Unconditional Respect

Have you read Love and Respect yet? I highly recommend it. I read it last year, and I was blown away by the basic, biblical principle that a wife’s primary need in a marriage is unconditional love, and a husband’s primary need is unconditional respect. We hear about unconditional love all the time, but who’s talking about unconditional respect? That means my husband doesn’t have to earn my respect before I give it. I give it. Period. 



In 2017, my word for the year is RESPECT because, as much as I enjoyed the book last year, I did not put it into practice as I knew I should have, and I want to be a better wife to my husband. So this year I’m making it my focus by slowly re-digesting Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. 

You can watch me rehash some of the principles I’m applying in Table Talk 24: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. All my mentoring moments at the table are archived in my private Facebook group–Table Talks With Joy. Not a part of the group? Sign up for live mentoring moments here, and you’ll automatically be invited into the group.

Who’s read this book? What was your big takeaway? 

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A Basic List: Favorite Podcasts

When I find someone that I really connect with or look up to, I love love love digging into the same places that person is learning from. I want to know the books they’re reading, the shows they’re watching, and the podcasts they’re listening to. So often if they’re being challenged by someone, that same person is going to challenge me too.

And I especially love podcasts because they are automatically downloaded on my phone when a new one comes out, and I can plug my earbuds in and listen while I’m doing other things around the house: getting ready in the morning, working in the kitchen, folding laundry, etc. 

Confession: so much of what we talk about on Table Talks With Joy is an overflow of what I’m learning and being challenged by from my own personal development. In other words, many times it’s ripped straight off some of my favorite podcasts.

So if you need are looking for some similar sources to be challenged by, here’s a peek on my iPhone and what I’m listening to:

For Spiritual Development:

My awesome church, TRIBE, meets on Sunday evenings. So that leaves Sunday mornings wide open for pancakes and watching as many of my favorite churches online as possible. And if I can’t catch them live, then I make sure to listen to the podcasts.

Church on the Move: This was my home church for almost two decades while I lived in Oklahoma. It’s a consistent source of great, meaty content. Their current series LOVE WELL is packed with challenging content. Parts 3 and 4 explain forgiveness and how the Bible tells Christians to handle truly evil people. I guarantee, it’ll make you squirm at times, but it will challenge you to approach these topics with a completely different view. ALSO, Earl McClellan was recently a guest speaker on the First Wednesday service (March 2017), and this message had me in tears–powerful word of encouragement. Go listen!

Life.Church: Craig Groeschel is quickly becoming one of my favorite pastors to listen to. His messages are always concise and challenging. He doesn’t mince words. I have been especially challenged by his recent series Divine Direction (based on his new book that I must get a copy of!).

North Point Community Church: When Andy Stanley starts a series, I challenge you to just try to write fast enough to keep up with the information pours out. I just finished “Your Church” which tells all about their mission and how they do things. It’s the perfect intro to decide if this is your kind of teaching. Next week he begins a series on David, and I can’t wait. I guarantee this will be well-researched and challenge you to your core.

For Personal Development:

Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast: This is specifically geared to leaders (and if you work with people, you’re a leader), and it is SOLID GOLD every time. I can’t say enough good about this podcast. My only complaint is that a new one only comes out once a month. I. Need. More.

The Kidmin Podcast: So for those of you who don’t know, I’m heavily involved in my church’s children’s ministry, and a lot of the vision and direction the kidmin takes is on my shoulders, so I’m looking for any quality source I can. The Kidmin Podcast is a newer one, but it’s been a wealth of inspiration and practical tips. If you’re in kidmin, check it out.

For Fun:

Read-Aloud Revival: I love all things children’s books, and this podcast is everything I can stand behind. Lead by a homeschool mama who’s in the trenches with me, this podcast talks to authors and other professionals in the children’s lit industry, and it just has fun. I learn about new books I want to read all the time. And the final few minutes are THE HIGHLIGHT of the show. Kids of all ages call in from across the country and give their personal favorite book recommendations and a short synopsis of why they like the books. I dare you to not smile while listening to some of these toddlers give their book recommendations.
What Should I Read Next? As if your to-read list needs MORE items added, right? Anne Bogel brings on an avid reader, spends some time getting to know him/her, and then the guest gives a list of 3 books he/she loves, 1 he/she hates, and what he/she is currently reading. Then Anne recommends 3 books the guest should read next. So fun.

