Welcome!

Welcome! I’m Jean Ann Duckworth, founder & director of Simple Joy. We have many exciting things planned for you in 2019, including the launch of our GraceSpace social network for women & our Sisters of Simple Joy small groups. We are working to develop programs & materials for women to access no matter where they live. Features include:
  • Online classes;
  • Bible studies;
  • Podcasts;
  • Videos;
  • Books;
  • Online presentations & events;
  • And more.

Our goal for 2019 is to offer you the tools, materials, training, & encouragement you need to reach the incredible goals God has set for you in the coming year.

I look forward to encouraging you in the coming year & getting to know you as we work together to help you answers God’s call for your life!

Hugs & blessings!
Jean Ann

POWER Part 3: Women

One of the first places you should look when determining your call & where to utilize it is among the women in your life. I believe women have an incredible opportunity right now to encourage & support one another. You may not understand right away what you should do or how you can serve anyone but these are 3 questions to ask yourself to help with the process:

  1. Who do I know?: Consider the women in your life right now. Quietly think about them & see whose name rises to the surface. I often think of this as being like a Magic 8 Ball, however, instead of shaking things up, you need to sit quietly & turn your mind to God. He knows the women in your life that need your help & He is ready to share those names with you. You must, however, ASK!
  2. What do they need?: Once you have some names in mind, you need to determine what they need. This takes a bit of time as you consider THEIR needs not what you THINK they need. This can be a problem. Yo become so anxious to help, you jump in before surveying the situation & determining their felt needs. Whether you agree or not is irrelevant. Take care of their felt needs first & then you can move on to other needs as you see them after.
  3.  How can I help?: Once you understand their felt needs, you need to gain an understanding of why God is calling you to help them with this specific issue. There may be others helping the same woman with the same problem in different ways. You bring something specific to the problem which is why God put you there. Never doubt you have something to offer.

You want to take time to determine who needs your help  & how you are able to help them, however, you still want to act in a timely matter. When God calls, you want to answer right away.

POWER Part 2: Opportunities

It can be difficult, very difficult to discern God’s call on your life. I have struggled with this many times. It becomes frustrating, floundering around, trying one thing or another as we attempt to understand just what God wants. I worry too many times we simply give up trying. Life is busy & we just don’t have time trying to figure out what we are supposed to do.

Rather than trying to do this on your own, it’s time to rely on God to show you what He wants. There are 3 things you can do to help you in this process:

  1. Stop: It’s time to stop struggling, to stop doing it on your own. Time to stop making excuses. God is waiting for you to ask Him for help. He is ready to lay out His plan. Perhaps not all at once but in bite-size pieces so you are not overwhelmed & you are able to move ahead.
  2. Look: Take time to look around & see the opportunities right in front of you. It’s so easy to spend time looking ahead, trying to see what’s coming down the road that you miss what God has placed right in front of you. I often imagine these opportunities are standing directly in front of me, jumping up & down, yelling, “Here! Here! Look down! Look at me!” The opportunity to serve may be much closer than you imagine.
  3. Listen: Listen to the people around you. Your greatest opportunity may be among those closest to you. Not necessarily your family but the people you encounter on a regular basis or someone close to a person that is close to you. Listen to the things people are saying to you or saying near you.

Finding your call may be easier than you ever imagine. You must simply take the time to stop, look, & listen to discover what has been there all along.

POWER Part 1: Positive Attitude

Nothing can revive you or awaken the Spirit within you like a positive attitude. Despite your best efforts, it can be tough to remain positive. I personally believe you have to work to remain positive. It’s not that you are a negative person. It’s just that a negative attitude tends to come more naturally.

When I talk about a negative attitude, I don’t mean a “woe is me!” approach to life. I believe it’s part of your nature to consider the worst case scenario so we can prepare for it. Usually, you don’t dwell on these negative thoughts, however there are times women struggle with worries & anxiety. These cause stress & stress reduces the ability of the Spirit to work. Therefore, it’s imperative for you to focus on remain positive. Here are 3 tools to help you strengthen your positive attitude:

1. Prayer: Prayer helps in so many ways. It allows you to surrender your fears to the Lord. Fear is one of the greatest obstacles in life so it’s important for you to take steps to reduce your fear. Prayer also puts you in touch with the Spirit. The more you interact with the Spirit within you, the more connected you become with It. Prayer also gives you the opportunity to face your negative thoughts & fears. Too often, we try to ignore them, hoping they will simply go away. They don’t go away. Instead they grow & continue to grow until our face them. Begin with prayer so you don’t face them alone.

2. Motivational Material: Discover what helps keep you uplifted & motivated then use those materials regularly. It might be books, movies, audio programs, YouTube channels, & more. You might have quotes that keep you focused. Write them on sticky notes & put them where you see them regularly. Spend time every morning, even just a few minutes reading or listening to empowering material. Begin your day with strength & energy. Consider it your spiritual caffeine. You need to determine what materials empower you. Others can make recommendations but it is ultimately up to you.

