True Joy :: Francis Chan Quote :: Cactus Mosaic ::

“The Bible teaches that true joy is formed
in the midst of the difficult seasons of life.”
Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God


Honestly, I am in a difficult season of life.  

When the future is completely unknown and no one in the house has a paying job (not yet anyway), it’s…well…difficult.


Here’s the remarkable thing.  

I told my husband the other day that I have tremendous peace.  Doesn’t that seem almost impossible in the light of my situation?

I’m learning not to worry.  That, is huge.

I’m “putting feet” to trusting God.  Believing that all His promises are true…just as He says they are.


I’m choosing Joy!

Sure, there are moments that push me to the floor.  But, I hold up the Shield of Faith.  Oh how grateful I am that this faith is not something I conjure up.  No…God provides me with the faith I need.   Please don’t think that my words are some platitudinous Christianese talk.  Believe me…. in my own strength I would be flat on the floor.  It is through prayer…mine and those who care for me… and believing for God’s provision and His deliverance…even when I can’t see a way….that God works for my good and His glory.

That is where I camp.   And it’s there….I give thanks….and find joy.



Barrel Cactus :: Joy Day! ::


It’s Joy Day!

The best way I know to fill my heart with joy is to give thanks.

Giving thanks for the good, the wonderful, the blessings, and…. the unexpected, the pain, and the disappointment too.

We count just seven from the week.  I’ll start….
I am grateful for:

  1. Forsythia twigs that burst with feathers of yellow
  2. The heat register pushing warmth over me in the early morning
  3. A sunny afternoon for a short photo journey
  4. Precious time in the early morning with God
  5. A reader’s request to make a spring banner and mailing it off
  6. Sharing a dish of “5-Chocolate” ice cream at the creamery with my love
  7. One more unloving and hurtful expression arriving in my mail

Please join me in counting your seven.  It’s a great exercise to think back over your week and hit the reset button.  You’ll be glad you did.   Just scroll down to ‘Share Your Thoughts’ below and tap in your seven.


Thank you for stopping by today.  I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.
May your day be filled with God’s goodness and grace in extraordinary measure.



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  1. 1) I’m grateful for drs. getting me back on track with health issues
    2) I’m grateful for my friends who always check in on me and are there for me
    3) I’m grateful for my two pet birds, who make me smile and laugh every day with their cheerful chirping and singing
    4) I’m grateful for my humble little home and the roof over my head
    5) I’m grateful for my neighbors, who are respectful and kind to me
    6) I’m grateful for technology, without which I wouldn’t be doing this right now!
    7) I’m grateful always that the Good Lord holds me in the palm of his Hand

    • Diane says

      I’m so glad you stopped by today and shared your ‘seven’ Barbara. 🙂
      We have sooo much to be thankful for don’t we?
      May your week overflow with JOY!

  2. Lovely post and your grateful list sounds wonderful. I wish you a happy week ahead!

    I am grateful Spring is officially here this week!

    • Diane says

      You are so sweet Eileen!
      A Happy & Joyous Spring to you!

  3. Vee says

    Challenging times for many… Your light is shining. Had to laugh at the term “Christianese.” Yes, I’ve heard some of that. ☺

    • Diane says

      Thank you for your kind words Vee.
      May your week overflow with JOY!

  4. A Garden of Threads says

    Life is a journey of ups and downs and I am glad to can stay in the middle. Love your pincushion cactus. Enjoy the week:)

    • Diane says

      Thanks! Isn’t it the prettiest? I think I labeled it a barrel cactus in my weariness last night. 🙂 LOL!
      May your week be filled with JOY!

  5. I have much to be grateful for as well. I’ve always marvelled at the features of cacti, certainly tailored to their location of hot and dry areas.

    • Diane says

      It really is amazing how they thrive in such difficult situations.
      Hope your week overflows with JOY!

