Bless Your Relationships with Joy, Junk, & Jesus

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What gave you joy this week? What's the junk that's making you anxious? Where did you see Jesus? 3 simple questions that will bless your relationships.

What gave you joy this week?
What’s the junk that’s making you anxious?
Where did you see Jesus?

I picked up my old Bible the other day. The one I used when our children were growing up.

I’ve always kept it in a cute fabric case so the cover still looks clean and undamaged. But the pages are a different story. They’re covered with notes and stickers. A few have scribbles from my little artists and many include finger smudges.

Sometimes I feel like that old Bible.

I can do a pretty good job of keeping my outside protected so it looks clean and undamaged. You know . . . my church face.

It’s hard to let people past our covers, isn’t it? We don’t want others to see the scribbles and smudges on the pages of our stories. We definitely don’t want them to see the big stuff. The stuff they just might criticize or judge.

Social media doesn’t help. That place where we have tons of friends and followers, but don’t really know each other. Where we show our pretty. Our clean and undamaged. And admit it . . . even the moms showing their moments of chaos are careful not to reveal too much.

You want people to like you. I get it. I’m guilty too.

I wonder if as followers of Jesus we can show the world a better way . . . connected, caring and loving. No, we don’t have to make social media a dumping ground for our ugliness but we each need a group of people with whom we can be real.

Don’t you really want people who will love you? 

Who will rejoice with you and pray for you? People with whom you can share not just your joys but your junk?

It won’t be easy.  After all, we’ve done it this way for a long time. But I have three questions to help you get started. Questions sure to start real conversations around the table, in the car, in small group circles, and even on-line.

Joy, Junk, and Jesus - 3 simple questions that will bless your relationships.

Let’s Talk About Your Joy, Junk, and Jesus

1. Where did you experience joy this week? – Share something that made you happy. Something fun. Something that blessed you.

Be happy with those who are happy, and be sad with those who are sad. Romans 12:15

“When large numbers of people share their joy in common, the happiness of each is greater because each adds fuel to the other’s flame.” ~Augustine

2. What was your junk? How can I pray for you? – Where are you struggling? What are you worried about? What hurt your feelings? What is causing you pain?

 Do not always be thinking about your own plans only. Be happy to know what other people are doing. Philippians 2:4

“It’s funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish.” ~Steve Maraboli

3. Where did you see Jesus? – Where did you experience His love, grace, and mercy? Where did you notice beauty? How did you experience His help?

Men cannot say they do not know about God. From the beginning of the world, men could see what God is like through the things He has made. This shows His power that lasts forever. It shows that He is God. Romans 1:20

Sharing Joy, Junk, and Jesus and a Blog Hop today! Have you added your link yet? There's a great conversation going on today, too!

That’s it!

Joy, Junk, and Jesus.

I belong to a small Facebook Group and we share our Joy, Junk, and Jesus every Thursday. We started a couple of months ago and it’s quickly become our favorite conversation of the week. It’s helped us get to know each other and become close friends.

Open the book of you, my friend. Let those around you see your inside.

Let them rejoice with you and pray for you.

Let them see Jesus in you and be Jesus to you.

One of the girls in our group encouraged me to set up a Joy, Junk, and Jesus page where we could share our stories. A place to celebrate and cry with each other. Most importantly, a place to really connect. If that sounds like something you might be interested in joining would you let me know by leaving a comment?

It would be a closed Facebook Group to keep our stories away from public scrutiny and make it a safe place to be Jesus to one another. Let me know. It’s something I’d be happy to do if there it’s something you’re interested in doing.

I want to thank the fantastic youth leaders at our church for teaching me about Joy, Junk, and Jesus.

Now it’s time for…

Faith ‘n Friends Blog Hop

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This is a place to share faith, make friends, and have fun.

I’d love to connect with you on social media!

Deb Wolf
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@ Switchbacks – Finding God’s Path on Your Life’s Journey

The Final Score

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20 thoughts on “Bless Your Relationships with Joy, Junk, & Jesus

  1. Hi Deb,

    You’ve done it again! I so appreciate what you’ve shared here. You are a true woman of wisdom (by God’s grace). I loved your preamble, I loved your 3 points (joy, junk and Jesus), I loved your supporting quotes! I can really relate to what you’ve shared. As I was reading it, I was thinking of ways that I could start such a conversation at church this Sunday. :o) Thanks so much for blessing us with another great post.

    Question:::When you thanked the youth pastors at your church for teaching you about joy, did you mean when you were a youth – or present day?

