Finding Joy in the Midst of Pain

For many of us, the changing season ushers in a renewed sense of thanksgiving. But what happens when your season of change is marked by pain? When you don’t feel very grateful?

As we approached Thanksgiving, I felt anything but thankful. A serious illness had darkened my door, filling me with disappointment and heartache over what was being lost: hopes, dreams, expectations on how life would be. Yet it was in this difficult season I learned two important lessons about gratitude, discovering that hardship, not happiness, is the forerunner of joy.

Is your season of thanksgiving overshadowed by pain? Are you looking for a way to harvest more joy in your life? Join me on (in)courage to read more and discover how you can find joy in the midst of your hardship!

 

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Do you worry about your future?

how to not worry about the futureWhen you think about the future, what emotions bubble to the surface?

I’m pretty sure all my thoughts about the future have resulted in permanent worry lines etched across my forehead. On most occasions the unknown creates anxiety, concern, stress and a host of pleading prayers. Flashes of what could happen combined with a gazillion what if questions flood my mind and threaten to sweep my emotions away with them. Continue reading

Being an Introvert was My Excuse to Disengage

why being an introvert was my excuse to disengageIf snuggling with your computer or a good book sounds like your idea of a fun evening, chances are you may be an introvert.

But that doesn’t mean you are shy. Or a party hater. Or that you prefer to live in a closet.

Contrary to popular opinion, many introverts are actually outgoing, creative, and possess a high-functioning inner world. This inner world is an introvert’s best kept secret; a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered.

But seldom will it be shared.

Too many encounters with humiliation, failure, or rejection over time will cause introverts to shut down and close up shop. Out of insecurity, we will draw the shades and remain indoors.

Over time, we will become content to disengage with our world.

I know because I’ve been there. Continue reading

Why You Must Uproot Your Weeds for Successful Life-Change

why you must uproot your weeds for successful life changeI love gardening. Creating our own patio retreat has provided a personal oasis of beauty and sunshine while the birds gather above in magical chorus.

This week I sank into the cushions, iced coffee in hand. As I breathed in nature, my eye caught a glimpse of a disturbing sight.

Weeds.

My ultimate arch enemy.

The one thing I hate even more than dirty dishes.

Sticking out like a sore thumb, those gnarly little rascals were ruining my view. Gleefully basking in the sunlight, they made themselves right at home as if to spite me. I’m pretty sure they were smirking as they burrowed their roots even deeper. Continue reading

What Uber (and Jesus) Taught Me About Life

what uber and Jesus taught me about lifeLast week we took a family trip to New York City. And since we had a rental car, we figured what the heck? Let’s drive in the city.

Never. Again.

Don’t get me wrong. We consider ourselves experienced city drivers. In fact, we’ve comfortably driven in the biggest cities of America; places like Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, etc. But nothing compares to the stressful traffic of NYC. Continue reading