A Celebration of Flops

In my devotion today, I talked about plans that flop, and I know that might be a trigger for you. It sure is for me! I’ve had plenty of plans that flopped… or at least went awry.

A pregnancy that didn’t happen on my time schedule.

A job I wanted but didn’t get.

A dream fulfilled that I thought would be glorious ended in pain.

But here’s what I’ve learned. For every flop and failure, there’s still joy and learning in the journey. I want to flip our flops today and insert a little fun in celebration of the joy along the way.

I’m really visual, so I thought I’d share some of the happiness of the day I described in the devo. Here are some pics of Cheri and I on the day that I didn’t make it to the place where the seals hung out. We still had a great time and burned a bunch of calories to boot!

Cheri and I resting after our battle with the tide. Tired but happy. How can you not smile in the CA sunshine?

The quiet waters in the marina were my jam!

See our cute little otter friends? I was in love.

You can probably see how much Cheri and I enjoy time together, and we’d love for you to join us for serious conversation laced with giggles! After you enter to win a prize package by leaving your comment, click here to listen to the latest episode of our Grit ‘n’ Grace podcast.

As an author, one of the most fun times of my day is to go to the mailbox and find a sample book from a publisher. These have built up at my house beyond my bookshelf capacity, so I’d love for you to give them a good home! There are four chances to win, and each gift pack includes three books, a gift item and piece of jewelry. What girl doesn’t find a little joy in new jewelry? 😉

To enter to win one of these FOUR FABULOUS PACKAGES, tell about a time when you found a moment of joy in a flop OR simply leave a comment saying “Joy in the journey.” 

 

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Comments

  1. Joy in the Journey! Thanks for offering this wonderful giveaway opportunity. I would be so excited to win. It’s like that final gift set was custom tailored to me to address my struggles right now. God Bless!

  2. Joy in the Journey! When I came home early from a year long mission trip and felt disappointed, like I had failed, God reminded me that He still had a purpose, a mission for me no matter where I was in the world.

  3. Yes, I believe in bring His joy with me everyday of my life. This was back in the seventies. We went with some friends canoeing. We were enjoying the day until we ended up in the flood waters.due to a tropical depression that had happened a few days back. We didn’t realize this would be a problem. We were canoeing forever and didn’t really know where we where going. and we didn’t know when this trip would ever end. My husband said”every time we go through a tree – I would hit the tree and he had to hit several snakes with his paddle which worked – the snakes did not get into the canoe. We and the other couple bean praying and singing about every Christian song knew. Finally we ran into some men that were on land which was close to us. They helped us get out and took my husband to get the car. Thank You, Lord that everything turned out well. Neither us or the other couple have forgotten this. What turned out crazy caused us to seek out the Lord in prayer and song which resulted in us getting safely back home.

  4. I had a dear friend,who lives several states over, whom I haven’t seen in person for a few years, pass through my area. We planned to meet for dinner. This shouldn’t be that hard, but I wanted this meal to be the cherry on top of her visit. The place I picked, which was#1 on Tripadvisor in our area, was way overpriced, and embarrassingly disappointing. Total flop. The time we spent together, thankfully, was nourishing and full, and of course totally outweighed any flop of a meal!

  5. Amy, I love your relaxed and laid back joyful celebration of your faith in God and your willingness to share the fact that you are not perfect in it and still learning in some areas. I’ve recently returned to my faith after some years and am relishing the experience. I’m thirsting to learn more about EVERYTHING about my God and my relationship with Him. I LOVE the time that that I can devote to talking with Him and learning more about Him. I feel so blessed to be where I am on my journey and am so looking forward to the journey as it unfolds. Reading your devotion was a privilege and I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks for sharing your gift today with me and others!

  6. Joy in the journey – this is definitely a struggle for me because my eye is on the destination instead of on learning along the way. Love this post!

  7. Oh, I flop all the time, but joy surely can’t depend upon circumstances. 🙂 There is indeed joy in the journey.

  8. A long flight delay resulted in more fun time, even at the airport, with our grandchildren as we wrapped up a Spring Break trip to Cape Cod and Boston!

  9. Joy in the journey? 🤪 I am the queen of flops! Yet somehow, flop after flop I do end up laughing until it hurts when I ponder over my latest flop! Praise God for keeping His mighty hand on me as I flop!

  10. My husband and I were traveling in an RV and wanted to go site seeing, but didn’t want to take the large vehicle into downtown Little Rock. We decided to park at a mall and take the local bus to our site seeing destination. Our gps told us to walk around the mall to get to the bus stop we needed. It was a long walk. When we arrived at the bus stop I realized that we had circled the mall and were almost back at our starting point. We could see the RV. I was beginning to fume, because we had hurried in order to catch the bus. Suddenly, I realized that I didn’t have the camera with me. My husband had just enough time to run back to the RV and get the camera before the bus pulled up. I still laugh about this situation. I was really glad the bus stop was near the RV or I would not have been able to take pictures of our day and the extra exercise was good for both of us. We went in the wrong direction, but ended up in the right place at the right time.

  11. Our joy in the midst of what looked like a flop: we had planned to wait a couple of years after our first 2 kids and then have 2 more. We started trying for our third when our two oldest were 4 1/2 and 6 yrs old. I had such a strong desire for more kids, I really wanted a big family. We finally gave up trying after 3 years of what my dr called “secondary infertility “. I was heartbroken but finally gave it to God and gave all our baby items away. I got pregnant a few months later! I was overjoyed- but it was not my plan to have a third child when my older kids were 10 and 8 1/2! So far apart in age from my first two! But it actually ended up being great- they all get along and it’s worked out well. Due to complications during my third pregnancy it also turned out to be my last. God made that work out too. Because they are far apart my 2nd child has never felt like the “middle” child and our family feels complete! God’s plans were NOT my plans but they turned out to be even better plans!

