#11 A few weeks ago I listened to a podcast from Austin Stone Community Church, called the History of Redemption. One of their pastors memorized various scripture passages that from Genesis to Revelation telling the story of redemption. From the creation of earth & fall of man to Christ’s resurrection & the glory awaiting us in Heaven. The podcast brought tears to my eyes. They recently put video of this story online. I watched it yesterday and was spurred to even more tears. I encourage you to watch it. There is NO other joy greater than the redemption of man but our loving God. [you can click the picture to take you to the video. click watch sermon.]
#12 No. 12 probably doesn’t look like joy. In fact I’ll be the first to admit, it looks like chaos. But let me tell you what joy lies in this chaos. This is my dining room we’re looking at. I’m standing in the kitchen behind the island. On the table to the left are baby bundts & packaging materials I made & used to give goodies to friends & family. The left side of the table is over flowing with Christmas light boxes from a photo project Shawn is working on. In the middle next to the candle sticks are craft supplies from a Christmas gift I made for a friend. On the island is a tub of dog food. I can tell you my dogs bring me much joy. They are beyond excited to see me when I get home. JOY!!!
#13 I don’t drink coffee cause I need it. I drink it cause I enjoy it. I’m serious. I drink decaf 99.99% of the time. I enjoyed a cup the other day with homemade Christmas cookies a co-worker brought. If only there had been a fire roaring instead of the glow of LCD monitors & florescent lights.
#14 You. The generous people of the world who gave. Clean water. I am so overjoyed by this. (if you want to give you still can through 12.31.10. click here.) [edited: 10:11am / 12.16.10]
#7 Without a doubt the worst thing about living in Phoenix is the summers. With highs of 118+ we dream of winter. I know I shouldn’t complain that we have 81-degree temps in the middle of December while dear friends are dealing with below freezing temps, but I would like it at least in the 60’s. It is December in the Northern Hemisphere after all. But what a joy it is that we don’t have freezing temps for the high and 6-foot snow drifts.
#8 I’m gonna brag here a moment. I have the BEST husband in the world. [he put the clean dishes in the dishwasher away. last week he did it and then loaded it again. BEST i tell you!]
#9 Shawn and I have tried to start eating better. This means organic and all natural foods over stuff loaded with preservatives. This also means I shop more often and spend more money, but it also means not shellacking our bodies with preservatives and antibiotics. Last night for dinner I made homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza. Dough, chicken, cheese, & bacon all from Trader Joe’s. It wasn’t perfect but still yummy.
#10 I spent this last weekend baking. With the exception of a massage & church & a couple of errands my Saturday and Sunday were spent making baby bundts. I usually make cookies but wanted to do something different this year. I have four boxes sitting here next to me waiting to go out in the mail to friends & family. I hope these bring some delicious joy to their lives.
What are you finding joy in today?
In my post on Friday I mentioned that I’d been struggling to find joy. That my heart wanted to camp out in a dark room and be by itself. This week I’m making an intentional effort to take note of joy.
#1 November 19th last year I had foot surgery to repair a torn tendon. I miss wearing heels. I went from wearing them nearly everyday to wearing them maybe once a month. I wear flats all the time. I was so excited to find these adorably cute ballet flats Friday at Ross for $6.50. Talk about JOY!!! I adore the little studded ruffle on the heel.
#2 Every year at work we have a toy drive for kids who probably wouldn’t get a gift if it weren’t for donations. I walked into work Friday morning to find this large box FULL of toys. I love that my co-workers give like this!
#3 Saturday night is generally date night for Shawn and I. This past Saturday we went to a local festival. The downtown area was decorated with thousands of tiny lights. Dancing ones. Falling ones. We dined at a new burger diner & ended our time with funnel cake. Such a blessed time to be with my husband.
#4 I tweeted yesterday that I was struck by the words of the Christmas song O’ Holy Night. Particularly this verse: “Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother; and in His Name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy Name!” Worship was so sweet this morning.
#6 I see this nearly every time I drive my car. A note left by Shawn. It’s a constant reminder that even when it seems the world is against me he loves me and he’s praying for me.
Are you finding joy?
Can you believe Christmas is 14 days away??
This week has been slightly crazy.
It’s been long.
Thankfully it is now Friday, 12:55pm. My day is over half over.
Between head splitting headaches, a late night at work, hip & back pain that refuses to let up, I am grateful to see Friday 4 pm on the horizon.
Just a preview of the next couple weeks.
