Superficial vs Supernatural Joy

Hey friends!

Boy, last week was a week, huh?

I’m back in Ohio right now — I had a shoot on Friday, and so I stayed for the weekend. We celebrated my brother’s birthday and just had some great family time. We went to the pumpkin patch with my nieces, and carved a silly pumpkin that evening.

Oh gosh – this was too funny. My nieces and I were carving the pumpkin together — and they were in charge of the “artistic” aspects of the jackolantern. Well, we’re carving it, and she goes, “Let’s give it a butt with poop coming out!” hahaha So…being the “cool aunt,” we officially have the funniest and sPOOkiest pumpkin in the neighborhood!

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hahha

But the commercial shoot was hysterical. It was a political spot. And wouldn’t you know — my character was a “liberal feminist.” They died my hair pink and gave me a punk rock makeover, complete with two nose rings and two lip rings! (both fake of course!)

The whole time, I was thinking to myself, if only my blog friends could see me now!

hahah

So any who – also last week, I had such an interesting experience.

Monday night, I went with a friend to this really hip and exclusive women’s professional workspace/sisterhood. It’s run like a sorority, in that you have to pledge and pay dues, but it gives you access to these incredible shared workspaces throughout the city. They’re  right out of a Pinterest board. So cute. It’s got a wine bar, make up room, workout classes, organic cafe. But the coolest part of the organization is that twice a week, they offer these incredible “enrichment” opportunities — speakers, workshops, roundtables — with really powerful and influential women.

And so my friend, being a member, got a “Plus One” and invited me to a workshop on joy!

It was so fascinating. The speaker had just published a book on joy. And she has spent the last several years studying joy — what it is, when and how we feel it, and then what I thought was especially interesting were the 10 characteristics/aesthetics of joy.

She described joy – which is different from happiness – as that contagious emotion that makes you want to jump up and down. And those aesthetics and characteristics of joy, are that is has energy – such as vibrant color and light; it’s playful – with lots of round shapes ie, bubbles, circles, polka dots; it has an element of surprise; it can be symmetrical, or a pattern; it can have lots of open space; it can include nature. She had all these elements of things that inspire joy.

And it was such a well done workshop. This woman has devoted the last ten years of her life to studying joy, and you could tell. And the women were absolutely entranced and eating out of the palm of her hand.

It was quite a sight, actually. There were about 500 New York millennial women gathered in this bright, pink-colored workspace that was straight out of Pinterest. We were all dressed in our Zara black, sipping on after-work champagne, and nibbling on the organic kale chips provided by the space.

Wall to wall women. All clamoring to learn more about joy…doesn’t that communicate something.

But about halfway through the workshop, I found myself looking around, and thinking to myself…This is great, but there is a gaping hole here. In that hour and a half I spent taking copious notes, — and truly enjoying myself and her compelling presentation — but by the end, it had become glaringly obvious to me that something big was missing. She was missing the whole point, in fact.

Yes, joy was all of those things that this woman was sharing about.

But true joy is a spiritual gift. True joy comes from God.

I got home that night, honestly kind of disappointed. Yes, I had a wonderful time with my friend, and the presentation truly was an awesome, feel-good workshop, but I got home and felt hollow. I can only attest it to Vegan meat. You believe you’re eating a real hamburger, only until afterwards, your friend tells you, surprise! That was made from fermented soy beans! 

But it was the secular definition of joy. And it boiled down to puppies, babies with round eyes and round faces, bright colors, fresh air, and spontaneous moments that make you smile.

A superficial definition to the soul-deep emotion that transforms hearts and sets spirits free.

So that night, I was on a mission. I wanted to learn about true joy. I was like a caveman on the quest for real meat.

So to whom did I turn? None other than the OG spiritual director, Fr. Mike Schmitz.

Joy is something that deeply impacts the heart, the body, the mind, the soul.

For true joy is knowing that we are known by God, loved by God, and always with God.

True joy is knowing that we are known by God, loved by God, and always with God.

There it is. It is the overwhelming state of wellbeing and peace that comes from that union and intimate relationship with God.

But if we’re being totally and completely honest here – feeling loved by God and  experiencing that true joy can be really difficult for a lot of people. How can you feel something so abstract, from the surface? Because for many, it falls short as an idea that isn’t physically tangible.

We were created for communion: with God and with others. Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matt 22:38. When you show someone an act of kindness, or express an interest in someone — the response you receive, and the feelings you have — those are the moments where we get a glimpse of His true joy and true love.

