Israel 2016

"I praise You, O Yahweh, among peoples, And I sing praises to You among the nations. For Your kindness is great above the heavens, And Your truth reaches to the clouds." (Psalm 108:3-4)

I’m excited, y’all.

Tomorrow I’m leaving for Israel where I’ll be living on a Christian kibbutz for 5 weeks! This opportunity is purely a gift from the heavenly Father. I can’t wait to see what He has in store. This is His trip.

I look forward to sharing pictures and stories with y’all when I get back. :)

 Until then, shalom & blessings!

Ahava,
Joy

P.S. I wanted to share these lovely verses and quotes about Israel.

aka The Kinneret

IMG_14691 (1)

9037209339_f1b7a1bf2e_o

ארץ ישראל:

Israel:

"And I will be to her a wall of fire all around," declares The Lord, "and I will be the glory in her midst." Zechariah 2:5:

... from Israel:

"I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night." Isaiah 62:6 www.facetozion.com:

Israel is where my heart is

Please pray for Israel today.

✡ Who's with me? ✡ :

Hope you all have a very blessed spring!

 

Spring is a Beautiful Thing

IMG_4216

I feel like I’m enjoying the beauty of spring this year more than ever. I’ve been especially enjoying taking walks around the neighborhood. There’s so many beautiful things to discover.

Voyage Discovery New Eyes Travel Quote by Marcel Proust Hand Drawn Mini Moleskine Cahier Kraft Pocket Journal in Indian Ink (3.5" X 5.5"):
photo from etsy.com

Here’s some beautiful things:

bradford pear

Bradford pear trees in full bloom

fragile little purple flowers that shiver in the wind

so many daffodils in the neighbor’s yard

25770651811_d507a359f6_o

fuzzy feeling clover

standing still and soaking up life for a moment

heart-shaped leaves on the purple tree

purple blossoms

open windows again

rain on a metal roof

warmth of sunshine on my arms

IMG_3998

praise in Hebrew

the cherry tree starting to blossom

duets with Kiley

stargazing with my brother

25744807012_5597d4df23_o

sharing Scriptures with friends

peace that comes from reading the Words of life

“For just as the sufferings of Messiah flow over in our lives, so also through Messiah our comfort overflows.” 
{2 Corinthians 1:5}

My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone:
photo from pinterest.com

What are you loving about spring this year?

Books Reviews: Missionaries

25108711862_3f8946d93c_o

Over the past year I’ve been blessed to read some wonderful books. Here’s a few that I’d love to share:

The Live Dead Journal 

My missionary aunt and uncle gave me this one as a graduation gift last spring, and it is incredible. The book is written by 30 missionaries (mostly from Africa and the Middle East) that share powerful stories and lessons learned.  It’s divided into 30 small chapters that are quick to read, and will leave you with much to ponder and put into action the rest of the day.

Keep a Quiet Heart–Elisabeth Elliot

There is so much wisdom and encouragement in this book. It inspired me. It challenged me. It showed me how much I have yet to learn about walking by faith. The chapters are short and easy to read, and cover a plethora of topics that are applicable to everyday life. Elisabeth Elliot is definitely one of my favorite authors, and I’m quite excited to read more of her books.

Living Waters–Brother Yun

Brother Yun is a preacher in China. He’s been imprisoned 31 times because of his faith in Messiah. He’s suffered more than I can ever image, and yet he shares the Gospel with greater strength because of it. Living Waters attacks the concept of nominal Christianity. It’s a call for believers to be disciples. It’s a powerful book that will ignite your heart for the Great Commission.

All these books are 5 stars

I’m so thankful for these precious souls who have allowed their heart and soul to be poured out on paper all for His glory.

What books have impacted your life this year?

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain that which he cannot lose.”
–Jim Elliot 

Little Acts of Kindness

IMG_4105

Kindness is a beautiful thing.

There’s so many ways of showing it.

Sometimes it’s in small ways like giving someone a hug or saying a kind word or compliment. Sometimes it’s by writing an encouraging note to a friend or family member. Sometimes it’s just smiling at a stranger {and seeing them smile back}.

We never know how much a little act of kindness can brighten someone’s day.

il_570xN.167660039-001

Soft_Focus_Photography_-_Romantic_Flowers_dim_23_medium

876eb819e2d9732062eb59b0ffd54ffa-001

840004d9533460bc8bdc77ae0ef5e6ed

What act of kindness can you do today? 

spring is coming…

spring is blooming

I can’t believe it’s March already.

When I look out the window, there are buds starting to smile from empty branches. Some days its even warm enough to be outside without a jacket, and the grass is getting green again.

