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Go Till the Rest

 During my weekly Tabata class the sound of these words occur several times - 3,2,1 Begin.  Tabata is a fitness routine consisting of 20 second intervals of heart pumping cardio exercise, a 10 second rest and then 20 seconds of a strength exercise. Computer voices countdown to the beginning - 3,2,1 Begin and then count down the ascent -   3, 2,1 Rest. In between the counts, our bodies are pushed to the limit, but we eagerly await that countdown to rest.  Physical fitness is an investment and the purpose of each class is to become stronger. Going in and simply going through the motions will bring very little change or improvement.  Recently, one of the ladies in class encouraged us as we awaited the countdown - keep going till you hear 'rest'. Usually, we would end the specific exercise as the countdown began, but she encouraged us to continue the movement past 3, 2 and even 1, until we heard REST.   It probably amounted to 1 extra second, but the concept was huge. Go to the
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 "Overflow might look messy when gas is spewing out of a tank, but when God fills us to overflowing, it's beautiful, because we're no longer rationing our energy for ourselves and everyone who needs us. We have plenty to give when we are overflowing." This was from my devotion as I began a new week and the topic was refilling, trust and being still. God wants us to be beyond full, not hovering right above empty, but refilling our souls is a process that requires us to be still and trust.  What was significant about this new week is that I was on forced rest. A scratchy throat, slight cough and then a positive test result had me settled safely at home for the next few days. My first response was "I don't have time for this", but maturity has taught me, when you can't fight against something, lean in, listen and learn what God is trying to say.  So the week began, at home with a stretched out devotion time and words that filled my heart with a desire f

Unshakeable Trust

May 31 - I knew I had not posted here on the blog for a while, but when I logged on, it was a shock to see January was the last post - that is 6 months ago!  A lot has happened in the first part of 2022, but there are several posts that were began but never shared. Although late, am going to share of few things on my heart from early 2022. January 2022 As we enter the first week of the New Year, it has been a challenge for many in my community. We have experienced a broad range of events that had us volleying on the emotional spectrum from joy to grief.  In seven days, we attended 3 funerals and 1 wedding. 2 of the funerals were honoring young persons lives. Death is never easy to understand or prepare for, but a tragic and sudden loss can bring such an emotional shock. Both funerals of the young people were true celebrations of a young life, well lived. In the midst of sorrow, hope was found that they were Christians and now living in heaven. Peace and comfort flowed from the Lord as

The Race of a Lifetime

 The New Year often brings aspirations of a healthier version of ourselves. We look closely at our nutrition habits and exercise habits and note some changes that need to be made. Goals may be set and some effort begin to get us on track.  As those habits become rooted in us, results will start to show. This can be a time where we begin to coast a bit, to just do what is necessary to maintain. But strength in any area doesn't come through coasting, it comes as we push through the hard areas. "Strength doesn't come from what you CAN do, it comes from doing what you thought you COULD NEVER do."   Just as our physical muscles need to be stretched and strengthened, our spiritual muscles need it even more. This is the time of year we often dream and envision godly characteristics we long to see in our lives. Christ has provided all we need to succeed in godly living, but the action choices are ours to make.  Choices bring results. Think of an athlete in intense training. T

New Year, New Purposes, Nothing Is Ever Wasted

 The blog "Joyfull Living" has been around a long time! It began as a creative outlet to cherish and record the moments of a growing family. As the seasons of life changed through the years, so did the vision for the blog. It began to center around the countless women who daily face the challenges of life and how 'joy' could be a force that carried us through those challenges. Instead of focusing on the seemingly endless days filled with required tasks of home, family and work, strength could be found as we searched daily for joyful moments.  In 2022 I want to embrace another aspect to the blog that at first doesn't seem very 'joyfull', but when looking beyond circumstances, a deep abiding joy can be found. Joy isn't just an emotion and it is not based on feelings or circumstances. In hard times, 'the joy of the Lord is our strength' and in experiences that threaten to overwhelm us - God will see us through and bring a purpose to our pain.  Thi

The Week of Looking for Great Things

 It's almost Happy New Year! This week of the year always feels like a week held up in suspension.  It is the last week of the year, Christmas has past, and a new year will begin in a few days. This is a great week for reflection over the past year's accomplishments, memories, situations and/or crisis that were walked through. Pondering the good times, identifying things looking back we may have handled differently. We may have seen choices and consequences, striving and achievements, victories or simply living each day.  While the memories are fresh in our minds, we have new year of opportunity just within our reach. The freshness of the new year calls us to ponder what could be. What are new habits we would like to see in our lives, what opportunities do we want to embrace or what can we focus on to make a difference in our realm of life.  This is a perfect time to evaluate where we are going in life and if are we on the best track. What would it take to improve? What do we n

Putting Self on a Shelf

 When the ' Elf on a Shelf" became popular, my boys were too old to appreciate the fun having an elf appear in the home in a variety of places and poses! I still have "Elfie", but he stays in one place the entire Christmas season! A recent devotion I read talked about putting "Self on a Shelf" . There isn't anything wrong with having traditions and doing fun things, even things that necessarily don't have a spiritual aspect, but I don't want to spend so much time on trivial things at Christmas that I miss really showing the love of Jesus through my life.  Selfless living should be the focus of what Christmas is about for us as Christians. Not living for ourselves but for the Christ who came to be born, live, and die for us. Self shouldn't have any part in us as Christians. If we are really going to celebrate Jesus and why He came we are going to have to follow His example. He ministered. He served. He was humble. He put Self on a Shelf. We