Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Inner Speak: Redeeming the Time

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.  Ephesians 5: 15-21

Slow down...redeem the time...walk worthy.

Don't rush to the next errand on the list.  What needs to get done will get done.  Wherever you all there.  See Divine appointments.  

Stop and pray for the brokenhearted and lost.  Delayed prayer is delayed care.  Grab the hands, lose the pride...pray.  Share His Word.

Realize that salvation is of the LORD...and just cuz they haven't understood it from you this whole last year...only God knows if hearing it somewhere else might be the moment of Holy illumination.  Save King Jesus!!  Invite them to the special service.

Extend your hands in welcome...reassure with pats on the arm and eye contact...true welcome...They will know us by our LOVE...not our rush, not our pride, not platitudes of empty nothingness.  

Are there burdens in your heart?  Is your past a memory that binds you?  Is there some pain, that you've carried far to long?  Then strengthen your heart with this Good News.  There is a Savior, and He's forgiven you.

There is a Savior...what Joy expressed.  His eyes are mercy, His Word is rest.  For each tomorrow, for yesterday, there is a Savior, Who lights our way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pre-holiday Hodgepodge

1. Time magazine has selected The Ebola Fighters as their person of the year for 2014. Do you agree, and if so who would you say is a close second? If you disagree with their choice, who do you think should have been chosen? 
I was pleasantly surprised by their choice.  I guess, since it's a person or persons who affected the news for good OR ILL...I'd say the close second would be ISIS.
2. This question comes to you courtesy of Susan who blogs over at Stew Mama Says. She knows we have a wedding happening any minute now, and she asks, 'What's your favorite-something old? something new? something borrowed? something blue in your home?  Be sure you hop over and say hi to Susan today!
Something old--old thimbles.  Something new--mac anything and everything Something borrowed--library books  Something blue--the cobalt bottles in my windows.
3. Fudge-yay or nay? Your favorite flavor? Do you make it yourself? With nuts or without?  
I'm not a huge fan really.  It's a bit too much for me.  I might eat one little chunk each Christmas season.  I love peanut butter fudge best...but rarely go near it due to worrying about kissing my sweet baby boy with peanut butter lips.
4. December 17th is Wright Brothers Day, commemorating the first successful flights made by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  How old were you when you made your first flight? Do you like to fly? Have you ever been to Kitty Hawk or other parts of the North Carolina Outer Banks? I think I was six.  I went to FL with my grandparents.  I love to fly.  I wish it wasn't so expensive.  I have not visited those areas...but I live close enough to Dayton that I've been to the Air Force Museum...totally awesome! 
5. Do the people in your family tend to follow a particular career path, and if so what's the path?
People in my family are largely it via ministry or schools.  
6. What is one thing you absolutely, positively must accomplish today?
I have a quadruple batch of Springerele cookies to bake!  My house smells GOOD!  
7. This Christmas I hope___________________________________.
We can all stay healthy and my parents can come and that my Mom (who's mid way through chemo) will be able to relax and enjoy being at my house!!
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sew Saturday: Gray...

Now that my Christmas gifts are done I can start showing what I'm working on again...
I saw this heartland tweed and fell in love!!  It is that muddy gray with little flecks of color (red, turquoise and yellow) throughout.  I'm doing 10 rows knit...then 3 sets stockinette.  My darling daughter lost my scarf, I really do have a reason to buy more yarn...haha.
I've finally cut out a baby quilt...long anticipated.  She chose a very modern herringbone pattern with gray and white.  It'll be backed with gray minky.  Delightful!!
This panel is my inspiration to work...I really want a Christmas quilt.  But, I won't let myself cut the gorgeous coordinating reds that accompany this panel until the baby quilt top is done.  When my Mom comes for Christmas I might break my rule though.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Intentional Parenting...

Intentional Parenting...that's what I've been praying for.  Which little known to me, also meant that I was praying for patience, the ability to pause and give full attention at the worst possible moments in my day, and endurance for stubborness when I am most tired.  I also didn't know that praying for this would mean I would be learning so much about God myself.  

I am humbled to tears when I see the parallels between my sinful childish behavior and God the Father's perfect parenting of me.