  12. About 5 or 6 years ago my sister came for a visit. We had this great plan to go to this beach that was known for being a great spot to find sea glass. We had checked the tide charts so we knew when it would be highest and lowest. It was roughly a mile hike along the shore to get to the best spot where the most glass can be found. My husband and infant son joined us. We arrived at the beach in time for sunrise! (We don’t mess around! Ha ha) We enjoyed our time together and looked for glass along the way. It took a little longer to get to our destination but we were having fun. After a brief time at the “best” spot we realized that the tide was beginning to come in. We wasted no time hiking back along the shoreline due to the fact that we had no alternative because the opposite side was a cliff we wouldn’t be able to climb. We laughed to hide our concern that we might end up swimming back! There was one section in which we had to walk through the water and seaweed but other than that we made it back to the car with 4 inches of shore left, a bag of sea glass, and memories that we will cherish and laugh at!

  13. JOY IN THE JOURNEY.
    Thank you for reminding us to take days like that! He design is for us to delight in His creation.
    Otter photo; priceless!! We need to relax more like they do!
    Thank you for sharing!

  14. I love it when I open Proverbs 31 & find just the right devotion. God uses these devotions to speak to my heart & give me direction. My husband & I have been looking for a home to retire in. The kids are grown & we want to downsize. I have the perfect plan in my mind. Where the house should be & what it should look like., but we haven’t had any luck. I realize that I’m making myself nuts. I think I need to seek counsel from someone wiser than myself. Not for help to find a house, but to learn to trust & wait on God. Thank you for your devotion!

  15. I’ve been praying for a specific desire for the past two years, and have been met with disappointment, delays, and detours despite my dedication to faithfully pray for the situation and surrender it to the Lord’s sovereignty. Recently , in an effort to get some clarity and a fresh perspective on the topic, the thought came to me to break it down to five specific points, hence I call it “My five-finger prayer request to HAND over to God.” Every morning I pray for the five specific points and then hand it over to God’s care, and then go about my day hoping this will be the day I receive the fulfillment of at least one of the points of my request. As I prepared to climb into bed just now, I confessed to the Lord my discouragement of another day that I prayed “in His name” and received nothing as far as this prayer request is concerned. I then asked Him to show me from some spiritual source an explanation for the day’s unanswered prayer. As I “woke up” my phone, the Encouragement for Today email was my inbox’s first unread message.
    So I read your post – brought to tears at the fearful and humbling realization that I need to seek out counsel – and I’m writing this comment, hoping to find “joy in the journey” as I await fulfillment of my heart’s desire. Thanks for the encouragement.

  16. I had breast cancer. I had a major surgery with removal of breast and lymph nodes. I also had a wonderful, loving husband and two beautiful daughter ages 5 and 11. While waiting for the results of the lymph nodes and breast tissue, I had no idea what our future would be. I had to wait a weekend for test results. I worried Friday and Saturday needlessly. I spent Sunday in prayer and a deformable up and it rained heart shaped hail all over my lawn. If I had used my prayer the days prior I would not have wasted those days in worry. My Lord sent me a sign and from that moment on I did not worry because I knew no matter what God would take care of me as he always has. It was fine and I am cancer free and still have that wonderful, loving husband and my daughter are 24 and 19. I am also blessed with a granddtughter that is two. God truly blessed me!

  17. Joy in the journey! God’s plans are much better than our own. When we learn to trust Him no matter the outcome, a sense of peace fills out mind and souls ❤️ I know it, because Ive experienced it!

  18. Hi Amy! I enjoyed reading your Joy in a flop journey… Long story short: Last year my son and now daughter -in -love : ) hired a wedding planner to help with their wedding since they live on the west coast, I live in the south and the wedding was up north- it was supposed to be very humble event and the wedding planner backed out close to the date of the wedding. It was extremely stressful for the bride as you can imagine. So, I decided that we were not going to let her steal the bride and grooms joy, that we would just work hard and told them we can do this without her! We all pulled together…..family and friends, homemade decorations, music, etc., rolled up our sleeves and it was a beautiful day! Beautiful in so many ways, families bonded, it was humble and joyful! And, Yes………we were exhausted 🙂.

  19. We have all had those flops, haven’t we and not always faced them in the most graceful way! I for one, have had to hide my head more than once! Always learning..

  20. Joy in the journey! Even when the journey is uphill, through weeds, barefoot through a sticker patch, joy in the journey, because our Lord is with us always.

  21. Joy in the journey. I think there have been many times God has used something to show me that no matter what He is taking me through, that He is doing something good and there is joy there even if it seems difficult. We must celebrate and praise along the way and He will reveal himself to us and His plan for us.

  22. It was ages and ages ago, during a skating competition. I was nearing the end of my program and came out of my last spin. While stroking down the ice I realized I couldn’t remember what came next. All I knew was there was one jump that would disqualify me so I knew not to do it. I somehow managed to get to the end of the music without anyone by myself knowing I was clueless for the last little bit. My flop was rewarded by the judges with a gold medal!

  23. I think I actually need to learn how to find and keep “joy in the journey” especially when “unexpected currents” hit and it feels like I’m paddling in the same place for too long.
    You give such an important reminder about consulting God for every idea we may want to go ahead with, even if it sounds as a perfectly good one 🙂

  24. I have recently been struggling with postpartum anxiety after the birth of my second child so moments of joy have been hard to come by. I most recently had a moment of joy while watching my children succeed at their challenges. To watch my two and a half year old daughter go to the potty for the first time and then watch her beam with pride at her accomplishments. And then watching my 8 month old pull herself up on her toys, again the look of happiness on her face brought me such joy. I am working hard daily to find my joy through their moments of joy!