God allows us to feel His love as we love others. And it is then where we receive His true joy.

Jesus said in John 15:11 – These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

Joy is a foundation of life. It is an influencing force in everything that we do – our words, actions, choices.

And I want to live my life with an undertone of joy that makes people ask, “Why is she different? What does she have that gives her that joy?

I want to live my life in a way that points to Him. Because you never know — you could be the only Gospel a person encounters that day, that week, that year. And what a powerful way to be an evangelist for Christ without even saying a word — simply by the joyful way you live.

So yeah, joy is found in the bright colors and the playful whimsy of this world. But it is so much more than that. For those are the expression of the foundational freedom and exuberance that come from being seen, being loved and being with God.

That’s true joy. That’s the foundation upon which I want to build my life.

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139 thoughts on “Superficial vs Supernatural Joy

    1. Aw thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it! Have an awesome night 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks Ryan! Haha and that’s coming from a vegan!! 😂😂😂 so glad ya stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  1. Great post! I totally agree with it. You can’t have true joy without God. The world keeps looking for ways to fill the need and desire for joy without God, and it doesn’t quite work. Why? Because we are spiritual beings! True joy involves body, mind and spirit. Everything else is comparatively shallow. As I mention in my blog posts, joy is the very purpose of our existence (trying to attain a fullness of joy).

    1. Hey Don! Thank you so much 🙂 you’re so right – God is the only thing that can fill the “God-sized hole”! Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  2. You are a woman of true joy. I like the photo with the red hair by the way. Oh, that verse is Philippians 4:8 in case you are wondering. Thank you for a great post.

    1. Hey JB! Oh gosh thank you. Isn’t that wild?!? It was so fun to play that character for the day! Haha Hugs and love xox

      1. ✨💛💛✨✨💛💛✨✨💛💛✨ And I will try to visit. Just only wish the sites Connecticut were closer to you.

  3. Hey there BeautyforBones. 🙂
    EnJOYed your blog.
    What a pleasure to see you grow in the Lord.
    Pleasant is the presence of those who bring the Good-News.
    How lovely is the spirit in those who speak truthfully on the things of God and the strength He so freely gives.
    Oh the riches in knowing the keeper and Savior of my soul.
    Joy Lord, is your voice at any and all times whispering health to my being.
    Blessed be the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
    Your post brought me joy in HIM through His Light in you.
    Steven R. Harrel
    Bro in Christ.

    1. Hahha nice one!!! But seriously thank you so much, Steven. I’m so glad it brought you some joy! I am touched! Big hugs to you xox

  4. BBB this was a wonderful post and agree that there are many superficial, world views trying to compete in things that are spiritually understood and operational. And for sure, the most joyful thing ANYONE could ever experience is “… knowing that we are known by God, loved by God, and always with God.” Thanks for the joy enhancer!!

    1. Thank you Ms. Wanda! Amen to that – there is such Joy in the Father! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  5. I believe wholeheartedly about what you say. Joy is a spiritual gift only God can give us to possess. What the lady was explaining seems more like happiness. It’s a temporarily thing, but joy is placed there to not only help others and build on the commands set by God. We are joyful despite our circumstances, despite the negativity around us, despite the lost of physical things. She missed out on that point. It’s what this world thirst for but don’t know it can be found in Jesus. Thanks for this wonderful post! 💗

    1. Thank you friend. Amen – joy really is found in Jesus! So glad you stopped by. And thanks for the thoughtful response! Hugs and love xox

  6. The list of why you are so wonderful and amazing never stops growing!! Your niece is so lucky to have you in her life and you looked rockin for your shoot!! More hugs and love. You always inspire me to send more!! x0x0x0x0x0 Btw, over on FB did you see the pic of me with John Leguizamo? I met him Saturday night!! More hugs!!

    1. Oh my gosh Miguel, you are too kind! Thank you so much 🙂 oh that’s so amazing! Where were you when you met him? Hugs and love xox

      1. For my big 5-0 this year, I decided for my present from the fam I wanted to go to 2 events “not too far away”. One was back on Sunday the 23rd. The Schenectady Light Opera Company presented In The Heights, my favorite Broadway Musical, on that weekend, and this weekend. The whole 2 weekend run was sold out and deservedly so. They did awesome at it. The other event was this past Saturday night. Every year, Mohawk Valley Community College has a whole “cultural series”. They do on for the fall semester and one for the spring. They have concerts, lectures, movies, the whole works. They do manage to get some bigger names in, as well as more localized personalities. They tend to bring in Latin names/acts around now being that its “Hispanic Heritage Month”. They had him as a speaker on Saturday night, which was sold out. He was hilarious and also very informative of his career et… They sold one of his books and each of the 3 volumes of comic books he has put out. I had a book with me that I had bought last June in NYC, just in case they arranged a signing session after. I also bought one of his comic books that night. Yes they had a signing session and one of the security took pictures with everybodys fones, cameras etc… He was neat to hear and also neat to meet. xoxoxoxo

