volume 1 issue 7
the joy of adventure
the joy of intimacy with the Father
the joy of extravagant faith
the joy experiment
the joy of others first
The Joy Experiment
a pathway to realized joy
the joy experiment
In March, the leadership team started a journey to uncover the secret of joy. As part of our discovery process we narrowed down our search to three elements: extravagant faith, others first, and adventure.
Joy is something we all desire in our lives. But how many of us truly experience authentic joy? It is something you cannot create on your own. It is organic, supernatural, and comes from one true source. The joy of the Lord, after all, is where our strength comes from.
Inside this special issue of She's Crowned you will hear what each team leader discovered on her journey to finding joy. We pray it opens you up to the pathway of experiencing great joy in your life.
founder, sisters of the crown
My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!
For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up in you the power of endurance.
James 1:2-3 (passion)
the joy of extravagant faith
"If God as Creator could create such magnificence, then God is able to intervene in my life, too."
~ adrienne tietz
the joy of extravagant faith (part I) adrienne tietz
For the Joy Experiment, my emphasis was extravagant faith. Ingrid and I went to the mountains as a prophetic/symbolic act of faith of crossing our mountains into God’s promises and inheritance for us.
Nature always has a way of connecting me deeper to God. When I look at His handiwork as Creator, I remember that He is an amazing Artist and All-Powerful. Sure enough when we were surrounded by mountains, I felt whisked away from my day-to-day circumstances and repositioned in the middle of God’s grandeur. If God as Creator could create such magnificence, then God is able to intervene in my life, too. He’s not bound by time, space, or earth’s limitations. He’s above it. Being in that setting while asking God to renew my faith was like a reset, a reminder that God’s promises never, never fail.
At one point, we drove through an area called Peaceful Valley while listening to The Blessing (Hebrew version). I felt God’s Presence so strongly. His goodness as a Father to us is all-encompassing. He loves to bless and give; it is His very nature. Someone once said that we can never outgive God, and I completely agree. Sometimes, promises tarry. We don’t know why, but we know that God’s promises always prevail eventually.
Keeping our faith in God’s promises is a way that we can bless God. When we don’t see the promises yet, we get the opportunity to believe. The more impossible it seems to be, the greater the opportunity to grow in faith. Every single aspect of God and of our walk with Him requires faith. We pray to a God we don’t yet see. We believe in a city that is yet to come. We wait, but we wait in hope.
When weak in faith, I ask God to help me and to give me a reset. I’m thankful He did that through the extravagant faith journey. I pray He does the same for you!
the joy of extravagant faith (part II) ingrid maddock
For me, this has been a journey that has lasted many months. In February, the Lord told me I needed to move a mountain in my life and I just knew it would entail a physical declaration someplace with elevation. At the same time, the Sisters of the Crown Leadership team was preparing to embark on our discovery season for The Joy Experiment. Little did I know that these two paths would dramatically intersect.
Adrienne and I went to Colorado to research our portion of The Joy Experiment– finding joy through Extravagant Faith. In the month leading up to the trip my life turned into a constant struggle as insomnia hit me like a tsunami. By the time I left for the trip my sleep deprivation had taken a weighty toll.
Our trip was filled with twists and turns and unplanned occurrences and downright problems. It felt as though we were wading through a deep pit of mud that was severely weighing us down. Needless to say, walking in the anointing became a constant struggle. There came a point when we were traveling back from Vail and I cannot even recall how we got to our B&B. Right after we pulled into the parking lot our rental car had a mechanical meltdown.
After four hours of waiting for the car to be serviced I spent time in the living of the bed and breakfast talking to the Lord. My conversation was not coming from a place of joy or gratitude because I honestly could not see the gift in front of me! I did an insane amount of talking and He did an ample amount of gracious listening. When the car situation was finally resolved (such a long story!) I went up to my room unaware of the gift that God gave me in that living room that night.
