<![CDATA[LOVEANDJOYNALING.COM - Coffee Beans and Grace Nuggets]]>Mon, 16 May 2022 00:23:56 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[permission...tHROW your preconceived notions out!]]>Sun, 15 May 2022 22:22:28 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/permissionthrow-your-preconceived-notions-outSo, you want to begin Bible JOYnaling. There are so many different ways to jump in!!! When I began my #Biblewrecker joyney, I was very scared, hesitant and extremely nervous. As I have shared in my previous post, What is a #Biblewrecker? I was raised with a VERY strict reverence for any Bible. If you have not read that post, you can find it here:  
https://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/what-is-a-biblewrecker

When I began my joyney, I HAD to give myself permission to begin. There were so many reasons why. If you are anything like me you may be so afraid of "messing up" that you just cannot jump in with both feet. I get it! I am here to give you this encouragement, God WANTS to spend time with you!!!!! God WANTS you to spend time IN HIM and HIS Word! He is NOT complicated in His want of you and to just BE with you while you are meditating in and on HIs Word. 

Let me repeat, God WANTS to spend with you. He WANTS you, your heart, your time, your creativity. Also, one of my MOST favorite things to say to anyone beginning to joynal, has been doing it for years or those occasional folks who scold me for it, "Journaling is NOT about how you mark the Word. It IS about how the Word marks YOU!"

Before I begin joynaling, if I need it for my own heart and mind, in a new Bible, I give myself permission to REALLY use it! I have so many journaling Bibles and sometimes they are just so beautiful on the outside that I, even now, have to give myself permission to use it for joynaling purposes.

Permission pages are so helpful and a wonderful reminder to you that your particular Bible IS for joynaling, for coloring, for writing, doodles, praising, learning, worshipping, renewing and for YOUR connection to God. Give yourself permission to take risks, to grow in God, to use art as a form of healing, worship, praise, meditation and expressing your love to God. 

Along with reminding yourself what your journaling Bible IS for, I find it helpful to add in what my journaling Bible is NOT for. WHAT? Yes! That is correct. I remind myself what is NOT allowed in my Bible. My Bibles for joynaling are NOT for my Type A  personality perfectionism. They are NOT for being neat. Unless it is a specific Bible that I am creating specifically for someone like my daughter or son, my journaling Bibles are not for showing off, impressing God or anyone else. My joynaling is ONLY for me, God and my praise, worship , prayers and reflection of my communication, meditation and relationship with God. 

Give yourself "permission" to let go of all of your preconceived notions about what Bible Joynaling is "supposed" to be or "supposed" to look like. Only you can describe, show and express your relationship with God. You might want to consider giving yourself a reminder of possibilities of things that "could" happen in your joyney. Art/craft supplies can be messy. Some are trial and error. Markers are going to bleed through pages at times, Pens are going to ghost sometimes. Pages are going to wrinkle when too wet. Sometimes pages will rip. Beautiful paper clips may damage our pages. Believe me, it is OKAY! Things happen. Give yourself permission to ALLOW all of these things. Focus your heart and mind on your WHY! Why are you joynaling?

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (ESV)
Remind yourself why you felt drawn to Bible Joynaling in the first place. I pray that you grow  so wonderfully close to God in your joyney! Love and blessings to you as you grown in the Lord. Below is my very first permission when I began my joyney. I hope this inspires you to just jump in!
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<![CDATA[AWAKEN, BLOOM]]>Tue, 18 May 2021 14:38:47 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/awaken-bloomAwaken like the flowers and trees in Spring. Be restored. Grow, bloom, transform into who you, whose you are, learn to grasp the power within you and the authority you have to use it. -Shalon Day
HEART SNAP: PSALM 80:19-(NIV) Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

Spring is my favorite season of all. I absolutely love going out to my patio and seeing all of my beautiful flowers peeking up from the ground. Anticipating all of the sweet fragrances, beautiful colors and magnificent blooms that will show in a few days, weeks and months as God is gently waking them up from their winter slumber. Spring reminds me of how amazing God is as He gently awakens all of the trees, flowers, birds, insects, "life" He created.
I am reminded that God shows me his magnificence and restores my heart, mind and spirit each and every day as I study, read, pray and seek Him. These are days, especially in the Spring, when I love to just sit in the sun, feel God's love radiating down on me, smelling the sweet aroma of His love, imagining that He is looking down on me with the same thoughts in His mind of me!

How do you recognize when God is gently awakening you and your spirit or heart?
How do you respond to these moments?
Do you welcome them like a baby happy to see Momma or Daddy?
Are you a grumpy, grumbling half-awake teenager, irritated that you didn't get to sleep longer?
What is your vision of what Spring looks like from your perspective vs. God's perspective?


HEART SNAP: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NIV)-Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!

Just as a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, we become a beautiful new creation after accepting Christ as our Savior. Just as a seed or a bulb that has no visual appeal by itself, when planted, watered and given time, blooms. Christ turns us from dead, unappealing seeds, gives us a solid root system and the ability to produce beautiful blooms or fruit that we are then able to spread to those around us.

Imagine God seeing you as a flower in His magnificent garden. What flower are you and why?
How is God cultivating you to bloom in your life?
Are you allowing your heart, mind and spirit to be soft, fertilized ground?
Are you resisting as dry, parched, cracked ground?


HEART SNAP: 1 John 5:4-5 (NIV)-for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Have you even seen a blade of grass growing up in the middle of a concrete pad and wonder how in the world that little blade made its way through gravel and 2, 3 or more inches of concrete to peek out and receive sunshine to grow?
I do! As I am spraying weed killer or pulling it, Yes, obviously in vain, because in just a couple of weeks, another one peeks up again. 
Did you know that you have that much power? YOU DO! Because of Christ, you have overcome the world. You have the same power living inside to overcome the ground, gravel and concrete you may feel is hiding you from the sun. Use that power given to you from God to stand in the SON and refuse to be "Killed by the weed killer (the world)."

How do you feel when you read, see or hear God telling you that you have overcome the world?
How can you continue being a victorious blade of grass that has overcome concrete and stand proudly in the "Son?"
How can you show others how to be an overcome of this world/life, the messy middle between two perfect gardens?


Dig deeper in your study. I encourage you to look at the following verses (HEART SNAPS) to grow your heart, mind and soul!