3. Scripture: The most powerful motivational material is Scripture. The Word of God has the answer to your problems, is able to overcome your fear & anxiety. On Pinterest, I have seen graphics offering passages for different issues you may face in life. These lists are handy when you are struggling. You might also make note of the different passages that inspire you. Use sticky tabs in different colors to represent the areas you need to focus on. If reading the Bible,is new to you or you struggle to understand the meaning, you might read devotions instead. Short passages with a paragraph or two reflecting on the verse may be more to you liking. Devotions may also be a quicker way for you to get your daily shot of spiritual power. I would rather have you read a brief passage or devotion daily than have you struggle to find time to study a long detailed passage.

Prayer, motivational material, & Scripture are the 3 most powerful ways for you to remain positive, control fear, & empower your life! Use daily for the greatest benefits,

Revival Introduction

When most of us think of revival, we picture a church meeting where the preacher warns us of the sinful lives we are living & works to dedicate ourselves to getting on the right path with God. This is one type of revival but I want to discuss something different.

When I think of revival, I think of reawakening. Perhaps this is what pastors are working to do at those religious meets: working to reawaken the Spirit within us. That’s part of what I help you do this month. More importantly, I want to help you reawaken the passion in your life.

Think back to when you were in high school or college. Life lay ahead of you & you were excited to go out there & make your make. You had passion. Then life go in the way. Jobs, bills, family, responsibilities, schedules, they all took up so much of your time, you simply couldn’t take time for your passion any more. Soon, you forgot all about it. God, however, never forgot about it.

I believe God put you here for a specific reason & that reason gave you your passion. The Spirit within you lit a fire that burned bright until the stress of life pushed it so deep within you that you couldn’t feel it anymore. I’m not saying you lost your faith but there is more to being a Christian than just that. Your passion, the Spirit make your faith stronger & more powerful than you imagine.

So how do you reignite your passion? How do you revive it? I believe it takes POWER to do that. Five items that help you better understand the plan God has for your live. It’s time to shake things up. It’s time to stop going through the motions. It’s time to understand your true purpose in life. It’s time for Revival!

Beginnings

The new year has started & it is a month of beginnings. The days & weeks lie ahead of us like a blanket of fresh snow: clean, unmarked, & waiting for us. Too often we rush into the new year with a long list of resolutions & plans, only to burn out or give up in frustration a few weeks, or, in some cases, a few days later.

I was like this. I would make sincere resolutions every December as I prepared for the year ahead only to get caught up in the busyness of life & soon forget all my good intentions. Then, one year, I decided to try something different.

Instead of pushing myself to make long range plans for the year ahead during the hectic Holiday season, I now spend January developing my plan for the new year. Yes, I know we traditionally begin our resolutions on the first, however, I am not traditional. I believe in doing things the way they work best for me & my family. By taking the month of January to set my goals & create a tentative schedule for them, I find I do a better job of sticking to my plan. This also gives me the opportunity to do my research. I watch online, through social media, to see what areas of life women are focusing on in the new year. This allows me to gear my goals to help other women meet theirs.

This month, my focus is on beginnings. I am sharing ideas & tips to help you set your own goals, create your own plan. God has given me a challenge for 2019 & I am rising up to accept it. This new year looks to be an exciting one. Maybe not an easy one but definitely not a boring one. I hope you join me on the journey. I can’t guarantee where we’ll end up but I do know we’ll have fun along the way!

Each month, I plan to have a theme. This month’s is Beginnings. Each week, I’ll focus on an aspect of the theme, breaking the topics down into smaller parts which I’ll post on my blogs. In addition, to help you retain your focus, I’ll be recording each post, with perhaps a few additional thoughts thrown in & sharing those in my podcast & on YouTube. If you ever have any questions, just contact me or add a comment to the specific post.

I think that’s all for now. I look forward to spending the year with you as we all develop a better idea what god has planned for our lives!

11 Genius Uses for Lemons All Over the House

11 Genius Uses for Lemons All Over the House

There are so many advantages to living in SoCal not the least of which are the lemon trees growing in my neighbors’ & friends’  yards. I am never out of lemons. They are so wonderful. I use them to smooth my elbows & heels, rubbing a half a cut lemon over both. It can be a bit messy but oh is it worth it!

Lemons are also great to use around the house. I LOVE the fresh smell! Good Housekeeping must agree. They offer a list of ways to use lemon in your home. Start the new year with a fresh smelling home & when you are done, make lemonade!

Lemony Fresh

104 Living Room Decorating Ideas


Start the new year with a new look in your home. It doesn’t take much to spruce things up. Country Living offers a assortment of ideas for you to use in your living room.

As they say, “Mix and match patterns, embrace bold colors, layer rugs, and so much more! Try these tips to create a pretty space to enjoy conversations with friends and family.” Enjoy!

Source: 104 Living Room Decorating Ideas