The gift was learning that the key to finding joy through extravagant faith is gratitude. Gratitude is the key to extravagant faith! A grateful heart (a true, authentic grateful heart) opens the pathway to the Father’s heart and expands our ability to exhibit extravagant faith. How does this happen? Through perspective!
The next day as we were taking a hike, at one point I was alone with God. We had a heart-to-heart conversation about the things in my life that needed a dramatic shift in perspective and a good dose of gratitude. It wasn’t that I needed to work into more faith by praying more, reading more, or worshiping more. It was that I needed to be more grateful for everything. Everything! I wish I could say when I reached the summit of the mountain, I saw angels coming down from heaven and had a complete Holy Spirit life transformation experience. I did not! But I can say in that moment foundational seeds were laid that I have been discovering ever since.
the joy of extravagant faith (continued)
Since my mountain experience I have had many trials and moments when I truly was pushed to the limit. But I have used gratitude to expand my faith knowing that God WILL change everything to work together for my good and His Glory as long as I keep all things in perspective. And the outcome produces unexplainable joy!
Without gratitude I think it is impossible to have true faith.
Without faith in The One it is very difficult to experience true joy.
Without joy life is just simply unbearable.
A joyful heart is medicine.
A joyful heart embraces extravagant faith.
Extravagant faith moves mountains.
the joy of others first
"As we choose to have authentic deep relationships, we find a secret place of joy that only comes from loving and serving others."
~ karen martin
the joy of others first (continued)
My encouragement to you is that if you have been withdrawn and self-protecting and not allowing yourself to be in deep, authentic relationship, you should turn to the Lord. I know that if you allow the Lord to touch the pain and bring healing you will be free to trust and allow true fellowship to come back into your life. We have need of deep, intimate relationships in order to experience the abundant life that has been promised to us by the Lord. Finding joy in relationship with others is a great gift. Don't let past hurts isolate you. And don't allow the enemy to lie to you and tell you that you don't need deep relationships. The enemy is just trying to keep you from the fullness of all the Lord has intended for you.
I have had both pain and joy in relationships. I choose to continue to love and put my heart into having intimate and deep relationships. I choose life! As we choose to have authentic, deep relationships, we find a secret place of joy that only comes from loving and serving others.
I have had to come out of not allowing others in. I have found joy in doing life with other believers. I know you can find ways to share your life with others. You can look for a place to serve, whether in the community or in the church. I also think doing childlike activities with friends helps to lighten our adult load. Some ideas are flying a kite, taking a walk, playing games, doing a girls get away. You could do a game night or a movie. In all that you do, let go and enjoy the time you have with family and friends. Laugh often! Really set your heart toward loving others, and let the joy of relationship with others be released in your life.
Here are some scriptures I recommend for meditation
about the joy of others:
John 15:11-14, 1 John 3:18, Rom 12:9-10, Col 3:13-15, Phil 2:3-4,
Eph 4:32, and John 13:34-35
the joy of others first (part I) karen martin
Jesus was the Holy One, the King of Glory who left His heavenly home to come to save a people for Himself. Relationship is the one thing on the Godhead’s heart. The plan to create human beings in His likeness to have relationship is at the center of the heart of God. Jesus being God and Man showed us the way. He could have done what He needed to do without man but He chose to bring into His earthly life weak, immature, flawed humans and have relationship with them. He put up with their lack of understanding, their bickering, and all their imperfections. He chose to love and include them to the point that in Hebrews 12:2 it says that “for the joy set before Him He endured the cross.” We are that joy for which He endured the cross.
Relationship with us is the joy that was set before Him. This example has been moving people to give their lives to Jesus for over two thousand years. Over and over again, Jesus told His disciples to love one another as He had loved them. In the gospel of John, Jesus speaks of love about fifty times. He especially tells them to love one another in chapters thirteen to seventeen multiple times.