Mark 16:17-18
John 1:12
John 15:5
Romans 8:15
Ephesians 2:10
Ephesians 4:14-16
Colossians 1:10
1 Corinthians 6:19
1 Peter 2:2
2 Peter 3:18
1 John 4:14


I would also like to encourage you to write Ephesians 1:4-5 on a pretty piece of paper, sticky note or index card.
In place of "us," write your name and put it wherever you can see it and read it everyday.

May your day be blessed and I pray you allow God to cultivate your heart in ways you have never experienced before! Blessings, Shalon

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<![CDATA[overflowing fullness]]>Sat, 15 May 2021 17:53:23 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/overflowing-fullness​​
What a difference living our lives in the fullness of God and His Love of us makes in our spirits, heart, mind and actions/reactions. Unless we recognize, grasp and apply that fullness, it is just there. Let's not be empty, seeking what would never fill us. Let's come into the heart of our Abba Father and grow in that overflowing place that never leaves us wanting.-Shalon Day
HEART SNAP: Zephaniah 3:17 (MSG) Your God is present among you, a strong warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love & delight you with His songs.
This verse speaks to me in so many different ways and provides me with such peace, comfort and amazement, to be honest. I looked at this verse in so many different versions and each one speaks loudly.
The CSB version states, "He will 'quiet' or renew me with his love.
NIV tells me God 'takes great delight in me, in his love he will no longer rebuke me, but will rejoice over me with singing.'

Can you close your eyes and see God rejoicing over you with singing? What an awesome vision. I don't know about you but knowing that God loves me, little ol' me, so much that He rejoices with song over me makes my heart so incredibly full. This gives me such a different perspective on myself, my worth and my entire identity in this life.

What does it mean to you that God, with His love, will calm you?
What do you imagine God's voice singing to you and over you sounds like?
How can you apply this verse and its message/promise into your everyday life?
How can you describe this amazing truth with someone else.

HEART SNAP: Jeremiah 31:3 (MSG): God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love."

As a Mom, I tell both of my children that I love them. I have always told Cadrian, "I love you to the moon & back times infinity," or "I love you 3,000." (Yes, from a Marvel movie) and if I am just wanting to drop her a quick text, I will type, 143. With Steele, I have always told him, "I love you to infinity and beyond." What could be more than infinity??? As I think about how much I love my children, I think about how much more God loves His children. My human mind and Momma heart cannot fathom the overflowing, abundant love He has.
I would give up my own life for my children without hesitation. However I would not be able to give either of them up to save someone else. But, God did just that! He gave HIs only Son to be the price paid for US and our sin.
Society has become so flippant using the word "love." How often is it used to describe anything and everything? We say we love food, TV shows, clothes, shoes, vehicles,, all things worldly. When did "love," the feeling, the emotion, the ACTION become so meaningless?
I often wonder and talk to God about how it must break His heart that His love is so overlooked, dismissed, ignored or seen as something as common as our favorite food. Can you imagine?

Different versions of Jeremiah 31:3 God's love is described as faithful, everlasting, unfailing. I encourage you to read different versions/translations because the bigger picture of God's love is made so much more clear.

What comes to mind when you think of God's love being all of these characteristics?
How do you describe His love to others who are not believers?
What is your definition of love?
How can you live your life in the fullness of God's love?

HEART SNAP: 1 JOHN 3:1 (NIV) See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.
In my life, I have been called spoiled more than enough. I have been told that I am "high maintenance." I have experienced being the target of other people's judgements, either because of who they "believe" I am or more accurately the persona they want OTHERS to see me being. What so many have never taken the time to consider is what makes THEM feel this way about me? I have usually responded to these judgements, situations or statements with a laugh and saying "I am not spoiled, just loved. A LOT!" 
I am the same way with those whom I love. I try to lavish them with it. If that is ensuring needs are met, even if it is a little "extra." I strive to ensure that those whom I love know without a shadow of a doubt, not by "things," but with attention affection, listening, time, so many ways that cost not a dime.

God LAVISHES (to bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities on-Oxford Languages)
GREAT (of an extent, amount or intensity considerably above the normal or average-Oxford Languages)
love on us that He calls us HIs children.
Does it really matter what others who have not yet experienced or know of His love say or feel about us?
They cannot understand why we live so fully loved because they do not know Christ to be able to experience this great love lavished upon them. YET!

What comes to mind when you hear the words, lavish and great?
How can you bring the fullness of God's love of you to others?
Are there times in life that you are slow or hesitant to believe and receive the full love of God?
Why?
What does it mean to you to be chosen, called, adopted as a child of God?
What does that REALLY mean? 
What does it mean in your heart, mind, soul and everyday life?

HEART SNAP: 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (MSG) May the Master pour on the so it fills your lives & splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength & purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.


Have you ever had a glass or cup filled to the very tip top and had to walk to the table or counter without spilling it? We have all done that, I am sure. Have you ever paid attention to the way that cup/glass is carried? What I mean is, are your eyes focused on the cup, trying hard to NOT spill it? Or are your eyes focused on where you are and your steps? My experience is that when I am focused on the cup, it splashes out everywhere. If I am focused on my destination, not the cup, the liquid either does not spill or splash at all or very little. If you have a full cup in your hand, do you need to refill it? Nope, no need. Right?
Your heart, mind and spirit are a "cup" God wants to fill up.
How can He do that if we never empty that love onto others?
Are we so focused on our destination that we never splash HIS love and goodness onto people around us?
Are we focused on getting that cup full and allowing it to splash all over ourselves and the people around us who need?

Do you empty your cup? How often?
How do you imagine God pouring out His love into and over you?
How do you receive it?
Are you a cup with a lid, keeping all of it inside?
Are you a cup without a lid allowing God's love to overflow?

My challenge for you, after reading this, is to rewrite Jeremiah 31:3 from whichever version you choose. Insert your name in place of the word "them." Write this on sticky notes, note cards or anything you can put where you will see it. Read it out loud whenever you see it. 



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<![CDATA[set apart]]>Fri, 05 Feb 2021 17:07:36 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/set-apartWho are you? What do you do? What is your purpose? What are you passions in life? 

Do these questions give you a moment of pause? Do these kinds of questions ever make your heart beat a little faster or maybe beat almost out of your chest? Do you hear these from others? Do you ask these of yourself? Do your answers change depending on what stage or circumstance in life you are standing in at this moment?