  25. That looks like fun Amy! I love the beach and being outdoors with the sunshine!

    Don’t call it a flop you both must be very strong to paddle that kayak!
    .Today I would be out of breath trying to get into the kayak. allergies in New England are not fun when they affect your breathing. My adventure to Wal-Mart today had to be done in a scooter.

    Thanks for the giveaway Today. Wendy Blight is one of my favorite authors. Oh’ I would love to win that package with her book.

    Joy in the journey…. I did pick up a word search book of Hymns Today.:)

  26. Joy in the journey. I ann about to embark on a new life’s path and this was a good reminder to continue to seeing his word.

  27. My favorite “flop” is always one of my most treasured memories of mom, who passed away a few years ago.
    When we were kids, there was not money for fancy store bought birthday cakes, so mom always baked us our favorite flavor cake. One year she attempted to make a “fancy” layered cake….did I mention her culinary skills were best left to pancakes, and casseroles? The result was a very lopsided, layers slipping off, frosting trying to glue the big cracks together chocolate mess! We forever referred to it as mom’s earthquake cake.
    This “flop” was a source of laughter and shared joy around our house forever.

  28. Frequently while on the journey, you can’t see how the “flop” is going to help you or how you are ever going to find joy in it. Days, months and sometimes years later, we are usually able to see how that flop helped us get where we needed to be. I know God guides my every step-on good, solid ground, or even the slippery slopes that I sometimes get in! He is my strength and my shield, no matter what! Thanks for your wonderful pictures (the sunshine is something I needed today as well as the cute otters)! Blessings to you.

  29. Joy in the Journey.

    The truth is I am finding this extremely difficult right now…finding joy…all I feel is defeat and despair and emptiness but I am sincerely trying to draw near to the Lord, like reading todays devotional and seeking scripture for guidance in the hopes of feeling whole again soon.

    Please Pray For Me,

    Melisa

  30. Thank you so much Amy for your Proverbs 31 devotion and blog today. They really blessed me! Your counsel is VERY wise and VERY timely. And the opportunity to win one of these four fabulous packages is thrilling!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your treasures too! I love to read Christian literature!

  31. Oh Amy what cute otters. Im so grateful for stories like this, its the right dose of encouragment. The biggest flop I could think of was when my second daughter was born. Let me explain. She was born with a cataract in her left eye, you know the type elderly people tend to get. Well my baby came out of the womb with one which lead to major surgey followed by minor surgeries and many many eye doctor visists. I was planning to return to work when she turned one but because of her eye condition I had decided to stay home with her, we have to do things like eye patching and such. To me it was a flop to have to endure this, that my precious child had to endure this, but God is in the processes of flipping it around for us. I thought a major flop would be me not returning to work and getting a paycheck but God has given me joy as I discover the treasure of being able to stay home with my now 3year old as my husband works. I really thought everything would stay messed up but God has definitely used this flopping situation with my babys eye to teach me so much. and im still learning, right now my lesson is being able to enjoy my kids in a way i wouldnt be able to do if i worked. “Breathe and enjoy” So thank you Amy for your beautiful reminder that theres joy in the flops-I really have to start paying attention to them. Amen and Praise Jesus 😂

  32. Thank You so much for the encouragement you provided thru”A Celebration of Flops ”
    Today I am feeling exhausted and questioning my abilities and focusing on the ” flops ” Even though the big celebration in honour of my mom, I helped to plan and carry out was a success I keep looking on what I “coulda or shoulda done “. I’m a little surprised by the insecurities and comparisons that have surfaced and playing out in my mind
    Your post was very timely I need to get back to ” Joy in the Journey ” which so happens to be my focus for the year
    Thanks😊🙏

  33. As a Mama to three little boys I often have to laugh at all the flops that happen in the middle of my plans. Clinging to Jesus and wonderful friends who have walked this road before me are what gets me through…and coffee! I can’t let my pride get in the way of my joy.

  34. Finding overwhelming joy in the journey now that I have learned to trust Him and use the gifts with which He blessed me.

  35. Amy, I love seeing the cute pictures of you and Cheri! I listen to your podcast while I am cleaning as a stay at home mom. It’s wonderful and makes my daily to do list a bit more enjoyable.😋

    I experienced joy in the midst of a flop as a college student. My heart’s desire was to study as an exchange student in France. But no matter how much effort I put toward this dream I only ran into closed doors. Devastated, I put my dream aside and focused on my studies.

    One day my political science professor asked me to stay after class. He wanted to know if I would be I interested in studying in Japan on an embassy exchange program. The scholarship covered everything including accommodations and spending money. I was completely taken by surprise. As I wrote my essay and filled out paperwork for the selection committee I had such peace. I prayed to God and truly asked for his will, not mine, to prevail. The day I received the acceptance letter is one I will never forget. The two years I spent in Japan were so rich and such a blessing. I think about how an initial “ no “ from God prepared me for an even bigger “yes”!

  36. Joy in the journey! I loved your devotion ( need that for my June trip to Texas) and your pictures were great! I have a little dog that always lays back and looks just like a little otter❤️

  37. Joy in the journey! Thank you for sharing your story today. I had a few (ah ha) moments while reading. I will carry your words with me often! Another life changing moment. It’s all so true and inspiring. I am finding joy in my journeys these days. I may not always make it to my destination on my terms, but I am trying to take hold of the joy and laughter.

  38. Joy in the journey // I feel like this often happens with my kiddos. I’m always feeling prepared & excited & then bam, someone has a melt down, or isn’t having fun, or whatever the case may be, it never goes as planned. I think lowering my expectations has allowed me to embrace the instruction of others (in motherhood) & enjoy the journey where I’m at. I would say a total ‘flop’ experience was when we had decided to go the dentist & I hadn’t brought any help with me. Everyone was crying & I almost couldn’t get all of the kids out of the dentist office. I guess asking another mom who had taken small kids to the dentist would have been helpful.