      2. Oh wow those events sound incredible! I’m so glad you were able to experience such fun and exciting events!!

  7. Wow, Caralyn… this post ought to have had a million likes! I love you to bits for so wonderfully separating the wheat from the chaff. But my heart goes out to those 500 ladies. May God help a lost, deceived and dying world.

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much 🙂 you’re too kind to say that. Amen – I will join you in that prayer! Hugs and love xox

  8. Well said! I always equate joy with God, and I always picture the many brothers and sisters in Christ that we’ve met in Africa over the years. I see and feel their joy, and I want to live amongst all that joy! And I just read today in one of Francis Chan’s books that serving others is the key to love and joy. I’m happy to have that reinforced again!

    1. Thank you so much PJ! Oh wow what a special experience to have traveled to Africa and have the opportunity to meet that part of our family in Christ! I’ll have to look up Chan! Hugs and love xox

  9. Reading this tonight gave me an additional awareness that has eluded me in understanding joy. Namely, Joy cannot be understood. It can only be experienced. That experience comes from what you wrote tonight: Union and intimacy with God.

    I used to teach a business class about problem solving and decision making. It was all about process. I finally realized I had to start every week by telling the class to check their brains at the door. No thinking was allowed this week. Just blindly follow the process. Understanding will come from doing, not thinking.

    That’s how joy works. I’ve been thinking and trying to define it so I – I – could understand it. That was all wrong. No one can think their way into it or quantify it. It can only be done in closeness to God. It is, in fact, a by-product of union and intimacy with God.

    Caralyn, thank you for your Patreon podcast this morning, your message to me which so warmed my heart, and tonight’s article. They all came together to show me where I was going wrong and where I needed to go. Without thinking!

    1. Hey Jeff! Thank you for this thoughtful reflection. So true – it cannot be understood, only experienced. Kinda like trying to describe to someone who cannot hear, what music sounds like. I am honored to get a glimpse of your “thinking through” process – you have brought me with you on it, and I have gained so much from it. Especially checking my brain at the door when it comes to matters of faith. Kinda sounds like having the faith of a child. I’m so glad you enjoyed the Patreon post! You’re a great friend and I’m very grateful for you. Big hugs to you and Julie! Xox

      1. I always remind my Sunday class that “steel sharpens steel.” We all put in our thoughts to heighten our shared understanding of God’s Word…and of God. You seem to have found your next level with BBB and I’m very happy for you! I think you’re doing all the right things here and pray for your success with these new paths! Again, you’re a friend and blessing I’m grateful for!

  10. I heard once that joy is an “inside” job. It originates from within you… a fruit of that spiritual seed God has placed within you. Happiness happens as you react to outside elements you experience. Knowing the difference allows us to realize that we may not always be happy – because we can’t always control outside influences. But we can always know joy. And we can always share that joy with others. Thank you for sharing yours.

    1. Oh wow I absolutely love this description, Michael. Thank you so much for sharing. An inside job! YES! Hugs and love xox

  11. So well said! May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13 <3

    1. Thank you so much Cait 🙂 I really appreciate your kind words and prayers. Amen! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hahahaha thank you, it was quite the costume. A bit of a departure from my norm, that’s for dang sure! Hugs and love xox

  12. Looking at the news in any country today there isn’t a lot of joy in headlines. That’s sad, as it’s not the way our original parents were created to be. We’re told we were made in the image of God. That doesn’t necessarily indicate shape. God has emotions and unlike humans under sin they are holy emotions. He wants us to have those emotions too, but unfortunately its only practice in this sad world now. But in heaven we will have those holy emotions as described in Galatians. The centre piece of that emotion mix is love. A genuine love. 🙂

    1. No there definitely isn’t much joy in the headlines. Sad indeed. Thanks for this thoughtful response Ian. What a glorious day that will be when we are in the joy filled Heaven! Hugs and love xox

  13. I just taught my 4th and 5th graders about joy in Sunday School last week. We looked at so many verses (there are tons) in thr Bible and it is really fun and tied to peace tightly, an excitement to be alive and with Jesus no matter what is going on around us. It is a beautiful thing and you expressed that beautifully. Great observations as always. Keep writing, it is glorious. God bless you. Love you as always. XO 😄❤

    1. Oh that’s so awesome! I love those definitions. You’re absolutely right – joy really is a beautiful thing – and it’s all about the Bible! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  14. 10 years to study joy was the part that made me chuckle.

