These are tumultuous days we live in and sometimes, we have to choose our focus. It doesn’t mean we abandon reality or abdicate our responsibilities, but we make an intentional choice to celebrate the world around us. Friends, we have breath in our lungs; this is reason enough to go on living. In case you are discouraged, uncomfortable or just looking for opportunities for joy, I thought I would share my joy list with you.
Rachel shares her experience without pushing her agenda. I really like that in a non-fiction book. Click here to read an excerpt of Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
I just started Ruby and already, I can’t stop reading. Wow, just wow. Click here to read Chapter One.
Asian Americans move to Orlando, Florida to run a restaurant similar to the Sizzler. The oldest son is obsessed with Biggie Smalls and all things hip hop. The mom is a character. We laughed ourselves to tears. Then, I bought the book on my Kindle. Hilarious.
Darling Magazine. Sigh. Always an inspiration. Darling is the only magazine for women that does absolutely no retouching. They are reader supported, so there are no ads assaulting our senses. The content is beautiful. Doubly inspiring? I wrote an article for this issue, which was on my Bucket List. Joy is the theme of Issue 11 and my article was on gratitude.
(Bob Goff and Willie Robertson’s wifey also wrote articles in this issue. Pinch me!)
The best planner I have ever owned. Hands down, no contest. There are words of encouragement everywhere, blank pages for notes, inspiration, goals, and more. Order yours here.
The Burbank Biscuit at Coffee Commissary. I do not know how to help you not eat this. I don’t know how to tell you not to eat the delicious, perfectly fried potatoes with spicy ketchup that come with said biscuit. I also don’t know how to explain to you why you will eat this, have a vanilla latte with real vanilla bean and take a chocolate chip cookie home to not share with your husband either. Some things cannot be explained, only enjoyed. Go with God.
A few years ago, I learned about the issue of mass incarceration in our nation. I am embarrassed that we have more prisoners in America than anywhere else in the world. Besides immigration, this is one of the major issues we currently face. After years of praying, the right opportunity opened up to us to serve as LAPD Chaplains. We meet with arrestees on behalf of LAPD, the church and Jesus. I hope you can see how this builds bridges over devastating divides. Watching God show up in a dirty jail cell is a beautiful reminder that He is God incarnate, Emmanuel God, with us. He goes where we go. Change is possible friends. Believe that.
This man. He inspires me with his words, his touch, the way he loves our family, music, his hunger for joy, his thirst for heaven here on Earth. He is encouraging me to write my first book, signing me up for webinars, novel lessons and when I am drowning in first time mommy-dom, He reminds me I am not alone. I really did marry up y’all. He’s speaking this Sunday night at church for our 5 people, 5 messages series. (I am sure it has a cooler name than this. I just don’t know it.) Come visit or watch online here at 6pm PST Sunday, May 3rd. He’s my favorite teacher.
Did I mention I am writing a book? Help Jesus! Please and thank you.
What can I say? Even though he is teething, trying to crawl, and nursing every two hours or so, he is also laughing, clapping, hugging, shrieking over his books, and generally being wonderful. Levi is our bundle of joy straight from heaven.
Heavens to Betsy, I am inspired. I am blessed.
I didn’t even mention my incredible tribe, who is full of people doing the dang thang. They are running or starting non-profits, recording albums, starting businesses, writing books, leading ministries, pursuing justice, loving people in ways that make me cry, living authentically, raising phenomenal babies, laughing hysterically, and riding this transitional season LIKE A BOSS. Special highlight for Treasures, a non-profit bringing freedom to women around the world. This is a great place to give your time and your money.
I also didn’t mention my Spotify Soul List (I don’t know how to help you find this. I am not a wizard.) or my slow cooker (thanks Mama). Here’s my favorite new recipe. I also have inappropriate youtube videos and hilarious ecards, but you have to text or email me to get those.
It’s good to remember what’s good, when life feels a bit too hard. What’s on your joy list friend? I pray you make space to reflect on what and who brings you joy, and I pray you have the courage to go for more of that. Grace and peace to you and yours.