  39. I remember a long time ago while canoeing I felt peace on the water. These days I feel peace and joy turning my face to the sun and taking in its warmth, sitting on the porch watching the clouds and listening to the birds and sitting on the beach watching, smelling and listening to the ocean while reading a good book. These books would be great to read on the beach this year on vacation.

  40. When do my plans not flop? Even when I “think” I’m relying on God and his eternal wisdom. Because you know, sometimes (most of the time?) I think God could use some of *my* help? Maybe I should go ahead and do a few things to speed up the plan? I tell myself, surely God doesn’t want me to be still and let Him do all the work…. surely He wants me to struggle a bit. And we all know what happens next. And yet, because God is so merciful, it’s never just utter and complete darkness in the failures. Even when I think it is. Even in my deepest despair, God sends rays of light into my heart and show me that there’s hope always. I am amazed, as I navigate this very difficult season of being pushed towards a divorce, that it’s not all bleak, it’s not all bad, it’s not all sadness, there have been real moments of joy, and discovery, and amazing insight,

  41. My husband and I teach bible studies at our church in spite of the fact that he’s had pancreatic cancer for over 8 years. We love our ministry but there are times during the treatments and surgeries that we have felt like we have failed due to the effects of struggling through chemo, post op, etc. we have had to really lean on the Lord just to live, let alone teach anybody! We realize we are the ones doing most of the learning and that’s the beauty of it!

  42. Joy in the Journey! learning to let go of my failures of the past, and simply embrace what I learned along the way.

  43. We recently bought a new bed to replace our old one that was all lumpy. Unfortunately we forgot that the old bed was only a full size bed and the replacement we bought was a queen. We didn’t realize until they delivered the mattress that the headboard and bed frame wouldn’t fit. We ran out and bought a new bed frame, deciding to keep the queen, and took all afternoon to put it together. The bed frame DID NOT want to go together well. There was quite a bit of frustration and crankiness that afternoon. We eventually had to walk away from it and I decided we should read a devotional and pray for God’s help to get it together. Once we went back to work on it, it went together so easy and we finally had the bed put together and made up. What started out as a bad mistake that made us short tempered ended with laughter and joy at a job done. I know that bed frame only went together because of God’s help. It also taught me that I need to remember to ask for God’s help on everything.

  44. I applied for a job about 3months along with a friend. We wrote the exams together and we were told we would be called for the interview. She was called but I wasn’t. I just decided to give praise and glory to God, telling Him I believe all things work for good and this is working for good. God has blessed me with a job from a place I wasnt even expecting. All through my waiting period I was giving praises to God. I’m grateful to God for the enablement

  45. It seems I do a lot of planning without wise counsel and today this hit home in a very hard way. In my haste to move closer to our grandchildren after retirement we rented our home to children of close, dear friends. The short story is quite possibly the end to a beautiful 40-year friendship. I look forward to the “lasting” joy of this journey and pray God in His wisdom will guide my husband and I through our next leg.

  46. My family and I embarked on a path six years ago that I thought would be temporary. Though the journey started out in peace and excitement and full of possibilities, it slowly became marred by one disappointing turn of events after another, I lost my precious mom after a long battle with cancer. I experienced my first ever episodes of anxiety and insomnia. Our housing situation that was supposed to last for a year or so seemed unending and impossible to change. Doors closed one by one. I felt lost, Tossed. Unsettled. I struggled with seeking and trusting God’s direction for us. However, through this journey, God has drawn me closer to Him. He has shown me that my true dwelling place and the ‘settledness’ that I long for can only be found in Him. He has shown me how to trust His heart. As we are seeking what path to take next, I look back and see how far we’ve come in the past six years. Outwardly, it would look as if our situation hasn’t changed much. We have still yet to move, but despite all that has happened, God has been faithful, patient, and trustworthy through it all. We have all benefited from this growing season that I used to see as a major ‘flop’ in our lives. I have reclaimed my joy and peace and can praise Him in this journey! Thank you, Amy, for your beautiful devotion and perspective. My response may have been a little more in depth than what was asked for but it was extremely cathartic for me to put out there! Have a blessed day!

  47. That has become my goal, finding the joy in the journey. It is a struggle for me. Six months ago I had a heart attack and now I am determined to change my outlook!

  48. So thankful for you sharing your flops and how to find joy – I’m living a flop right now, as a Mom of 5 and sidelined by a sprained ankle… But keeping my eyes set on the Lord and thanking Him for His gracious provisions in it brings the joy. Sitting beside my teenager on the couch and being “in the moment” for once, instead of tackling the Spring-cleaning list has been needed and so sweet. Using this “found” time of stillness for time with Jesus in prayer & in the Bible, and helpful books that redirect my Mama heart so I can keep pointing our kids’ hearts to Him. And as I slowly recover, I’m choosing to remember that the Joy of the Lord is my strength!

  49. Joy in the Journey!

    Loved your devo today ~ I am regularly guilty of making my own plans without consulting the Guide Book – and so thankful for God’s ever present grace!

  50. Joy in the journey. Sometimes you just have to let go of trying so hard and let God be the leader. And when things are really not going well, sometimes I have to stop and laugh at myself and remember that tomorrow is a new day. 🙂

  51. There is always joy in the nourney. I left Minnesota and came to Texas where I thought I had an apartment ready. Found out it wasn’t the best option. Thank God for Proverbs 31 sisters who let me stay with them until I could find the right place. What joy their friendship and hospitality was!