I say to my children, 9 or 18, anytime they leave for school, "Remember WHOSE you are!" Steele responds with, "God's! That means be like Jesus. That means be kind, in all I say, think and do. And guard my heart above all else because all I do flows from it." Every morning on his way to the catch the bus. Cadrian's response is, " I will, Momma!" I have even been known to say this to the hubby when he texts me while at work and his mind and heart are weary from working around so many men who are not believers and take a toll on his mind and heart!

As a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, my "Who am I?" is subjective to which "hat" I am wearing. Over the past few years, though, I have made a concerted effort to discover who I am in Christ. I am on a quest in discovering, fulfilling and living out my purpose. My divine purpose and God's WHY for having fearfully and wonderfully creating me! 

It is a quest, a journey, a process of refining, breaking, molding, growing and allowing God to be exactly WHO He is and to do exactly what He is good at within me! It is NOT fun at times. No one enjoys being vulnerable or broken or to feel as though there is no control in their life. BUT!!!!!!! I am finding that by allowing these events and events throughout my life, past and recent, are ALL for the fulfillment of HIS purpose for me in life. There are so many men and women in the Bible who welcomed God's refinement of them to be used in the Kingdom in ways only He could orchestrate. Many of those used did not "welcome" the refinement per se. God used them anyway and gave them exactly what they "thought" they were lacking in order to accomplish the end purpose.

Our identity, in any stage or circumstance, in life must first be found in Christ. Period! No more, no less. This identity must also be intimately based in Him. God tells us throughout his love letter WHO we are in and through Christ. Why don't we listen, grasp and stand unwavering in that identity? Fear? Societal views or "norms?" Rejection? What is your why?
FEAR IS A LIAR! Identify who is your true enemy and recognize what weapons are used to hinder you from stepping into, claiming and living WHO you are in the only place it matters..........In Christ!

2 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you our of darkness into his wonderful light."(NIV)

Ephesians 1:4-5 says, "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will." (NIV)

I encourage you to read on in Ephesians 1, specifically verses 6-14 to learn more about WHO you are in Christ to gain more understanding. These are truths that seem to be easy to recite but so incredibly difficult to live. Why? We can learn, recite, memorize, teach or preach all of the Scripture we want in life but if we do not APPLY what we are told, what we learn, what we "believe," we can NEVER become who God intends us to be or fulfill the amazing, specific, predestined purpose God has for us and had for us before he created the world! 

What do you have to lose in discovering God's will and His purpose for your life? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! 
Matthew 6:33-""But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will given to you as well." (NIV)
God loves so incredibly much that our human minds can not even comprehend it. He has a plan for each and every one of us and his plans are GOOD! He is good at being good, it's what he does! It's WHO HE IS!!!!!!  LET HIM! 


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<![CDATA[Uninvited]]>Wed, 30 Dec 2020 22:58:23 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/uninvitedI hope everyone had a very merry Covid Christmas! My crew and I did. It was very relaxing, enjoyable and not so full of here, there, everywhere. Now to ring in 2021 full of prayers, faith, love and hopeful anticipation! All while being in our comfy clothes, safe at home on New Year's Eve! 

I am currently reading and preparing to lead a group on Facebook in my Love & JOYnaling group on Lysa Terkuerst's book, Uninvited. I am excited to be leading this study and to fellowship with ladies from across the country that I have connections with through life! What excites me the most is that we are a group of ladies of all different age groups, backgrounds and life stages. 

As I am digging into the book and study guide, my eyes, heart and mind are being awakened and opened in so many ways. Some of what I am learning, digging into and being opened up to is scary. I am not going to lie! SCARY!!!! To face, write, admit and discover past hurts, rejections (real and somewhat imagined) is scary down to my core. I am loving the journey thus far.

Rejection is something we all deal with in life, right? I am learning just how rejection, real AND perceived shapes the ways I think about myself, speak to myself and interact or do not interact with others. The heart of the matter that I have learned is that God rejoiced at the very thought of me and continues to rejoice, sing, woo, adore and pursue me. My worth should never be based on what others think or what I think they think of me.

I want to share a few of my own experiences of rejection that I have and continue to face while learning so much about God's love for me and how to have an intimacy-based identity through, with and in HIM!

I used to say about a certain someone who I felt rejection from ALL of my life, literally ALL of my life, was that "It's his loss, not mine!" Even though deep down, I felt so many emotions in a very deep wound that even though I believe and feel is healed at this particular stage of my life, I felt terribly unwanted, unloved, unworthy and like a waste of flesh, air and space, REJECTED! How could anyone else want me if he didn't? What was it about me that he hated so much? Why wasn't I worth as much or mean as much as others? After all, I wanted just as much as anyone to have his love, approval, attention, heartfelt effort. So? Why not me but everyone else? Why was I not worthy of a promise being kept? Why was I not worthy of just a shred of pride? I suppose I was given those things, but only when it was convenient. So? Why was I an inconvenience? Why was I an afterthought? About 5 years into my own parental journey, I began to heal. No, I just chose to be numb, so perhaps healing did not begin until just a few years ago when my relationship with God began to grow and flourish. Numbness is NOT healing...….because there is always the possibility, a strong possibility, that those wounds can be ripped open time after time.
These were my thoughts for so many years of my life with no answer ever received. I wasn't entitled to answers as I was made to feel as no wrong had been done and I was to blame. 

I used this rejection in healthy ways in becoming who I am, to a true fault though. My high school sweetheart always said to me, "Shalon, your biggest strength and biggest weakness is your heart!" He was right and that statement has stuck with me. I know exactly what he was talking about now, at 42 years old, with so much life experience having had and still so much to have. I love FIERCELY!!!!! I do! If you are in my "circle" I love you and you are IMPORTANT to me! NO question. I was told in high school that I "cried too much." Looking back and looking at life now, yes I did, yes I do. But, that is not a bad thing, I FEEL! And 1 week before entering high school, my Bonus Dad was tragically killed in an accident. I was 14 years old. I had only had him in my life for 7 years! The most important years were coming, high school years! I perceived his death as rejection from God, that I was not worthy of having him in my life any longer. If I had been a better daughter, kid, fishing partner, something, God would not have taken him away. I didn't know how to deal with that type of life changing loss as a teenager. I only knew that I had to be strong for my Momma. I had to pick myself up, dust myself off and go on! So, I guess in the eyes of a fellow teenage girl who had both parents and a seemingly "perfectly intact" life, I did cry too much when I felt so much emotion not only from having to deal with real life, but also deal with "mean girls" in school who looked down on me because I was from the wrong side of a bridge, loved fiercely, felt deeply and so wanted to fit in somewhere, anywhere! 

