Joy is a defiant act of resistance against the forces of despair”
Willie James Jennings

“When we fight back with joy, we embrace a reality that is more real then what we’re enduring and we awaken to the deepest reality of our identity as beloved, joyful children of God”
Margaret Feinberg, “Fight Back with Joy”

Welcome, welcome, welcome, my dears to this year’s Write 31 Days series.  These posts have been months in the making and I’m thrilled to spend the next 31 days, exploring joy and giving ourselves permission to enjoy our lives even when we’re going through tough circumstances, even when the world feels utterly broken, ESPECIALLY if we suffering from broken hearts.

Ever since I posted a video on Facebook Live that reached over 28,000 about my own brokenheartedness as a Black mom noticing the senseless conflict around race in our country, I’ve wondered,

“is this it?  Is this sadness an unfortunate consequence for asking God to break my heart for what breaks his?  Did I just sign away my life to never ending repair and lament? ”

I knew there had to be more.  The fruits of the Spirit are all good things. Jesus said he came to give us life and life to the fullest.  And most of all, we are people of Resurrection Sunday the day where were celebrate Jesus’ defeat of death, sin, and the forces of darkness. We are people of  “Oh heck, no…Satan!  Not today— look the stone is rolled away, the tomb is empty, and our King is alive.” 

We are people who have a reason to celebrate and a God who throws AMAZING parties.

I forget these truths when the world is at it’s worst.

When our broken bashes up against another’s, I find it hard to believe there’s good in the world.

When I see five-years old bloodied and trembling from a bombing, or read disgusting tweets from a politician whose acting out because he’s in pain— either emotionally or mentally,  maybe even both, or open up Facebook and watch young man die in his car with a toddler wailing in the back— I think

“I need to press in. I need to pray.  I need to witness their pain.”

And to some extent— that’s true.

A Shalom Sista is a woman who notices brokenness around her and asks:

“How can bring wholeness here?”

But there’s a second part of that question that we rarely explore:

“How can I be wholehearted here?”

And the truth is, pain is a part of life, not all of it. A Part.  We cannot be our whole selves if we don’t take time to remember our that we are God’s beloved and allow him to give us good gifts.

Joy is noticing, accepting, and sharing the good that is in the world.

Jesus modeled this for us and some of my favorite Christian leaders live well in this tension.

These men and women have taught me that it is subversive practice of Shalom to says,

“despair, I know I’m supposed to give into you, but I won’t. I’m choosing joy.”

So, in October, we’re going to give challenge ourselves to see how sometimes when we’re so focused on lamenting the darkness of the world, we overlook all the twinkle lights of happiness, delight, and goodness are brazenly shining bright.

We’re going work on creating a practice of joy. As we discuss common heartbreaks— infidelity, infertility, loneliness, body shame, perfectionism, and lost dreams (to name a few), we’re going to give God a chance to show us the way toward joy even in our sadness.

We’re going to get practical with lists and plans, (because y’all know that’s my jam). We’re going to be courageous and hopefully we’re going to have fun.

So here’s the lay a video that gives you the lay of the land and your very first DANCE PARTY!

Every day of the week I’m posting on the theme of subversive joy with a daily focus:


Sunday: Jesus’ Joy

An example from Scripture of definite joyfulness or a promise from God that joy is our birthright.

Monday: Podcast Day

These are conversation with powerful Shalom Sistas who have learned that how to balance joy with lamenting over a heartbreak.  We’re talking to Kelly Gordon from Love Well about Sabbath, Kacie Feeny from Persimmon Prints about infertility, Carrie Wilson a small group leader for women who have been rejected because of their sexual pasts, Cara Meredith and I are going to talk about “Love Warrior” about Glennon’s path from pain to wholeness, we’re also talking about racial reconciliation as we read, “Road Map to Reconciliation” and then we’re going to have an amazingly joy-filled episode to celebrate the Gilmore Girl reunion.  I think you’re going to love it.

Tuesday: Reflection from the book, “40 Days to a Joy-filled Life” by Tommy Newberry


Wednesday: Joy on the Interwebs


Thursday: Joy-Hacks

Tips and techniques for incorporating joy in your everyday life

Friday: Five Minutes of Joy

I’m taking the FMF prompt and putting a joy spin on it

and Saturday…

Shalom Dance Party and Re-cap Video (YAY, YAY, YAY)

So, how can you follow along:

1: Sign up for the newsletter.

You won’t get daily email from me, but a weekly round-up of the post and fist views at the Shalom Dance Party

2: Like the Facebook Page:

There’s I’ll update daily and have conversations about joy, wholeheartedness, and my current joy-hack

If you’re going to follow along, invite some friends and do let me know so I can cheer you on.

Until tomorrow my lovely,

Subversive Joy and Super Big Hug,