  52. There is joy in the journey if we just look for God’s hand! Thank you for this wonderful devotion today!

  53. When hosting a big brunch for all my grown children, I cleaned house and made a beautiful table, but when everyone came hungry, I did not have the food prepared and was stressed out. The tension was in the air. My daughters jumped in and helped cook, which I was grateful for, but I felt like a failure. What I learned is that even though I personally enjoy cleaning and setting things up pretty, most of my family enjoys eating good food to looking at a pretty table!!! Now when I host dinners and things, I crucify my flesh to what I want and fix good food for my guests before trying to make my house look good!! As always, Jesus is my perfect example of how to be a good servant by putting others first!!!!

  54. Joy in the journey! Thank you for sharing your pictures, and for encouraging us to flip our flops around.
    Blessings!

  55. Joy in the Journey,
    I would love the “Why Her” bundle. I am trying so hard to find confidence in myself. Life keeps throwing me these hurdles and I struggle with wondering when my “happily ever after” is going to begin. My parents divorced when I was young and I swore that I would never go through that again and that my children would never have to feel THAT PAIN. I really thought that if I tried to be the best wife I could be that the things going on behind my back would remedy themselves. I was wrong, Now I hold over my own head that I am divorced. I have failed myself by not living to the standards that I PLACED ON MYSELF.
    I would appreciate any prayers that I can receive by sharing this message.
    Thank you and best of luck to all who enter!

  56. More than once my husband and I have accidentally taken wrong turns on our travels. At first I’ve either panicked a bit, worried about getting lost, or was just plain irritated! Instead of getting “lost”, we discovered cute little towns, quaint streets, beautiful homes and more, all by taking the “wrong” turn!

  57. I have found joy in a “flop” season of divorce. I divorced five years ago and it was a very dark time in my adult journey. However, God has definitely used this season to draw me closer to Him than I’ve ever been. I can now laugh and smile, genuinely. I’ve gained a surer sense of who I am (my worth), a truer sense of the worth of Christ in forgiving me and restoring my life. I’m now even grateful for the journey more than I ever thought I could be.

  58. Joy in the Journey! Often my husband and I take the wrong turn and end up in some very interesting places! We were returning from visiting my father in law in the hospital and tried to reverse the directions we had, forgetting there were 1 way streets involved. We finally made it through the city looking for a “sign” (the Rt 81 sign to get us home)!

  59. Joy in the journey! I remember a day when weather hijacked our plans for a day of fun. We were on vacation and wouldn’t be able to reschedule the plans. We wandered and found some neat little shops and places, laughing and being together. It turned into a sweet memory. So much so I don’t remember our original plans.

  60. I”ve experienced my share of flops through this journey of life, but it’s all made me who I am today so I’ve learned to have joy through the journey.

  61. So many flops even when I thought I had consulted and heard correctly ! Looking for Joy in the Journey!

  62. My daughter is afraid of the dark. We had talked about how the Haunted Mansion at Disney was just “jumpy” scary once you got past the first dark room. She really wanted to go with the family to prove to herself she could do it. We waited in line when we got to the first room, she flipped out, grabbed my hand, and ran from the room just before the doors closed. She wouldn’t let me ask someone of easier way out. She made us walk backwards through the very narrow line. It seemed like such a flop. However, we were laughing so hard trying to navigate our way back through the line that by the end, it didn’t seem to matter that we didn’t go on the ride. Instead, we went to get churros and met the family with the treat at the end of the ride. God took a moment that normally would have upset me and turned it around.

  63. I am currently looking for joy in my journey. I am a work from home, homeschooling mama… taking a step back and consulting my guide book this morning (the Bible). Thank you for your insight.

  64. There’s always joy in the journey!! We just have to look for it…sometimes with a magnifying glass…but it is there!! I was looking forward to retiring….but I didn’t make it…disability came first. I struggled with my worth and usefulness God and others…but then I realized…I had more time now to give to God and others!! I just had to look for the what God had been showing me but I was too upset about the change to see it. Just look…your way is there!!

  65. My husband and I rented bikes on our honeymoon in Lake Tahoe many years ago. As newlyweds, we thought we had it all figured out and headed out on our bike ride with very little knowledge of what we were doing! We were told there was a lovely ice cream stand half-way through the ride, but somehow our route didn’t take us there! We did, however, enjoy wonderful scenes along the lake and mountains, and learned a lot about one another along our journey. It was the first of many ‘detours’ we have experienced 🙂

  66. A job that has changed dramatically since I started and has become too challenging for me has made me decide to retire with my already retired husband.

  67. Joy in the Journey… The story was enlightening, I have not fully realized that yes our plans sometimes seem so reachable but not stopping to listen to others or God they do flop at times

  68. Thank you for the inspiring devotion this morning and a reminder to focus on the journey, not the destination. I’ve experienced MANY flops in my lifetime that God has turned into a time of joy and better opportunities. I sought a job at my church – interviewed three times and still was turned down. Yes, I was disappointed, but after doing a little research I found that I am eligible to retire this year with partial benefits. I also found an online course which will open the doors for me to work from home. On top of that, I will be moving to a new home after looking for a house to buy and praying specifically for what I wanted. That, too, didn’t work out but I found a rental that not only fits my budget, but has everything I prayed for and more. I am definitely seeing the “flip” side. God is good!

  69. Hi Amy,

    Loved your post today! So needed. So my many flops…I’m 36 years old, a follower of Christ since I was 14, crazy passionate woman lol. Mine our relationships flops. In my past over a span of 16 years, I had dated 3 great Christian guys. None of the relationships worked out. I too learned so much during the process and even after the relationships dissolved (mostly about myself, and areas that I needed healing in and the correct thinking)

    The Lord allowed me to build a great friendship and relationship with my now fiance :). While no relationship is easy, God has loved and guided me thru my flops and also thru barriers that have affected me and sort of shaped me in my past relationships and even now. God has a meaning to the madness! Even in failed or delayed situations, he’s still working on and growing us. Please pray for our journey and that we will follow God’s will in our relationship.