We cannot do this life alone, nor were we created to do so. We were created for relationship, first with God, and then with one another. There is joy in true fellowship. True joy can only come from being in authentic, sincere relationships with others. Sometimes we experience pain from being in relationship with others and this causes us to withhold ourselves from fellowship. Don't let this happen.
We cannot be like Jesus or have the fullness of the abundant life He has for us without intimate relationships with other believers. In these relationships, we find strength, support, joy, and so much more. In these relationships, we can rejoice with those who rejoice.
I love the scene from “The Chosen” where Peter is desperate due to some of his own mistakes and some things that have happened to him. He goes fishing and is crying out to God without an answer. He comes ashore, and Jesus is there. Jesus instructs him to let down his net. Peter, being tried and discouraged, is resistant. As Jesus just looks at him and waits, Peter finally does as Jesus said. The boat tips to one side with the net being so full of fish that it is sinking the boat. Next is the part I love: His fellow fishermen came running to help! They received the blessing of the miracle along with Peter.
I have had my own miracle. The friends that were with me when the miracle took place were filled with as much joy as I was. They were overwhelmed with excitement and joy at the work of God in my life. Even today, as I am still friends with some of them, it is a memory that continues to bring all of us joy. You can never know the wonder of these kinds of encounters and sharing in the miracles of the Lord unless you are in intimate relationship with other believers. God has created us for relationship with Himself and with others.
the joy of others first (part II) sissy reese
There is something that happens in our hearts when we take our focus off ourselves and place it on Jesus and others. When we do this, we get an opportunity to pour out the love of Jesus by serving others. This does not have to be a grand gesture either. It could simply be acknowledging someone as you pass by them. Everyone has a desire to be seen, to be known, and to be loved. What a difference we could make if we decided to live our lives with intentionality and look for and listen to the Holy Spirit for opportunities to love someone. I am not as good at this as I would like to be, however, I am working on it. I tend to go throughout my days so quickly from one thing to the next trying to accomplish a lot in a small amount of time that I hardly notice my surroundings.
I serve with a local ministry several times a month. The leader always mentions to us that it would be a great idea to have something in our cars to offer to the person standing on the street corner. He says he has been guilty of pulling up next to someone and trying to avoid making eye contact because there was nothing he had to offer. I, too, have found myself in a similar place. I have stopped on occasion, but not as many times as I would like. One day there was a gentleman on the corner with a sign that said something about working for diapers and food. I did not have any cash or anything in my car to give so I avoided looking in his direction.
This happened a second time. Frustrated with myself because I want to be prepared and wasn’t, I asked the Lord to give me another chance. About a week or so later, I was serving with the local ministry and I told the leader about the man on the corner and how twice I had seen him and did not stop. I told him the next time I see this man; I was going to make a point to stop. The next morning, I had some errands to run and at the last minute I decided to go wash my car. As I exited the interstate, there the man was, holding the sign asking for diapers. I was so happy I thought I was going to cry. I rolled down the window and told the man that I had no money but asked if I could go and buy him some diapers. He said that would be great and told me he needed newborn size. I told him that I would be back and I drove off. I just kept thanking the Lord for another opportunity to help this man. I bought the diapers and wrote down the information for the food pantry and the phone number for the ministry before I headed back.
I pulled up with the diapers and apologized that I did not ask his name or introduce myself (I had been so grateful for the opportunity that my senses had escaped me). After introductions, I shared the ministry information and told him about the food pantry. He told me that he did not like to ask for help. I reassured him that the ministry exists to help others. I told him we understand that situations happen to us all and that we just want to help. To date, he has not contacted the ministry. I hope that my kindness towards him allows him to call if he needs to. I also hope that he felt seen and loved. I do not know what it is like to struggle to the degree that I would need to stand on a street corner with a sign and ask for help. It takes such vulnerability to ask for help.
