Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy 6 Month Anniversary JOY Blog!

JUNE IS ANNIVERSARY MONTH for JOY Blog! Can you believe it has been 6 months already? Well it has been!

We are expanding and growing. This month we are introducing you to US, the authors! And not only do we have two authors, but we have added another one! So check out the NEW author page.

Also, we are starting a new column called (drum roll, please), “Add Your Comment Here”. In this we are asking you to respond! Once a month, we will post an unfinished sentence…and you, the readers, get to respond by answering it!

One more thing we are doing is a SURVEY! We want to know what YOU want. It will help us know what to write for you!

Lots of new things this month and we hope you will help us out by participating.

Have a fantastic summer!

Joy to you,

The JOY Blog Authors,

Mandy, Heather, and Rachel

Author Interview - Mandy H.

Hey all you girls out there! My name is Mandy Joy! Yes my middle name is Joy and Joy is the theme of my life! I love life and all the people around me. I am an auntie of 10. Yes, TEN! I have 5 siblings. So my family is big! It is a lot of fun. When I am not spending time with my family, I am reading, knitting, blogging, swimming, biking, crafting, making jewelry, etc… I love doing crafty stuff when I have time. Recently I started memorizing scripture. I memorized Isaiah 6:1-8. Great verses. I found that if I put the verses on an index card and carrying them with me, I can memorize them in my spare time. I am looking for ways to grow in my relationship with Christ and how I can reach other for Him! I pray that JOY will help you, too, grow in your relationship with Christ!

*What is your favorite passage of the Bible (right now anyway)?
Well, my life verse is 1Thessalonians 5:16-18.  Some of my favorite Bible verses right now are Isaiah 6:1-8. These verses are helping me to rely on God and have Him lead me!

*What is your favorite season? Why?
Summer is my favorite season. I love when it's warm out and I love swimming and boating and just being in the water. Next is fall because it is kind of part of summer and it is cool and you can still do things outside.

*What kind of a person is your role model?
Moms are my kind of role models. My mom is one of my role models because I want to be a mom someday and there are a few other “moms” that are my role models. I want to be someone who has such an open home just like my mom!

*What is the one thing you couldn't leave the house without?
My Purse…and maybe a bag. My purse or sometimes it is more of a bag that has everything I could ever need. And in that purse or bag, I have to have a book. Always be prepared. There has been too many times when I haven’t had anything to do with me and had to wait for something. I now am always prepared with a well-stocked purse and a book!

*What is your weakness snack?
POPCORN. I love popcorn. And popcorn balls. It is a comfort food. And if my snack was a drink, then I would want a coke icee. I like smoothies and icees!

*What is your favorite quiet place with God?
Outside. I love being surrounded by His glory and creation, sitting under a tree or somewhere close to one. Being by anything that God created.

*What is your favorite type of book to read for fun?
I like chick lits! I like the whole princesses and princes and knights and ladies and even pirates. I like modern day, historical, and some mystery (if it is not too much). If it is a good Christian book and has a good “hook”, it has to really “catch” me!

*What do you think God is teaching you right now?
Right now God is teaching me to wait on Him and His timing. I recently graduated from high school and also with two years of college. I do not know what I am doing next. All I know is that I have to wait on Him and let him lead me. Isaiah 6:8 says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"” I am learning to say, “Here am I, Send me!”. ¬

*Tell one silly quirk you have.
Tell I have many. One is that I love purses and bags. There are very few people who know how many bags I truly have. To show you just how much I love them, I have bought two in the last month. I love bags!

Author Interview-Heather Grace

Hello, Ladies! My name is Heather Grace. I’m a daughter, sister, go-getter, and princess of the King! I currently live in southern Minnesota. I spent four months living in gorgeous southern England working as a teacher. I am a Winona State graduate with a degree in elementary education. I’m currently enrolled in St. Mary’s University pursuing a Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services. I’m passionate about growing in my relationship with Father God, learning, family, world traveling, and chocolate. I’m so thrilled to be a part of your lives! Thank you for welcoming JOY into your life!


*What is your favorite passage of the Bible (right now anyway)?
Sweet! I love questions! My favorite passage of the Bible has always been Jude 1:24-25. “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen!” This verse says beautifully the majesty our Father God possesses. And to think that He loves me with His entirety? How can I not stand on tip-toe to worship and bring Him honor!

