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Archive for the ‘joy’ Category

Angel Spa

Doesn’t a day at the spa sound like just what we need right about now?

While winter’s cold winds blow at the windows,

ah, to be in a warm, relaxing environment

candles to calm the frazzled

oil to sooth away worries

fragrance to revive a worn-out body

enveloped in a fluffy white robe

pampered to the fullest –

wish i was there right now

a spa day sounds pretty appealing

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it struck me as I heard words from Isaiah on Sunday

that there is something similar that we can indulge in

without even leaving our homes –

a special gift of pampering and deep healing.

In beautiful poetic and prophetic words

Isaiah says in chapter 61:

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.

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instead of ashes – a crown of beauty

instead of mourning – oil of joy

instead of despair – a garment of praise

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and if those aren’t gifts enough to make a grateful heart swell

and a tired soul sing hallelujah,

there’s more –

broken hearts are healed

and we are freed from the prisons within

*

it’s Jesus that Isaiah speaks of –

could there be any doubt?

He pours His love on us like nothing else we will ever experience here.

He calms the frazzled

He soothes away worry

He gives hope and rest to the worn

He comforts the tear-stained soul.

That’s what He does for us right now

when we turn our hearts to Him,

let go of doubt and self-reliance,

and be held in the palm of his Hand.

Just imagine what’s waiting for us  –

it will be like an eternal spa day.

Isn’t that fun to think about?

*

blessings,

Tracy

A big thankyou to my lovely aunt, Kathleen Hendee, for the awesome photo!

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Advent dec 19

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it’s been happening the last week or two already

ads for last-minute shoppers

i still have shopping to do

but i resent being called a procrastinator

when i still have five more days to shop

today is not last minute –

shopping on Christmas Eve – that’s last minute 🙂

*

it’s not the media and marketing strategies that creates this sense of urgency

it’s the evil one using it as a tool

to make a distraction

telling me to rush and hurry up

to thwart any effort of mine to stay focused on the manger

to push me into feeling stressed

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well, i’m pushing back

pushing back with renewed determination to stay focused

to be joyful as Christmas approaches

to not be caught up in the chaos and clutter of Christmas

but to find joy in the anticipation.

*

Blessings,

Tracy

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Radiant Joy

Advent dec 18.jpg*

‘joy, joy, joy,

praise we the Lord in heaven on high’

i’ve been humming it all week

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i’ve also been thinking about Mary

the quiet joy she must have felt holding her son, her savior

and then the joy of the shepherds

that joy that spilled over in praises to God

and the telling to everyone what they had heard and seen

*

when joy is mentioned in the Word

it usually is preceded  with singing, shouting and celebrating

but joy radiates whether silent or with voice

like a smile, it can be contagious

*

so much joy this baby brings –

joy in being redeemed, joy in being forgiven

and the promise of eternal joy

sing it quiet in your soul

or give that joy a voice

let it shine!

*

blessings,

Tracy

 

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Everyday Joy

Advent dec 17.jpg*

‘Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.’

ancient words from the 12th century

yet we still sing it today

some things never get old, i guess

like the promise of Emmanuel

*

well, he HAS come!

he is here

in the heart

in the every day

in every. single. moment.

Emmanuel, God with us

*

he sees the pain, the struggles, and the loss

he sees the joys and the laughter

he knows each of us by heart

we never walk alone

God walks every step with us

*

even on the hard days

this undercurrent of joy runs strong

for no one and nothing can take away the joy he brings

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rejoice! rejoice!

Emmanuel is with us!

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blessings,

Tracy

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Advent dec 16

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ok, it’s me.

i’m the one who wants to give the perfect gift

it’s the biggest stress-factor of my holiday

i love giving and making people happy,

but the stress of it can become a joy-zapper

i need to remember that

God has already given us the perfect gift –

when i think about that, stress leaves and joy returns

*

and what about all those delicious cookies?

so tantalizing

some have special memories baked right into them –

i just HAVE to have one of each – at least!

but after eating too many, i feel less than joyful

*

and my schedule?

just the other night i caught myself saying

‘there just isn’t enough time to do it all’.

well, i don’t have to do it all.

the problem is, i want to do it all.

