On choosing joy and unexpected laughter – 9

Dolly Lee Joy Series, Spiritual Formation

Although this incident happened a few months ago, it reminds me: I can choose joy when I release my expectations of how life should be and instead embrace what is. ______________________ Saturday sun beckoned like a beacon inviting us outside to play. To hurry us to the beach, I poured coffee into travel mugs. Mine wasn’t as well-made as my …

Why I’m still celebrating Easter joy – 8

Dolly Lee Joy Series, Spiritual Formation

Yesterday, we celebrated Easter with friends at church and then over dinner. I baked a ham with a brown sugar and mustard glaze. Our girl made a berry sorbet and chocolate cake. Last night I added split peas, barley and a ham bone to a crock pot for soup today. But I’m not celebrating Easter joy because of the savory …

On growing and abiding in joy – 7

Dolly Lee Joy Series, Uncategorized

Many years ago, our family visited a cherry orchard (*). Row after row of green trees laden with small red orbs stood before us. The sun warmed our bodies. We climbed ladders and picked one red cherry at a time, careful to not crush each one. It made me appreciate how much time and effort it takes to pick enough …

Who is Joy’s secret friend? – 6

Dolly Lee Joy Series, Spiritual Formation

Joy’s friend hid in the shadows as we explored joy in this series. Deep biblical joy can’t exist without its friend: endurance. ********* When I visit my girlfriend M., she sits on her sofa with a puffy wrap around her knee. On the other end of the wrap, a small machine hisses and whooshes; it helps decrease her pain. She …

Is the joy of the Lord your strength? – 5

Dolly Lee Joy Series, Songs

Based on your comments on “Two ways to be present to joy,” I wrote this post. Joy isn’t only for weddings, friends laughing and babies smiling. Joy is also for when your heart feels so heavy it may capsize or when you’re living minute-by-minute and life feels tenuous. Joy is also for when your laptop crashes before a deadline or …

Two Ways You Can Be Present To Joy – 4

Dolly Lee Joy Series, Uncategorized

Novel in hand, I settle into a corner of our faded sofa after washing dinner dishes. Our dog Bailey, leaves his designated half of the sofa and scoots toward me. His moist pink-brown nose nudges my arm until I lift it up and rub behind his soft golden ears. He closes his eyes and nestles next to me. My fingers …

How a nonconformist chooses joy -3

Dolly Lee Joy Series, prayer

(I wrote this post to renew my mind because honestly, it has been hard. But I’m feeling more hopeful.)   “Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – Romans 12:2a “‘Do not conform’ is difficult advice in a generation when crowd pressures have unconsciously conditioned our minds and feet to move to …

5 Ways to Fight for joy -2

Dolly Lee Book Reviews, Joy Series

  Sara Frankl made the above graphic. Before her chronic illness, Sara Frankl loved to sing, dance, water ski, and love on her friends and family. Towards the end of her 15%20 year battle with ankylosing spondylitis, she felt pain whether she moved or kept still, and she couldn’t leave the purified air of her condo. An encounter with someone’s …

How do you define joy? -1 (even if you’re an Eeyore)

Dolly Lee Book Reviews, Joy Series

Welcome to the first post in our “Joy” series because I want to grow in joy. You too? The words “CHOOSE JOY” were capitalized in gold lettering on the book. In God’s providence, I found Kay Warren’s book Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough at our town’s library. What images or words come to mind when you hear the word …