I had a good cry this morning


Because of fatigue

and chronic pain

and sadness over small stuff


And after all the tears

and pouring out my heart

to husband listening


I felt better


Not wonderful,

but better


And then I read a post

from my friend Sandy

about tears


And it got me to thinking….


About emotion

and expression

and pain in this life


And I think

that tears are a gift


They cleanse

and show depth

and express


the heart


And I also thought

of how we not only cry

when sad or in pain


but with joy


How closely related

pain and joy

really are


How water flows

out of the windows

to the soul


and that is how

we deeply show

the pains and the joys

of life here


But when we arrive

in heaven

all those tears will be gone


The pain will be gone

death will be gone

sadness will be gone


And even our tears of joy

will be gone


For all will be contentment

all of the time


No need for moments

of sheer joy


ALL will be joy


But for now

tears are a gift


A show

of what is



A river

of pain and joy


– Susie Stewart


On the subject of tears: God gave us the ability to cry for a reason — so if you feel sad and feel like crying — do so and do so as long as you can —- let every last tear fall – don’t repress them —- tears are the way God heals our hearts —- and afterwards you feel very refreshed — kind of like a good rain after a long dry spell. Oh, and never ever tell someone not to cry — so damaging to the spirit!  And don’t say “I am sorry you are sad” —- sadness is a natural human emotion and nothing to feel shame about!
I had a good cry on Thursday and I felt so good and joyful afterward. I will be missing my Drew coming down from Boulder this Thanksgiving —- He can not come down from heaven but I can go up — and what a glorious day that will be!
Psalm 126:8 Those who sow in tears will reap songs of joy —– and that is exactly what happened!

– Sandy Marthaler 


Thank you, Sandy, for your beautiful post!  ❤


Then I saw a new Heaven and a new earth, for the first Heaven and the first earth had disappeared and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride dressed in beauty for her husband. Then I heard a great voice from the throne crying, “See! The home of God is with men, and He will live among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death shall be no more, and never again shall there be sorrow or crying or pain. For all those former things are past and gone.”

– Revelation 21:3-5 (PHILLIPS)


Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.

– Psalm 126:5 (NLT)


Jesus burst into tears.

– John 11:35 (ISV)


David got up from his hiding place beside the boulder, then fell on his face to the ground—three times prostrating himself! And then they kissed one another and wept, friend over friend, David weeping especially hard.

Jonathan said, “Go in peace! The two of us have vowed friendship in God’s name, saying, ‘God will be the bond between me and you, and between my children and your children forever!’”

– 1 Samuel 20:41,42 (MSG)


Pain & Joy

Isn’t it interesting

that in going through a deep valley


where all is stripped away


we can learn what true joy is?


In the hurt

and the less

and the want


we learn to look up


and we find that the joy

is not really in the circumstances


but in the Savior


It’s not in the stuff

but in the Divine relationship


always being strengthened

by the reliance on who is in control


Isn’t it interesting

how pain and joy can co-exist?


That joy doesn’t always look

like happiness?


But it does look



Because of who we lean into


– Susie Stewart


And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 4:19 (AMP)


But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God].

– 1 Timothy 6:6 (AMP)


So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].

– 2 Corinthians 12:10 (AMP)


…constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength],

– Romans 12:12 (AMP)


Photo by Susie Stewart


More and Less

The more we grow in Christ

and learn to love Him

and to trust Him


the less our peace and joy

are dependent

on people

and circumstances


What a relief


– Susie Stewart


I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

– Romans 15:13 (NLT)


Photo by Susie Stewart



is so sweet


It is a free fall into the arms

of Abba


It is a breath of fresh air

after holding it for too long


It is the white flag

changed from black control


It is tight fists

released and open-palmed


It is the bowing of all

for God’s purposes



of sovereignty Divine


Surrender is necessary

for peace and joy



is so sweet


– Susie Stewart



You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

– Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)


The Eternal made everything for a reason. Even wrongdoers fit in His plans; troubled times await them.

– Proverbs 16:4 (VOICE)


The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

– Psalm 37:23 (NLT)


Peter: Master, we have left behind everything we had to follow You.

– Mark 10:28 (VOICE)


For any one of you who wants to be rescued will lose your life, but any one of you who loses your life for My sake and for the sake of this good news will be liberated.

– Mark 8:35 (VOICE)


Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship.

– Romans 12:1 (VOICE)


Photo by Susie Stewart

Consider It

CONSIDER it pure joy,

my brothers and sisters,

whenever you face trials of many kinds,

BECAUSE you know that the testing of your faith

produces perseverance.

Let perseverance finish its work

so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

– James 1:2-4 (NIV)


My friend Paul, from our Life Group, pointed out to us that this portion of Scripture in James says “consider” it pure joy when you face trials.  It doesn’t say “feel joyful”.  It seems to imply that you mentally consider it.  You make a thinking decision.

