ANNOUNCING CULTIVATE 2021!
Cultivating community through prayer, service, creativity, movement, and generosity.
Cultivating community is a slow and intentional work that takes time, courage, and creativity. Chronic Joy’s unique prompts invite you to take the first brave steps of a brand new journey.
We are created for community, first with God then with one another.
Jesus said, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39
Community in a 37-word nutshell.
Just as there is no shortcut from seed planting to harvest, there is no quick method of learning to love one another.
Each of our Cultivate 2021 prompts is an invitation to a journey of slow growth. Much like the mustard seed, carefully tended by the Father, grows into bush we could never have imagined possible from such a tiny seed, our intentional acts of kindness, however small, however imperceptible their growth, begin to shift the tide of culture’s fascination with bigger, better, stronger, faster, more, to one brave step, one intentional act, and one precious life at a time.
Slow growth is nearly imperceptible in the moment, but when we look back several months, then several more, we begin to see the subtle changes that have brought a little more hope, a little greater peace, a little deeper grace, and a little more tender-hearted patience.
Join us for one or more unique Cultivate 2021 prompts beginning in 2021. Each will quietly arrive in your inbox with all the essentials you’ll need for the journey: Scripture as a compass, a guest post as a guide, prayer to inspire, and a beacon of hope on the horizon.
Are you ready to say “yes” to God’s gentle whisper?
UNIQUE PROMPTS FOR 2021
Hover over an image to learn more.
JOURNEY DEEPER INTO PRAYER • LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER
It can be hard to pray, to find the words to express our hearts, to feel that we are heard, and that our prayers for someone matter. Join us as we Journey Deeper into Prayer.
HEARTBEAT OF HOPE • GENEROSITY CHALLENGE
Inspiring challenges inviting you to excel in grace-filled generosity. Join us on this lifelong pilgrimage of learning to selflessly love one another with our time, patience, gifts, resources, and kindness.
INTENTIONAL KINDNESS • A REVOLUTIONARY SERVICE CHALLENGE
Kindness is love in action. It’s paying attention to the people right in front of you. It’s a heart of gentleness, generosity, and compassion intentionally poured out one precious life at a time.
ACTIVATING THE WHOLE YOU! • A UNIQUE MOVEMENT CHALLENGE
Inspiring challenges inviting you to move in step with the Spirit-led rhythms of creation, always at the pace of grace.
CALLED TO CREATE • A JOURNEY OF SURPRISES
Set Sail for creative art prompts. Creativity is a language of the soul and it builds space for community to grow!
CREATIVE WAYS TO SERVE • LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Courageously engage in these unique service prompts. Lean in, listen long, look with the eyes of compassion, and love one another as God incomparably loves us.
SPOTLIGHT ON COMMUNITY
We are blessed to link arms, hearts, and minds with some incredibly talented, Christ-led, and mission-hearted people. We are always #BetterTogether. And together with God, we’re igniting change one precious life at a time.
Announcing Bettie Gilbert, Prayer Pond Coordinator, has joined the Chronic Joy Board of Directors.
Introducing our newest volunteers, Hailey – Content Writer, Joy – Contributing Writer and Poet, Katie – Pinterest Coordinator, our youngest volunteers, and Vaneetha – Contributing Writer
Board Member and Prayer Coordinator
You can find Bettie blogging from her home in a small town in southeast Wisconsin - at bettiegraseasons.com, walking forward with Jesus, in the middle of her own pain and weaknesses from multiple chronic illnesses. The beauty of nature is a joy that calls to Bettie, as do her family and nine young grandchildren. She and her husband have been married for over 40 years and take great joy in their weekend coffee breaks together.
Volunteer Content Writer
Hailey is a full-time freelance writer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. At 21 years old, Hailey has been chronically ill for several years and has been diagnosed with several conditions that have primarily neurological manifestations - she also deals with chronic pain, fatigue, GI issues, and other symptoms on a daily basis. Hailey is passionate about doing ministry and advocacy work in the area of chronic illness and is currently writing a book on how the American church can better support its chronically ill members. As her health allows, Hailey loves to read, dance in shows at her local theatre, and write letters to her many pen pals. She is learning day-by-day how to dwell with the Lord. Check out Hailey's blog.
Chronic Joy® Contributing Writer and Poet
Joy is a wife, mother, grandma to one beautiful boy, M.E and chronic illness sufferer who spends many days in her PJs penning poetry and prose. Joy is also a work in progress by God’s grace. She is the author of Seeking Solace: Discovering Grace in Life’s Hard Places, and a contributor to Mosaic of Grace: God’s Beautiful Reshaping of Our Broken Lives by James Prescott. Joy has also contributed to Taking off The Mask: Daring to Be The Person God Created You to Be by Claire Musters, and Finding Purpose: Rediscovering Meaning in a Life with Chronic Illness by Cindee Snider Re. Her latest book is called Embracing Hope: Soul Food to Help Chase Away the Blues. You can find her sharing her regular insights and poetry at poetryjoy.com.
Volunteer Pinterest Coordinator
Katie is a wife, mother, and homemaker. Chronic illness and mental illness impact her daily life as she has suffered from chronic migraines with aura and anxiety since she was a child. She is also a mother to a child with sensory issues and anxiety. Through all of that, Katie finds joy and purpose in studying God’s Word, spending time with and caring for her family, baking and cooking whatever she can, spending time in God’s beautiful creation, and trying new crafts and hobbies. Pinterest is one of Katie's passions and a go-to source for inspiration, Biblical encouragement, and fun family ideas.
Our Youngest Volunteers
These small hands brought exuberant energy and sweet smiles as they helped prepare our next #PenToPaper mailing. They love receiving our Kid’s #PenToPaper packets in the mail, including CJ Star Notecards, stickers, and coloring sheets, and can’t wait to send the enclosed postcards to someone special as soon as their packets land in their mailbox.
We all have something to give – a way to bless others, a kindness to offer, a unique way to serve. Every member of the Body of Christ, and every gift we bring is significant and necessary. Always, we are #BetterTogether!
Vaneetha Rendall Risner
Vaneetha writes and speaks about meeting God in suffering. She is the author of the book, The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering, and an upcoming memoir entitled: Walking Through Fire. You can find her writing at Desiring God and her personal blog, Vaneetha.com. Vaneetha lives in North Carolina and is married to Joel. She has two daughters, Katie and Kristi.
Watch Choosing Joy in Suffering from Diamonds 2019.