I am so grateful that the Lord allowed me another chance to see this man and stop. It truly blessed me to help. I encourage you to look for ways to make a difference in someone else’s life. I promise that you will have such joy as you serve others. No act of kindness is too small.
the joy of adventure
"Even little adventures can cause your joy meter to spike."
the quest for adventure vicki, anoushka, mary
We wanted to get together to kick off our focus on adventure. It was very last minute (some would say spontaneous), the weather unpredictable, and actually rain was in the forecast for just about every hour we would be together. But the three of us knew we wanted to be outside if we could. A few days prior, I felt a desire rise up to start doing my firepit again. So as we were texting back and forth on what to do, I threw out the idea of meeting at my house outside with the firepit.
Later, I found out the thought of coming over to my house on the chilly spring night to hang out in my living room by the fire had already crossed one of my girlfriend’s minds. Better yet to be outside like we all really wanted, and if it rained we could always move inside. We could make this happen.
Supplies to make s’mores (a staple in our house) were already on hand and just that day I had mixed up some bubble solution for my grandkids and now envisioned the three of us worshiping together and dancing around the yard with our bubble wands.
We were excited to be together. Our darling whimsical creative friend brought us something unique and crafty, an adventure book for us to work on. Some of us aren’t too artsy-craftsy, so we need all the help we can get! It would be fun to work on this little project to get our adventure juices flowing. The night was just perfect with intimate conversation, laughter, unity in prayer, stories, and yes, dancing with bubbles.
God met us on so many levels. We were invited into a prophetic act. As we each picked up a large, dead, dried out, piece of wood and tossed it into the fire, we declared that we were casting those burned, dried, and dead places in our hearts into the consuming fire of God, to be consumed by the fire of His Love, to be no more.
This would be a Divine Exchange: the old dead, dry places in our hearts for Holy Spirit Joy for our spirits, for new life. In front of the burning fire and heat, we each declared out loud, we would now be able to experience... the fresh watering, fresh rains of God, for refreshing and new growth and new life to come.
As we finished up our declarations and soaking in His Presence with one another, we began to feel little raindrops pitter patter upon us. The rains were coming! Why were we not surprised???
My Love responded and said to me, Arise, my dearest, my beauty, and come away with me. Don’t you see? The winter is done. The rains and clouds have come and gone. The flowers are unfolding in the fields; the birds are warming up their songs, The cooing of the turtledove is heard throughout the land. The fig trees are bringing forth their first fruit, and the vines are in blossom, filling the air with their fragrance. So arise my dearest, my beauty, and come away with me. Song of Solomon 2:10-13 (Voice)
the joy of adventure anoushka riley
It has been such a joy and delight to grow daily in experiencing this wondrous intimacy with Abba Father. In particular, Psalm 84:10 reveals my heart about the Joy of intimacy with Him. It says “for just one day of intimacy with the Abba Father is like a thousand days of joy rolled into one." I just love that my intimacy with Abba is an everyday Joy adventure. This Spring, the Lord put a desire in my heart to visit my family in Curacao, a Caribbean island north of South America, even in the midst of the pandemic. It was really bold, risky, and at the same time exhilarating to say yes to His invitation to travel abroad.
My whole trip was wonderfully filled with so many unexpected joy experiences and all kinds of adventures. One special intimate joy moment was when I was swimming in the beautiful aqua beach of Porto Marie, amidst the coral reef. I was joyously surprised by three yellow and black striped angel or sergeant fish that loved swimming beside me, and I wasn’t even snorkeling. Later on, it looked like they brought their whole family to join me, and I was surrounded by many different beautiful tropical fish. I was overwhelmed with joy and in awe over all His beautiful creation.
The Holy Spirit awakened in me a new sense of appreciation and joy for the little things. I was taking it all in and I felt very special to Abba, His pleasure was ministering joy to my heart. A couple of scripture verses that came to mind were Zechariah 4:10, which says not to despise the day of small things, but rejoice (paraphrased), and Psalm 4:7, which says you have put more joy and rejoicing in my heart than others know when their wheat and new wine have yielded abundantly.
