Guest Post: Joy

I was born in a town named for water and trees. Lake Forest, Illinois. Lived my first five years in that place where the puddles on our street were dark pools that reflected high branches and were simply too scary to step in for how endless and deep they appeared. I feared I might fall into another … [Read more...]

A Picnic For All Occassions

For Mother’s Day this year, my family knew what would bring me the most joy:  a picnic.  My husband, Matthew, served as sous chef.  Our daughter, Emma, made the fruit salad and homemade bread.  Clark brought his wife, Valerie, along with her extraordinary storytelling abilities.  The evening air was … [Read more...]

Finding Joy in a Name

After reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts recently, I became enthralled with the idea of naming things. The discipline appealed to my writing sensibilities and, like many, I began my own thankfulness journal. But that practice soon evolved into a different way of naming altogether. When a … [Read more...]

Joy: Peering into The Promise

I once broke an old thermometer on the bathroom counter.  The broken glass spilled the silvery mercury, which separated and rolled like beads across the tiles.  Defining joy feels to me like capturing mercury – it can’t be gathered and contained.  Joy is metaphors and images – describing, instead of … [Read more...]


Kris Severson joins us at Joy in the Small Things as a guest blogger. Enjoy! Joy “Where do I find joy?”  The question is asked. Initially I thought this would be easy to answer as I could give you my definition for joy, contrast joy to other emotions, and give plenty of illustrations of joy … [Read more...]

Practicing Gratitude

The hallmark of a truly “simple” life is gratitude.  “Gratitude is the heart of faith,” writes Mary Jo Leddy, author of Radical Gratitude.  In this vein, she relates a lovely prayer of gratitude the Jewish people pray every Passover as they celebrate the deliverance of the Hebrew people from Egypt.  … [Read more...]

Joy in Abiding

It is true that I once thought Grace was a blue-eyed, blonde and joy was found riding next to her in a convertible. Older now and perhaps a tad wiser, I realize that while that may have been Happiness (with a capital H) it wasn’t joy. Happiness depends on happenings and is mostly fleeting. When good … [Read more...]

New Website Up & Running

Hi Everyone, So sorry I have been quiet for a few weeks. A lot of work has been done on the site to make it easier to navigate and you can now browse archived posts! Thanks for taking a look, and a big thank you to Rich and Kerry for all of their hard work! Look for a post from Mike … [Read more...]

The Paradox of Joy

Joy. It’s such a small word, really. Still, its meaning has escaped and puzzled me, pushed and nudged me and kept me generally bemused by its essence for nearly a decade now. As I round the bend and head toward forty this is what I’ve come to see: that joy and pain, beauty and depravity – … [Read more...]

Gnade: Our Story

Joy. It’s a funny thing this word. Funny how often we confuse it with the emotion of happiness. Over many years and many trials, I’ve come to learn that joy is more than an emotion. I believe it is a gift. A gift from the Holy Spirit. A gift that’s always with us if we but open our hearts to see … [Read more...]