  6. sandy says

    Well, you surely are living among the “prickles” of life right now. But i can see that God is sustaining you. My son was out of a job for a year and my daughter-in-law was only able to get a half time teaching job so they struggled for a year. We had them for dinner at least twice a week and it was a blessing for ALL of us! Now they are both working full time and doing very well. It does help to keep a gratitude list. I’ve been doing it for many years now. I also follow Ann Voskamp who is amazing! I’ll be praying for you!
    Sandy : )

    • Diane says

      You are a wonderful encourager Sandy. 🙂 How wonderful that your son and daughter-in-law are doing well now. Praise God!
      You made my day by offering to pray for me. I can’t thank you enough. [hugs]

  7. Wonderful post and love the beautiful cacti mosaic photos ~ Enjoy ^_^

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Carol!! 🙂
      Hope your week is extraordinary!

  8. Mel says

    The cactuseses (LOL) are amazing. The photos and saying–AWESOME!!!
    And I had to laugh at your assurance that this wasn’t ‘christianese’….. I’ve been accused of giving G-d good P.R. I can’t think of a more lovely thing to say (‘specially given that I wasn’t ‘zactly on good terms with the Big Guy for a horribly long time!). I do need to let you know–I’ve never ‘read you’ as ‘just giving G-d good P.R.’. I’ve never yet ‘felt’ that blahblahblahWHATever that tends to shoot through me when that’s happening. I guess I’ve always felt that ‘genuineness’……in the struggle, in the honesty and in the praises.
    Just sayin’.

    OH!! And JOY DAY!!!!! (yeahyeah….late again! LOL)
    * for being allowed to return to the workplace after a quarter of a year absence!! *doing happy dance!*
    * for being asked to watch the grandchild for three NIGHTS…..woohooo!!!
    * for the slow healing–it’s forced some reflection that I don’t think I’da made the time to do
    * for the gentle physical therapist who refuses to let me be in pain (ain’t that too cool?)
    * for being asked to call another person who might be able to hear some things from me
    * for the touch of spring that others are kind enough to share through photos/writings
    * for comets streaking by the sunset
    * And for bitty snowmen on my porch railing! 😉

    • Diane says

      Thank you! Those pics were taken a Phipps, too. I had no idea how I would use cacti in a blog post…but they seemed perfect with Chan’s quote. Maybe I would enjoy going to AZ to see them after all 😉
      Mel…I can’t tell you how much I appreciate knowing your ‘take’ on me and my rambling. It’s super important to me to be authentic/’genuine’ and not Pharisaical either. Frankly, life is a struggle….just glad that we can go to the ONE who has all the answers.
      I’m rejoicing with you and your ‘eight’!! For all the challenges of the past few months…you have a wonderful outlook and WOW some real blessings this week. A special hurrah for going back to ‘work.’
      Oh…I think I’m a bit green…you got to see the comets streak by? Between the mountains and the clouds….we didn’t manage a glimpse. Glad you did!!
      May your week overflow with JOY!!

  9. Carolyn says

    1. I’m sooo grateful for the written Word of God. Reading “The Joy Epistle”–Philipians this week.
    2. I’m sooo grateful to know my Creator since girlhood.
    3. Grateful for my loving family
    4. Grateful even for the trials that have strengthened my spiritual resolve & taught me that God does care.
    5. Ever so thankful for good health! Got a little arthritis but it comes along w/maturing (not to say “aging”)!
    6. Very thankful for the ability to get online & find this lovely inspirational blog! It makes me happy!
    7. Grateful for the relative freedom still found in our homeland.

    • Diane says

      Oh Carolyn, Philippians is one of my favorite books, too. Thank you for taking the time to count your ‘seven.’ God is so good… 🙂
      May your week be overflowing with His JOY!

  10. Gwen says

    I don’t know how I missed this weeks Joy post! I never thought of our trials as those prickly cacti that you don’t even have to touch to be ‘stung’ but that’s a good way to put it.
    Joy. In things. In my heart. In knowing Jesus is with me. In pretty Rose of Sharon. In new truths found in familiar stories. In phone calls with my Mom. In my husband who helps me travel my path of a brain injured person. In verses and hymns that I can sing to turn my mind to things above.

    • Diane says

      Gwen, I love the sweetness in your listing your ‘seven’ for this week. I sense God is doing a great work in you. Praise HIS Name!!
      Thank you for stopping by. [hugs] My dear one.

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