I’m loving the days when the sun shines so brightly.

sunshine & daffodils

I’m thankful for flowers that will bloom, days that will be longer, memories that will be made, and lessons that will be learned.

Winter is not forever.

It’s only a season.

Spring is coming soon.

I’m thankful for the Creator who makes all things new. Out of dry, winter soil, He causes beauty to rise. Out of our faltering human hearts, He causes His light to shine.

What a miracle it all is.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Cleaning Out the Closets

photo from theodessyoline.com
photo from theodessyoline.com

For a little while now I’ve been fascinated with the concept of minimalism and have been able to adapt it into my life in some ways.

I used to stare at my closet and drawers full of clothes and wonder what I should wear. It was such a hard decision, partly because I had so many things that I didn’t like. It seemed ridiculous to have such a hard time choosing what to wear when I had so many options. Alright…so I didn’t have a ton of clothes, but I definitely had all that I needed and more.

130534089169080796SRPCMkPXc

Just think of a little child in Africa with only rags to wear, or a homeless lady with only a tattered coat in the snow. Now think of me, and you’ll see that something was wrong with my daily dilemma.

Thankfully, the remedy started to come as I began clearing out my closets and drawers of unneeded clothes and things, and donating them to the thrift store. Every time I do another “inventory” of my room, I find more things that I don’t need. And every time I place those things in a bag and donate them for the good of others, I feel better. I feel like I have more, even though I have less, because what I do have is wanted and appreciated.

wardrobequestion

Sometimes there’s an item that I can’t quite get rid of yet–who knows? Maybe I’ll want it someday— but it always makes me feel better to put that item aside, and after some months go by, if I still haven’t used it, then I can get rid of it without worrying too much. There have been times when I’ve pulled items back out because they would be useful, and I was glad I hadn’t gotten rid of them too quickly.

I’m by no means a “minimalist,” but making some moderate steps to get rid of unneeded stuff has been a lil’ adventure that I’ve much enjoyed. It’s helped me take stock of the clothes I have, encouraged me to be more creative with what I have (I’ve discovered how many ways I can mix & match my skirts and tops), and also made me more aware of what clothes would be a good addition if I happen to find something good while thrift shopping.

Often we don’t realize how blessed we are until we think of all that we’ve been given, and how it’s even more than we need.

white-macro-hd-003

Winter’s Beautiful Things

DSCN4713-001

This blog has been quiet, so I’ll give you a lil’ recap. :) I’m excited about a trip to Israel planned for this spring! (Yes!!! I have a ticket!!!! I’m amazed at how the Father has brought this about! :D) I’m also still loving being a babysitter, spending time with family & friends, and simply living life day by day.

I continue to be amazed by the beautiful things around me.

Yeshua is so good.

Here’s a little of winter’s beauty:

one of those random moments when you’re standing in the kitchen and you discover a piece of art:

Red Carnation

colorful pens & pencils in a jar

bundling up to write poetry in the cold

thrift store shopping

Saturday night game nights

bright yellow yarn (‘cuz it brings sunshine to my winter)

crocheting & listening to Audrey Assad music

my sister restoring our great-grandma’s quilt:

AG's Quilt

fluffy snowflakes falling (those are special ’round here ;)

late-night baking

late-night snacks

laughs with Uncle Dave & Aunt Debbie

“Visit many books, but live in the Bible” C. H. Spurgeon

my dad who volunteers to do dishes

starting off Sabbath with a steamy mug of tea

a walk through the woods on Sabbath morning:

IMG_3541-001people that live life passionately

family hugs

♫ can’t live a day with out you ♫

prayers that are already being answered

when the sun comes out

new blue walls

praise in Romanian:
(do you recognize the tune? :)

What are some beautiful things that you’ve enjoyed this winter?

In This I Have Peace…

IMG_6843

“All the way my Savior leads me
Who have I to ask beside
How could I doubt His tender mercy
Who through life has been my guide?

All the way my Savior leads me
Cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me grace for every trial
Feeds me with the living Bread

You lead me and keep me from falling
You carry me close to Your heart
And surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me

All the way my Savior leads me
O, the fullness of His love
O, the sureness of His promise
In the triumph of His blood
And when my spirit clothed immortal
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages
Jesus led me all the way
Jesus led me all the way”

All the way my Savior leads me

Overcome With Thankfulness (2015)

Street Lamp

When I look back at 2015, I see so many things.

I see highs and lows. I see battles that raged in my soul, and victories. I see laughter and tears. Memories. Fears. Doubts. Faith that overcame. I see ways my heart changed, and ways it didn’t. I see lessons I learned, and lessons I’m still learning.