It was all a very supernatural and extraordinary adventure at the beach. I thank the Lord for healing my heart with His oil of joy and expanding my heart to experience more of His joy with adventures.
adventure joy mary summers
I have been so abundantly blessed by my Heavenly Father on my joy adventure. He opened doors for me, performed miracles, and provided above and beyond what I ever could have imagined. It’s truly a story of joy, restoration, and redemption.
My joy adventure began back in April when I decided to cross over the state line and move from Kansas to Missouri. I lived in an apartment and my lease was almost up. I had no idea where I was going but I took a leap of faith and put in my 60-day notice. I had been very comfortable in that apartment as it had been a place of refuge and healing and I had so many sweet moments with the Father as He healed my heart and prepared me for my next adventure.
I’m not going to lie; it wasn’t all a joy ride. At one point I got cold feet about moving away from all that was comfortable and familiar, I had been in the same area for many years and I knew where everything was. Since I’m directionally challenged, moving to an unfamiliar area was a real stretch! Thankfully, a friend encouraged me that sometimes change is not only necessary but can be so very good. She helped me find the perfect place that checked off all of the items on my list and then we hit a small obstacle. The model that I wanted was not available and wouldn’t be in the foreseeable future and I was up against a time crunch. This is where God showed up big time and opened that door. The model suddenly became available exactly when I needed to move. This just confirmed to me that I was doing the right thing crossing the state line. I also had some residual credit issues from my past that had caused me so much shame and embarrassment for quite some time. This is where another miracle came into play. The day I applied for my new home, my credit score went up 40 points, for no apparent reason, and has since gone up again, restoring it to what it was prior to my divorce.
The dear friend who helped me find my perfect home is also very talented in interior design and created a beautiful, elegant designer home. Just for me. Every morning when I wake up, I am just so overwhelmed and grateful that I get to live here! We call it my Holy Spirit designer home because He was guiding her along the way.
My old home was safe and a place of refuge. But my new home is the place where God wants me to live in His abundance. Even the look and décor is lighter and brighter. It's my happy place! As I crossed over the state line, I felt like He washed away all the hurt and shame and all the messy residue from my past and had given me a clean slate, a new beginning. I know this is only the beginning of what He has planned for me.
I believe that we are entering a season of God pouring out His abundance on His children. Even though things in this world are a little crazy, we as Lovers of Jesus get to rise above the circumstances and live without fear and lacking nothing. My prayer for you is that you know just how much you are loved by our Heavenly Father and that you are open to receive all that He has for you. He is a God of abundance and it brings Him so much joy to bless His children. So, I invite you to take a joy adventure with the Lord and let Him show you just how precious you are to Him!
"The joy comes from knowing that I can just "be." I don't have to do anything expect be my perfectly imperfect and broken self melted into His warm embrace."
~ Ingrid Maddock
the joy of intimacy with the Father
the joy of intimacy with the Father ingrid maddock
The way I truly experience unbridled joy in my intimacy with the Father is by approaching Him as a three-year-old child. I find myself desiring to crawl up into His safe and secure lap and talking to Him about everything that is in my heart. These moments are priceless and never seem to last long enough. I could linger in the lap of My Father for days on end.
I experience pure joy in these moments. The joy comes from knowing that I can just "be." I don't have to do anything expect be my perfectly imperfect and broken self melted into His warm embrace. He loves me no matter what I have done before crawling into His lap. He never shuns me or makes me feel like He is in a hurry or too busy to spend time with me.
I never question His love for me. I never doubt that I am accepted and loved lavishly. He is the greatest love of my life. Nothing compares to the love He has for me and I for Him. There is joy in that love, so much joy, pure joy, that is found in these precious moments of living life as a three year old. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I am so privileged to be His little girl who dances and twirls for Him and sees how much joy it brings His heart.
That is the joy of intimacy with the Father to me.
she's crowned - september
sisters of the crown
join our mailing list
champion of freedom
sisters of the crown
find authentic community on your journey
new community groups
take time to
sisters of the crown