Rejection is real when you are made fun of for what seems like everything. I was teased for being long-legged, high waisted, ugly feet, not being a size 3, having a single Mom, not having a "Dad," not living in the "right" place, so many things. Rejection not just from "friends," but being treating differently by adults at church, of all places. Not being invited or welcomed to activities of peers that I literally grew up with at church. Being told that I was odd, not to be allowed to date certain people because my parents were divorced, all of these experiences hurt. Being rejected for things I had absolutely nothing to do with, no control over and did not understand, "Why me?" 
Not long after my Bonus Dad passed away, I was standing in a hallway at school waiting for my Momma to pick me up. A "friend" was standing there with me. I put friend in quotations because after this particular incident, I never spoke to her again and had zero urge to be in her circle. As my Momma pulled in, "friend" asked if she got a new car. I said, "Yes! She did. We love it!" Her response? "The only way you could have gotten that was with your "Dad's" money. Must be nice to have money from his accident." STUNNED!!!!!!! SPEECHLESS!!!!!! SERIOUSLY???? I know, I know, kids say stupid things, but that HURT! I would have MUCH rather have had him alive than anything else and not to mention, my Momma worked full-time, made a good living and did well supporting us! 4 years of high school, I did not speak to this person again. Just a few years ago, she passed away and I felt her rejection so many years ago all over again. I don't even know why! Because I have carried it around as a broken board supporting myself in ways I never knew before diving into this study.

Rejection stings, cuts deep, burns, leaves gaping wounds and just builds in our hearts and minds. Here is the thing about rejection. It is a weapon! Read that again, It is a WEAPON! I know who uses this weapon, why he does it and can now replace my broken boards that he convinced me I had to keep with strong, sturdy TRUE boards of support, love, adoration, ACCEPTANCE, forgiveness, always wanted, cherished of God and my identity in and through Him! 

I would love to have you join me and the amazing group of ladies for this study beginning in January! Feel free to search Love & JOYnaling on Facebook, join the group and dive in with us as we fellowship together, love on each other and learn with one another! You will be welcomed, NO REJECTION!!!!
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<![CDATA[WITHSTAND]]>Thu, 03 Dec 2020 22:31:00 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/withstandWithstand. What does this mean? what does this compound word mean to society? What does it mean to me as a woman of God heart? This word has been on my mind and heart for months. haven't we all been withstand-ing this whole year? I mean, 2020! My goodness having to withstand all this year has thrown at us has tested all of us in so many different ways! That is true, but not what has been on my heart. I am creating this as more of a guide for you to dig into God's Word for yourself and listen to those things He may be telling you and saying to your heart. I hope that you might even discover some things you had never recognized in your own heart before and be able to take to God.

What does the word "withstand" mean?  As a verb (ACTION WORD) it mean to remain undamaged or unaffected by; resist or STAND ground against powerful negative force. Read the second part of that definition again. Resist or STAND ground against a powerful negative force. Light bulb moment in my mind and heart! Being a follower of Christ, I must resist or STAND my ground against a powerful negative force (ie. THE ENEMY). 

Okay, so let's break that word down.
WITH means accompanied by (another person or thing) and is preposition word. 
STAND means have or maintain an upright position, supported by one's feet. It can also be used as a noun and is an attitude toward a particular issue, position taken in an argument. Also, a cessation of movement or progress or to rest, remain, or set in a usually vertical position.

I know you didn't want an English lesson, so I will move on with my heart and what I want to share with you along with scripture that I want to dig into deeper with you and hopefully encourage you to dig deeper on your own and discover what WITHSTAND means to you and what power you have being rooted, grounded and strengthened in Christ and how amazing that power is even when we don't realize or have never recognized it before! Then I want to share with you my journaling entry as I studied, wrote and heard the voice of God and the vision He gave me as my own heart has, in all honesty, struggled with being able to WITHSTAND so many things in my life. As I sat down to study, create and write, I had a song playing in my head over and over. "On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground in sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand. I know this was God's voice whispering as inspiration and encouragement as well as a reminder of WHOSE I am and where I stand in life!!!!!

What are some of the things you must withstand in your life? Family issues? Any kind of relationship issues? Societal issues? Health issues of your own or someone you are close to or give care? Are there issues within yourself? Depression? Anxiety? Physical disabilities or DIFFERENT abilities? I encourage you to make a list of those things that you feel are struggles you are, will be or have been withstanding. 

Jesus tells us in John 16:33 (NIV) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." 
In the latter part of verse 32, as He is speaking to his disciples, Jesus states that He is not alone, because God is with Him. A simple, yet, super powerful reminder that we are also not alone if we have Christ! What does verse 33 mean to you in your present withstanding moments? How does this make you feel?

Joshua 10:8 (NIV)-The Lord said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you."
This was interesting to me because Joshua was going into battle against a great army and was fearful. I am sure we would be too. The thing about this command from God to him was that this is 2 fold. God gives his command to Joshua, "Do not be afraid," and that command is directly linked to a promise from God, "I have given them into your hand." a guaranteed victory! Wait, what? How would you feel if you knew the battle you were facing was a guaranteed victory for you, all you had to do was to not be afraid or WITHSTAND? 

1 Peter 5:8-10 (NIV) 
These verses give us specific instructions on withstanding life and our enemy and ALL of his weapons he tries to use against in. Being able to recognize exactly WHO our enemy is in this life, the messy in between two perfect gardens we live and what his game is against us, especially as women of God. Ladies, believe it or not, we are his number ONE target!!!!!! That is a lesson and study for another time though. The promise at the end of these verses is all about be one who WITHSTANDS! 
Is this comforting to you? It is to me, for sure. 
As much as God has created us for so many things, endowed with beautiful, unique gifts, because we are Christ's and live in HIM, God will restore us and make us STRONG, FIRM AND STEADFAST, which is all you need to withstand!!!!! During these times, we must recognize, embrace and practice our most fervent relationship with God and Christ. WE have been given the authority, a mighty authority because of Jesus and MUST use that authority to resist/WITHSTAND the enemy. He hates it when we use our authority to run him off and to let him know he has zero power over us! DO IT, Sister! Also, the more prayerful we are in our own times of struggle or the enemy's most active moments in our lives, he actually gives up and moves on. USE YOUR POWER!!!! DO NOT FEAR, RESIST, WITHSTAND! Here is the heart of the matter when dealing with the enemy and all of his attacks. The more we first recognize what is going on around us is him and that his efforts are only driving us closer to Christ, the more emboldened we are because we actually claim and use our authority in Christ, the further away from us he will move. There is your guaranteed victory!!! See it?  Read it again if you need to. CLAIM IT! It's already there for you. 

