Seize the Moment (Be a Hummingbird)

A few weeks ago I initiated  The Morning Joy Challenge. I hope many of you have chosen to seize the moment, and have begun to experience a fresh perspective with the rise of the sun. (Please feel free to leave comments below about your journey with that!)  Just what does the dawn of the day hold for each of us? We need to begin well, of course, but we also need to move on into the day well if we are going to truly be joy journeying.

Frantic Pace

I’ll just come right out with a confession: Mornings aside, I’ve lived too much of my life at a frantic pace, in body and in mind. (Have you ever watched a hamster run around his cage? Across the back, into the tunnel, out of the tunnel, on the wheel, in the food dish, over his brother, back on the wheel…).

I’ve been a lot like him. I’ve been a hamster.

And living life at a frantic pace has not been good for my soul. It has not been beneficial to my marriage, or my kids, or my friendships, or my vocation. And let’s not even talk about my housekeeping. (Incidentally, I’ve discovered a correlation between the state of my mind and the state of my house. Sometimes it’s actually the clutter around me that suddenly notifies me of my pace. It pays to be observant of these things, my friends.)

 

 

But I love to work and to be productive and efficient and good at what I do. So is it wrong for me to stack up on responsibilities and move deftly through them all the time? Well, no. And yes. It comes down in part to motivation. Does my pace of life honestly reflect a joyous engagement with the Lord and the imprint I can leave on this world? If so – awesome! I should keep it up. This world needs energetic and passionate people tirelessly bringing His Kingdom to bear in homes, in the marketplace, and in neighborhoods. I believe God has placed within me a desire to do good things with excellence, and it’s important to lean into God-given wiring. Continue reading “Seize the Moment (Be a Hummingbird)”

The Morning Joy Challenge: What Will You Choose?

The Morning Joy Challenge
Morning Joy Challenge
Morning Joy Challenge

The pink sun starts to draw itself above the black horizon as the familiar tones of my alarm clock ease me into wakefulness. By now, it has learned to be polite. It’s blurry, I’m pretty sure it’s too soon, but morning’s here nonetheless. A new day stretches out in front of me with a morning joy challenge in it. Even before I reach my toes to meet the rug, I have a choice to make about how I’ll enter the day: I can growl, I can bury my face for just. one. more. minute. Or I can choose differently.

I really want to CHOOSE JOY.

Let’s face it, mornings often arouse the bear in us. A litany of reasons to start the day under a cloud of tension and negativity often exist: a looming deadline, echoes of a previous day’s argument, nervousness about an upcoming appointment, the realization that it is time to begin the tired routine of dragging children out of bed…again. We often don’t begin our days with the perspective we wish we did. But the reality is that our mornings set the tone for the entire day. 

So, is morning joy simply a decision we can make? Maybe. But most of us need a few reminders and a little help in order to discover it.  I wonder just what might happen in the long run if more of us set our sights on pursuing true, and abiding joy.  Continue reading “The Morning Joy Challenge: What Will You Choose?”

A New Year’s Resolution Worth Fighting For: Will You?

A New Year’s Resolution
Worth Fighting For 

New Year's Resolution

“Auld Lang Syne” and midnight kisses echo in the air long after the streamers and the confetti decorate the floor. Cheeks still hurt from laughter and celebration memories dance loudly in our heads as the page turns decisively into the New Year.  It is New Year’s Resolution time. This year is going to be the best yet. 2017 is going to be the year that everything falls into place, that we make the strides forward that we need to make, and that we finally land on the New Year’s resolution that we don’t fail to keep.

How many other years have begun this exact same way?

And yet gym memberships have been forgotten, pounds didn’t melt, and credit card debt still continued to mount. Is it possible for us to enter even the latter weeks of January without feelings of regret about already-broken resolutions and dashed hopes? I believe there is. And it may be that much of it has to do with leaning into the grace and strength of God to pursue resolutions that match His heart for us. Many of the things we resolve to do–and then don’t do–are things that may actually fall into place for us as we (instead) resolve to discover more of Him. Continue reading “A New Year’s Resolution Worth Fighting For: Will You?”

Why Joy?

Hey there! So glad you could join me…pull up a chair and a mug. I thought maybe we could get to know each other a bit and see if we might joy-journey together. On December 8th, a handful of years ago, I was born and given a name. My name is Elizabeth, and my middle name is Joy.

Elizabeth – consecrated to God, the fullness of God, or my God is bountiful.

Joy – well… joy. 🙂

Run those together and you could say my parents chose to set me apart for God’s joy. Or you could see that the fullness of God is joy, and that God is abundant in joy.

Thank you Mom and Dad! XO

But here is the catch: I’ve struggled with melancholy much of my life, finding myself reticent to experience strong emotions, unexplainably aloof, and sometimes envious of the abundance of joy that is apparent in others. I believe there is more for me than this.

So I’ve made the decision to take the journey towards joy. I’m claiming my name as a life purpose, and I’m embracing a direction forward towards a life of joy so full it overflows. And I want to let it loose – I want to share this journey with you. I don’t think I’m alone in my desire to live with greater joy. I believe you want to live joyfully too, and to leave a lasting impact on the people around you.

It will be no secret that I live a life of faith in Jesus Christ. If you do too – awesome. If you don’t – also awesome. All are welcome on this trek, but I want you to expect that Jesus will also be joining us.

I don’t exactly have a map for this journey, so I’ll need you to be brave and perhaps a little crazy if you want to come along. I’ll be storying, linking, interviewing, praying, photographing, singing, and in general just looking for joy in all of the small and big stuff of life. I know it’s there, and I want it. I want it for you too, so I hope you choose to come along.

Let’s let it loose!

Elizabeth Joy

About Elizabeth

I am a Christ follower, wife of 20 years to Scott, mother to three incredible teenagers (Mackenzie, Morgan and Grace), worship leader, writer and songwriter. I’m Canadian by birth, but recently transplanted to Indiana. Surprised by the grace of Jesus 19 years ago, He keeps surprising me regularly – leading me to unexpected places, calling me to things I could never do apart from Him, and renovating me from the inside out.

I love my family like crazy, fresh air (inside and out!), the ocean, bare feet in grass, sun on my skin, very hot coffee in large pottery mugs, and friendships that turn into sisterhood. I love correctly spelled words, igniting the senses with rich and vivid images that awaken the imagination, personifying inanimate objects and ideals, and really long sentences that sound like you are about to run out of breath. I write words because the Living Word has been imprinted on my life and heart, and because I believe that the Lord can miraculously breathe life on the words of His children to reveal His nature and His love. I also believe wholeheartedly that we should shout His grace from the rooftops by telling and re-telling the things He has done. Because God stories let loose are perfect stories.

I created  Joy Let Loose because I want my life to be that. 

And I want you to join me!

Elizabeth Joy