The JOY Place! (guest post by Nancy Grisham!)


She’s here, my friends! The one and only Dr. Nancy Grisham is in the “house”! My face is smiling so BIG right now! Take a moment or two and read this awesome post on focusing on the JOY of God! Take it away, Nancy!

In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11 NASB

Almost every year Mary, one of my closest friends, and I take a weekend road trip to Door County, Wisconsin, the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” It’s a great place to hike, ride bikes, watch sunsets, and eat some serious cherry pie.

On one trip we were driving down a country road and saw a small sign with the words “The Clearing.” Curious, we turned into the narrow drive that was lined with trees and overgrown prairie grasses. We parked and joined the guided tour of the nature preserve that was designed by renowned landscape architect Jens Jenson.

I kept looking for the “clearing”.


Then our guide said, “A lot of people come here expecting to find a large clearing in the woods. However, that wasn’t the clearing Jens envisioned. He wanted a place where people could come away and clear their heads from the stress of modern life and reconnect with nature.” I suddenly realized that I had fallen into the same mindset. Sometimes we can’t see the clearing through the trees.

Our little band of adventurers left the fire pit and followed the guide through the forest, toward the shoreline of Green Bay. The path was craggy, with gnarly roots and tree trunks that made for slow navigation. I was beginning to feel really irritated that the path was so unkempt and slow. Surely they could have removed some of the bigger roots and trunks! Almost simultaneously the guide turned around and said, “One of the things that Jens specifically designed was that the pathways be rough, with turns and roots to force people to slow down and experience nature.” What a surprise to realize that I was in lockstep with the hurry-up mentality. I needed to slow down.

This summer maybe you could use a clearing to help you slow down, relax, and become present to the presence of God in your life. He’s right here – wherever you are right now!


His presence is where PURE JOY waits for you – because He is your JOY PLACE! Here are a few practical things that can help us to clear our heads and refocus attention on the Joy Giver.

1. Widen the margins in your schedule. Don’t let Him be squeezed out of your day. Cushion your time between activities and take the hurry out your schedule.

2. Use the power of your pause button. Wait before you make a commitment or respond. Listen for His whisper and lean into His discernment.

3. Stop staring at your inadequacies, mistakes, and failures. Start looking at His greatness – including Him in and through you.
“Greater is He who is in you….” I Jn 4:4
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
“…we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Rom 8:37

4. Avoid the tyranny of the dreaded “shoulds” and “oughts”. Ask Him to help you hear His desires and pleasures – then happily follow Him.

5. Run to your Joy Place! Sit a spell with God. Get your Bible, read a passage of scripture, and just ENJOY reading it. Talk with Him about what He’s saying. Ask Him to make His joy, your joy.

Relax – knowing YOU are loved by the Joy Giver!

Excerpts of this article were taken from the book Thriving: Trusting God for Life to the Fullest, ©Nancy Grisham 2013. Click here to learn more about this wonderful book:

Those are some awesome insights, Nancy! Thanks for such encouragement in our pursuit of PURE JOY this summer!  For more on Nancy, please visit Livin’ Ignited at:


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Up Monday: You’ve got “back up” – and it’s bigger than you think!

Peace, love, and JOY!


5 responses »

  1. Wendie, I have Nancy’s book but haven’t “found” the time to read it yet. Thanks for posting this beautiful excerpt. I think I need to do exactly what Nancy directs and refocus my attention! Nancy’s beautiful writing is gently nudging me to do the right thing and make more time for God. Let Him guide my way instead of me. But in or for me to be able to do that I have to slow down enough to listen. Thanks Nancy for helping me be more present for the presence of God in my life!

    • Kathryn! I hear you! Focus ON HIM is so necessary, isn’t it? And sometimes feels so elusive! Nancy’s book, Thriving, is something you will find speaking to your heart at every turn of a page. It is something you will reach for many times after the first reading. She is onto something very special here, and I’m so THRILLED you have it! Peace to you today!

  2. Wow! I stumbled across your site through noticing your comment on Lysa TerKeurst’s blog. Fantastic post! I enjoyed reading Dr. Nancy Grisham’s steps toward focusing on the joy of God. May we all become the woman God wants us to be and use these steps to help us follow His dream for our lives!

    • Hi Danielle! So glad you found us! Hope you check back often – we are in full pursuit of JOY this summer! Nancy’s words are timely and insightful, aren’t they? Blessings on you, sister friend!

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