*What is your favorite season? Why?
Winter. I’m a snow-bunny and ski fanatic!

*What kind of a person is your role model?
I have several role models. The one thing they all have in common is passion. They have a passion in life that is evident by simply talking to them. I find that intense passion inspiring.

*What is the one thing you couldn't leave the house without?
Music! I can’t even drive my car without having music playing. It soothes me.

*What is your weakness snack?
Oh gosh…probably chips. It’s a tie between chips and chocolate. Depends on my mood….

*What is your favorite quiet place with God?
In my car listening to worship music.

*What is your favorite type book of to read for fun?
Ok, so I’m a nerd. I really like reading psychology books. Exciting, ay?

*What do you think God is teaching you right now?
I think God is teaching me right now to have an ongoing relationship with Him. It’s great making time for quiet time with God during the day, but right now He is teaching me that He is the most important of the day. It’s been a wonderful learning journey.

*Tell one silly quirk you have.
(Big sigh) Confession: I’m a bit of a germ freak. Don’t ask if I’ve got hand sanitizer. I’ve got it in liquid form, foam form, spray form, with scent, without scent, with moisturizer, with extra germ killin’ action, etc….. Oh, yes, not a germ survives around me! bwahahaha

Author Interview- Rachel R.

Hi! I’m Rachel, the newest author here at JOY. I am looking forward to writing each month and hopefully encouraging you girls out there! Aside from writing for JOY, I also have my own blog (homeschoolblogger.com/read). I just finished my freshman year of high school and can’t wait for another good homeschool year. For now, though, I will enjoy my summer break with my family. Life with twin brothers and two sisters is quite an adventure! Well that’s it for now, but I know I’ll talk to you again soon!

What is your favorite Bible passage?
I don't really have a favorite, but I like to read 1st and 2nd Timothy because they were written to Timothy as a young person, like me. I try to follow 2 Timothy 2:22, "Flee from the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call out to the Lord out of a pure heart."

What is your favorite season? Why?
Fall. I love the cool air and brilliant colors, plus it means my birthday is near!

What kind of a person is your role model?
My mom is the biggest role model in my life. She loves God so much; it often overflows and makes me want to love God even more too! That is the kind of person I have as my role model.

What is the one thing you couldn't leave the house without?
A pad of paper to write down any ideas for stories that comes to me. They always pop into my head at unexpected times and I forget about them unless I write them down!

What is your weakness snack?
Anything chocolate!

What is your favorite quiet place with God?
A "prayer chair" that my grandmother and mother used to pray in.

What is your favorite type of book to read for fun?
I love to read historical fiction. One of my favorite series is about Elsie Dinsmore. She is an inspiration even though she isn't real! I love to learn about real people too.

What do you think God is teaching you right now?
To trust that He will provide. I moved recently, away from family and friends, so I am learning to rely on Him for new friends. He's providing!

Tell one silly quirk you have:
I dance around my house. A LOT. I can barely take two steps without doing a little pirouette or arabesque (I used to take ballet). And the basement just happens to be the perfect spot for doing a grand jete...

Honoring our Father

June rolls around and here comes Father’s Day. A day to honor our fathers. But have you ever thought of honoring your heavenly Father on that day. I am not saying that it is the only day to honor our Father in Heaven, but it is another day where we have the opportunity to honor Him. We can start today by honoring our Father. And we can do it everyday…because everyday that we are alive, we have breath. And every day that we have breath…we have the opportunity to honor, thank, praise, obey, and follow Him. He is a GREAT God and we need to worship Him. So let’s start today celebrating Father’s day…and let’s not stop. Every day is a great day, provided by Him, to worship Him.

Go Forth and Do!

Add Your Comment Here...June

Finish this sentence and check out the comments to see what other girls say!

I feel closest to God when......

By Faith…The Lost Son’s Dad

By Faith…The Lost Son’s Dad- Luke 15:11-32

Okay…since the theme of this month has a lot to do with Father’s Day, I decided to think of a father in the Bible that was a great example of a father. And while I am sure there are many, the first story I thought of was an uncommon one. The reason I say it is uncommon in because you do not usually think of the father in this story.