I’ve got a few more fun ones on my list, but I want to thoroughly vet them a little better before I give a solid recommendation.



And if you need a tutorial for how to subscribe to podcasts on iTunes, check out my most recent Table Talk.


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SIMPLE KOMBUCHA: (Plus FREE Printables to Get You Started)

Who is already drinking kombucha on a regular basis? It’s full of so many great benefits: probiotics, enzymes, B-vitamins, and more. It helps your body digest food better, lose weight, and detox. Who doesn’t want all those benefits?


On Instagram, we’ve been talking about how to shop for organic food on a budget. If you’re looking for some money-saving tips, I’ve got some great ones. Check it out.

One of the best ways to save money is to make your own food and drinks–sourdough bread, bone broth, sauerkraut . . . and KOMBUCHA. If you’re paying $2-$4 per bottle of kombucha you buy in the store, please stop. You can make your own for pennies. (BONUS: Your kombucha won’t be flash-pasteurized and therefore potentially rid of most of its healthy benefits.)


When I started reading about the benefits of kombucha, I wanted to start brewing my own right away, but the more I researched, the more overwhelmed I felt, and I just didn’t believe I could handle the responsibility of keeping my own batches going. It took me weeks after getting my own SCOBY to actually start my first batch. I was convinced it was weird, too much work, and probably wouldn’t taste right, so why bother?

I. Was. Wrong.

It is simple. And I want to make it SIMPLE for you. I won’t bog you down with lots of brewing methods, facts about what the kombucha can do, or 20-step processes to get you started. I just want to help you get started, so I’ve boiled the process down to 4 EASY STEPS so you can feel empowered to start right away.

AND I’m selling SCOBYs from my personal collection that are full-size and thriving in my continuous brew collection. For the price of less than 4 bottles of kombucha in the store, you can have a SCOBY and starter tea shipped to your home in a couple of days, and you can begin making gallons, yes gallons, of your own kombucha right away.


Let’s start with what you need (besides the SCOBY). Most of these items you probably already have:

  1. 1-2 gallon glass jar
  2. White sugar
  3. Black or Green tea bags
  4. A piece of cloth and rubber band for covering the jar’s opening.
  5. Printout of my 4 SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKE KOMBUCHA and HOW TO MAKE KOMBUCHA SWEET TEA (It’s on page 2).

That’s it! Now, go order your own SCOBY!


  1. Order your SCOBY + Starter Tea (on sale now!).
  2. Print these two instruction guides.
  3. Make the kombucha sweet tea (page 2 in instruction guides).
  4. Follow the 4 steps to making your own kombucha.

Bam. That’s it.

Can you make it more complicated? Yep. Can you find tons of second-ferment flavors and techniques to make it extra fizzy? Yes. Do you need to worry about all of that right now? No. As I say in my Sustainable Home Management ebook, DO IT NOW. You need to get started. Stop putting it off. It’s simple. You can do this!

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Dangerous Multitasking; Switch on Your Brain

“Linked Science Concept: Multi-tasking is a persistent myth. Paying deep, focused attention to one task at a time is the correct way.”

[Multitasking], this poor focusing of attention and lack of quality in our thought lives is the complete opposite of how the brain is designed to function and causes a level of brain damage. Every rapid, incomplete, and poor quality shift of thought is like making a milkshake with your brain cells and neurochemicals. This milkshake-multitasking, which is the truth behind multitasking, creates patterns of flightiness and lack of concentration that are unfortunately often erroneously labeled ADD and ADHD and that are too often unnecessarily medicated, adding fuel to the fire. And it’s a rapid downhill slide from there if we don’t get back to our God-designs of deep, intellectual attention.

What does deep, focused, intellectual attention look like versus milkshake-multitasking? The answer is modeled in Proverbs 4:20-23 MSG: “Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” It is very interesting that every cell in the body is connected to the heart, and the brain controls the heart and the mind controls the brain. So whatever we are thinking about affects every cell in our body (emphasis mine).

(Excerpts from chapter 6)

Click on the book cover to purchase.

If you are like me and do better with an audible CD version, you can also purchase the book on CD by CLICKING HERE.

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I saw the title of this book, instantly assumed the content (ANOTHER book about time management and priorities), and I decided my “Best Yes” would be to pick another book that I couldn’t already write myself. Yikes, does that sounds like pride, or what?

