Positive conversations with old and new friends. I'd love for you to join me on my back porch.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Joy Dekok

Today Joy DeKok is visiting with us. Joy started writing as a little girl. She carries a large purse so she can take her journal and an assortment of pens with her.
Joy lives on thirty-five acres of woods and field in Minnesota between Rochester and Pine Island. She’s been married to Jon for thirty-five years and they enjoy their many nieces and nephews. Their dogs, Sophie and Tucker, keep them company when they explore the land riding their John Deere Gator or while watching the many birds that visit their feeders.
She has seven books in print and is working on a novel series featuring main character, Olivia Morgan. Joy is also developing a writing group called, Write Yourself Strong, for hurting women.
Faith is a vital part of Joy’s life. When she was sixteen, Joy asked God to find her and He did.

Joy has a new book, Your Life, a Legacy. Joy took time to answer a few questions today.
How did you decide to write Your Life, a Legacy?
As a speaker, I needed to come up with topic choices. I also knew I needed to talk about things I truly believe in or the topic/s would fall flat. I’ve been a journal keeper for a long time, but as I shared with audiences, I realized our stories are more than journal entries – they are of great value –worthy of giving.

Who should read this book? Why?
At first I thought the topic would be best for men and women 40 years old on up. The other day, two young moms mentioned I should do a book for school-aged children so they could be shown how important the stories they are living right now are, and how their decisions impact their stories. There is healing power in writing our stories. I found several studies done by prestigious university professors showing how students who were struggling with their studies, the culture shock of being away at college, etc improved their grades and their lives by writing their stories and sharing them. Psychiatrists and psychologists agree. So do some doctors specializing in the care of the elderly. People enjoy telling their own stories and it’s good for them and those who read or listen. The simple answer: it’s good for you.

How would you like readers to use this book?
My greatest desire is for people who read the book or come to a Legacy retreat/seminar is that they will not only preserve their personal histories, but discover the value in who they are. Every life matters and when shared has the power to encourage, entertain, and teach.
You talk about satchel and steam trunk stories. Could you clarify?
A Satchel Story is the most important story of your life. This is the one you want to save and share more than any other. Steamer Trunk Stories are the other experiences that matter only slightly less. Using this system, Legacy Givers are always working on the story that matters most to them.

What discoveries did you make in writing Your Life, a Legacy, either about yourself or in the writing process?
I discovered how much the stories about the women who came before me, who are now gone, matter to me now. I can draw from their wisdom and learn from their decisions, mistakes, and successes. As a society, we often discard our elderly or those already gone as insignificant. This lie birthed a passion in me to urge men and women of all ages to preserve and share their stories now so this generation and those to come later, will have the benefit of their wisdom and life-knowledge.

In your book, you talk about the stories possibility making a difference in the world, even out into the future. Has this happened for you? How?
I’ve always heard that my great-grandmother was a stubborn woman and the same has been said about me. When I started asking more questions about her, I discovered a strong, compassionate, believing woman. She loved hard and deep and prayed the same way. Perhaps at times she was stubborn, but stories about her revealed she was steadfast and faithful. I pray the same will be said of me someday. She’s been gone for 44 years and the eye-witness stories of her life are changing not only my perception of her, but of myself. I will carry these discoveries into my stories and I will share them with the young women in my life. The world, or my corner of it, are changed when I share the past forward. When I speak I share this statement: The past can only have value in the future if we preserve it now.
I also believe the world is hungry for real-life stories. Reality TV is proof of that in a big way. We want to watch how people cope, respond, mess up, and succeed. On a much smaller level I’ve discovered that when I post a personal story on my blog, my reader ship jumps by at least 50%. And, they email their stories privately. I’m sometimes startled by the personal things people trust me with because I trusted them with mine. Trust is born between total strangers.
People want our stories. If we give them, it’s far more likely they will give theirs.

Joy, thanks for taking time to visit with us today!

Your Life, a Legacy can be found on Amazon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Tim's hip replacement surgery was Friday the 13th. The surgery went fine, and we were sent home on Monday. We fought fevers and pain most of the week, but through it all we've been blessed with good friends.

Friends have sent cards, visited us in the hospital, visited us at home, prayed for us, called, sent text messages, and made us food. All of this brightened Tim's days, and mine too.
As the care giver, I've appreciated every morsel of food that came our way. We've done this before, but Scott still lived at home. Now we have a dog and no extra help.

So, I've decided to be a better friend to others when they travel this road.
I've reflected on who I could have been a better friend to the last few years.

A couple of people who brought us food are not even our closest friends. I'm not sure if this is part of their ministry to others, but they ministered to my weary soul.

I hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Speed Bumps

I had so much planned to do this weekend. My husband is having hip replacement surgery on Friday, so I wanted to accomplish a lot of things before we that day arrived.
On my way to the grocery to stock up, I threw my back out. There is a weak spot in my lower back that periodically messes up. When this happens, I'm fine as long as I'm standing or sitting. But any transition and pain shoots through my body.
Right now, I'm sitting here with a heating pad on my back and anti-inflammatory medicine in my system hoping this passes quickly.
This speed bump in my weekend will prevent me from accomplishing as much as I need to do. I'm thinking God had other plans for me. So I'll slow down and spend more time with Him this weekend and not sweat the small stuff.
I hope you all find time today to get away with God.
Have a great day!
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV
Pictures by Kelli.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


After living through a record-breaking year for rainfall in my area, I cherish the pretty days. And after a stress filled day at work it's so nice to come home to see a little sunshine. Today is sunny and warm in Wilmore. Praise the Lord. From my back porch I can see this farm in the distance.

I'm always amazed at how weather can affect our moods. Why would God care so much about a day in January? Not a good month for flowers or crops as far as I can tell. Yet he delights us with sunshine one day and snowflakes another day.
Our God is truly Awesome!
This is my little corner of the world.

I hope you all are blessed with a beautiful day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

It's hard to believe it's already 2012. I always make goals at the start of every
new year. This year one of my goals it to be content.
How do you set goals to be a better person or achieve certain things and still be content?
When do you feel content?
One person I asked told me he felt content when he'd wake up after a good night's sleep.
I feel content at the beach. I feel closer to God, and a sense of peace falls over me.

I'm going to look for simple moments to enjoy this year, whether they're on my back porch or the beach, I'm going to find moments and embrace contentment.

Happy New Year! I hope you find moments of contentment to enjoy in 2012.


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