    We have an loving, kind, amazing God 🙂

    Sincerely

    Christina W.

  70. My word for the year, last year, was Joy, after I realized that I was only trudging through life, not looking for the joy. Now, it’s still a struggle, but joy stays in the front of my mind, most of the time. Trying to find “Joy in the Journey.”

  71. You can definitely have Joy in the Journey. God is always with us, giving us what we need, not what we think we want. We can’t always see it at the time, but it’s always for our best to bring us closer to Him. I thank God for all the life lessons in the journey along the road. Enjoy life’s journey with God each day. God bless.

  72. My joy in the journey was when I went to Florida to help care for my mother who was living and dining of brain cancer. We had recently lost a sister to breast cancer and one to pancreatic cancer. And now our mom. My other two sisters and I loved on and cared for our mother day and night. We became her hands and feet ,and her eyes. My mother never said why me. She was always cheerful and grateful for the time she had. We my sisters and I spent many a hours sitting with our mom talking ,sharing and laughing. When it was time to say our good bys as mom was going into a semi coma…we told her how much we loved and cherished her. My sister’s and I slept on mom’s floor by her bed for days. When she went home to be with Jesus all my siblings and there children were gathered around her bed. We prayed,we sang her into eternity. Hospice came when my mom died and allowed my sisters and I one last time to bathe her body and prepare it for burial. We put on some of mom’s beautiful piano hymns and lovingly washed her. The time was a hard journey but a joyful journey. The Lord showed up the whole way through in so many amazing ways. I wouldn’t trade that time for a thing

  73. My husband and I have felt led by the Lord for many years to adopt. After having both of our grandmothers pass away a few years ago, a cousin dyiing unexpectedly, and my father in law battling brain cancer, we felt led to pursue adoption full on. Recently, we had a multiple flop in our process when my father in law developed a second tumor on his brain and the classes we were suppose to attend would not get done in time with heading back home for the surgery. I was supset by all this, but God knew this would all happen and guided us to a Bible study teacher that knew of a Christian foster/adoption agency that has classes that meet in a few weeks. I look forward to this journey and know that sometimes flops are just God intervening with what he plans for our journey.

  74. My joy in the journey story of finding joy and peace in a failed plan. Recently my husband and I were supporting our son and his family by being ‘night time’ coverage in case baby #5 arrived during the night. We drove 1.5 hours to sleep on separate sofas to be there in case of a night delivery. Several mornings we drove home to our own house then returned at night…so we were tired but trying to put on our best face and attitudes. The night finally came, on night #4, and momma got the little ones to bed and went into labor. We were on duty. I had prayed for this to be our last night, for things to go smoothly, for safe and healthy delivery. Well, child #4 was up crying at 11pm, child #3 was up wanting his parents, and at 3 am momma and daddy came home with #5. By now I was exhausted and anxious to get home the next day. Rising at 7am to excited children who welcomed their new baby, we discovered our out of state car had been vandalized. Instead of going home, we spent hours dealing with police, the insurance company, the dealership [for repairs], car rental…my heart sank. Yet, God was so faithful and provided smooth sailing the entire way. Each person we met due to the situation was pleasant, kind and rejoiced at our blessing of a new grandchild. God used these people to help us see His hand in our lives and at times to be His hands. I didn’t execute my plan, but His plan offered me a chance to see His provision and find joy in it.

  75. Every year we charter a boat with two other couples and, with my husband at the helm, we explore wonderful waters. This year we chartered in the Abacos Islands in the Bahamas. We had charted our route carefully and planned to head to a far island the first night and work our way back over the week to Marsh Harbour, where the airport is located. Unfortunately however, Delta Airlines failed to put my suitcase on the plane from Atlanta, so we were unable to go very far that first day because we had to stay close enough to retrieve my bag when it arrived the next day. So I borrowed a shirt to sleep in and bought what items I could in the tiny shops on the main island [no Target anywhere nearby in this somewhat primitive place].

    But the airline didn’t send my luggage the next day, or the next, or the next. Each day I got on the phone in desperation as I watched the vacation I had looked forward to slip away, not only for me but for the other people on the boat. After speaking multiple times each day with airline employees who promised results and then failed to deliver, I finally was connected on the fourth day with a manager named Marion who went out of her way to get my bag on a different airline and get it to Marsh Harbor. She even called me twice on her own time to check if I had received my bag.

    Because of an extremely low Blue Moon tide in Hopetown, where we had gone earlier in the day when I found out my bag was indeed on its way, we were unable to get out of the harbor to head to Marsh Harbour to go to the airport. I called the wonderful taxi driver who had picked us up on that first day, who the locals call Sgt. Pepper, and he promised to get my bag from the airport and hold it until we could get back the next morning at high tide. But later that evening he called me and said my bag was on its way to Hopetown on a water taxi chartered by a customer he had picked up at the airport after dark. I was to proceed the Hopetown’s Lower Dock at 9:30 when the taxi was to arrive and meet a man named Frank, who had my bag.

    My traveling companions and I made our way to the Lower Dock at the appointed time, where we met and had a lovely conversation with Frank’s wife and his daughter, who lives on the island. Soon we heard the low rumble of the engine and the water taxi appeared in the channel, carrying Frank and my bag. I tried to share the water taxi fare with Frank, but he wouldn’t hear of it as he lifted my bag off the boat and handed it to me. We said our good nights and headed back to our boat.

