Find joy today

These Two Words Are Poison

The secret to an impossibly joyful life is letting go of two awful words.

They lurk in your heart like wild, angry beasts, looking for the right opportunity to devour you. They are toxins, too, seemingly innocent until they take over with a cancerous vengeance. If you have these two things in your heart, you cannot experience joy.

These words are bitterness and unforgiveness.

Bitterness comes:

  • When you’ve been hurt far too many times to count.
  • When others succeed and you don’t.
  • When you’ve been harshly judged.
  • When you can’t get the one thing you want.
  • When God disappoints you.
  • When people take advantage…

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Let God be BIG (and your problems small)

Impossible joy starts here: recognizing the power and majesty of God. It might seem counter-intuitive to think that way. Wouldn’t it make more sense to boost our self-esteem and think about how cool we are? Wouldn’t that make us more joyful?

The two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive. Think big thoughts about God and find amazement that He loves and cares for you. Big God = Big love for you.

God is our creator. He created everything you see, taste, touch, smell and hear. He spun the universe into existence. He gave you breath. Knowing that reconfigures our…

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Why you need people

People are pesky. They betray. They hurt us. They trample our hearts. So why even try? Why not just give into bitterness and isolate ourselves the rest of our lives?

Because we will never experience deep joy in life if we cut ourselves off from others.

A. B. Simpson wrote, “God’s most beautiful jewels are often delivered in rough packages by very difficult people, but within the package we will find the very treasure of the king’s palace and the bridegroom’s love.”

In short, we grow better together.

I’ve lamented this truth because it doesn’t make sense…

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Live a Better Story

We all want to live better stories, don’t we? I know I do. Part of discerning your new joy story is looking back on your past and figuring out destructive patterns that led you down frustrating paths. And it’s also helpful to celebrate the wins, too.

Look back at the past six months. Ask yourself seven questions:

1. What is one strong area of growth I experienced?
2. How was I selfish?
3. What relationship do I have the most frustration about?
4. What relationship surprised me in a positive way?
5. What is my biggest regret?
6. What am I proudest…

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You are WORTH taking care of, friend.

As I’ve been sharing, I’ve been reading through some of my 2500 past posts. Today I was glad to read this one, so I thought I’d share it with you. The past seven months I have FINALLY chosen to be healthy consistently, and it’s changing my life. I didn’t start pervasively. I started with one simple decision to exercise every day. And that’s all I’ve done for all these months.

Just last week, I decided I had created a habit so beautifully entrenched that I could now add mindful eating to my series of habits. All…

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Feeling left out? Read this.

One of my greatest sadnesses in this life comes from a place of pain. I’m not sure exactly why, but as a child, I often felt on the outskirts, not a part. I observed a lot (perhaps this makes me a better novelist?). And oh how I longed to be part of the with it crowd. Not being included messes with me. I finally REALIZE this, thankfully.

So when I see something I’m not included in, it hearkens me back to feeling like a left-out kid at school. I’m learning to remind myself that I BELONG…

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When Trolls Win in Your Life

We hear a lot about trolls, folks who just enjoy saying mean things. They tend to gain steam on this boulevard called the Internet. And they can hurt us. Deep. I’ve been reading through some of my 2500 past posts this summer and stumbled across this one. Oh how it messed with me and blessed me at the same time. I pray it gives you clear insight in how exactly to weather someone else’s criticism.

When others used to criticize me, I would shut down completely. Be thrown into a…

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Are you living in the tension of an unfinished story?

I’m reading through some of my 2500 past posts and sharing some of the most impacting ones (at least for me, and according to feedback from you. This one hit me hard (again) because I think we often live in the tension of an unfinished story. This side of eternity we will never experience “the end” to the best extent. There will always be longing. So what do we do in the meantime? This little article strives to address that.

I like “the end.” Don’t you? It’s closure, folks. A grand finale. It’s how I can…

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I thought it had died

So some strange/interesting things have happened with this little book about Spiritual Warfare. When I wrote it, wow, so much spiritual warfare swirled around me. My prayer team worked on overload to get me through it. Much of what I wrote about, I learned on the battleground of France where the spiritual warfare was thick and real. So writing it made me revisit some difficult things.

But then the book released, had its day in the sun, then slowly faded into black. The publisher took it out of print, then gave me back the rights….

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Are you in the sagging middle?

This summer I’m reading through some of my past 2500 posts (whew! I write a lot), and I came across this one that I think might just bless you. If you’re alive, chances are you feel like you’re stuck in the middle of something: parenting, career-ing, relationship-ing, life-ing. And there are untied ends, unresolved conclusions.

If you’re like me, you love certainty. I’m here to share that there is a way through: trust. I pray this post speaks volumes to you today and encourages you in the sagging middle. MD

The sagging middle. As a novelist I…

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