inspiration

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Why I Gave Up Coffee for Lent; how it made me thirsty for God; Provocative Joy

Why I Gave Up Coffee For Lent

Growing Up Christian I’ve been a Christian since I was a preteen. I’ve gone to Catholic school, Christian school and an all women’s school (oh wait… that’s different). I’ve been to retreats and revivals and conferences. I’ve led bible studies with Christians. I’ve looked into the eyes of someone who realizes suddenly that she needs Jesus in her life. I’ve been on missions trips to other countries, and service projects just down the block from my childhood home. I know...

Quotes for abundant life; Provocative Joy; John 10:10

Quotes for Abundant Life

The past few months, I’ve been working through Tsh Oxenreider’s course, the Upstream Field Guide. It’s been slooooow going. This is mostly because I’m easily distracted, always looking for the next thing, and try to do everything at once. That’s why I’m still not done yet. A few weeks ago, I shared with you my desire to swim upstream for the rest of my life. I’m a part of this world, but with Christ living inside me, I know I’m...

3 Role Models To Inspire My Career

#LoveBlog2017 Here’s my second contribution to this month-long blog challenge. If you already subscribe to the Provocative Joy newsletter, you know what I’m introducing! If you haven’t subscribed to my monthly update, you can find the sign-up box at the end of this post (it even counts as an entry in the giveaway). It’s where I get a little more personal, share blog-news and how I’m living out what I write about. I’m linking up today (as well as this post...

My Plan After Mercy Ships? Swim Upstream

Airport life these days The man at the front of the queue went up to the airport desk clerk pointing and looking toward the end of the counter. He was describing someone –a woman, red hijab, with black polka dots. Just as the clerk hopped down to look for her, she came running around the corner with two massive suitcases on wheels. At first I thought it was the man’s wife and he had lost her, but as she rejoined her pile...

Enjoy Christmas While Flat Broke; Christmas on a budget and first Christmas home; DIY cheap gifts

I’m Trying to Enjoy Christmas (While Flat Broke)

Pull out the maletas. draft a packing list… we’ll be home for Christmas! The Figueroa’s will enjoy Christmas at home! A bold prayer I’ve been trying to claim for the past 12 months is finally being realized. I’ve missed two Christmases with my sisters and family and I wanted to be home this time and enjoy Christmas with them. In October when we were deciding, we didn’t have very much money in the bank and it seemed foolish to consider flights...

Marriages that inspire; marriages done right; Chaz and Roger Ebert; Kim and Krickitt Carpenter; Jason and Crystal Crawford

Marriages Done Right: 3 Amazing Couples Prove It’s Possible

Crystal was in denial about her relationship with her best friend. “I began chatting with him online constantly, at first only when Jason wasn’t around, but then even when he was, pretending it was only friendship,” she says. Jason was spending more and more time with his colleague from school, and projects turned into relaxation time which turned into going out to clubs together until late at night. Since his wife made him feel worthless, unattractive and irresponsible, all he wanted...

Reinventing myself without disappointing myself

Reinventing Myself Without Failing

The letter I opened a letter that made me ask myself a hard question about goals for the future and the possibility of reinventing myself without being an utter failure at it. Snail mail is one of my love languages particularly while serving with Mercy Ships. “Out of sight, out of mind” holds some truth, even from those that love me the most. It’s just part of life abroad. The distance makes it feel like people forget about me, but...

New year morning routine; Provocative Joy blog;

My Morning Habit For the New Year

Dear problem, I’m going to conquer you. This visit to the (free!) ship thrift store connected me to a pendulum clock shaped like an owl that ticks just like the big, fancy clock in the house I grew up in. This one is less fancy, more fun and cost nothing! I was so excited to find it. It looked brand new and would make my cabin feel a little bit more like a home. I quickly discovered it would be...

How to Survive a depressing Christmas; Provocativejoy.com; life overseas; depression

5 Ways To Survive a Depressing Christmas

There is something special about the Christmas season, even prior to Christmas Day. There is anticipation and excitement. There can also be a building feeling of dread. As Christmas traditions trigger memories of years past, it gets increasingly difficult when you know something is missing, like your family, or the ones you really want to be with, but can’t. The anticipation, magic and wonder of the Advent season is precisely why this time has the potential to be depressing. It...