    As frustrated as I was that the airline had failed to deliver my bag for so many days, what could have been a flop turned into a huge blessing for me and my friends in that God put wonderful people in my path to help me – Marion from the airline [who again called to check on me after I had my bag], Sgt. Pepper and Frank and his family. The whole experience was a huge lesson in focusing on what truly is important. In retrospect I’m so very thankful for the opportunity to have these special people in my life. Even in the most frustrating situations, it’s important to take a breath, stand back and watch God’s plan take shape. You’ll always be better for it!

  76. Joy in a flop…getting so excited about a possible business venture, figuring out the details and then,
    upon presenting it to my my brilliant business minded husband (literally), he asks me so many questions about how I would realistically pull it off and make a profit, that I give it up and sit frustrated and disappointed. The joy around it all is that I have an 11 and 12 year old and a husband that wants me to be with the kids, making sure that they are loved and taken care of,. I don’t need to come up with a business plan to provide for my family. My husband lovingly and selflessly provides for us. I am BLESSED beyond measure!

  77. I really enjoyed today’s devotional. It’s so true. I do not seek counsel when I should and I pray I will be more sensitive to what wants for me and the way He wants me to go. Life is so loud and fast it’s important to slow down.

  78. I decided one weekend to take my daughter and stepdaughter camping since my stepdaughter had never camped before. What I didn’t realize was that there was a fire ban in that area due to the dryness. So my ideas of sitting by the campfire making s’mores looked like it wasn’t going to happen. I decided I wasn’t going to let that stop us so I put charcoal in the fire pit, waited a while for it to get warm enough to do something and we decided to roast marshmallows over the charcoal. It was a hilarious site but the girls had such a great time, we made our s’mores and it’s now a funny story we tell of our camping trip and us sitting around a campfire trying to roast marshmallows over charcoal.

  79. I always flop I feel when I make dinner- especially when it’s a new recipe. I love my momm because she knows when I’m trying a new recipe. Cause she gets askedba zillion of questions on how to do it and I’m 33yrs old 😬

  80. JOY IN MY JOURNEY!!!
    After a series of life experiences that have knocked me down, loss of parents, loss of a child, a divorce and other disappointments. God’s word has came alive, He has provided for me in every way. He has taught me that His blessings and joy do come!
    He is sufficient, He loves me and He is my rock and refuge. I have seen God bless me through a tribe of different people. It’s so encouraging and overwhelming to see Him work through others and myself to others. Prob 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Thank you for sharing…..Nothing seems better than to bless others during a difficult season in our own lives. Thank you

  81. I can remember the first time I learned that there is joy in this journey. We were a family of four living in a 2 bedroom trailer. I was praying for a larger home to live in and low and behold my sister calls me to tell me she found a double wide just a few blocks from our home. I can remember while I was happy for my sister I also questioned why she got that nice big place to live and not us. Well it was not too long after that that God provided my family with the nicest place to call home. I was a baby Christian at the time but the lesson from that incident has never left me. 35 years later – when I pray and those prayers aren’t necessarily answered the way I think they should be, I know that God not only knows what today holds but He knows all my tomorrows. He know what is best – I just need to wait on God!!

  82. The memories of the flops are what families and friends reminisce and laugh about for years later. The camping trip in the leaky tent. The not so nice hotel. The….😉

  83. One of my “flops” was a domestic violence awareness support group that I started up with a friend. While we started out well I failed to seek experienced counsel on how to keep it afloat. Sadly we gave it up after a while.

  84. I am learning to find Joy in the Journey by surrendering my life to Jesus and striving to accept the adventures He designs for me each day. I am a work in progress.

  85. Good morning it’s 4::40am when I read you section and blog . It really resonated with me Why her . I’m at a job for 22 years almost and I’m still asking myself why I’m there . I would really enjoy these reads for inspiration and maybe I would listen more diligently to hear from the Lord ,why?

  86. Hi, I cant think for the moment of a particular flop to recount but I heartily subscribe to learning to look for the joy in any and every journey we take! Joy in the journey!!
    Let’s not miss the daily joy of living expectant of what our Lord is doing in and through us day by day, when we open our hearts to look out for it is when we see it. It is there!
    Blessings to you and thankful for your generosity in sharing your books with others!!

  87. Joy in the journey.
    I LOVE that idea!
    I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed at 16, so have dealt with it for 20 years. I have always been scared to do too much physical activity as I know I will be in pain and also causing damage to my joints. I found a new exercise program that I can do and that I like to do! Lol

  88. Thanks for your devotional today. I will forward it to a friend who is my encourager and expierenced friend in the Widows Ministry that I am starting here in my town.

  89. Joy is found in the journey. When I am down I have to slow down and look at what I am blessed with in my life.

  90. What a great visual of listening to the wise! I so often try things on my own before ever consulting the ONE who knows all and has the answer to all my life’s questions, we need to seek Christ and His guidebook before anything we do! Thank you for sharing your gift of writing!

  91. Joy in the journey! I’m going through a difficult season in my job. I’m looking to see how the Lord will get the victory over what currently looks like a flop. Great reminder!

  92. Joy in the journey.
    The older I get, the more I realize not to take myself so seriously. I can laugh more easily now when things don’t go as planned because I realize that God is in control of everything.

  93. My 50th Birthday iscoming u and my husband has tried to plan a sweet weekend with some close friends. We have hit a hiccup or two. Things aren’t going like they are planned. My friends are being sweet and supportive and I am realizing that as long as we are together they are fine. This is taking the pressure off. I’m also remembering that God loves me and will provide a sweet time.

  94. Joy in the Journey – Thanks for a great reminder of keeping out eyes on God even when we are not perfect in the journey.