God gives me enough time to do what’s important

i’m slowly learning to say no to some things

so that i can enjoy the more important ones.

*

to find more joy,

less is more

 spend less on gifts, but spend more time with loved ones

eat less of the season’s temptations

be less busy, slow down,

be more still,

and more thankful

simplify

that’s where joy can be found

*

blessings,

Tracy

 

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Uncomplicated Joy

Advent dec 15

why do we make things so complicated?

decorating the house

finding the perfect gifts

making memories

keeping traditions

baking all those cookies

sending Christmas cards

attending concerts & parties –

all are joyful ways to celebrate his coming,

but when the schedule is full

 we can feel pretty tired and empty

(preaching to myself)

*

when God says that he has come that we may have life to the full,

he didn’t mean a full calendar

*

how about a life full of hope, peace, and JOY?

sounds good to me!

let’s focus on the simple, uncomplicated joy found in the manger

and celebrate that!

*

blessings,

Tracy

 

 

 

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Advent Dec 13 Advent dec 14

this week’s focus is on one of my favorite things –

joy.

that attitude of thankfulness

and feeling of peace all wrapped up in three letters –

joy.

*

repeated words from the old carol

‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ come to mind today –

‘O tidings of comfort and joy’

each verse sharing the Christmas story

of a baby sent from heaven to save,

of angels appearing,

and shepherds seeking, finding, and rejoicing!

*

there are days during this season that we may wonder

what happened to that comfort and joy?

they have never left,

they may have become buried under the two joy stealers –

stress & worry.

we may have lost our focus

but the comfort and joy that God give us through his Son

is always there for us to rediscover

*

this week, let’s set our eyes on that baby born to save

let’s seek him like the shepherds

and rejoice!

*

blessings,

Tracy

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Advent Dec 7

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Advent Dec 8

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it’s easy to become distracted this time of year.

to help myself stay focused

with eyes on the manger,

I choose a Joy word

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what’s a Joy word?

it’s a word that describes the feeling you want to experience this Christmas season

words like joy, peace, cherish, family,

comfort, stillness, calm, celebration, dwell.

it’s a word that says ‘this is my priority, this is important to me’

*

once you’ve chosen your joy word

write it out

place it where it will be a constant reminder

then stay focused on it now through the new year

*

allow yourself to say ‘no’ to activities and demands

that conflict with your joy word

say ‘yes’ to those that will help

make your word become a reality.

*

take some time today to envision the days that lie ahead

choose your word

ask the Lord to bless it and your Christmas season

He will for He is faithful

and wants nothing more than to be the focus of your heart.

*

blessings,

Tracy

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Welcome December

Advent 1 no gnl

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welcome December

welcome anticipation

this month-long celebration

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there was a time when i found myself actually relieved when Christmas was over

too much stress crowded out any joy

finding the perfect gift

creating perfect memories for my kids

lists too long of to-do’s

 

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since that regretful Christmas,

i’ve commited myself to finding the joy

each Christmas season

to slow down

to be still

and focus on what’s most important

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i encourage you to find time every day

these next 24 days

to pause

reflect

to savor the joy of the greatest gift given to us . . .

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“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11

Blessings, 

Tracy

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Ephesians 5

I’m excited and grateful to have one of my blogs posted by A Word for Women this week! Here’s a little bit of it. To read the entire post, click on the link below.

“It is not happy people who are thankful, but thankful people who are happy”.
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Perhaps you’ve seen this saying floating around on social media. There is definitely truth in it, but there’s something missing.
There is something deeper than happiness that we experience when we are thankful – and that is JOY.
Isn’t that what we all crave?
True joy, deep-down-in-the-soul joy, a joy that doesn’t change with the life’s shifting winds.
The secret to getting that joy is this:
Give thanks.
That’s it. Simple. Just give thanks.

*

Read the entire post here. 

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