In this episode:
In this episode, author and speaker Kathy Carlton Willis returns to talk about how she became God's Grin Gal and how she has discovered joy, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Learn how to grow your "JQ"—joy quotient.
This week, I was joined on the podcast by Kathy Carlton Willis, God's Grin Gal. Kathy talked about how she came to be known by this title when others pointed out to her that God has given her the ability to keep on grinning even though life has brought more than the average number of difficulties to her.
We talked about how "fake it until you make it" isn't the same as learning how to experience true joy. The joy that Kathy talks about comes from a deep sense of peace that can't be explained. It's real joy! It also isn't as simple as happiness. Kathy says, "Happiness runs and hides, but joy remains when trials show up."
The very same week that Kathy's book launched in January, her husband came home early one day to report that his company had cut his position due to downsizing of staff hours. She said as they go through this—and it isn't their first time experiencine unemployment or even their second—they are seeing how much more at peace they are in the middle of it.
I have found that too. My joy grows with each experience, both good and bad, as I see God work and my fears turn to peace.
Kathy shared about a wardrobe malfunction that became a central issue at her 25th anniversary celebration with her husband, but it brought them both grins on their date. You'll have to listen in to hear Kathy tell that story.
In our discussion, we talked about how we all have difficult people in our lives who push our buttons. Kathy calls them sandpaper people who rub us the wrong way. Sometimes their abbrasiveness is intentional and other times it's just a personality difference. Sometimes the very person who is a sandpaper person to us will click with someone else and become besties. We might think difficult people can steal our joy, but there is nothing to steal. We make the choice of whether we will give it away or not. We don't have to let difficult people change our attitude.
Kathy also talked about how serving is a big part of joy. "Serving it forward with joy," as she calls it, goes beyond paying it forward to not only do a random act of kindness, but to truly serve another person. We also talked about how forgiveness and gratitude are a big part of growing our joy quotient.
Like IQ (intelligence quotient), we have a capacity for joy. That "JQ" can grow as God works in us. Kathy says she has had some experiences where looking for a lesson in the midst of a difficult situation isn't what she needed. There isn't always a lesson we need to learn. Sometimes the outcome is simply to remember how to rely on God and how he has brought her through in the past. That focus is enough in a difficult time.
My resource for this episode is The Grin Gal's Guide to Joy: A Story, Study & Steps 7-Week Bible Study by Kathy Carlton Willis. (Affiliate link) This method—story, study, and steps—is Kathy's way of teaching through a story from her own life, a study of what God's Word says, and then steps to apply the content.
If you’ve ever felt like the joy, joy, joy, joy down in your heart has gone missing, then this book is for you. Are you singing along now? "I've got the joy, joy, joy....where?"
Kathy Carlton Willis learned that happiness runs and hides, but joy remains when trials show up. Now she’s here to share these principles with you in The Grin Gal’s Guide to Joy.
In each chapter these features help readers interact with the story, Bible study and steps:
- Grin with Joy tells real-life stories and observations. You’ll laugh at Kathy’s humorous confessions and wacky insights.
- Grow with Joy features a joy word study and workbook. Kathy explores what the Bible says and unpacks timely truths.
- Go with Joy offers life application. Pick the action steps that help you live a joy-filled life.
- Give with Joy equips you to share joy and meet the needs of others. This is when faith becomes ministry.
- Your Grin-with-Joy Challenge describes a joy-challenging scenario to solve.
This is great for a women's small group Bible study (there is a leader's guide in the back of the book) or for perosnal study. Kathy tells heartwarming stories that are relatable and real as she teaches truths based on Scripture.
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(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book. ) *This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.
Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.
All blog content copyright MichelleRayburn.com
This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.