I hear myself say, "Just give your worries to God...Read these Scriptures with Mommy"...and then we read, "Don't be anxious about anything..." and I have to say..."God wants to teach Mommy these things too."  I have been worried about things I couldn't ever tell them about...and not handling it well or biblically.  I'm a bundle of knots and nerves...why?  I tell my child, "The Bible says...worrying can't help...and tomorrow has enough trouble of it's own.  Give Your worries to God...only He can help you."

I preach to myself.

Yet, I keep praying for Intentional Parenting.  I want to be intentional to point to Christ...the only Redeemer, Who is ABLE!  

I hear myself snap at my child, "You can't expect to do everything perfectly.  You have to practice things.  AND, God doesn't give everyone the same gifts and talents...and that's okay ya know!"  Um...ouch...I obviously don't know...or my time at and thinking about church and service and ministry would be much, much different.  I say, "Remember that you're working for GOD...not other people."  But, then I just wasted a whole hour agonizing over what I said about that and what she'll think about this....or that...and how I might be judged if I change roles here...or there.  

I preach to myself.

Parenting is humbling.  No way around that.  And I will continue to pray for Intentional Parenting.  I'm learning so much...and hopefully, God will be merciful and my children will learn too!

Oh Lord, 
You make no mistakes and You knew what You were doing when you blessed me with two Sweet Boobahs.  You know my desire is to obey you in my be intentional about directing them to You.  I don't want to just correct behavior....I want to point their hearts to You!  I'm so thankful that I can ask for wisdom and Your Word says You will give it GENEROUSLY and without finding fault. Thank you a milllion times!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

God with us...Immanuel.

I've been thinking a lot about something a friend said this week.  She said, "So often, I think I'll just "top off" ME with a little bit of God and call it good enough." It is so true...that many days I forget what Holy Spirit filling is really about.  Especially when I'm busy and have "my plans" all roaring to go. Then, someone else in the discussion said the comment in reverse..."Mostly God "topped off" with me."  This is also true.  How often when I've been strong in the Lord, do I, suddenly and stupidly, think I should give Him a little bit of my good ideas for the future.  It's downright ridiculous but so very much what I often do.  In those times I need a bigger view of God.  If I knew more about Him...and put into play what I know...I'd realize He is ALL KNOWING (He doesn't need anything from me)...His plans are PERFECT and without flaw (So why would I race forward with my plans instead? Yet I do.)

We've been studying about Moses...and our discussion stemmed from a question regarding how the filling of the tabernacle with God's glory and presence affected Moses...and how we could apply that to our lives.  Well, Moses couldn't enter the tabernacle when the cloud covered and filled it.  In a lot of ways this surprised me...I mean, Moses just saw God pass close as possible to seeing God without actually seeing Him and dying!  This is the guy called God's friend and the man with the glowing and radiant face from His close and intimate times with God.

But maybe, it wasn't about Moses anymore....this was, after all, a picture of what Jesus would do for all of us.  He would pay for my sins and then the Holy Spirit would come...and tabernacle within me!  It has always been His desire to dwell with His people and for them to worship Him alone.

The truth is that when we are filled with the Spirit there should be NO ROOM for our selfish desires.  It's not about me, or Moses, anymore.  It's all about worshipping God.  He is transcendent...way beyond our understanding.  But He is immanent...pleased to dwell near us, among us and to be our God.  WOW.

And then I thought...the Holy Spirit is the very presence of God, not just a symbol of God.  He doesn't just hover over us in a cloud...He is with us...INDWELLING us!  At first, I was thinking I'd prefer a cloud to show me where to go...but God did not give me less...He gave more!  The Holy Spirit protects and guides me.  He helps me understand and obey what I read in God's Word.  

When God guides me it means there's a goal for the journey.  And in difficult journeys that's very comforting.  I start and stop and change my mind a thousand times (ask my husband)!  People disappoint me...and I disappoint them and myself.  God NEVER does!  He always finishes what He begins....and He will be faithful to complete the work He's started in me... and complete it!  (Phil 1:6)

Oh Heavenly Father,
There are so many things that I don't understand about Your Triune-ness.  But I'm trying.  I'm so thankful for the Holy Spirit given to help me understand Your ways and convicting me to obey your ways.  Thank you for Jesus...Immanuel...God with us!  Help me to go about today full of YOU, worshiping and bringing You glory in all I do and say!  No more I, but Christ that lives in me!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cookie with your Coffee

I saw this and thought...well, that's inane fun...I've got a few blog drafts that will probably never be published as I've deemed them too judgy, downers or the like.  But, I miss blogging and You, my Dear Void!  Hope you enjoy the funny-ness.