    BTW:::I believe the link-up posts are from last week.:o)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind encouragement, Tiffiney! The youth leaders are the ones currently working with our 4th grade through high school students. I learned about it at a women’s Bible Study and loved it!

      And yes, I goofed and forgot to change the code yesterday. Fixed it first thing this morning. So, you should be good to add your links now. I’m so sorry for the confusion. Thanks again and many blessings to you!

  2. Joy, Junk, Jesus… That is a lot of Alliteration!! 😉

    Joy… The little things that add up. Time spent in deep study of His Word and the blessing of knowing I have the freedom to do that.
    Junk… ugh.. having to be real and transparent about the fact that I love but sometimes really dislike the journey we have taken in life to home school our kids because it is so hard, but so great, but so tiring, but so blessed…. ( :
    Jesus… He always shows up and fills in my holes and loves me when I am unlovable and blesses me beyond my expectations.

    What a great little exercise in faith you provoked! Writing down the blessings and counting graces.
    Love it!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    1. Dawn, Thanks so much for sharing your Joy, Junk, and Jesus. I just finished my time in the Word this morning and it is always such a blessing. And yes, parenting is a roller-coaster ride and homeschooling adds to the adventure. I love how you stated it. So much truth! And Jesus . . . yes, Jesus fill in the holes and loves. So, beautifully stated. Thanks for joining it . . . it blessed me. Enjoy a wonderful weekend!

  3. Once again, Deb, you have turned my heart in the right direction. There is so much in life to be joyful about — because of Jesus who deals with my junk and calls me His own.

    1. Thank you, Michele! I love how Joy and Jesus bookend our Junk. It does put our hearts and minds in the right place. Loved and able to give it all to Him! Blessings, my friend!

  4. Joy- spending time with my niece and nephew and getting to play and snuggle with them.
    Junk– worrying about my students (I’m a high school special education teacher) and the decisions they are making and having a hard time trusting God with them
    Jesus- in fellowship, kindness, and encouragement at bible study

    These are great points to think about and reflect on! Thanks for hosting!

    1. Hi, Kelsey! Thank you for joining the conversation! Don’t you just love snuggling with littles? I will add your students to my prayers. It is so hard to watch young people make choices that we know could cause them pain for a long time. I love your heart for them.

      Thanks and blessings to you!

  5. Deb you really stepped on toes here today – junk yep we all have it and I am trying to give up my junk food, but oh that joy (my favorite word). I love, love that quote you shared from Steve Maraboli.

  6. “Don’t you really want people who will love you?” Yes, this is the better question. While we do want people to like us, we flourish when we’re around people who love us. And people we can love. Praying that your FB group will be a wonderful, growing, safe place!

  7. Deb, you know that I love this! It never occurred to me but I think I will share this with my kids who are now 8 and 10. I’ve recently been encouraging my 8yo to look on the bright side of things especially as she’s struggling to enjoy being back at school after a 2-week Easter break. JJJ will help her to see that even in the midst of the junk, there is joy and there is always Jesus!
    Thank you for passing this on!
    Hugs <3

  8. Joy – babysitting my granddaughters. 🙂
    Junk – worried about some issues my son is currently facing.
    Jesus – in every smile I see and give!
    And, Deb, I would LOVE to be a part of that Facebook group. It sounds wonderful!
    Blessings for a great weekend!

  9. Deb, your title caught my attention–it really does seem to reflect life in this world.

    Lets see:

    Joy–I experienced joy in gathering with my Brothers and Sisters in worship and studying the Word of God.

    Junk–Spiritual battles…bring ALL thoughts captive…feeling overwhelmed with the metaphorical “junk” and “baggage” of the past.

    Jesus–I see Jesus in walking my daily walk, encouraging my Sisters and Brothers in Christ and being encouraged by them too.

    Blessings!

  10. Beautiful post, and I love the JJJ theory! I think a group like you mentioned would be lots of fun. I’m all about relationships, and am often frustrated at how difficult it seems to be to get REAL online. I’m trying to do some of that in my own FB group (Christian Bloggers). Looks like God is doing “a thing” in His church lately, eh?

    Thanks for linking up at Christian Fellowship Weekend – I also linked up here. 🙂 Blessings!

  11. Deb, I love all the wonderful responses you received here! Joy, Junk, Jesus seems so simple, but yet it is so profound. It keeps us intentionally focusing on the good while allowing ourselves to honestly reflect the yuck. But because we are keeping that good as a focus, we don’t get stuck in the yuck! I am smiling so big right now!!!

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