    I was told a long time ago that happiness is momentary due to a situation while joy was the peace and contentment within. I hope she finds the true joy she is looking for in her life.

    1. I love that comparison of happiness and joy. So true. Thanks Harley. Hugs and love xox

  15. One religious leader said “men are that we might have joy.” He was talking about mankind, so not excluding anybody.

    Epicurus claimed experiencing pleasure is the purpose of life, then eventually found contentment living in a barrel by a river.

    I have not found religious organizations to be very good at letting people find joy in their lives on their own terms. It’s a pretty awful track record, really. I think the point I am trying to make is that Joy is not something that can only come from one source, unless we individually choose to deny it from all but one. I am not at all certain about whether God exists at all, and I find joy in finishing hard things, sunrises from mountaintops, and surprising interactions with happy people. Deep inner joy is not possible without self honesty, self acceptance, and love of who we ourselves are. If that includes belief in a god for you, great! But it’s not a universal phenomenon. Thanks for sharing this experience! It has allowed me another way to face something that makes me uncomfortable and get a little clearer on this guy I am.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I can say from personal experience that my time in the Catholic Church has fostered an incredible amount of joy in my life. I know everyone has their own experiences with organized religion, and I fully appreciate that not everyone’s is a good experience. But I can share that my time has been nothing short of life changing. I do think you’re right in that we can find joy in a lot of places – which is what this author was saying. Which there is a lot of truth in that! Thanks again. Hugs and love xox

  16. Great post, hun. I always need gracious reminders of where to “find” joy. We forget too often.

    I was wondering if you might be interested in doing an interview for me. I mostly have a bunch of questions about blogging I’d like to ask you, and I figured it might help others to post your answers.

    What do you think?

  17. What about going to the fashion show for 5 minutes. Next time 10 minutes. etc. in order to desensitize yourself until it’s not a trigger. How many times can you pluck out your eye until you’re blind to the world? ??? Hmm…food for thought

  18. I’ve put the book, Joyful, on my Amazon wish list; sounds like a great read! Also, I absolutely love your lib-fem pic… Hilarious, but beautiful! 😉

      1. Hahahah we were cracking up at it. Too too funny! Thanks again for stopping by! Have a Wonderful afternoon! Xox

    1. Hahha thank you! Yeah it was definitely a fun role! And great! Yeah it was truly a great presentation! She was a wonderful and effervescent speaker! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Anne! Amen! It’s in Him! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  19. So much YES in this blog, Caralyn! I completely agree with you on all points. Glad you tuned into Ascension Presents for Fr. Mike as i mentioned a few blog posts ago. He’s the coolest! I wish i could spend a day with him and pick his brain!

    Another thing that got me thinking is about Matthew 22:38. Do you ever get people who get weirded out by your kindness? I blogged about that a few posts ago myself, and i find that A LOT of people in my real world life trip out over the fact that i’m nice, giving, etc. It’s so strange. I’ve even been told by multiple people that i’m *too* nice, as if that was a bad thing! Go figure, right?! “Hey buddy! Throw in some cold blood with that compliment next time!” hahaha! No, no thank you. I’m gonna keep on keeping on!

    Anyway, enough of my rambling on. Thank you for putting a smile on my face again!

    PAX!

    1. Thank you so much David! I’m so glad this resonated with you!! Yay Fr. mike! Haha You know I do get some comments on my friendliness when I’m in nyc haha keep on keepin on! Yes! Thanks again! Hugs and love xox

  20. What great discernment. There’s nothing wrong with happiness but we have to remember that happiness is temperamental. Happiness is based on happenstance, which is determined by external influences. Joy that comes from God supersedes circumstances. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

    1. thank you so much Michael 🙂 you’re right – Joy is so much deeper than happiness! hugs x