Four names that people call me other than my real name:
1. Honey (Darreny, cuz he loves me!)
2.  Mommy (by my Sweet Boobahs)
3.  Teacher (by my two year olds in BSF)
4.  Beej (by my Mom)
Four jobs I’ve had:
1.  Dishwasher (first paying job in a family restaurant)
2.  McDonalds worker
3.  Produce seller (from a wagon one hot hot summer)
4.  Teacher
Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1.  You've Got Mail
2. Sleepless in Seattle
3.  White Christmas
4.  Pride and Prejudice  
Four books I’d recommend:
1.  Flavia De Luce series by Alan Bradley
2. Mary Russell series by Laurie King
3.  Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
4.  Anything by Agatha Christie 
Four places I’ve lived:
1. Racine, Wisconsin (born there)
2.  Hancock NY
3. Cincinnati OH
4. Greenwood, IN
Four places I’ve visited:
1. Spain
2. Scotland 
3. England  
4. Germany 
Four things I prefer not to eat:
1. Dog food   
2. Liver (unless my Dad cooks it)
3. Pepsi (Coke, Please!)
4.  onion soup
Four of my favorite foods:
1.  Steak
2.  Spring Peas 
3.  Indian food (date night) 
4. Mar y Tiera (land and sea...shrimp and chicken with peppers...yum) 
Four TV shows I watch
1.  Duck Dynasty
2.  Cook's Country
3.  Classic Sesame Street
4.  The Mind of a Chef 
Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
1. parents are coming here!!!
2.  Being an nephew is coming in February.
3.  Growing in my faith...
4.  Reading more books together as a family.
Four things I’m always saying:
1.  Knock it off! 
2.  I’m cold 
3. Actually,..... 
4. Don't put "X" in your mouth.  (at what age does this stop?)

Well, anyhew...this was fun.  Here's hoping this gets me back in the blogging mood.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Aqua Coffee with Her Snippyness, me.

I've been snippy lately.  I've been making a lot of uncommon, disorganized mistakes.  I've been late for things, unprepared for short, very unlike my normal self.  

Now, I've had some 'excusable' reasons.  I am sick and tired of being sick.  Enterovirus, followed by upper respiratory infection, followed by stomach flu (kids), followed by cracked ribs.  Ya, get the picture.  I've been dying to take charge of my house again but deterred by sick littles, personal weakness and home repairs (spelled new furnace).  I also have my parents on my mind...a lot.  It is a constant battle to give them to God...and not worry.  To trust in His plan...and believe that He will make a way where it seems there is no way.

Sadly however, most of my snippyness is NOT excusable...

For example, in the style of Laura Numeroff,  If you back into your garage door on Sunday morning, especially after a costly furnace repair...even though it was an accident...your husband will still be (justifiably) upset.  Being snippy does not help the fact, it is wrong.

Snippy is a sin.  There is no excuse for prideful, lashing out in anger...puffed up, offended defensiveness.  I need to STOP it!  DROP to my knees in repentance and seek God's forgiveness and will...and then ROLL with His plans for me.  I need to reconnect with His Word and His character.

And thankfully, in all this Snippyness God is merciful.  God is not leaving me the same.  He is humbling me.  I make mistakes, not so I can grumble and complain against my husband, er, ultimately God, but so I can learn and  extend grace to others...grow in my knowledge of God's character...and learn to be grateful in hard things and stupid mistakes (like screwing up the time for my kid's first Taekwondo white belt graduation by three hours!).

Oh Lord, Please put a guard on my lips.  Delay my speech so that I don't burst forth with snippyness but speak words that lift others up and glorify You.  Please let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You.  Please give me a heart of gratitude in all things.  Amen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Your Grace is Enough...

