I’m about to jump right outta my skin! I am giggling myself silly because the day has arrived! Time for the big reveal!
DRUM ROLL PLEASE……
How AWESOME is that?! (CLICK on the picture for a BIG version that might be more clear!!!)
This summer we are all about the joy – PURE JOY! The gift of the Holy Spirit that transcends happiness and creates within us the notion and “internal state of being” that every little thing is gonna be alright because HE has it covered! And who among us couldn’t use a little of that?!
“I have told you these things so that my joy would be with you, and that your joy would be complete.” John 15:11.
Yes. JOY! I going to find me some of that and I hope you are coming with me AND bringing a friend or two (or 50!) along for the ride!
So, how’s this thing going to work?! I’m so glad you asked!
Let’s break this down a little, shall we?! J.O.Y. Three little letters that create something BIG! We’ve probably all seen this before and frankly, I couldn’t find the original source, but here we go:
J – Jesus
O – Others
Y – Yourself
We’ll be hanging around these three letters all summer long and getting to know them really well! So ladies….START YOUR ENGINES!!!
J: First, we’ll be finding JOY in Jesus! How? By hearing from Him! Through scripture, great faith-focused books by amazing authors, awesome toe tappin’ songs, cool Christian blogs, etc.! We’ll be sharing up our favorite summer reads, tunes, blogs, social media sites, and more!
O: Second, we’ll be sharing and finding JOY in Others! This is a pretty darn fun one! We will be explaining how to host fun, funky, faith-filled dinner parties for you and your sister friends based on two books: Bread and Wine by Shauna Neiquist AND Table Life by Joanne Thompson. Both of these books flew into my life just recently at precisely the right time! Here in our sleepy little town of Glen Ellyn, Stringing Pearls with Wendie ministry team members will be hosting THREE of these awesome nights throughout the summer. We will give you the entire scoop you’ll need on how to attend one AND/OR host your own for you and your IRL (In Real Life) friends! You know who those sister friends are! They are the ones you “do” life with. That you break bread with. That you connect with on more than just a surface level. Why do this? Because this is exactly what we are called to do – share our faith with the ones we love.
Listen to this simple, yet completely profound quote from Joanne in Table Life:
“When Jesus came to live on earth in pursuit of our faraway hearts, he made a beeline to the kitchen table. Once upon many meals, Jesus – the strong man on a mission to redeem the world – took time to eat dinner…Across the table, hearts made for relationships came alive.” Joanne Thompson, Table Life, page 14-15.
Can you even stand it?!
And let us NOT forget my favorite sister friend verse of all time:
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12, NLT.
So grab yourselves at least 2 other sister friends and you got yourself a dinner party, girl!
Y: Yourself. Finally, we’ll be pursuing joy through gratitude in your own lives! Joy is born from gratitude and hope! Giving thanks to God always precedes a miracle (thank you for that nugget of truth, Ann Voskamp!). And speaking of Ann Voskamp, we’ll be using her “Joy Dare” as our vehicle for finding three (I’m lovin’ the repetition of threes here, are you?!) things each day to count as blessings/gifts of joy! She makes is very easy for us to do this by giving us a calendar and suggesting three things for each date to find! It’s so fun and so easy and quickly replaces hunger and dissatisfaction with the beautiful TRUTH that Jesus indeed came to give us life and give it ABUNDANTLY! We’ll be asking you to share these things via social media with us either through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, email, and even here on the blog through photos, quick words, or even videos! And don’t worry; we’ll walk you through every little step of it!
Now, we’re throwing a lot at your right now so before we break down each little JOY-ful letter into sweet details, how about we let this all sink in and get ourselves SUPER EXCITED about it?! Our goal is pursue JOY, not simple happiness, but JOY! And we want as many people in on this as possible! So please share this information with your pals!
Next week, we will be distributing over 50 Pure Joy kits to our ministry participants here in Glen Ellyn and Wheaton! We are SO excited about it! They are chock-full of helpful tips, fun finds, and maybe even a CAR MAGNET with this super cute logo, to get those JOY ideas flowing! We are encouraging each and every one of those lucky kit recipients to then either pass along their kit to another sister friend OR contact us for a new kit to pass along. The kit has everything YOU need to dig deep into this summer series, start your own faith filled FUN dinner parties, find good reads and tunes to help you on your PURE JOY journey, and bask in the knowledge that Joy is HIS for the giving and YOURS for the receiving.
I’ll post a picture of this cool kit next week right here on the blog. If you leave a comment on the blog between now and next week and tell us you are JUMPING INTO THE PURE JOY SERIES with both feet right alongside us, you’ll have a chance at winning one of 5 Pure Joy kits we are saving to give out FOR FREE to our blog readers! We’ll notify you by email to get your mailing address and get them off to you ASAP so you can get the ball rolling in your own community!
Now, this is a SUMMER SERIES and while summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st (or something like that!), we aren’t waiting THAT long! We’re goin’ old school and we are declaring summer starting on Memorial Day (May 27th) and wrapping it all up on Labor Day (September 2nd) in time for a whole new Stringing Pearls Series for Fall!
So, we’ve got a couple weeks to get ourselves up to speed on Pure Joy before the official kick off! I’ll be blogging between now and then about one of the letters (J,O, Y) with all the deets and ideas on how you can pump up the joy in that area of your life! And, for your reading pleasure, I just might have a couple guest bloggers lined up to get us pumped up, too!
I am SOOOOOOO excited and full of childlike anticipation for what adventures God has for us through this series! See you next week!!
Peace and JOY!