About the Author

Jill is a writer, speaker, pastor, and author of five books. She specializes in faith and the next generation. She likes to travel, grow flowers, and break into random musical numbers. She believes in grace, kindness, justice, dark chocolate, and Earl Grey.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Jill,
    I can relate to forcing yourself to experience joy. I, too, played the piano quite well. Now I dust the keys every so often. I promised my 82 year old mother that we’d sing carols around the piano the past Christmas, so I forced myself to crack open the music books. Amazingly, feeling some muscle memory return….I began to feel joy as the music resonated from my out of tune piano. Why hadn’t I done this earlier?? You are so right…we need to take breaks, take time to tap into that joy that God has planted within us with His presence. Really enjoyed your post this am.!
    Blessings from a sister pianist (sort of),

    • Keep playing! I’m trying to. I’ll bet that was a great joy to your mother. I know mine used to love to listen to me play when she didn’t feel well, which was pretty often back then.

  2. What a blessed reminder! For me joy is allowing God to create comfort and peace by making yarn into beautiful blankets for very sick babies, or prayer shawls for those in a tough season of life, or chemo hats for cancer centers all over the county. The joy of sitting with my Father in prayer is simple and sweet. People often ask why I don’t sell items, since everything I do is part if the ministry He has griwn. Somehow having to do it, and do it a certain way, would remove the joy of following His direction and just being.

    • That is a great joy-giver. I love to craft, but I have always been a failure at anything that uses yarn and needles or hooks! Trying felting right now–it’s going better. You’re right–it takes the joy out somehow when we put something into the category of having to do it and having to make it “right.”

  3. I like the idea of doing things because we simply WANT to and ENJOY doing it….I wish we could feel less guilt for the times we don’t exercise, make bad food choices, decide to stay home from a party to rest rather than socialize, or even “dare I say” go to work one day without makeup because the “natural” look will be enough today.

    Bring back the joy of choice and smile with the decision.

    • Yes–guilt is quite the joy killer. As a huge introvert, I definitely struggle sometimes with the whole, “I need to be with people/I want to be alone” thing.

  4. Jill, this is just beautiful. I love the metaphor of finger exercises on a piano corresponding to the rhythms and repetitions that carry us through our days. Madeleine L’Engle writes of this beautifully in her non-fiction/memoirs. Some day I hope to incorporate time at the piano into my schedule as well. Your words give my heart hope.

  5. This post is just what I needed today after a long week of trying to validate my existence with achievements. I know I get to the end of long work weeks and feel like I just have to keep going, keep being productive, try to get “caught up” on all my to do list items. Today I am going to play and let myself be joyful without feeling guilty. Bless you Jill for this message!

  6. This message speaks to my heart! I was just thinking about getting back to piano again, and now play very slowly, just for myself, actually when no one is home:) But that’s OK:) Not perfectly, but it does restore joy and good memories. Music, flowers, birds, children, nature! I could go on and on! Thank You!

    • Joy is what we’re after–not perfection! I’m glad you’ve found it in so many things!

  7. My piano lessons only lasted a while but I had imagined the singing round it. I do think life can crush our gifts and joy. It is something God calls forth like light. I think He is waking us up and stirring gifts we may have given up on. Remember, it’s the joy of the Lord and He says not to let it taken.

    • Indeed. I don’t think we realize how much we have to hang on to it sometimes. Good reminder.

  8. Thank you for sharing this, Jill! It’s a sweet reminder for my spirit!

  9. This post is so true
    . That’s why I scrapbook for my kids & my grandkids. It brings me such joy. And when they come visit, it brings them joy too! I love it. I know God loves it too. He loves for us to create. He gave us these gifts. We need to use them. We are creative. My daughter & I are going to take a quilt making class together. Even though I have MS & MS induced Scoliosis I can hardly wait. I’ll get thru because God will help me & my daughter will too & we will laugh & have such fun. Oh, true joy! I can hardly wait! Thank you for this truly lovely devotional reminding women that doing things they love is not a sin, it’s a gift from God.

    • I love that you’re doing it with her. I like to take classes with my daughters too. We all learn a lot more than just the craft.

  10. Jill,
    God plants Joy all around us-we just need to stop and look for it! For me joy can come in making nice meals for my hubby. I love trying new recipes and hearing the praise it brings. Life can get busy, hard & stressful. God ordained that we take breaks and have some fun. Thanks for this insightful post!
    Blessings πŸ™‚

    • That is fantastic. I have to admit to not liking cooking at all, so it’s not joyful πŸ™ But I love that you do and you can use it creatively to bring joy to others.