Great is Your faithfulness oh God
You wrestle with the sinner's heart
You lead us by still waters and to mercy
And nothing can keep us apart

So remember Your people
Remember Your children
Remember Your promise
Oh God

Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough for me

Great is Your love and justice God
You use the weak to lead the strong
You lead us in the song of Your salvation
And all Your people sing along

So remember Your people
Remember Your children
Remember Your promise
Oh God

Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough for me [x2]

So remember Your people
Remember Your children
Remember Your promise
Oh God

Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough for me

Your grace is enough
Heaven reaching down to us
Your grace is enough for me
God I see your grace is enough
I'm covered in your love
Your grace is enough for me
For me  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SOAP: Exodus 14

I'm sure this Bible study method has been around for a long time...but it's a recent discovery to me...and I'm enjoying, I wanted to share...

S- (Scripture)-  Exodus 14

O- (Observations)-
-to show God's glory
-gave reasons to trust and follow
-prepared to fight (GO forward) but no actual fighting.
-it was all God.

A- (Applications)-
-I do not deserve salvation---as I cringe and complain.  But, God is faithful to keep His promises.
-He is a wall of protection between me and the enemy.
-When I have faith in God's promises I can have peace in my heart.
-TRUE faith depends on what God says, not what we see or how we feel.
Faith is NOT Superstition...believing in spite of evidence.
FAITH is obeying in spite of consequence.

P- (Prayer)-
Oh Lord, I am so unworthy of Your love and salvation.  Help me to live as Your beloved redeemed...acting only in Your power.  Please teach me to be STILL with peace in my heart.  Oh Lord, I long to show You TRUE FAITH in obedience in spite of consequence.  Help me to fully rely on You!  Amen.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Hide me now 
Under Your wings 
Cover me Within 
Your mighty hand 

When the oceans rise and thunders roar 
I will soar with You above the storm 
Father you are King over the flood 
I will be still, know You are God 

Find rest my soul 
In Christ alone 
Know His power 
In quietness and trust 

When the oceans rise and thunders roar 
I will soar with You above the storm 
Father You are king over the flood 
I will be still, know You are God

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Creamer

I love pumpkin creamer...and this year I've been making my own healthy version.  I'll share my tweaked recipe...thank you Pinterest for almost too much info and inspiration!

3 c creamer or almond milk
1/4 c Stevia
1 can pumpkin purée
1-2 t vanilla
Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
( I use ALOT...I like it Spicy)


Yield: see above!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

When my heart is torn asunder...

When my heart
Is torn asunder
And my world
Just falls apart
Lord You put
Me back together
And lift me up
To where You are

There is hope
Beyond the suffering
Joy beyond the tears
Peace in every tragedy
Love that conquers fear
I have found redemption
In the blood of Christ
My body might be dying
But I'll always be alive

You have turned
Mourning to dancing
You have covered me with grace
The struggle here
May last a moment
But life with You
Will last always

There is hope
Beyond the suffering
Joy beyond the tears
Peace in every tragedy
Love that conquers fear
I have found redemption
In the blood of Christ
My body might be dying
But I'll always be alive

When the age
Of death is over
And this world
Has been reborn
I'll be there
Beside my Savior
This is our GREAT
And rich reward

There is hope
Beyond the suffering
Joy beyond the tears
Peace in every tragedy
Love that conquers fear
I have found redemption
In the blood of Christ
My body might be dying
But I'll always be alive
By Phil Wickham

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back Jack Hodgepodge!

1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?
I love early mornings.  Steaming coffee, ticking clocks, my Bible...
2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house?
Toaster.  We have the same cheap one we've had since marriage.  It works.  I hide it in the cupboard.  It doesn't fit real bagels though...that is a bummer. 
3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?
Repeating myself makes me grouchy.  Hmmm... I might be grouchy a lot.  Only on certain days though...I'm full of hormonal fun like that....
4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?
I have been to Canada.  Once on a singing tour and once with my grandparents.  Niagara Falls is beautiful.  Definitely a place I want to take my kiddos.  But, I will never go to the top of that Toronto Tower floor, fear of heights, nuf said.
5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?
I love loving weird things.  I still do.  I eat sardines and saltines with my Daddy.  I eat onion sprouts, pickled herring, liverwurst and pumpernickel with my Grandma.  They are still fun foods to me.  Just today my kids and I were missing Grandpa so we had smoked oysters and saltines for lunch.  Yummy!!!
6. Do you cry easily?
Didn't used to.....but lately I do.  It's a combo of hormonal shifting, circumstances, weather, age...yeah.  So fun...NOT! 
7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?
I have!  Just barely....I'll hammer hard here though...I like to be done by Thanksgiving.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I have been down and out with an upper respiratory infection.  I'd been attempting a sugar, no gluten, no caffeine.  I think it lowered my immune system and made me vulnerable to the most awful thang out there.  I was flattened for a week...and I still have a bothersome cough.  I do have a wonderful husband though.  SOOOO thankful for him and his sweet care of me!