While thinking on, praying on and studying about "WITHSTAND," I had a vision of myself being a tree and my roots are intertwined and strong because of being in Christ! As I look at my life, both currently and my past and situations that I had to withstand, either due to my own decisions or because of other people and their decisions or just life circumstances that we all live through, survive, face, however you wish to describe it. As I have grown in Christ and expanded my relationship with and knowledge of God's Love Letter and learned so much about what my relationship truly holds and means for me, I wish I had known in my past what I know now. I am sure we all have that same thought because as the old saying goes, "Hindsight is 20/20!" I am ready for the year 2020 to be in the rearview and focus on the new year and all of its potential!!!!



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<![CDATA[WHAT is a #biblewrecker??????]]>Thu, 09 Apr 2020 23:21:10 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/what-is-a-biblewreckerObviously, I LOVE Bible Journaling. 
I discovered what is known as journaling almost 5 years by "accident." Growing up, I might highlight a verse or write a little note in the margin of my Bible. I used the same Bible from July 12, 1993 until 2013. I filled it with little colored tabs and there are some highlighted passages and writing or dates in some margins. 
A little background........My grandparents were faithful Christians, as was my Mother. My earliest memories are having breakfast at my grandparents' house and my Poppy reading the daily devotions from the "Open Windows" publication. I was raised with a VERY reverent feeling about God's Word. I was taught to respect God's Word, never throw it on the floor, do not slam it shut, do not even throw it on your bed. Place it down, put it up, keep it neat, ONLY write on the first page to put your name, who you received Bible from, date and family information. You too???? Probably so!!!!!

Fast forward to 2015..........I was doing a Bible study and happened upon an image on Pinterest that matched the verse I was focused on at the moment. I printed that off and taped it in my Bible, like a bookmark. That was SCARY! Then, I continued studying and saw more and more interesting reflections and praise that others were doing inside their Bibles. 
I ignored my fear and those voices in my head saying, "Do NOT 'deface' and ruin God's Word!" "How could you?" "Disgraceful!"
"Disrespectful!" I jumped right in, made a stencil of one of my favorite verses and PAINTED 2 pages of my Bible! That was it, I was a self-proclaimed #Biblewrecker!!!!!!

My grandmother was NOT happy about this when I showed her. AT ALL!!!!!! Then, I explained to her about what my "art" meant. I shared with her about what I was studying, what all I had learned and what the verse was saying to me and what my illustration meant. She was not impressed, however, I did not get upset or stop! I continued studying.
I continued to dig deeper in my study, I spread my creative wings with stickers, inks, paints, markers, pencils, stamps, anything, everything I used in my own scrapbooking, I used in my Bible!!!! I filled up one Bible with illustrations, bookmarks, tip-ins, tip-outs, colors, page markers, everything!!!!!!

I researched, watched, listened to, experimented, practiced all kinds of techniques, suggestions and tips!!!!!!
I was EXCITED to study, learn, absorb and LOVE God's Word. That's right, EXCITED!!!!!! I discovered that I loved to study Greek and Hebrew and am truly able to understand so much more God's Love Letter. 
I continue to get "those" comments, judgmental looks and searing glares at me and my Bible(s). I LOVE my Bible(s)!!!!! I LOVE God's Love Letter!!!!

So, to those who do not understand why I do what I do, roll eyes, talk about me, I keep going. WHY???? Because it is NOT about them or what they think. My Bible "JOY"naling is just that, JOY! It is so much more than that, as well! It is study, immersion, learning, praise, worship, time with my Heavenly Father, the Maker of me!!!! Here is my exact response to those who make "those" comments about my "hobby" (though, ti is NOT a hobby, it IS a tool of so many things in MY relationship with God. Just MY relationship with Him and His relationship with ME!!!!!!!!!!!

Listen or READ carefully...........
God's Word is alive. His word is what we are instructed to write upon our hearts, to wear around our necks. The paper those words are printed on and ink used to print are inanimate objects, however, His word lives FOREVER!!!!! When I am approached with questions or comments about being a #Biblewrecker, my response includes the above, as well as asking that person or group of people the following.

How many Bibles does the "average" Follower of Christ own? I, personally have more than 10! I also have an app on my phone, tablets, computer that I can utilize for reading and study, if I happen to have covered words in the 1 of 4 Bibles I am currently using for study and journaling. 

So, here is the deal........Journaling, for ME, is praise, study, growing in the Word, strengthening my relationship and fellowship with Him. Being in creative praise, study and growth is something that, as fas as I am concerned and feel, God smiles upon and blesses me through this avenue. As I continue JOY-naling, I am learning, gaining wisdom and I am emjoying quality time with my Abba Father, what could possibly be disrespectful or whatever others may say about it?????
Also, journaling should NEVER be how YOU mark The Word! it should ALWAYS be how The Word marks YOU!!!!!! Connecting with God and His love letter is PERSONAL!!!!!If art is how you connect, GREAT! If it is not, GREAT!

My time in journaling, visual prayer, art and expressions have allowed me to remember verses, caused me to dig DEEPER, make connections, have revelations and HEAR God speak to me! I have learned and encourage others who journal to never EVER EVER compare or even judge another person's journaling. We are all created differently, uniquely and our relationship with God is different, unique and ONLY between me (YOU) and God!!!!! I am not a #Biblewrecker to win any art awards or to receive any accolades from anyone! I ONLY want to create something special for my heart that God could hang on his refrigerator because I made it for HIM!!!!!

I enjoy sharing what I create with others ONLY because I want to give others the tools that have helped me in my walk and JOYney we call LIFE!!!!! With all of this being said, enjoy some of my latest time with God!!!!

I love you all and if you have any questions about Bible study, journaling, how to start, what is needed, etc. Please reach out to me! I want to help YOU with your walk and journey. 