  21. Caralyn, I really appreciate your words about joy and your reflections, as well as your video. Guarding our heart is so easy NOT to do in our culture. When we let things into our heart which really aren’t the best, even if they are “better” or “good”, God is saying, “Wait, but I have what is best for you! I want to fill this in you, not the things that will tear you apart nor even the things that are good…because I want to give you the BEST.” And with JOY, you hit the nail on the head. Apart from the Lord JOY is empty and the people seeking it are grasping for it in thin air. Also, personally, I have been asking God for joy this whole year because there isn’t a lot of fruit from the spirit in my life…and a relationship with God should be joyful! It’s a huge shift and requiring a complete reliance on HIM, trust, surrendering, and that’s really scary. It’s been a process, but He’s teaching me how to receive Him. Not what He can give me, but HIM. “Mary has chosen what is best and it will not be taken from her.” – Traditionally defaulting to the Martha, I look longingly at Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet and hope to one day be in that position 100% trusting in Him. Thank you for your truthful and transparent posts! Bless you this week Caralyn!

    1. Hi Nathalie! Thank you so much for this thoughtful response! I love the story of Mary and Martha too — there’s so much to learn from that. I am with ya there – I long to be a Mary on day too! big hugs to you x

    1. Thank you Dawn! Oh I’m so glad!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful afternoon! big hugs xo

  22. The point on joy is not lost on me. God has been making it for a couple weeks now, so I’m going to talk about it this week. On the other hand, going entirely superficial: glad to read the hair coloring was temporary. You rock as you are. IMHO.

  23. Your niece is absolutely adorable! Her smile melts my heart!

    I definitely love what you said about the true joy. There are so many resources out there that talks about choosing to be happy and choosing to joyful. Yet many of them point to self-reliance to do so.

    Often times these methods are like putting “band-aid” on the deeper issues of the heart. I think true joy comes from knowing that the same God who demonstrates faithfulness, shows concerns for the things that weigh us down, and desires to come to our aid is the God within our souls in the personhood of the Holy Spirit is much more satisfying than ones we muster up on our own.

    Great reflection!

    1. Thank you so much Frankie! Yeah she melts mine too! Heheh I appreciate your thoughtful response. Amen – God is so good! Hugs and love xox

  24. Great insights Caralyn, yes joy is knowing God. That the same power that raised Christ from the dead is living in us. We belong to God, we are wired for God and He is the one who infills us with complete joy and fulfillment.

    1. Thank you friend. Amen! I love that so much – we really are wired for God! Hugs and love xox

  25. How interesting. I wonder if my response would have been quite similar to yours. I agree, her explanation of joy seems superficial. I think the things she listed could easily be lost or taken away, so it’s an attachment rather than joy. I find joy is found in the littlest of things, based in gratitude for your blessings. When I’m present and mindful, I see the abundance that God has given me. They’re not ‘things’ either. I am joyful when I’m laughing till it hurts with my husband, playing pretend tea party games with my daughter or just feeling grateful for my body getting well and not overcome by sickness. Joy can be found in gratitude. Great post! 💓☺️✌🏼

    1. Thank you friend. I love that – seeing the abundance that God has give you. So true!! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  26. I love how you share your everyday life with us, Caralyn! It is so fascinating to hear the many different things you are exposed to…it offers those of us who are not exposed to these sorts of things, a wonderful perspective and opportunity to get a view of them as well. It shows a true generosity of heart to include us! I found it hysterical the persona they created for your “liberal feminist” role. (Yee-gads!)😂 But more importantly, as you were writing about your experience in regards to the JOY workshop I was biting my tongue and rushing to the end of your post because inside I was SCREAMING the answer to the TRUE definition of JOY! All of us have access to this “JOY” so many are in search of – the REAL JOY which fills up the void you spoke of. Very simply it is J=Jesus O=Others Y=Yourself. Keeping our life & living our life in this order is the recipe for receiving the REAL Joy God desires for each of us. Living the I AM THIRD mentality (Jesus, Others, YOURSELF- hence our own SELF is third,) is how God has created us to be. When we live this authentically real Joy IS found! I am sad the woman who has researched, for over ten years, has not yet personally discovered this . But many Saints have indeed shown/taught us this. And praise be there are many living Saints today, showing us DAILY how to do the same! Hugs to you for touching on another brilliant topic, yet again!

    1. Aw thank you Dawn. And oh my gosh! I love that! Jesus others yourself!! That is genius! Thank you so much for sharing that with me 🙂 so glad you stopped by and I hope you have a fabulous afternoon! Hugs and love xox

  27. Looking at that photo from the shoot, I have a thought about April 1st.

    I like to extend Fr. Schmitz a little: true joy is to be under the command of the father (which is to submit to love of him, of course) because then we know that every action brings us closer to him. In him there is no death, which is why it is said of Adam that God’s breath made him a “living creature.” We may lose our bodies, but the spirit endures forever in the Father.