Monday, October 6, 2014

I AM study with a little coffee and dark chocolate...

As I'm beginning my favorite Bible study this year...that would be Bible Study Fellowship by the by...I've been thinking a lot about the I AM THAT I AM.  How God identifies Himself to Moses and His people.  

It made me think back to my first year in BSF when I studied John.  There are seven I AM metaphors, which tell of his saving relationship with the world.  A great reminder at any time...but especially right now...cuz I have a virus and I'm stuck inside... away from my favorite Bible study, my peeps and my babies.

I AM the bread of life....John 6:35, 41, 48, 51

I AM the light of the world...John 8:12

I AM the door of the sheep...John 10:7, 9

I AM the good shepherd...John 10:11, 14

I AM the resurrection and life...John 11:25

I AM the way, and the truth, and the life....John 14:6

I AM the true vine...John 15:1, 5

A dear friend was just lamenting the awfulness of casual christianity to me...the way so so many of our friends are upset when we point to truth in the Bible that contradicts the bestselling drivel they are touting.  Nothing compares to THE WORD...there's nothing plain or vanilla about it.  It's living and active and sharper than any sword.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Percolating Thoughts...

I'm working on...

~Being okay with doing only what God has prepared for me to do in advance...even when that doesn't look like I'm doing much to everyone else...even if other's are disappointed...even if I have to say no to what I want to do more because their are things I have to do.

~Enjoying the simple moments...the lego building, nighttime cheek kissings, chilly bus mornings, and fall time hikes.

~Learning that God is enough...and He loves me.  He chose me and redeemed me...I am HIS!

~Taking care of my self...body and I can be healthy enough to care for others.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Coffee black

Dear believer, 

Do you understand that God may take away your comforts and privileges in order to make you a stronger Christian? 

Do you see why the Lord always trains His soldiers not by allowing them to lie on beds of ease but by calling them to difficult marches and service? He makes them wade through streams, swim across rivers, climb steep mountains, and walk many long marches carrying heavy backpacks of sorrow. This is how He develops soldiers— not by dressing them up in fine uniforms to strut at the gates of the barracks or to appear as handsome gentlemen to those who are strolling through the park. No, God knows that soldiers can only be made in battle and are not developed in times of peace. 

We may be able to grow the raw materials of which soldiers are made, but turning them into true warriors requires the education brought about by the smell of gunpowder and by fighting in the midst of flying bullets and exploding bombs, not by living through pleasant and peaceful times. 

So, dear Christian, could this account for your situation? Is the Lord uncovering your gifts and causing them to grow? Is He developing in you the qualities of a soldier by shoving you into the heat of the battle? Should you not then use every gift and weapon He has given you to become a conqueror? 

~Charles H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Coffee Muffin Hodgepodge

1. As August draws to a close, share what's been your favorite weekend of the entire summer?
I think my favorite weekend from the summer was near the beginning when we went to Michigan.  It was brief, and even though Loverbrains had to work during the day, we had fabulous evenings on the beach as a family.  For a brief time all the other stuff going on was placed on hold.

2. Labor Day is marked in the US of A on Monday, September 1st.  What paying job have you held that you've loved the most? Liked the least?
I LOVED teaching.  Probably third grade best...but even Special Ed was wonderful, albeit stressful.  Since you said "paying" I can't say Mom or Domestic Engineer...but I am also loving this job.  It will PAY in spades someday.  And it pays now in little precious moments.

3. Does the new school year start before or after Labor Day where you live? When do you think it should begin? There is much discussion now about older students having later start times to their school day...your thoughts?
In Indiana almost all districts are going to what is either called a perpetual or balanced schedule...which is basically what I'd call Year Round.  It just means longer breaks for holidays and an additional Fall break...and Summer break only being about 2 months total, if that.  For my friends who work full time it's a real financial hit to the pocket...but to day cares it's a boon.  I did this schedule when teaching Special Ed and it does improve retention...because there's less time for lost information.  But, it's sort of a bummer from a parent standpoint because you feel like summertime is lost.