​Shalon


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<![CDATA[Envy, jealousy and things that make you go, hmmm....]]>Sat, 21 Mar 2020 23:44:57 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/envy-jealousy-and-things-that-make-you-go-hmmmHello there! Things in the world have become a level of crazy, panic and pandemonium like I have only ever seen once before, Sept 11 & 12, 2001. I have accepted this crazy COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting quarantine, no school, no toilet paper situation for what it is. I pray that you have as well!!!! Or that you are doing as well physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually as you can!

I am writing this post as it is something that has been on my heart and mind over the past few months due to other personal situations that are beyond my control and honestly, beyond my simple, human, understanding. Life is full of these types of situations no matter our age, experience, wisdom level and where our hearts happen to be at any given time. Right??? How do we respond? How do we outwardly deal with these characteristics, actions or passive-aggressive showings of envy, jealousy and otherwise hurtful situations when we do not understand where or why they happen?

I am a woman, daughter, sister, mom, friend who strives to assure those around me are encouraged, uplifted, loved and feel so much "cheering on" from me that often I get a real life kick in the gut, punch in the face, however you describe the hurt that comes from those you are cheering on "turning" against you and those gifts you cherish within yourself. In this century, specifically this current decade of the world, we see, hear and project "Support one another," "Lift up fellow women," "Spread kindness around like glitter," "BE the change you want to see in the world," "Be the good," there are so many fluffy sayings and mottos out there. ****PLEASE KNOW, I AM NOT AT ALL MINIMIZING THE ABSOLUTE GOODNESS OF THESE IDEALS!****

Here is my question, do we DO these things or just SAY them? 
Do we REALLY cheer someone on? Do we REALLY believe and practice what we shout? Do we REALLY celebrate our friends and their gifts, accomplishments OR do we roll our eyes and passive-aggressively try to sabotage because of envy or jealousy?
We use those two words interchangeably today, YET, they are different! They are 2 different words and those are two different "things." 

I have really had to pray about this type of situation(s) A LOT lately! And seemingly, from different directions from different people in my life or who I thought was "in my life" and those who I thought would or were "cheering for me" in the same way I was for them. NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently, not at all what I thought was true.
Let's define these two words.

ENVY: (N) feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities or luck.
(V)Desire to have a quality, possession or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else.
----Envy is wanting what someone else has--------

JEALOUS(y): ADJ. feeling or showing ENVY of someone or their achievements and advantages.
----Jealousy is the fear that what you have will be taken away by someone else or the fierce protectiveness of one's rights or possessions.

So, jealousy is the manifestation of envy.?.?.? Or are they the same? Interesting thought. After pondering these thoughts, definitions and characteristics, I had to pray and seek the answers I was needing. 

James 3:14-16 (NIV) "But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice."
Read that again!!!!! What does that mean? Let's break it down.....

Bitter-envy and selfish ambition-These words refer to someone who has a contentious, fight-provoking manner. (passive aggression?) This can mainfest in so many different ways, can't it? Back-biting, underhanded "pointing out", calling someone out in a very public way that is uncalled for only to make yourself look good, in authority or "in charge?" Can it also look like someone telling lies about you to make themselves "look" like a victim by "your doing?" I believe it can. 

Do not boast about or deny the truth-So, if bitter envy and self-ambition are driving forces behind one's actions, then scripture says they should not deceive anyone about how wise they are.Yet, isn't that what they are doing by speaking lies, twisting truth, back biting or using public humiliation to make themselves look "good," "better than," or "more than" their target???

Earthly-Having this life on earth only in view
Unspiritual (Sensual)-having for its object the gratification of the passion and animal(human) propensities
Demonic-I don't think I need to define this......NOT OF GOD, NOT GODLY, NOT CHRIST-LIKE.......Let's remember the enemy (Satan) roams the earth seeking what he can steal, kill and destroy.

Disorder and every evil practice-If the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodnes and self-control, then fruit of the human spirit or "earthly wisdom," the flesh and the enemy will always result in disorder, chaos and every evil thing.

Proverbs 19:5 (NIV)-"A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free."
Proverbs 14:30 (NIV)-"A heart at peace gives life to the body, ENVY rots the bones."
My interpretation of Proverbs 14:30--Just be!!!! Thank God for YOUR gifts and YOUR blessings. Use those for His glory in YOUR own ways! Do not compare, downgrade, insult, humiliate or use lies to draw attention to yourself or make others look "less than." This is not helpful. It is NOT cheering someone on. What does it accomplish to speak all of the good, but practice bitter envy? NONE!
I struggle with this so very much. I realize and understand that the only actions (reactions) I can control are my own. Therefore, I struggle with being the one who walks away, stays quiet and moves on, yet continue to cheer others on even in the dark and silent background. They do not have to know. Right? God tells me to pray for my enemies. Wait, what? How do I pray for someone who has caused heartbreak, hurt, told lies, been very passive-aggressive in their outward, earthly, sometimes, downright mean ways? I just do! That is how I cheer them on!!!! That is how we can remove ourselves from their world and be obedient to God all while having a heart that is at peace and gives life to your body!!!!!
But, Shalon!!!! Forgive and forget. Turn the other cheek. You must forgive to be forgiven. Yes, we are told to forgive in order to be forgiven. However, God does NOT tell us in His love letter that we have to forgive and return to the same situations in order to be treated the same ways we have forgiven others for in the past. I completely believe that (1) God knows my heart. He knows whether I have forgiven the one(s) who have hurt me in those "human" ways.(2)As I continue to seek God and His wisdom and ways of dealing with these situations, often He lets me know that removing myself from those relationships or situations is OKAY!!!!! If I am constantly having to deal with continual hurt and despair, how is that drawing me closer in my walk with God, my Father? If I am constantly feeling hurt and down because of other people's actions and words, how does that grow my faith, my love for others, my active practicing of my faith and example in and of Jesus? It doesn't!!!!!

I encourage you to BE THE LIGHT!!!!! Be the one who cheers others on. BE THE GOOD! We all have limits and we all have those people and moments in life that are exhausting. I get it! I do! I encourage you to pray about those who persecute you, those who are not cheering you on, even though you have tried to cheer them on or celebrate them! You only have control over YOU not them! You can only control your own actions and reactions. If being the good or cheering someone on from a distance is the best way for you, DO IT!!!!! Do not let envy, yours or anyone else's, rot your bones!!!!!

You are made for a purpose, a DIVINE purpose. There is NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU! YOU have amazing gifts that should be celebrated and I am thankful for YOU and YOUR gifts!!!!! I celebrate you, pray for you and am here cheering you on!!!!!