  95. Almost 22 years ago I was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease called scleroderma, I was 33 years old married with two children. Life wasn’t looking so great- this wasn’t what I had planned- so I guess you could say this was my flop!
    But God stepped in and helped me and my family. The support from our friends at church was incredible, they still are a big part of my life. My disease is under control. The flip for me is to always see the beauty in all things – which does include people., everyone has a story to tell!
    I do truly believe in celebrating all things God has created. In closing I believe that because of Gods healing in my life others have noticed. Our son is a Youth Pastor and our daughter is a teacher at a Christian school
    So there is my ‘flip’

  96. I’m finding joy in the journey right now, The past week has been spring break for my son, we had plans to go to visit family in another state. My uncle died cancelled that trip. So I thought a trip to the beach, instead my mom was hospitalized. Then My son’s ear drum ruptured over the weekend. So our flop of a trip would have had us states away with a miserable boy and my mom being hospitalized in another state. It was all God’s plan and my little big guy and I had a blast hanging out exploring places nearby.

  97. Recently my sister in law and I broke down in Atlanta traffic. We were able to get of the traffic but had to push the car for a little bit. This ragged old truck pulls up and out jumps and old ragged looking man. We were a little fea4ful but realized that Jesus sent him to help us along our “flop.” He was looking out for us!

  98. With two small boys, I often have to find the joy in the journey. What I have planned as a perfect afternoon with a trip to a fun new restaurant, only to find out there’s no changing table in the bathroom… I should’ve learned my lesson by now…
    Thanks for sharing your lesson with us this morning.

  99. I’m remembering a Jewish proverb which goes something like “man plans, God laughs”. I’m not sure God really laughs at our plans, but I am sure there have been times He has just watched my plans fail despite everything I tried and thought,”why didn’t she come to Me first?” Other times I admit I’m afraid to step out because I don’t feel like I’ve received clear direction from Him and I want clearer direction. It’s difficult to know which way to go sometimes. Thank you Amy, for sharing your gift of words. God bless.

  100. Yes! Agreed, In the journey there is joy!
    Even in mistakes or unsuccessful efforts there is experience gained that could not have been learned another way. I like to look at it as “failing forward”…and then you move on having gained even more knowledge through it.

  101. I am a 5th grade teacher who always worked with challenging populations. I love my work and what I do. I recently transferred to a new school within my company. I was a 5th year teacher and thought I could take my tough minded no nonsense style anywhere. Sadly I learned the hard way that will only take me so far. I had a new set of challenges that I had never faced before and my faith was tested. I almost quit! Through this situation God showed me joy in the journey. I am grateful, a little more wiser, patient, and creative.

  102. I am looking for joy in a flop right now. Your thoughts definitely encouraged me. I was dating a man for 8 months and we talked long term and marriage all the time. We had fun together on dates and long conversations sharing our lives, reading the Word, and encouraging each other. I thought I had finally met my future husband. I’m 44 and have never been married and I long for that committed relationship. 2 months ago, he decided that he was putting me above God and decided we needed to just be friends and he wanted to see what God’s will is. Im really struggling with always feeling not good enough. God is number one in my life, but I think He is ok with me wanting a husband to go through life with. I cannot just be friends with that man I had fallen in love with because it hurts so much to feel that after everything we’d built up he rejected me as being worthy to be a wife. I am pressing in to God,reading devotionals and praying and trying to restore the joy I had. But I feel like an empty shell. I am embarking on the online Bible study “Why her”. Just trying to get a grasp on God’s plan for me. Thank you for sharing your struggle and your wisdom.

  103. It’s funny because my husband and I just got back from celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary (a few months early) in Door County, WI. I booked the trip 3 months ago and we were all excited to see spring flowers and have warm weather, but God had other plans. It was only 29 degrees with wind gusts up to 30 mph and they had just gotten 13 inches of snow. I was so bummed at first, but we prayed asking God to help us look at the bright side of things and just enjoy each others company and let me tell you, we saw some gorgeous sights that we would not have been able to see if it was warm. I remember a saying, “We make plans and God laughs.” Which is so true. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to turn to God and ask for guidance. Joy in the journey!

  104. Oh Amy………….I needed your devotion and encouragement this morning. I have had quite a few flops and failures over the years. However, “JOY” is my one word for 2018 and I am determined to choose “JOY” in the midst of my disappointments. I always enjoy reading your blog and devotions. Thank you for sharing your adventure with Cheri. The pics are beautiful with the California sunshine and gorgeous blue sky……most of all the joy in your faces of relief. ~Lisa~

  105. I have learned to laugh at myself a lot in my lifetime. The first thing that comes to mind is pumpkin pie. The directions call for the pie to baked in an oven at a higher temp and then reduce the temp to finish baking. It was worded something like, ” Bake in oven preheated to 400 (or something) for fifteen minutes the reduce to whatever the lower temp was for however long”. Did you know there is a difference between heating an oven for fifteen minutes and baking a pie in an oven for fifteen minutes and then turning the temp down? For years my pie would never finish baking in the time it was supposed to.

  106. Oops, I picked on the wron comment link and accidentally posted to another blog entry, so here goes again.

    Joy in the journey. I would LOVE bundle 4 as I have been wanting to order Why Her? and Enough yet the budget isn’t there right now.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure story.

  107. Joy in the journey… I am in this momentum right now as my local library craft faire member…because
    I want to make sure our fundraising items are crafted with lots of joy and that people can feel the love.
    Thanks for the fabulous giveaway – I’d love to win one of these great packages. God blessings🙏🏻

  108. I really enjoyed your devotional. I am disabled and in my younger years loved being in water. Also, dealing with the long winters in Pennsylvania, I truly enjoyed hearing about your day in the California sun. Your comparisons to the scriptures were great! Will look forward to reading from you again. God bless! Susan