As for later start times for older students...this has long been debated.  Actually, I think the research is pretty clear.  We know they'd do better starting later.  It's been tried and found successful.  I think it's sports schedules that keep it from becoming a reality.  Sports the largest idol of our American Society.

4. What's something you've worked at recently that could be deemed a 'labor of love'?
As my Mom starts radiation and chemo I've really enjoyed gathering special things to send to her.  I've also enjoyed taking dinner to my neighbor who's struggling with ALS. 

5.Which of the following work idioms can you most relate to right now...'A woman's work is never done.', 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' 'Many hands make light work.'
A woman's work is never done.  When trying to get into the new school year's routines it feels like I always have something to time to be still...or guilt if I do sit still for too long.

6. Crab or lobster or thanks, but no thanks? Favorite way to have your choice prepared?
I love lobster...with plenty of butter for dunking!

7. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, 'Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.' Which of the three do you consider to be the most important? Share one of your own 'rules of work'.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity"...I think this is almost a Biblical principle to me.  If I consider God Sovereign over all of my circumstances than I know He is in control and has great purposes and plans...all opportunity for the spreading of the Gospel...amid any difficulties or trials I might encounter here on earth.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Evidently, I am too old to drink coffee past dinnertime.  I did the other night and stayed away the entire night long.  Argh.  Then, to catch up, I slept in this morning....ugh....and now I'm behind.

Monday, August 25, 2014


This is what I did on Monday...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Joy Defined

In my attempt to have TRUE JOY amid all my circumstances...I did a bit of study on Joy.  I also went around my home taking pictures of things that please my eye and heart within my home and life today.  So without further ado...Joy Defined...
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.  ~Rick Warren
Joy is an abiding sense of happiness! Though there might be moments or seasons of sadness, even these are tempered with a confident expectation that the sun will soon return piercing the darkness caused by the passing clouds. Joyful people are typically happy. They smile and laugh a lot. Joy is the result of hope, faith, and love! Joyful people often smile and seem to breeze through difficult situations. They see problems as opportunities. The glass might be almost empty, but the joyful person will be thankful for the little they have, enjoy it thoroughly, and not fear it running out!
~ Sherman Nobles
“J” is for having Jesus first in your life. “O” is for placing Others second; and “Y” is for placing Yourself last. There is a lot of truth in this simple acronym. If we put Jesus first in our lives, joy is a natural byproduct which empowers us to really love others and love ourselves.
The joy and peace of believers arise chiefly from their hopes. What is laid out upon them is but little, compared with what is laid up for them; therefore the more hope they have, the more joy and peace they have . . . Christians should desire and labor after an abundance of hope. ~Matthew Henry
First, it is not an act of will-power, but a spontaneous, emotional response of the heart. Second, it is not superficial and flimsy, but deep and firm.  Third, Christian joy is not natural but spiritual.  Can God command us to rejoice if joy is not an act of will-power but a spontaneous emotional response of the heart and is not a product of natural resources but a fruit of the Holy Spirit? The answer that lies on the face of Scripture at many places is: Yes, he can, and he does.  ~John Piper... Excerpt from sermon "The Fruit of Hope: Joy"
1. In a world wracked with pain, violence, and heartache, a person who radiates joy is a rare commodity. Yet joy is to be the distinctive of every Christian, making him or her winsome to those seeking spiritual answers in an unbelieving world. The Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, "Spiritual joy is a sweet and delightful passion, arising from the apprehension and feeling of [God's goodness and favor], whereby the soul is supported under present troubles, and fenced against future fear" (A Body of Divinity [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1965], p. 267). Who does not desire such joy? Is your life characterized by a joy that makes unbelievers wonder what you have that they don't?

2. To have joy in the midst of trials requires a mind fixed on something trials cannot touch. Thomas Manton said, "If a man would lead a happy life, let him but seek a sure object for his trust, and he shall be safe: 'He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting the Lord' [Ps. 112:7]. He hath laid up his confidence in God, therefore his heart is kept in an equal poise" (cited in The Golden Treasury of Puritan Quotations, I.D.E. Thomas, ed. [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977], p. 160). What determines the joy in your life--your circumstances, which shift like desert sand, or the Lord Jesus Christ, the rock of salvation (cf. Matt. 24-27)?  

~John MacArthur