When trials come, we don’t usually have a feeling of overflowing joy and happiness.  Trials are hard and draining.  They take a lot out of us.  But we can consider it pure (free of contamination) joy when we face trials BECAUSE we have the assurance that it is producing perseverance in us.

And we need to LET PERSEVERANCE FINISH ITS WORK in us.  There is no hurrying or getting past certain trials.  We need to let the work be completed.

When we do this, we become more mature and we won’t be lacking.  That is encouraging when the trial is a financial one or a loss.  The Lord assures us that we will not be lacking anything when we allow God to work through our trials.  He knows what we need.

Then in verse 12 we see this –

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

There is heavenly reward for those who persevere under trial!  What an encouragement!  And a joyful thought!  The crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

So, my friends, take your thoughts captive when it comes to trials.  It’s tempting to ask “Lord, why are you doing this to me??”  But I encourage you to trust God’s heart for you and to consider joy in the midst.

There is much good going on

during your bad.

– Susie Stewart


…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

– 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)


Photo by Jennifer Macfadyen


The Blessing of Obedience

There is freedom in obedience

There is joy in obedience

There is peace in obedience


What tangles we would avoid

if only we heeded the instruction


of the One who is Truth


What pain we would prevent

if only we would listen


to the One who knows best


What heartache we would escape

if only we were humble enough


to obey


For there is where we find





and show God

how much we love Him


– Susie Stewart


Anyone who loves Me will listen to My voice and obey. The Father will love him, and We will draw close to him and make a dwelling place within him.

– John 14:23 (VOICE)


Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

– Deuteronomy 5:33 (NIV)


Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

– Proverbs 10:17 (NIV)


Photo by Susie Stewart


Are you familiar

with Joy

these days?


Is Joy a companion to you?

Or a stranger?


Has your Joy been


snuffed out




Has busyness

or shame

or self-hatred

or the weight of the world

stolen your Joy?


Maybe you forgot

about Joy?


Who has time for Joy?


In God’s presence

there is Fullness





More of Him

brings more Joy


more contentment


You’ve got to have

the Joy-Giver

in your Joy pursuit


And if You aren’t finding joy in Him

so many



will steal your Joy



Know Him

Praise Him

Be grateful for being ransomed


Know Joy

in His presence.


– Susie Stewart



I will shout for joy as I sing Your praises; my soul will celebrate because You have rescued me.

– Psalm 71:23 (VOICE)


After grief for sin there should be joy for forgiveness.

– A.W. Pink


What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox. I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him. I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him.

– A.W. Tozer


For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

– Romans 14:7 (NLT)


This is a good life—my heart is glad, my soul is full of joy, and my body is at rest. Who could want for more?

– Psalm 16:9 (VOICE)


Instead, You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment.

– Psalm 16:11 (VOICE)


Photo by Arik Stewart


Your Glory  —–  Untamable

Your Sacrifice  —–  Unthinkable

Your Pain  —–  Unfathomable

Your Determination  —–  Unstoppable

Your Love  —–  Unquenchable

Your Redemption  —–  Unalterable

Your Timing  —–  Undeniable

Your Peace  —–  Unbelievable

Your Purposes  —–  Unbreakable

Your Authority  —–  Unanswerable

My Sin  —–  Untraceable 

My Joy  —–  Unspeakable

My Life  —–  Uncontainable

– Susie Stewart

But Christ came only once and for all time at just the right time to take away all sin by sacrificing Himself.

– Hebrews 9:26 (NCV)

Let Go


Let Go, dear one.

Your head and heart are clenched tight


You think that you will be shielded by your bravery


But you are shut

Like a door without a handle


And you long to be out where you can breathe

Where God meets you in your pain

And those closest to you listen


And you don’t feel numb from self-protection

And you don’t have to be brave in yourself


You are free.


Let go


…of pleasing the critical

…of criticizing yourself

….of fear

…of control

…of your tender but guarded heart


God will be there when you open the door


He always is


He wants you open, not shut


….to experience life

…to try new things

…to love and be loved

…to rest in Him

…to have His unmistakeable joy


Let go, dear one.

He is your shield.

– Susie Stewart


“The Lord is my Strength and Shield.  I trust Him with all my heart.  He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”

Psalm 28:7 (NLT)


Did you miss it?

Did you miss seeing, hearing, tasting JOY?

It awakened your morning with the melodies of winged soloists, welcoming the day.

It warmed and soothed, darkness overcome with sun’s light.

It smiled with the shapes of clouds, billowy and Heaven-enticing.

It burst with the colors of the flowers of Spring, winking at your soul.

It sang melodically as water tumbled and refreshed and shimmered.

It soared above your head as a bird playfully danced with the wind.

Its delightful fear came over you when you heard the low rumble of thunder.

It rang out with the aspen leaves fluttering like musical bells.

It had the scent of earth, and green and flora.

And on and on…..


Creation’s joy.  Our Creator’s joy.  Our joy.

Did you miss it today?

Did you miss JOY?

– Susie Stewart