Time for Joy: Responding with Compassion (Psalm 23)

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me.” -Psalm 23:4 So much pain in our lives comes from trying to control things that we have no control over. Ultimately we can only control our own behaviors. While we can’t choose what happens to us or evenContinue reading “Time for Joy: Responding with Compassion (Psalm 23)”

Time for Joy: Soul Care (Luke 10:38-42)

“…you are worried and distracted by many things, but few things are needed…” -Luke 10:41-42 Any number of tasks and to-dos vie for our time and energy. Often the things that bring us joy, sustain our hope or even meet our own basic needs get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Making space forContinue reading “Time for Joy: Soul Care (Luke 10:38-42)”

Advent Joy: Gift of Tradition & Fruitcake Recipe (Luke 1:46-56)

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” -Luke 1:46 Songs connect with a deeper part of ourselves. Familiar melodies and lyrics memorized long ago can stir a well of emotion in us with just a few notes. The familiar words of Mary’s song recorded in the gospel of LukeContinue reading Advent Joy: Gift of Tradition & Fruitcake Recipe (Luke 1:46-56)

From Surviving to Thriving: The Joy of Appreciation

“Are you so desperate for attention you need to act like this?!” I sputtered in exasperation at my oldest. After three days of doctor visits and scans my younger child had returned home with a casted arm. In the let down from anxiety and vigilance, exhaustion washed over my body. I had nothing left toContinue reading “From Surviving to Thriving: The Joy of Appreciation”

From Surviving to Thriving: Radical Acceptance (Comfort: Psalm 139:19-21)

“O that you would kill the wicked, O God, and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me— those who speak of you maliciously, and lift themselves up against you for evil!” -Psalm 139:19-21 This is not the life I thought I’d be living. Whether it’s the sleepless nights of new parenthood, the stressful realities ofContinue reading “From Surviving to Thriving: Radical Acceptance (Comfort: Psalm 139:19-21)”

From Surviving to Thriving: The Joy of My Work

Studies show that the level of self-compassion we have for ourselves directly correlates to the amount of grace and care we are able to extend to others.  When the demands on our time are intense, whether from emotionally demanding work outside of the home, the efforts of parenting, or the exhaustion that comes from caregiving,Continue reading “From Surviving to Thriving: The Joy of My Work”

From Surviving to Thriving: The Joy of Slowing Down

“It’s hard to relax when there’s always more to do!” I moaned to my husband as I toted another load of laundry to the washline, pointing out the weeds that had sprung up in the flowerbed on the east side of the house.  For many of us, there is much work that is never done.Continue reading “From Surviving to Thriving: The Joy of Slowing Down”

From Surviving to Thriving: The Joy of Adulting

I’ve been early for most everything in my life. I entered the world six weeks ahead of the appointed time. I started kindergarten before my fifth birthday. I begged to have a summer job despite my dad’s (wise) admonition that I should enjoy my summers because I had “my whole life to work.” I gotContinue reading “From Surviving to Thriving: The Joy of Adulting”

Spiritual Practices: Processed Past (Joy- Luke 24:32)

“They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” -Luke 24:32 The couple smiled lovingly at each other; an incredible seascape spread in panorama behind them.  “I am thankful to have been where I have been and to notContinue reading “Spiritual Practices: Processed Past (Joy- Luke 24:32)”

Advent Practice of Joy: Rituals +Traditions (Luke 2)

“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” –Luke 2:40 Christmas is a time when we can easily grow nostalgic. Gathering with family (or not!), enacting long held tradition or starting new ones can all stir up memories. Rituals are a way we join the pastContinue reading “Advent Practice of Joy: Rituals +Traditions (Luke 2)”