How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Let's Begin to Choose Joy!!!!!!

Hello there, my sweet summer blogging friends!!!!

I thought we would spend next week introducing ourselves and talking about Kay's intro and first chapter. 

In the intro, Kay writes something I believe is exactly why blogging on this book this summer will be so fruitful for us:  

"There's one promise I want to give you as we start:  I will be honest with you about my life and my search for joy--maybe more honest than you will find comfortable.  I will not gloss over my doubts, failures, and sins, and I will admit to you and to myself my sweaty, middle-of-the-night wrestling with God over issues of faith.  I will let you into the internal workings of my faith in process because I find my own faith bolstered when I know someone else is struggling and sometimes succeeding in letting Christ be formed in her.  Spiritual growth does not happen automatically and is rarely pretty; we will all be 'under construction' until the day we die and we finally take hold of the 'life that is truly life' (1 Tim 6:9)."

Isn't that the truth?  Aren't there moments when you are sharing something gut honest and all you want to hear is one person say:  "I have been there and come through.  You'll make it.  You won't always feel like this or be like this"?  Ten years ago during my deepest pit yet, I know that is what I wanted to hear.  I praise God there were those around me who told me just those precious words:  "You will get better.  You will get out of this sad place.  Here is the first step and I will walk it with you."  At that moment in my life, I had no idea that "choosing joy"  simply meant getting out of bed and folding clothes or going to my sister in law's house for dinner or a quick walk around the block.  Now I see that those were my first steps toward joy, but back felt like battling through a stifling, oppressive black cloud of fear and doubt.   

In her first chapter on page 31, Kay gives her wonderful definition of joy:

  "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 all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things."  

At the end of the first chapter Kay asks these two questions:

1.  What do you allow to hold you back from living a life  of joy?

2. Reflect on the definition of joy for a few minutes .  Which words are easiest for you to accept into your life?  Which are the hardest words to access?

Please feel free to share your thoughts on these questions or anything else you would like to bring up from the into or first chapter.  Hopefully, all the bugs have been worked out so that you will be able to post without problem.  If you do have problems please email me at  And remember to introduce yourself in your first post!

I'm Cherri and I will be facilitating the blog for the summer.  I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Peter, who has lovingly put up with me for over 36 years...God bless him:)  I have 6 children: 2 boys and 4 girls, 5 are married.  I have 7 grandchildren, 2 more to be added to the merry group this little sweet girl any day now and a "cute as a button" Korean grandson who will be going us soon!  All in all, the grand total will be 6 granddaughters and 3 grandsons.  I used to teach English and was a  librarian, but now I help out at the church with the women's ministry and teaching parenting classes with a little lay counseling on the side.  I love spending time with family, working with young moms and parents, reading, hiking and gardening.  My dearest joy is spending time in the Word and with a Savior who has become more real to me than my own skin.  His precious presence in my life is a high I just cannot get enough of!

I hope to hear from you all soon!

Love and blessing to you,



  1. Hi! I'm so excited about joining this summer reading group. I should probably get the book-haha. My name is Maria (100% Japanese, but with a Mexican name and tastebuds). I am a stay-at-home mom. I dreamed of this title for a long time, and now I am learning how to survive it day by day. I am NOT the life of the party, outspoken, comic-relief kind of person but am married to one. I am NOT very strong-willed, gotta have it my way kind of gal but I gave birth to one. I do NOT try to manipulate my way into people's hearts with my cuteness but gave birth to one of those too. I DO tend to be a perfectionist, although I'm getting better at letting go of my ideals and embracing all that God has for me instead. I've walked with Jesus for almost 20 years now, and He is absolutely everything to me. Mrs.Thompson has had a profound impact on my life. God has (and continues to) use her to impart wisdom that has shaped who I am as a wife, mother, and woman. I am excited about joining this blog community!

  2. Loved your introduction, Maria!!! I am excited about having you join us on the blog, too!!!! You are our Florida connection! Love you, sweet girl!!!


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