don't kill your joy. don't. {thankful thursday}

Thursday, January 10

my dearest handsomest better half has left me for 2 weeks to journey to Nepal. watching him walk through security and disappear from my view left me with an ache, but more, really, filled me with great joy. kevin will be joining a movement of believers in the rural lowlands of Nepal, where the gospel has spread like wildfire, hindu strongholds falling to the power of the holy spirit. amen and amen. he will be speaking at a pastors conference, encouraging the believers in their faith, as well as engaging with many local people with the truth of jesus. sweet sweet jesus who comes to bring freedom and set the captives free. 

so if you think of it, pray for him. 
better yet,

but of course he's not far from the reaches of my mind. actually he's quite on my mind almost every second. 

tonight as I was reading "1000 Gifts" by Ann Voskamp,
i was absolutely struck by the idea that 
we can kill our own joy.

say whhaaatttt? 
ya, you heard me,
we often have a hand in crushing the joy in our lives. 

yikes! how? 

remember when we were children? and the very simple evoked great delight?
playing house, swimming in the pool, eating a soft preztel?  
{or maybe I got waaaayyyyy too excited about soft preztels?}
and then all of a sudden we began to forsake the small lovelies, and expect something greater? 

I expect so and so to act this way around me and support me in this way. 
I expect to be married by the time i'm this age. 
I expect to be healthy and happy all the time. 

we all do it. admit it. 

ann says, 
"expectations kill relationships" 
with others and with Abba. 


and when those expectations unravel, and the opposite is true, 
we are frustrated at best, hurt and resentful at worst. 

unfortunately i've hurt many i've loved with this horrible-expectation-filled way of living. 
i've held them to a standard unbeknownst to them, and when they don't live up to it,
i unravel. 
{and I think they're crazy for not being able to read my mind! come on people!}

but i'm learning that the best way to live life is EMPTY. 
empty of expectation. 
because if we are not expecting it to be a certain way
then we'll be thrilled at the outcome. 
i'm convinced it's the reason why kevin seems to love every meal i make
{cause i can guarantee you there's been some strange ones!} 

CS Lewis said he was "surprised by joy".
Perhaps there is no way to discover joy but as a surprise?

There is another name for those that live empty and joy-filled. 
it's called humble. 

"The humble live surprised. The humble live by joy" 

JOY comes when thankfulness for the gift abounds. 
and thankfulness lingers close when we aren't expecting the world to give us what we think we deserve. 
because isn't that what expectations are? 
our rightful allowance? what we DESERVE from others and from God? 
pride is destructive, and will sap our joy faster than you can say "entitled".  

speaking of entitlement, 
that beast leaves no room for joy. 
invite him over and he's the black plague that will continue to kill and fester forever,
and make you think you're the queen of sheba!  

unless we take steps to EMPTY our expectations and entitlement,
and pray that Abba cleans house,
and begins to foster a heart that is humble. 

if you're lacking a sense of JOY,
and need a miracle. 
began to be thankful for the small lovelies around you,
and pray that God siphons off the blackened mess of expectations and entitlement. 
it's a pain-filled process,
but in the end will reap a life that lives

and who wouldn't want that? 

{and lastly, my own infomercial here....
truly this process has been critical in my own life for living JOY filled!} 

much love,


  1. I absolutely loved this chapter, but I say that about them all. Haha. I loved thinking back about what made me so joyful as a child and then thinking about how we can all have that same joy and wonder if we just humble ourselves and expect less. So well said as always Katie!!

  2. As always this is so well written, Katie. Your words are life giving and they energize me. You're a role model to me even though we've never had the chance to meet in person.

  3. This couldn't be more true! I know that I'm definitely not humble and think I'm entitled at times, but through Jesus I can have the grace to change and empty myself of big expectations, live simply, and have more joy! Thanks for encouraging me today Katie. You're awesome as always girl! :)

  4. Thank you for nudging me back into a humble, joy-filled lifestyle, friend! Your words are so encouraging. Praying for you and your Kevin! Lots and lots of love, E

    P.S. I, too, LOVED soft pretzels! Still do! ;)

  5. Wow, thanks so much for being truthful and thankful! I adored this post. Preach it, sister. We all have expectations and think we are entitled to certain things. Today I'm going to try to push those expectations aside and see what happens!

    xo, gina

  6. Such a great book, glad you are enjoying it Katie! Wonderful words of encouragement this morning, thanks for sharing. Love and miss you molto regazza!

  7. beautifully written friend! joy really is all about humility... amen!!

  8. Thank you so much for this post...I always keep coming back to your writing for much-needed words of encouragement =) Thank you for sharing your joy!

  9. Beautifully written, and convicting. I too kill joy more than I'd like to admit. Praying for your husbands travels this morning.

  10. I love reading your posts. They are always encouraging, uplifting, & challenging! I've been challenged to look at the small blessing in live lately, too. In December I started keeping track of all the small, unexpected blessings that God sent my way.. It's been really neat to read those now and reflect on them.. Especially in the discouraging, overwhelming moments its nice to be reminded that you are cared for & loved!
    Anyways.. I love this reminder :) you're a blessing! Have a blessed day, pretty :)

  11. Wonderfully written. It is so true that we are our own demise to God's joy. WE sell ourselves short when we doubt the ability...the promise, that God is in control and has better things planned for us. So glad I read this today!

  12. I know I already said it....but LOVE your heart friend! =)
    Keep shining for Him! =)
    You are precious!
    Much Love!

  13. i like you. it's funny how i think way too hard about writing a witty comment when i really just want to say thanks for sharing such a beautiful, honest reminder. and i get excited about soft pretzels too.

  14. Although I wasn't too crazy about the book, I did think about how I was killing my own joy by believing I had no room for joy when I was reading constantly about oppression of human trafficking. It helped me realize that I needed to find joy in Christ again.. . .which I did. Thanks for the reassurance and encouragement in this post!

  15. preach it Katie! love this post so much. thank you for it.

  16. This is indeed life giving, and o frustrating at the same time.
    It sounds so simple.
    I should start writing a journal again.
    You write very well :)

    Esther x


I LOVE hearing from you friend:) Your comment will make my day!