What is the difference between happiness and joy?


What is the difference between happiness and joy? In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit: JOY is right up there after love. Joy has held my attention lately as the Lord compels me to ponder the fruit of the Spirit and how it’s displayed in my life. If you’ve come through a lot of trauma, joy can feel out of reach and even phony. You associate joy with those plastered-on smiles that prevent people from knowing or even asking about the real you. Freedom from such pretense is joy in itself. Three years after my marriage ended, I entered […]

Five-minute Friday: Bloom where you’re planted

bloom where you're planted

Bloom where you’re planted. That’s what they say, but I wonder if it’s true? That phrase is not found anywhere in the Bible. Still, people recite it as though it were gospel truth. 1 Corinthians 7:17 does mention: let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you. Bloom where you’re planted means to be content in all circumstances, to stop waiting for some perfect future time to begin. Begin NOW. Even if your kids are small. Even if you’re feeling depressed. Even if you’re feeling not good enough. God is good enough. He […]

Quitting Thursday Linkup: Fruit of the Spirit

fruit of the spirit, christian, jesus

Today’s featured post from last week’s linkup comes courtesy of Mel Caldicott at Essential Thing Devotions. She writes about Intentional Kindness – A Choice to Change the World: We live in a world where people are consumed by the push from our culture to plough their energies into looking after themselves – earning money for all the possessions they want to buy, investing time into nurturing their homes and possessions and expending their energies into maintaining the velocity of the whole materialistic treadmill. The results of this are that people have very little time left for others. Is all hope lost? Are we […]

Pay it forward: a blog hop

pay it forward

I first heard the term “Pay it forward” in the book by the same name, which later became a movie, by Catherine Ryan Hyde. A Grade 7 student devises a school project in which favors are paid forward to other people rather than being repaid to the giver. According to Wikipedia, the concept can be traced back to 1916 and may have been coined by Lily Hardy Hammond in her book In the Garden of Delight. Joanne Viola at Days n’ Thoughts invited me to partake in a Pay It Forward-themed blog hop. She featured me last week and I’m introducing you to […]

20 ways to keep your cool (when you’re ready to blow your stack)

keep your cool, mom, kids

I’m thinking about kids here but these could apply in many situations: with other family members, at work or with a friend. The consequences of “losing it” with someone we love lasts so much longer than the split second it takes to lash out. Once those words are released, there’s no taking them back. Here are 20 ways to keep your cool when you feel about to explode like a grenade: 1. Count to ten. 2. Hold your tongue. 3. Leave the room. 4. Consider the consequences. 5. Lower your voice. 6. Take a deep breath. 7. Eat something. 8. […]

20 fun things to do with your kids this summer (cheap)

fun things to do with your kids

Your budget is the same in summer as any other time of year. Maybe less if you have to take time off to be with your kids. How to fill all those longs days without overspending? Here are 20 fun things to do with your kids this summer that will hardly cost you anything at all. 1. Go fly a kite. 2. Splash at a free local pool or water park. 3. Visit a petting zoo. 4. Pick strawberries, raspberries or snow peas. 5. Play Old Maid or Crazy Eights. 6. Toss a Frisbee. 7. Make frozen lemonade. (Crush 1 cup water, […]

20 ways to love your child unconditionally

love you child, christian, jesus

Ever get caught up in the discipline and training of parenting? Do you wonder how you could be more loving, show your child you love her no matter what? I was asking myself those very questions and came up with the following list of 20 ways to love your child unconditionally. Most of these take little to no effort and serve simply as reminders that love can be shown throughout the day in myriad little ways. 1. Accept her as she is. 2. Tell her you love her no matter what she does. 3. Listen longer. Sometimes you have to wait past the surface […]

Five-minute Friday: Belong

belong, five minute friday

It’s Five-minute Friday, in which we write for five minutes flat on a one-word prompt. Crystal Stine is hosting today while Lisa-Jo Baker takes a break. Today’s word is belong. Go. Have you ever wanted to belong? Human nature has us wanting to be loved and fit in, to feel like we’re part of something. Remember, human nature is sin nature and God seeks to free us from all that. I remember a song from my high school days, so perfectly suited to teenage angst: I am human and I need to belong. Except I found out later, the lyric was […]

Annie the musical + Linkup


Did you see the movie Annie in 1982? Do you remember Miss Hannigan, the mean, drunk and desperate orphanage director Carol Burnett played to perfection? Well, my 10-year-old is portraying this character in a children’s version of Annie on Friday. “I have to shimmy,” she says. That means shake your shoulders vigorously. “And I have to act drunk.” She looks at me as if for an answer on how to do that. I howl with laughter at God’s sense of humor and his wonderful grace. There was a time I would have been well-acquainted with acting drunk. But, by His grace, […]

Five-minute Friday: Exhale

freeimages.com: mterraza

After a 5-day summer internet fast, I’m joining Five-Minute Friday today, Lisa-Jo Baker’s baby. We write for five minutes flat on a one-word prompt: no edits or overthinking. All are welcome, so consider joining us next time. Today’s prompt is exhale. Go. Whew. After holding in all you wanted to say. After putting everybody else’s needs in front of your your own. Forgetting Jesus said, “love your neighbor as yourself,” not instead of yourself. Suddenly, you exhale because you’ve grown a backbone – God put one there that actually works. Finally, He places you in a position where your back is up against a brick […]