Guest Posts, Joy, Trials

Joy: Three Ways to Find Joy in Difficult Times

A zucchini blossom in a garden, a reminder that we must cultivate joy

Guest Blogger: Lindsay Harrel

***For the first three weeks in May, I want to introduce you to three author friends. They have books that have just released, and each of them has wisdom they’ll share in their posts that guided their stories. I am including links to their books, should you want to learn more. And no, I’m not earning anything from sharing them. I just want you to get to know these authors. Enjoy!***

I first came across Lindsay Harrel on a blog we both frequented. When I met her in person at a writer’s conference, I felt like I already knew her. She’s got a way with words and a passion for encouraging people. She’s a wife, a fellow boy-mom, and an author. I’ve loved reading her books, especially her most recent, The Joy of Falling, and walking this writing journey with her. Please welcome, Lindsay Harrel!

Last week’s book winner is: Jennifer Smith! Please email me within the next week with your address so we can get you your book.

*****

I’ve been thinking about joy a lot lately.

Like many, I’ve struggled with a bit of depression over the craziness inflicted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes and goes, and it’s nothing like others experience, but it’s there, lurking in the corner and coming for a visit when I least expect it.

But here’s what I’ve learned about hard times—even in the midst of them, we can experience joy. 

Let me rephrase that: we can CHOOSE joy.

Continue reading “Joy: Three Ways to Find Joy in Difficult Times”
Choosing Gratitude, Quotes

Gratitude: In Every Moment, Thank God

Meme with the quote: "In happy moments, praise God. In difficult moments, seek God. In quiet moments, worship God. In painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God." ~Rick Warren, pastor. This is set on a back drop of trees silhouetted against a sunset.

@JeanneTakenaka

Though I try to be intentional about practicing the art of giving thanks throughout the year, it seems like November is the month when life finally slows down a little bit and I can really, truly think on the nuances of gratitude.

This month, I’m going to keep things a little shorter and share quotes that mean something to me. I hope you’ll share quotes and your thoughts on gratitude as well.

*******

What kinds of moments are you living right now?

I’ve been living in busy moments, especially over these past couple of weeks. I attended a retreat, and then I made the five hour drive to cheer on my oldest’s marching band at the state competition. And that on top of preparations for these and daily life.

I find it’s in the busy moments that I most need to fix my heart on God. My focus tends toward doing the next thing. I drive myself hard to complete everything. And I end up drained at the end. 

And a drained Jeanne tends to lead to . . . unpleasantness all around.

 

Continue reading “Gratitude: In Every Moment, Thank God”
God, Gratitude, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Gratitude: Makes Life Rich

 

D Bonhoeffer gratitude makes life rich1

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

With this being the week we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, I thought it fitting to keep the post a little shorter and to meditate on gratitude.

Many thoughts filter around the internet about being thankful. This one from Dietrich Bonhoeffer stirs my spirit.

We have been given much. How often do we take time to 1) think about the many small gifts that enter into our day and 2) take time to acknowledge them with a thankful heart?

Whether the gratitude is for . . .

—each breath we take

—a car that runs

—a person who truly loves us—even when we’re unlovely

—a blue sky after a storm

—the beauty left behind after snow falls

—pets that are unfailingly loyal

—the hug of a child, or spouse, or friend

—food on the table

—a roof over our heads

—unseen protection

—God’s grace strengthening us

. . . we should be purposeful in acknowledging each gift.

We give of ourselves to those around us. This is good. But, let’s also take time to thank our Father for the many, many gifts He gives each day.

Whether we have a lot or we have little in terms of material goods, we have been given much by our Father. When we take time to thank Him for what He’s given, our lives become rich.

When we choose gratitude, I believe peace is a byproduct of this practice.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, my hope is that you can truly enter into a place of giving thanks for what you have been given.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What about you? What is one gift—big or small—you are thankful for? Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions you care to share?