So I ignored the book for months, actually years, while all of my friends read it, did small groups studies about it, and testified how encouraging it was to their lives. And I plowed on without reading it.

Just this week another group decided to read it. I didn’t have any other pressing books to read, and I could get it for free from the library, so I went ahead and reserved it. I figured I’d read a few chapters, confirm that I already knew this lesson, and I’d return it to the library.

AND THEN . . .

I started reading. And then I wanted to underline something on every other page!

Lysa gets me. She is saying a lot of what I already follow and believe, but she lays a biblical foundation that explains the why of what I believe. The “Best Yes” is not “a decision based on priorities,” as I had assumed. The “Best Yes” is to identify God’s will for your life and then schedule and plan for it, instead of letting the rest of life get in the way and overwhelm your soul.

For a preview of the book, I talked about the biblical foundation for why we educate ourselves before we make a decision in my Table Talk 15: Taking Care of Yourself. If you’re not signed up for my live mentoring moments, you can sign up now, and you’ll gain access to my private FB page where all my Table Talks are archived.

And if you’re like me and have been putting this book off, click on the picture and purchase it now (it’s less than $10!). It will not disappoint.

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3 Easy Steps to Meal Planning & A GIVEAWAY

**The giveaway is closed**

You asked about meal planning; we listened! How many of you struggle with meal planning? Maybe struggle isn’t the right word. How many of you want to meal plan but don’t know where to start? No matter where you fall on the spectrum, my friend Resa from Your Day Your Style has worked it down to a science and makes meal planning easy for all (plus, she’s designed some gorgeous printables that you will want to post in your kitchen and use right away). I’m so excited she is joining us at the table today to share some of her foundational steps to get started meal planning. And, stay tuned at the end for a giveaway of her Meal Plans Made Easy Workbook and a copy of my e-book Sustainable Home Management. (Plus, there’s a coupon code to get you started right away.) Get ready to be inspired. These are practical steps you can start using today.


Does This Sound Familiar?

Dinner time was once so stressful at our home. Kids screaming,”hangry” breakouts, and missing ingredients would lead me to throw my hands up in surrender (and grab the keys for a trip to the nearest restaurant). What happened to the beautiful “Family Dinner” that everyone says is so important? Deep inside I knew I needed a plan–a meal plan. I am thankful Joy has invited me to share with you the insight I’ve learned concerning meal planning that changed our home for the best. I pray it really helps dinner time be more joyful for you and your family.

We have heard the solution to this craziness is planning ahead. But what if that is overwhelming? Where do you even start?

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The Problem With Plans

It’s moments after the New Year, and everyone is talking about goals and resolutions and focus words. Diets are starting, gyms are full, and your neighbor says hi as she jogs by each morning.

That’s all well and good for her, but you’re already juggling so much on your plate that you can’t imagine adding anything, goal or not. You’re just happy to keep everything on your plate and everyone around you semi-reasonably happy. You’ve got your job, your kids, your volunteer hours, your meal plans, your husband, your friends, your quiet time, your ___________. Any jogging neighbor would be flummoxed to have to juggle all that. She would grovel if she knew how much you were maintaining, and, she’d of course, toast your success and encourage you “Keep up the good work. You’re a model to society” if she knew how much you were maintaining.

There’s no room for goals, for plans. It’s all about survival of the fittest, right? . . . Right?

::cue crickets::

I think we all know there’s an inherent good in planning and making goals. But many of us have reasoned away why it’s good for others but not for us. Sure, we see the potential benefit, but then we value our organized chaos a little more, label ourselves as “eccentric,” and hush that still quiet voice that tries to argue otherwise.

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An Invitation to Mentorship

When I began The Mentor’s Table, my goal was to reach out to millennials and help mentor them as they navigated adulting. But the more I researched “millennials,” the more disparaging talks I heard about this generation born anytime between the 1980s and now. I don’t believe anyone is making a difference telling an entire generation how terribly they were raised and how inept they are. I remember growing up under the “Generation X” label and similar complaints being said about my generation. That label plus older adults telling me what was wrong with my friends and me did nothing to motivate me to want to change. It basically just made me angry and frustrated because I was being lumped in a group as opposed to treated as an individual. This labeling and analyzing a generation isn’t anything new–it’s just a different form of what was said before, except that now it’s mostly laden with technology blame. And I’m done with labels. So this site is not for “millennials” or “gen-x” women. It’s just for YOU.