This coming Wednesday is Blog of Water. I am being joined by six ladies. I am looking forward with anxiousness to what God will do.
The other days I’m planning to record Joy. This week I’ve struggled to find joy in things. My heart just wants to camp out in a dark room. So this next week I plan to be intentional. I already have one for Monday.
The week after that I have a series. One I’ve been looking forward to for weeks! And a giveaway will be involved!!
I think this photo is hilarious and wanted to share it since it sort of fits in with the season. Earlier this year Shawn and I had taken a weekend trip up north. Our last day there we were having breakfast and I saw this gentleman on his laptop. So tell me who do YOU think he looks like? He apparently loses his winter Christmas weight fairly quickly. 😉
I’m excited to have the first ever guest blogger here. I’ve learned a lot from Sarah over the last eight months. I was turned on to her blog by Lindsey Nobles. Over the last few months Sarah has been tackling her fears head on. You can check out her VLogs on fear here and here.
The older I get the easier it is to dismiss real fear as personality quirks.
“I don’t DO waterslides.” She says as she covers up under a towel and sits her rear end on a bench.
“I’m just not a party planner.” She whines when someone volunteers her for a job that she does not want to do.
“Oh, no…I’m not good in large groups of women. I prefer one on one conversations.” She explains when she’s invited out.
But in reality, it’s all just fear. Fear of silly things like heights and speed. Fear of the pressure to perform under time constraints. Fear of the exposure of not being the “life of the party” and having no one laugh at my jokes.
Fear. I guess in the past I’ve allowed it to define me.
I’d rather have courage define me.
I’d rather be the one that someone invites BECAUSE she’ll jump of the pier and get her clothes and hair wet. I’d rather be the one that races her eight-year-old to the top of the waterslide to see who will be the first one down. I’d rather look at responsibilities and performance issues in the face and say, YES, I will do it and I’m not afraid.
It’s much more fun to have courage define me rather than fear.
Fear keeps me quiet. It keeps me stationary. It keeps me glued to the earth when I should be moving forward.
Fear even keeps my personality slowing trudging toward the retirement home someday where, God forbid, I fall asleep in my wheelchair scared to leave my assisted living room.
Oh yes, I will get old someday. And I may be tempted more and more to dismiss my fears and misgivings as just “who I am”. And yes, I might fall asleep during dinner when I’m 98.
Instead I want to be that courageous old lady who gathers you up and says, “Let me tell you a story, because I’ve got hundreds of them.”
I hope that who I am learning to become is a woman defined by courage and not defined by fear.
Back in June I wrote a post about not walking in fear. I had just come out of some circumstances that left me breathless. I’d walked in fear and my post was about how God had given me grace and courage.
Fear affects everyone. From being afraid of heights to phobias that prevent us from leave our houses (Agoraphobia).
This week I will be doing a series on fear. Fears that rip at our souls and haunt us, that leave us broken.
A look at this week:
Tuesday: Review of Anne Jackson’s book Permission To Speak Freely
Wednesday: The Haunting & Unrelenting
Thursday: Defined by Courage – guest post by Sarah Markley
Friday: Moving Away
I want this to be a place where we can talk. On Wednesday I’ll be offering a chance to confess your fears. To get them all out on the table so to speak. On Friday I’ll be offering a chance to give encouragement and reflection. I’ll explain more both at those times.
Thank you for taking this journey. I look forward to the conversations that will take place.
I don’t take compliments well. I don’t know why, I just don’t. Which is weird since my Love Language is Affirmation. I don’t know how to respond when complimented. I feel…………weird.
My husband is my greatest fan and the major source of all compliments. He makes me feel loved (see previous paragraph mentioning love language). Shawn leaves for work before I do and is home before I am. In other words there are 10 hours of the day he doesn’t see me. He sees me at the end of the day with worn makeup, flat hair where it’s supposed to be poofy, rumpled clothes. He finds me beautiful. In that moment.
Today (Monday) was one of those days. I was satisfied (settled) with what I’d chosen to wear – which as ladies know can mean going through your entire wardrobe twice before finding something – my skirt probably could have stood to be ironed and my bangs hidden forehead could have definitely been less oily. Yet, Shawn’s response when seeing me was that “I looked good” (husband speak for beautiful).
Shawn’s favorite word for me is fancy. To him everything I do is fancy. I joke with him that I could be in a gunny sack and he’d still think I was fancy.
I may never be able to take compliments, and never think of myself as fancy, but he does and that makes all the difference in the world and makes me feel loved and beautiful.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.