This story is the story of the prodigal son. Now some of you may know this story and while you can find the whole thing in Luke 15:11-32, I am going to summarize it here!

Jesus is telling the story and He says…

There was a man who had two sons. One day the younger of the two sons came up to his father and said, “Dad I want everything that is my share”. And guess what…the father gave it to him. So the son took his new found wealth and went off to the city. It didn’t take long and he spent it all and had nothing left. He then got a job feeding pigs. Yuck. And it gets worse. HE was so hungry that he wanted to eat what the pigs were eating. YUCK. So then the Bible said, “when he came to his senses, he said, ‘how many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!’”. So he decided to go back and tell his father that he had sinned, he wasn’t worthy to be his son, and that he would like to be like one of his hired men. So he went off to do just that.

So the son was still a ways a way and his dad saw him coming. His dad was filled with compassion for him and ran to him and kissed him. So the son told him everything he had planned to tell him. Even after all of that the dad then told his servant to bring him a fine clothes (I bet he needed them) and to prepare a feast. So they celebrated! The father said this is his son who was dead and lost, but now is alive and found.

(There is more to this story so make sure you check it out, and make sure you see what the older
brother thought.)

So anyway this dad, he had faith. By faith, he gave his son his wealth and let him do what he wanted (and boy, did he have a lot to learn). By faith, the father trusted that God would work everything out for the good. By faith, the father did a hard thing by welcoming him back…and doing it joyfully.

By faith, he trusted, will you?

Mandy H.

Father’s Day Fun

Father’s Day Fun 

June includes Father’s Day. And now it is down to the wire and you are wondering what you are going to get your dad. Well remember when you were little and you made home-made presents? Well those are priceless gifts and meaning full. So here are some of those to help you remember and give you some tips for this year.

1. A hug-My dad would say this is the top one!
2. A homemade card
3. A coupon book-you still know how to make them!
4. A picture of yourself (and siblings…maybe in a frame) for his office or garage or car!
5. Index cards with Bible verses on them-always useful
6. A song played or song by you
7. An e-card-I like the silly ones(check out DaySpring e-cards)
8. Babysit your siblings to give both of your parents a night off
9. Spend the day as a family
10. Cook something or bake some cookies for him!
11. Have fun and be creative. A little bit of thought and a lot of caring and love goes a long way!

Mandy H.

Modest Dressing-When Does Modesty Cross a Line?

Modest Dressing

When Does Modesty Cross a Line?----

Why should we dress modestly?

It’s mostly for one reason: to help our brothers in the Lord. We wouldn’t want to hinder their walk with God by dressing inappropriately. When we dress immodestly, it makes it easy for guys to “fill in the blanks” or complete the picture in their heads. Obviously this does not aid in their walk with God. We dress modestly so that we don’t become stumbling blocks for them.
Why do a lot of women dress modestly?

I ask you this question because I see this time and time again in women and it breaks my heart, let alone our Father’s heart. I’ve seen countless women dress modestly in an attempt to cover their body because of shame. We tend to be a bit too self-critical of our bodies. In an attempt to cover these insecurities, many women dress modestly. They use the word “modesty” as an excuse to shield themselves from the fact that they are insecure about their bodies. The media puts unrealistic expectations of women in our face. We see photos of gorgeous women in the tabloids, the television, and in advertisements. Fact: the women are airbrushed, their bodies are adjusted via computer technology, and they too have insecurities about themselves. It doesn’t matter where you came from, where you live, what type of clothes you wear. What matters is this and this alone: God loves every single part of you and He created you for a purpose, especially designed and beautiful. Be confident in your skin and love your body, because your Father God does! He adores every freckle on your face and every curve of your body. You are His daughter and you are priceless to Him. In Luke 12:6-7 God tells you this, “Five sparrows are sold for just two pennies, but God doesn’t forget one of them. Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don’t be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows.”