I see how gracious my Savior has been to me each step along the way, and my heart is overcome with thankfulness.

I’m thankful for family.

There’s truly no place like home. No one like family. I’m thankful for my family’s’ passion for Yahweh–their devotion to living out His Words, even when it’s counter-culture. I’m thankful for their jokes that make life fun, and the memories that only we share.

I’m thankful for friends.

They become family. They encourage me when I’m down. They point me back to Yeshua. They inspire me. They bless my heart more than they’ll ever know. Each one is special to me.

I’m thankful for Israel.

For the opportunity to visit the Promise Land once again. To walk where Yeshua walked. To smell the spices in the market. To hear the wailing at the Wall. To listen to music on the streets of Jerusalem. To hear what used to be a dead language–Hebrew–being spoken once again by its people. To see the sun peaking through the clouds over Jerusalem, and to remember that one day those clouds will break, and Messiah will return to Mount Zion, the city where Yahweh placed His name forever. To be able to pray for the peace of that city, of that nation, of the people I love.

I’m thankful for words.

Short ones. Long ones. Crazy ones. Simple ones. I love how they string together to form lyrics or poems or sentences or 1,000 page novels. I love how they carry meaning. How they paint pictures in our minds. How they transfer thoughts and feeling so well, and yet how much they don’t. I love how they’re powerful. How they’re life-giving. How they fill my heart with joy.

I’m thankful for Creation.

The world outside my window. That world where I should spend more time, because it’s not artificial. It’s not man-made. It’s Yahweh-made. It was spoken into existence by His Words. The place where I’m surrounded by the simple things like birds and trees and rocks and flowers. The things that Yeshua used in His parables, because they’re the basic components of life.

I’m thankful for music.

For the way that my heart soars with the drama of a heartfelt song, and the way it’s calmed by a peaceful hymn. The way that voices blend together in praise. The way that music carries me to a deeper understanding of life and faith and how they connect together.

I’m thankful for art.

Not so much the painting on the wall, but the little things that inspire me–the beautiful things in life. A burst of sunshine through the window on a rainy day. The baby that gently falls asleep in my arms. The laughter that makes me feel better. The moments when I’m overcome by the presence of my Savior.

Which leads me to what I’m thankful for most of all.

I’m thankful for Yeshua.

I’m thankful for my precious Messiah, who is the reason I’m alive. The reason that I can enjoy any of these things. He’s my life. My hope. My best friend.

I don’t know where He’ll take me this year.

But I do know that He’ll lead me by His hand.

Day by day.

Through every season.

I’m thankful for 2015.

When you look back at 2015…what do you see? What are you thankful for?

The Power of Prayer (Verses & Quotes)

photo from lightstock.com
photo from lightstock.com

Lately I’ve been realizing how crucial prayer is in walking with my Savior day by day. It’s something that I’ve slacked in over the years. Prayer is something that’s hard to understand. What exactly does prayer do? I don’t know sometimes. But I do know that it’s essential. It’s powerful. And it’s something so simple, that I often forget how big it is.

It connects us to our Creator.

“יהוה  has heard my pleading; יהוה receives my prayer.”  Psalm 6:9

It’s a way to love one another.

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those insulting you and persecuting you,”
Mathew 5:44

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:1-4

It gives us courage and faith.

“And He spoke a parable to them, that they should always pray and not lose heart,” Luke 18:1

It keeps our souls from harm.

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into trial. The spirit indeed is eager, but the flesh is weak.” Mathew 26:41

It works in ways we cannot see.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 6:12

It makes miracles happen.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14

Yeshua showed us how to pray.

“But He was often withdrawing Himself to lonely places and praying.”
Luke 5:16

“This, then, is the way you should pray: ‘Our Father who is in the heavens, let Your Name be set-apart, let Your reign come, let Your desire be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into trial, but deliver us from the wicked one–because Yours is the reign and the power and the esteem, forever. Amen.'”
Mathew 6:9-13

I hope these verse and quotes encourage you to today.

Whatever you’re holding inside your heart, pour it out before Him. He’s waiting to hear your voice, to bring you peace when you surrender, and to refresh your thirsty soul with His Spirit.

Elisabeth Elliot

Persistent Prayer

Elisabeth Elliot

545f0216c022ddc704e2d8bd9dfa00bf

Elisabeth Elliot Quote

philippians-4-6

Final_-prayer_talking.jpg_50

Psalm

♡ Ephesians 3:16-21 ♡

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you
with power through His Spirit in your inner being,
so that Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Messiah, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the assembly and in Messiah Yeshua throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
Amen.