Joy Suckers: How to Avoid the Comparison Trap

It was the nicest house I’d ever lived in. And it was all ours!

Joy Suckers: How to avoid the comparison trap
*Stock photo (Not my actual home)

When the realtor gave us the keys, I stood in the living room with a bucket of cleaning supplies in one hand, taking in the high ceiling, fireplace, and gorgeous wood floors.

As I dusted and polished the floors to a shine, I thought about some of the places I’d lived—a rusted out double-wide with peeling linoleum. An attic room with no heat or air conditioning. A one-bedroom apartment for three people. How wonderful to live in such a beautiful place!

I overflowed with thankfulness for three bedrooms and a bonus—and three bathrooms. (Oh, the bliss of so much bathroom space with teenage girls.)

Until gradually, as I got bored taking my walks in our subdivision, I ventured across the highway. Read more

Joy Suckers: How Do I Deal With Negative People?

This morning I’m sitting in my cozy office, with a candle burning and a hot cup of coffee. The only sounds I hear are the contented sighs of my cat and soft snores of my Boston terrier. Joy Suckers: How Do I Deal With Negative People?

But outside, it’s not so comfy. From the office window, all I see are gloomy grey clouds and snow on the roofs from yesterday’s flurries. A little bit ago, I heard the front door close as my husband headed out for a walk, garbed with heavy winter coat, hat, and gloves. My weather app says it’s 21 degrees out there.

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Joy Suckers: What if You Hate Your Work?

When did work become a 4-letter word?

As a young girl, I always did a little happy dance whenever my dad invited me to go to work with him. I’d scoot my tiny body as close to him as possible and kneel on the truck seat to see over the steering wheel as he drove. (I know. I would never let my kids ride without a seatbelt, either. Times were different in the early 70’s.)

Whatever we were doing—feeding elk, shoeing horses, hammering boards, fixing cars—I wanted to be right there with him.

Joy Suckers: What if you hate your work?
“Helping” Dad feed elk near Pinedale, WY


But then things changed. As a teen I worked as an A&W waitress, a dishwasher, and a babysitter. I didn’t love menial tasks.
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Is Shame Keeping You From Your 2018 Fitness Goals?

Afraid to try and fail—again—another healthy eating and exercise plan?

Me too!

But we face those choices when we’re making goals for 2018. If you’re like me, it’s easier to think of other goals to focus on, rather than fitness goals. (“Hey, let’s read 100 books in 2018!” or “Let’s clean out every closet and get rid of every piece of clutter!”)

2018 fitness goalsSome of my readers know I started my journey out of a pit of despair back in 2014. I was depressed, anxious, and basically wished I didn’t have to walk around on this earth anymore.

I often had thoughts like these:

I wish I could be someone else. Why do I hate myself so much?  Read more

How to Be Like Jesus: What Serving Does

We called her the Little General.

I was visiting my new boyfriend’s church one Sunday morning and felt a hand clamp my shoulder.

I turned around to find an older woman with bright eyes and a genuine smile.

“I wanted to meet you,” she said. 

I don’t remember what all she said to me in that short conversation, except for one thing.

“I’m the wedding coordinator around here, you know.” She gave me a conspiratorial wink.

I’m sure my eyes popped wide open and my jaw dropped two inches. Don’t say that so loud! We’ve only been dating for two months!

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One Unexpected Thing I’m Grateful For


1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, thanksgivingThis morning I was reading Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. He told them, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).

I thought, ” I think the same thing about my readers!
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