Yes, it is important to dress modestly for the sake of our brothers in the Lord. But don’t dress modestly as an excuse to hide your insecurities. Embrace your body. The weather has now become more summer-like. Embrace your body and wear summery clothes. Now, I’m not talking short shorts because this would be an obvious distraction for our brothers in the Lord. Still, go ahead and wear modest clothing that keeps you cool. Wear your tank tops and skirts. Look cute in this summer weather! Just ensure that “cute” doesn’t cross the line to looking immodest or inappropriate. Love your body and dress it as the masterful work God created.

Here is a website to help you check out and see if your outfit is going to temp our brothers in Christ: http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/

Heather Grace

Guy Talk-I Want A Man Like My Daddy

Guy Talk

I Want A Man Like My Daddy

1. Considerate
2. Gentle
3. Puts God first
4. Respectful
5. Loyal
6. Supportive

This is just a snippet of a list I made when I was fourteen. It was a list of all of the qualities I wanted in a future husband. A list that I would stick to. A list of standards that I would uphold in my future relationship endeavors. To this day, I’ve returned to my list when considering relationships I want to pursue. It has saved me a lot of heartache.

The list I made was not one I carelessly whipped out. I prayed about this list and contemplated each item that I decided to add. This list wasn’t hard though, because I already knew what I wanted in a man. I wanted a man like my Daddy. Not my Dad on Earth… my real Dad: my Father God.

God wants only the best for us. He wants us to have someone who will love us unconditionally for who we are, regardless of what we have, who we know, how popular we are, or what we could give. 1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love…” We know that this is true, and adjacently it makes 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 all the more powerful:
“Love is kind and patient,
never jealous, boastful,
proud or rude.
Love isn’t selfish
Or quick-tempered.
It doesn’t keep a record
Of wrongs others do.
Love rejoices in the truth,
But not in evil.
Love is always supportive,
Loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
Love never fails.”

Wow. Insert the word “God” for the word “love” in those verses because God is love. Amazing, isn’t He? Why wouldn’t I want God’s best love for me? God is all of those things, but He also wants us to have these same qualities in our future husband: a man who is kind, patient, loyal, hopeful, trusting, always supportive. Lean on these standards God has provided for you.

Do you have a relationship question for JOY? We're here to offer sound, Christian advice and our prayers. If you have a question or a prayer request, email JOY at: joyfilledgirls@hotmail.com.

Heather Grace

Natural Glow-Because I Am His

Natural Glow

Because I Am His

The other day I did something brave. Very brave. You see, I started wearing makeup when I was about five. Nothing too fancy. Just makeup like blush, eye shadow, and lip stick. As I got older, my makeup became more sophisticated. I searched the Internet for makeup tips, talked to professionals, and even went to a conference that addressed makeup application. My makeup “look” transformed as I got older. There is nothing wrong with wearing makeup as long as it is worn tactfully. Like the saying goes: “A little goes a long ways.” But the other day, I did something brave. I went against my behavior pattern that I had strung into myself since I was only five years old. I left the house to go shopping….. without wearing makeup.
Ladies, this was the next step for me. We all struggle with having a positive self-esteem. Some days you feel as though you are unstoppable. The next day you can’t decide what to wear because you just aren’t feeling gorgeous. What people don’t realize is that having a positive self-esteem is something that must be maintained. It is something that you have to continually keep up. I have gone years and years doing my best to maintain a positive self-esteem. The Lord has shown me each day that I am beautiful for one reason alone: He made me. If I stripped away every little bit of makeup; did absolutely nothing with my hair; took away my “good” clothes, what would God be left with? He would still have the most beautiful lady, all because He is my creator.
God challenged me to leave my beauty routine for a day on my shopping trip. He challenged me to put aside my insecurities and to love myself because He loves me. And ladies, I’ve never felt more radiant as I did leaving the house that afternoon.
I’m not challenging you to put your beauty rituals aside for a day. This was something that God put on my heart for my own walk with Him. What I am asking of you is to ponder this thought: You are beautiful exactly the way you are. That body part you would consider having plastic surgery on? God created that in His perfect image. That insecurity you have about yourself before leaving the house? Leave it at your door. God made every detail about you perfect and He wouldn’t have changed one thing. You are his priceless masterpiece, a work of art. You are perfect because you are His. Love yourself; He loves you.

Do you have a hygiene or make-up question for JOY? Email us at: joyfilledgirls@hotmail.com.

Heather Grace