In Others’ Words: Joy


“I’ve grown to realize the joy that comes from little victories is preferable to the fun that comes from ease and the pursuit of pleasure.” ~Lawana Blackwell, author, The Courtship of the Vicar’s Daughter, 1998

Little victories.

What do those look like?

Getting to the end of a long day … maybe not finishing everything … crawling into bed and saying, “I’ll start again tomorrow.”

There’s a victory in being willing to try again when the sun comes up tomorrow.

Or maybe a little victory is when you don’t say what you’re thinking about that person who cut you off on the highway. Or you don’t count the number of the items on the conveyor belt in the “20 items or less” line at the grocery store — even though you know that person in front of you has way-more than 20 items. No, you give them grace because, hey, you’ve done the same thing.

Doing the gracious thing … little victory, there.

Sometimes the little victory is offering a hug instead of a cold shoulder. Or saying you’re sorry instead of lashing out. Or erecting a much-needed boundary between your heart and someone who only wants to hurt you.

All steps in the right direction — and all little victories that make a huge difference in your day.

In Your Words: What little victories have brought you joy lately?





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  1. August 20, 2012, 7:22 am   /  Reply

    Rethinking my definition of success. It’s been a huge perspective shift, but it’s happening one day at a time. And it has to do with God and His best…not what I think that should be.

    • Beth Vogt
      August 20, 2012, 9:57 am   /  Reply

      I’m with you, Lindsay — and rethinking my definition of success means that I also help my children reframe their idea of success too.

  2. August 20, 2012, 7:41 am   /  Reply

    Hi Beth,
    Nice short enjoyable post. I came here because P.J. mentioned you on Rachelle’s blog.

    • Beth Vogt
      August 20, 2012, 9:57 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Cherry!

  3. Jeanne
    August 20, 2012, 7:41 am   /  Reply

    Little victory–setting aside my mountain of to-do’s to enjoy the kids’ last day of summer freedom with them.
    Little victory–accepting that it is “when I start a blog,” not “IF I start a blog.”
    Little victory–understanding the root “why” certain things strike fear into my heart and surrendering them to God. And being willing to face those things anyway.
    Little victory–taking time to reach out to others, even when it may be inconvenient in “my” agenda for the day. 🙂 Yielding my agenda to God’s plans for my day, another victory.

    • Beth Vogt
      August 20, 2012, 9:58 am   /  Reply

      Lots of little victories, Jeanne — so much JOY, yes?

  4. August 20, 2012, 8:01 am   /  Reply

    I think it varies day to day. Some days it’s about getting my two year old through the day with no boo-boos and nothing broken. Others, it’s a difficult phone call. I love your examples of handling a moment with grace.

    • Beth Vogt
      August 20, 2012, 9:58 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for joining the conversation today, Charise, and sharing your examples of little victories too.

  5. August 20, 2012, 8:17 am   /  Reply

    Holding my tongue, when I was justified to lash out, just a couple weeks ago. I walked away, as hard as it was, because God is showing me that there is no good thing in strife. Living at peace, as far as it concerns me, is a hard thing to do, but vitally important. I’m enjoying the small victory now, much more than I did in the moment.

    • Beth Vogt
      August 20, 2012, 9:59 am   /  Reply

      Lot of wisdom there, Gabrielle. Sometimes the joy in the little victory doesn’t come until later.

  6. August 20, 2012, 8:45 am   /  Reply

    I blogged recently ( about my need to ask God daily (hourly…) to give me the willingness and courage to obey his nudges and to choose his will over mine. Maybe not your battle, but I have an iron will. Or perhaps more accurately, I’m just super selfish and prefer my own way.


    The Lord is faithful to answer a prayer that begins with, “O, for a heart that longs to please you, Lord!” In fact, I feel his pleasure in that one. So small victories for me include spending time with the mentally-physically disabled woman before church yesterday, listening to her, loving her instead of hanging out with my friends. Ok, I’m NOT saying hey, am I nice or what?? but hey, thank you God for resuming those nudges of yours I’d been ignoring, and for giving me a little push. A very small victory since the gal is a cutie and not hard to talk to—it’s just that you know if you sit down with her, you need to plan to be there a while. But still. And there were others that day. I am grateful for his answer to my prayer, and am beginning today with the same prayer.

    • Beth Vogt
      August 20, 2012, 10:01 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for posting that link because in the mist of a busy weekend, I missed reading that blog post.
      And, yes, I too prefer my own way.

  7. August 20, 2012, 8:45 am   /  Reply

    Years ago I learned a song you probably know, “Jesus and Others and You, what a wonderful way to spell joy.” For me today it’s seeing children move forward with reasonable resilience in the midst of difficult circumstances.

    • Beth Vogt
      August 20, 2012, 10:00 am   /  Reply

      Yes, Dee, I know that song. Once helped plan a retreat based on that acronym: JOY – Jesus, Others, You.

  8. August 20, 2012, 8:59 am   /  Reply

    Great reminder, Beth! I realized lately that I was taking all my husband’s work for granted, so I made a point to tell him thank you. I need to do that more often.

    • Beth Vogt
      August 20, 2012, 10:01 am   /  Reply

      Ah, yes, appreciating others, especially our husbands. Good one, Sarah.

  9. August 20, 2012, 9:10 am   /  Reply

    This goes right along with my word for 2012, incremental. And believe me, I need reminders daily to stick to that word rather than try to race forward by leaps and bounds or say “What’s the use?” and give into laziness. It’s a victory (and a joy) when instead of getting distracted, I do the one thing I set out to do that morning. Thank you, thank you for a great blog post.

    • Beth Vogt
      August 20, 2012, 10:02 am   /  Reply

      And thank you, thank you for reminding me that lots of things accomplished doesn’t equal a great day. One thing accomplished also equals a great day. A victory.

  10. Loree Huebner
    August 20, 2012, 10:42 am   /  Reply

    Joy is my word for this year.

    I love how you said to offer “a hug instead of a cold shoulder”, a small victory but so important.

  11. August 20, 2012, 10:42 am   /  Reply

    Good morning, Beth,

    Wonderful reminder for the beginning of a week. We have two grown children, one who is married, the other (sorta) on his way out the door… and beautiful 10 year old bonus baby whom I home-school. Little victories are a daily thing in our world – getting through math without tears (hers or mine!), getting time to write without feeling like I’m stealing precious time from her, and being the kind of wife my hubby wants to come home to at the end of his long work day instead of some frazzled harridan (LOVE that word) who’s been saving up all my words all day……

    Have a blessed day!

  12. Bernadette DesChamps
    August 20, 2012, 10:55 am   /  Reply

    I love your examples of giving grace. Grace looks small in the moment, but it can start a life-giving ripple of healing…whether it’s in the checkout line or in a heated moment of strife.

    Long ago I began a journey of learning to give grace to someone in my life. Key verses from Hebrews 12 were an inspiration, “For the joy set before him he (Jesus) endured the cross…Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” For the joy set before me…that this person be healed and whole, in and through God’s grace…I persevered. By the Spirit, those ripples of grace-given have brought life beyond my expectation. It was a long road to joy paved with many little victories.

    Thank you for your question this morning. Remembering God’s faithfulness fills me with fresh joy to rejoice and be glad in this day.

  13. August 20, 2012, 3:38 pm   /  Reply

    What a great perspective, Beth. Little joys prepare us for the bigger ones that God will bring throughout our lives. If we only ever wait for “the big one”, then think of all the joy we’ll miss out each and every day. Loved this post!

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