​-Shalon



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<![CDATA['Tis the Season.?.?.?]]>Tue, 10 Dec 2019 16:12:25 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/tis-the-season
 When you have a moment of solitude between the end of October and the middle of January, what do you do? What do you think about? 
I often see and am guilty myself of hearing and saying, "'Tis the season" this time of year. However, the older I become the more I realize that slowing down and enjoying the "season" should be something we do all year!

I know for me and my household, once Nov. 1 comes on the calendar, my Hubby and I just hold our breath and do not truly enjoy the last 2 months of the year, or even January. We spend those months in anticipation and feeling incredibly anxious and "going through the motions." Let me tell why we have increased anxiety and dread these 3 months of the year.

My angst for the season began 16 years ago when I found myself a divorced, single Mom. I began to dread the holidays as a whole because of having to keep a visitation schedule with my ex-husband. I get her this year for Christmas morning, no you had her last year, what time will you be here because we have plans, it's not your weekend, it is not your time with her it is MINE. If any of you have lived this struggle, you will understand. I was told that I was often too lenient and giving of time and occasions, but, I just had no fight left in me when it came to my ex-husband. When major holidays came, I held my breath and walked on egg shells just waiting for the next argument or yelling at me about how horrible I was for not letting HIM have her, etc.

Then, after my hubby and I married 11 1/2 years ago, we had Holiday schedules, as well. Thanksgiving lunch with my family, leave in a hurry to drop my daughter off to her Father for his family meal, rush to my in-laws to sit and wait for a couple of hours until everything was cooked there, eat and get home. One year Santa coming to the house on Christmas Eve morning, because daughter had to go to Father's home after my family Christmas time Christmas Eve evening. Getting up on Christmas Day, opening presents at our home, rushing to his parents' to wait for them to get out of bed, eat breakfast, have coffee, wait on everyone to arrive to open presents and then wait more for another big meal to be cooked. Meaning, we were NEVER home on Christmas Day to just enjoy the day.

Hubby had 3 children, 2 lived with him and 1 had special needs and due to his work schedule, was cared for by their mother. 2 years into our marriage, we had "our" daughter for Thanksgiving weekend and enjoyed every minute of that time. She was taken back to her Mother on Sunday evening after Thanksgiving. On Monday morning at around 11 A.M., my hubby called me at work and was frantic. Our daughter had experienced a seizure and passed away due to respiratory failure during the seizure. This was Dec. 1, 2009. She was 6 years old and her birthday was Christmas Eve. We celebrated her 7th birthday at her grave. A couple of months after that, I miscarried a baby that at the time of our daughter's death, we did not know I was pregnant.

Fast forward 1 year, I became pregnant and had a healthy baby boy in April of 2011. He was the light of everyone's life! IN August of that year, my Grandfather, 91 years old and one of the most important people in my life, my entire life, passed away. The holidays that year were full of hearts missing the patriarch of the family. His birthday was Dec 9 and he and my Grandmother were married on..........Christmas Eve. That night was always so special for me growing up because it was a gift to me to see them so much in love and what kinds of things he would by my Grandmother for their anniversary. 

Fast forward 2 more years to 2013. Halloween came and went, Thanksgiving as well. Dec. 11, 2013, my Father-in-Law was diagnosed with bone cancer. He had been feeling ill, but thought it was the flu and pulled neck muscles from driving a concrete truck for work. Dec. 21, 2013 after my Hubby, Daughter and I left his hospital room, he passed away. So, you can probably guess what we did Christmas of that year. Yes, visitation on Dec. 23 and funeral/burial on Christmas Eve, no doubt (my Grandparent's anniversary, youngest daughter's birthday) and now, the day we buried my hubby's Father.

Stay with me, fast forward 2 years again to 2015, fall 2015. My Daddy was diagnosed with cancer. He began chemotherapy for a full cycle. Chemotherapy had not helped. Christmas was different that year because Daddy was not feeling well at all. The week after Christmas, he went in for follow-up scans and tests. I was at my parents' house Dec. 27 and Daddy looked at me and said, "If the scans show it has spread, I am not doing radiation or another round of chemo. Is that okay with you?" 
You can imagine what I was feeling and thinking. Inside my head, I was screaming, "NO! NO! That is NOT okay with me, Daddy!" So, my actual response was, "Daddy, the Daughter side of me is not okay with that, but the spiritual side of me is okay with it." January 2 was my Daddy's birthday. The following Monday, January 5, I was at my parents' again just visiting and the phone rang. It was the oncologist with results of the scans.......Cancer had spread and it had spread to his brain. I literally lost it. Tuesday, hospice came in and met with my parent's, ordered a bed, gave Mom and I instructions on his medications, what to do, who to call, etc. Daddy told the social worker AND the nurse at that meeting, "I do NOT want to die here in this house. Not at home, where my wife will be. Absolutely NOT!"
Wednesday, January 6, I spent time with him lying across my parents' bed, just talking. He was himself, my Daddy. He said, "I want to tell you something important." I giggled and said, "Now Daddy, I KNOW I am your favorite child, you don't have to tell me!" We laughed, because I had saved my number in his and Mom's phones as "Favorite Child" years before!!!!! He said, "Well, of course, you are! But, that is not what I wanted to tell you." He continued, "I am so proud of you and of how incredibly strong you are in the Lord. I wish your sister and brother had the same kind of fire and relationship for and with the Lord as you do." We talked about a lot of things that day. 
Thursday, January 7, I walked over to my parents' house that morning and when I went to where my Daddy was lying in the hospital bed, he was not making much sense with what he was saying. He did look at me and say, "I have a job in Jericho and there are propellers all around." I just said, Well, Daddy that is great. I know you will do well at your job." He needed help getting to the bathroom and he didn't remember our eldest son (Hubby's Son) when he came to visit.
I came home and in a few minutes, Mom called and asked that I come back over because Daddy was irritated and being a bit combative with her. I ran over, walked in and he calmed down. I helped get him to the bathroom and back in bed again, left to get some things done at home. Mom called and asked me to come again because he was being combative with her again. 
I ran over, went back to their room and firmly said, "Now Daddy! You have to be kind to Momma! I have to get some things done before the kids get home from school and you need to be nice!" That seemed to work, for longer than 2 or 3 minutes. That night, my Sister decided she would come stay to allow Mom to get some rest and tend to Daddy. Friday morning, around 5 a.m. she calls me and says, "Would you please talk to Dad? He has been so combative all night long and I cannot get him to calm down." She put me on speaker phone and I said, "Daddy? What is wrong? I cannot come over there just yet because the kids are asleep. As soon as I get them on the bus and off to school, I will be right over to see you. Please calm down and I will be there soon."
Sister took me off speaker and said the second he heard my voice, he calmed down immediately. That day brought more downhill health. Mom called Hospice nurse and social worker to come for a meeting Friday evening. At that point, his breathing was abnormal, his color was not at all right and he had stopped talking, mumbling, reacting to anything. What was the response from Hospice? "His vital signs are good, there is nothing we can do. All of our respite beds for the weekend are full."
I said, "This is NOT my Dad and he specifically told you both on Tuesday he did NOT want to pass away here at home. Find a respite bed for him." They left with the notion and "noting" his vital signs were normal and he was stable, ordered us bilingual medications to administer to him and said to NOT call 911 for an ambulance, but to call the nurse on call for the weekend should anything happen. 
The next day, brought more of the same, except no combativeness, no movement and us providing full on care. That evening, around 8:30 p.m. my Mom calls crying and yelling, "You and Tim get over here now! Come NOW!" We take off running across the street, to find my Mom crying, my sister crying and both of them yelling at us to turn Daddy over to his side because he aspirated some of his liquid medication. We get him rolled over and his coughing stops. I sit on the bed beside him, Sister still crying and upset, Mom on her bed upset. I am holding Daddy's hand, stroking his hair, praying for God to heal him and I knew exactly what I was praying for, even though I did NOT want to lose my Dad. I turned to Mom and asked her if she had told him that it would be okay for him to go home. She said, "No, I haven't." I said, "Momma, that is what he is waiting for. He is waiting to hear from you that he can go home." She came over, kissed him on the forehead and told him she loved him and it was okay.
She returned to their bed, standing, crying, watching. I was still holding his hand and kissed his head and said, "Daddy, we will take care of Momma. She will be okay, we will be okay. It is okay, go home and be healed." At that moment, my Daddy drew his last breath, while holding my hand.

