Advent~We Light the Candle of Hope ::



It’s Joy Day!

The day when we take time to count ‘seven.’  Seven things we are grateful for from the past week….the good and the not-so-good.  We take time to list them here.

I’ll start!

I’m grateful for…

  1. the living Hope…Who IS my hope.
  2. a snow-free drive to and from family for Thanksgiving.
  3. getting together with a long-time friend.
  4. an unexpected gift and the method of delivery.
  5. the beauty of gorgeous snow-covered trees.
  6. the power of prayer.
  7. finding and clipping Michigan holly for my friend.

Okay…it’s YOUR turn!!

Scroll down to the comment section…Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts….and list your ‘seven.’

I can guarantee it will change how you see the world around you.  It really does make a difference.

Want even more joy?  Take the Joy Dare here.


Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.



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  1. Suzi says

    I am grateful for 1. The message of hope you bring to my weary bones today. That “I” know that even though it may not “feel” true for me this day IT IS TRUE! becuase it is my hope too, Diane! 2. Sweet freinds who made meals for us in the middle of the busiest cooking week of the year 🙂 3. For one of my bestie freinds bringing me coffee and pumpkin bread and joined by her married daughter, Peanut, whom i love love on Black Friday even though they were trying to score some great deals. 4. For the tiny little life Peanut now carries inside of her! And sharing her story with me. 5. For safe travel for my daughter on snowy roads to spend Thanksgiving with her in-laws. 6. That God uses you to minister to His children with your blog 7. That God is rewarding your faithfulness to Him in all the big and small ways you have during your own very difficult hardship by showcasing your beautiful blog on many other blogs. 🙂

    • Diane says

      Ah, yes, Suzi….it isn’t about the feelings. Some days that requires a huge act of the will to get on the other side of that….but isn’t it good that we know the TRUTH? 😉 Oh Suzi…I love how God used your friends to care for you so tenderly this week. 🙂 And thank you for rejoicing with me at God’s goodness here on the blog. He is sooooo good to us, isn’t HE?
      Big hugs to you my sweet friend….
      May your new week overflow with God’s JOY!!

  2. Debbi Saunders says

    1. That my son was behind me when my car quit at the light of a major 6 lane intersection!!!
    2. That the problem with the car was with a new fuel pump that went bad and the replacement was no charge!!
    3. For my neighbor who rescued me from the intersection and was able to repair the car.
    4. That my Son and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal together.
    5. That God is so faithful in taking care of my needs even when I become anxious.
    6.For safe travesl for family and friends that were traveling.
    7.For Jesus who is the great HOPE!

    • Diane says

      Isn’t that just like God? Gently caring for you in every circumstance. I just love how he met every detail with your car. 🙂
      God is faithful, trustworthy, and more than able to meet our every need. 🙂
      Thanks so much for sharing your ‘seven’ Debbi! I praise God for his abundant goodness in your life!!
      May your new week be filled with unexpected joy events. 🙂

  3. Gwen says

    1. For this message that brought tears as I see the nations flooding to the mount, to worship Jesus, live at peace,
    2. For Hope when there seems to be no way through–hope in things of above–solidly built hope on the Word, Gods faithfulness, His omnipresence in my , our lives!!! Hope because of Jesus
    3. For hope in Gods promises that are true and not just wishes that flutter in the smoke–
    4. For Curt
    5. For Mom to talk to and my kids to talk to us and our only grandson talking to us more each day…plus others who care for us too
    6. My brain cannot always wrap around and see my personal handicaps but that can be a blessing at times….
    7. My daughter got a great review from one of her bosses at work
    8. Four friends as my gift will make the dinner for my group of us Tuesday night
    9. Painter is done and I’m so tired and I’m still not even have my house put back yet. Section by section yet I really need helping hands tomorrow. Lord please send someone who works well with me, and sees my vision? Work it out?
    10. Prayer

    • Diane says

      Isn’t it wonderful to have the living HOPE residing in us, Gwen? 🙂
      I rejoice with you at your ‘seven’ turned ‘ten.’ 🙂
      And I will pray with you for God to bring someone to assist you in the very way that would most make your heart sing.
      [hugs] my sweet friend.

  4. Mel says

    That HOPE is such a huge thing in our lives. That we’re gifted that, no questions asked….amazing.

    Late, but still grateful for the joys:
    * that I can make my way around some rooms early in the morning without any crutch.
    * that the girl and her partner came with the Bug for turkey day
    * that we got to decorate for the holidays, together
    * that he-who-tried-to-drive-me had the sense to turn around and take us safely back home
    * that good things happen in the midst of the storm…and that we SEE them
    * that the 8 foot inflatable penguin outside greets me when I return from work
    * that I know hope

    • Diane says

      Ah….my friend….and the best of all…knowing HOPE!
      P.S….Joy is never late…its timeless. 😉

  5. I am late to the party, but have much to be thankful for:
    1. New found energy after I stopped eating wheat
    2. A husband who is so incredibly patient with me
    3. Children who love the Lord
    4. Having both my parents still with me
    5. For my husband’s job, even though he is on reduced hours this week. He is still working…praise God!
    6. God’s provision of a free piano for my son
    7. The wonderful ladies I work with at JoAnn’s

    Blessings Diane. You are in my prayers.

    • Diane says

      You are never late to the party my friend. 🙂 Joy Day! is any day we count our blessings. 😉
      I rejoice with you Deborah at God’s loving hand gracing your life with goodness in so many ways. For the health and hope you have and for your husband’s job. I pray that next week is a week of abundant work for him. Just like the blessing of the piano, may God’s provision be more than enough.
      Thanks for your prayers….it means the world.


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