    This is mirrored to a degree in the words of George Bernard Shaw: “The one true joy is to be used by a purpose that you believe to be a mighty one.” We can serve an important political purpose, but all of that falls to insignificance against the aim of God: that we enter a kingdom in which we are all free from any constraint against our expression of love for one another.

    1. Haha yes! And Halloween too! I may have to bust it out for a Halloween party or two! I love your thoughts on Joy. Amen – it really is from God’s breath. So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  28. So basically, it’s like she spent the last 10 years studying what Joy meant to her – I bet if she had allowed God to come into her space of finding out what “JOY” really was, that whole room would have experienced not only a good talk but something truly beyond the walls amazing. Glad you found the real truth, in which you already knew what it was!

    Great Video by the way!

    1. Oh my gosh can you imagine?! Because truly, she gave a wonderful talk and the women there left uplifted. But can you *imagine* if she incorporated the Holy Spirit into it! Zing! Haha thanks again Roshonda. Hope you’re having a great afternoon! Hugs and love xox

      1. Good! It def was! Traveled back to NYC – back to hustle!! 🙂 xox

  29. This is a wonderful, insightful post! I’ve noticed the same thing – people desperately seeking happiness but overlooking the way you get it: God. I’m so glad you are out there, pointing the way for folks. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Stacey for this thoughtful response. You’re so right — He is the way! Hugs and love xox

  30. Hi BBB,

    The missing piece is Jesus who fills us with peace and joy. Isn’t good to know that the Lord loves us enough to only have Him be the source of our joy and not settle for a cotton candy version?

    Would you slate me for your newsletter after March. I am in the middle of my Masters so writing and blogging is at bare minimum. I will have more time later to keep you posted.

    Thank you,

    Gary

    1. Thanks so much Gary for this thoughtful response! You’re so right — He’s the source!! Absolutely! I’ll add you in March! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  31. Hey Caralyn: As I keep thinking, and may even have written a few times, you are a fantabulous, wonderful, beautiful, sensitive, sensible, discerning, loving, loveable, strong, encourager, encouragement, friend, faithful, Godly, Godly Bold, woman of God, disciple of Christ, listener to Holy Spirit,

    Now, I better stop and get back to the blog, before I run out of time.
    Once you got past the preliminaries, and the pumpkin carving, (which was hilarious, I love your niece also), and into the meeting with the speaker on joy, I wondered how long you would take in your writing here, to turn the attention to the True Joy, God’s Joy, that only He can give, and we can only receive from God the Holy Spirit.
    And true to your self and beliefs, you never let me down. You noticed the “gaping hole” in the joy being spoken of, and you were not afraid to write about it immediately.
    Thank you Caralyn, for your sensitivity to Holy Spirit when He nudges you. Thank you for listening when you hear Him speak. Thank you for following through, and sharing the truth as He prompts you.
    I am certain that each of your BBB blogs touch many people, including some who have been running from Christ, and Holy Spirit is calling through you, some who have never heard the Gospel, (as difficult as we may think that to me, there are many in this world who have not), but are attracted to your writing, your humour, your honesty, and the many topics you do speak up, but always include Christ, which I admire so much. Then others you touch always are fellow Christians who love following a Christian author, and are encouraged by you each post.

    God’s Blessings Caralyn,
    Luv always, 😀❤️🌹😘

    1. Oh my gosh George, I am just so touched by this wonderfully kind response. You are such a good friend. And I am humbled by your words. You have Always been such a source of encouragement and joy for me – which has been such a huge part of why I’ve kept writing. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. Biggest hugs to you 🙂 xox

    1. Thank you so much Joy! What an awesome name! So glad it resonated with you 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much! So glad it hit home with you:) and haha I guess it does!! 😍 loved that show. Hugs and love xox

  32. You have quite a following, and for good reason. It’s refreshing to see a young person with such a healthy life perspective. And, thank you so kindly for enjoying my blog, too!

  33. I did a double-take when I saw the picture of you “in character”. You were correct. At least this member of your blogging audience was caught by surprise. Thank you for taking us on a journey through your life and giving us a reminder that joy only comes from above.

    1. hahahahhahahahahahahahhaha wasn’t it just the wildest wardrobe choice?!!? That was a DOUBLE nose ring and DOUBLE lip ring, if you didn’t catch it. Crazy. Slightly fun to be someone I’m not for the day. But crazy. haha Thanks again for stopping by Matthew! goodnight!

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