So sorry, that experience took a while! Fast forward 1&1/2 years, AGAIN, to Nov. 2016. My grandmother had been in and out of hospital, in patient rehab, home health PT and nursing, etc for many months. The week of Nov. 20th, Meme was not eating, telling us about family members who were visiting (who had been dead for decades) and how she just wanted her kids. I stayed 3 nights, all night, awake keeping an eye on her. Wednesday morning, November 23, my mom called me as soon as bus had come to pick up youngest child for school. She told me to get over there, now! I ran over, walked down the hall and could see my Mom crying, shaking her head and told me to get where she was. The lady who had been siting with her and helping us was there on the other side. I stroked her hair, held her hand and said, "Go on Meme, go on and be with Poppy. I love you! We love you!" Like deja'vous, at that moment, she drew her last breath. THE.DAY.BEFORE.THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!

I am sure you can imagine what that whole holiday season was like for me and my family. 
I always have to remember that each and every one of these events are a natural part of life. Some were sudden and unexpected, some were answered prayers of healing, though not what I wanted, perfect healing and answered prayers. 

I just wanted to share with you some "Coffee Beans and Grace Nuggets" surrounding this time of year. Sometimes, we need to stop, slow down, enjoy the people around us without rushing from one get together or family function to another. 
It is TOTALLY okay to JUST BE. Just BE at home, doing your own thing with your immediate family/friends, enjoying games. laughter, baking, whatever it is. Remember, though, 'Tis the Season is not the same thing to everyone. 

As much as we LOVE Christmas, the decorating, the goodies, the smells, the memories made, we need to remember WHY! WHY do we even celebrate this 'season.' It is ALL because TRUE LOVE WAS BORN IN A STABLE and came to die for each and everyone of us, sinners, imperfect humans, so that we may live eternally with Him and God the Father. To live eternally, with no tears, no hurting, no more loss, no physical ailments, no developmental, emotional or ant kind of disabilities. Only to live eternally, with our Beloved Father and Creator who sent His only Son, so that whoever believes in Jesus Christ, His life, death and resurrection, will never perish but have everlasting life!

That is the reason to celebrate not just this "season." But, EVERY season of the year, of our lives and of those we love!

May God bless each of you reading this! MERRY CHRISTMAS! Prayers for a safe Christmas and New Year. May 2020 bring you closer to God, experiences of His abundant blessing upon your life and memories that will last!


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<![CDATA[The beginning......]]>Thu, 31 Oct 2019 14:43:19 GMThttp://loveandjoynaling.com/coffee-beans-and-grace-nuggets/the-beginningWhy do we read other people's blogs?
Inspiration? Advice? Different perspective? Escape from what is going on in our lives? To learn? To empathize? Sympathize? To keep up with a journey, experiences or their life, in general? 
All of these? Perhaps.

In this oh so interconnected, but ever growing DISCONNECTED world we live in, it often seems as though true connection with others is lost. Maybe it is simply forgotten or unwanted. I cannot help but disagree that connections, REAL face to face, heart to heart, person to person connections and contact are "unwanted."  Why is it so hard for us?????

In this first post, I just want to share my "why."  Perhaps it will give you something....Inspiration? Perspective? Learning? More than anything, I want to share with you, so that you will first understand that I AM A REAL LIVE WOMAN! 
I never want to "hide" behind this computer screen and paint you an image of rainbows, roses, romance or perfection. I AM NOT and do NOT live that life, never have and realize that perfection is a false illusion that I won't achieve while on this earth in this human body and state.

With that being said, I also am not sharing my life for sympathy from ANYONE! I do not want nor need that. My life is my life and I will do with it the most I can and try to make a difference to as many people as possible while God gives me breath. I am real, plan to share my "real" with you and hope to give you a connection that you may not have experienced before. 

Hopefully, I can share love, joy, brokenness, forgiveness, struggles, celebrations, wisdom, creativity, praise and life in a way that you might enjoy your own from a different angle/perspective and spread your own love to others in this crazy, messy life! I want to share what I read, things I learn from studying the Bible, how I have learned to "fight" in life, how I have fallen apart and been put back together by God, certainly not in my own strength, my JOYnaling entries and more.

Thank you for joining me on this venture! I ask that you show me grace as I learn through this process. Give yourself grace too. You are an unfinished, beautiful, unique, one of a kind creation with your own "WHY!" 

​Love,
​-Shalon
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