You Are Not a Label; You Are an Individual

Rather than try to target a label, I want to reach out to you, the individual. If you (no matter when you were born) have moved out from your parents and are trying to do this
“adult” thing by mostly faking it ’til you make it, then I’d like to invite you to pull up a chair to my table. If you are sick of realizing how little you know about how to do some of the basic skills necessary to living on your own, skills like cooking nourishing food, managing a home, and establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships, then pull up a chair. If you are struggling with the intangibles–feeling frustrated or unfulfilled, constantly in strife, haven’t identified your purpose–then grab a warm mug of your favorite drink, and join the table.

Let me be clear. I will make no apologies for approaching this mentorship relationship from a Christ-follower perspective. Having a personal relationship with God, I have found consistency and peace in the worst of times, and I would love for you to experience that same peace and provision. So as we talk about home management, cooking, and especially matters of the heart, I will share my life lessons from a biblical perspective.

An Invitation to Mentor You

There’s an innate need in all of us for mentors, but mentors are hard to come by. I’m offering my time to you to try to do my part to fulfill the need for mentors. I know this doesn’t feel as personal as a living breathing human investing in your life, but there’s something to be said for the virtual nature of this mentorship relationship:

  • You can fit me into any schedule.
  • You can always refer back to articles at any time.
  • You can watch the live mentoring moments either when they broadcast live, or you can go back and watch the replay at your convenience.
  • Late at night or midday, The Mentor’s Table is extending to you an open invitation to come and sit with me for a few minutes so we can talk about life.

I won’t take your trust lightly. I know your time is valuable too. And if you ever find this table isn’t serving your needs, then I promise I won’t guilt you into staying. You always have the choice to remove yourself and find another table and mentor to sit under.

But First You Must COMMIT

Keep in mind, our culture thrives on non-commitment. So my first challenge to you is to commit for a period of time: six weeks? six months? “Just do it” as Nike says. But don’t sit around complaining to your friends or social media that life is hard and you wish you knew what you were doing or that you just feel like a victim of life’s punches. Turn your eyes inward, to your heart, and commit to change. Then do something about it. Maybe that “doing” is simply signing up for the live mentoring moments on Facebook and watching them weekly. Maybe it’s enrolling in a small group at your church (or maybe it’s attending church on a regular basis again). Maybe it’s something else. But until you commit your heart to change, you won’t see results.

It starts with committing your heart. Every time.




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Where Was God in 2016?

2016 brought some crazy, some serious crazy. And it brought a lot of heartbreak. A lot.

But let’s stop for a moment and take a closer look at this past year.


To begin with, it’s important to choose to be thankful first, to “enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4 NLT). Before we go any further and let the 2016 memories drown us in sorrow, let’s get our hearts and our minds in the right place by choosing to be thankful. You don’t have to begin with being thankful for the crazy, for the bad, for the hurt that happened this year. But you always want to start from thanksgiving. So push through the difficult and infuriating memories of 2016, and remember some of the good that happened.

Now write it down. Gratitude as a fleeting thought is not nearly as powerful as gratitude written down in permanent ink as a tangible touchstone for your senses to encounter and remember. Take it a step further and engage your ears and your mouth in the process by saying what you’re thankful for out loud. Thank God for the good that you remember–for the moments of joy, the divine provision, the health, the breaths to live another day, the friends who hugged you, the song that came on when you needed it, or the food that was on your plate yesterday. Be thankful for the little and the big. Be thankful a lot.

Once you’ve given ample time for your heart to quiet down and your mind’s eye to focus on the good, you’ll be in a place to be able to fix your eyes back on the Author and Finisher of our faith. Isn’t that what Christmas is supposed to be about anyway–readjusting our focus and fixing our eyes on that miracle baby sent to change the trajectory of our destiny and send our story to an ending marked by redemption and freedom? Focus back on Him, and then remember . . .

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Elderberry Syrup Recipe

(recipe adapted from Wellness Mama)

IF YOU . . .

If you are frustrated with how easily you or your loved ones seem to “catch” colds or the flu, this recipe is for you.

If you cringe at the health food store prices for natural remedies, and you just can’t justify paying $15 for such a tiny bottle, this recipe is for you.

If you’re looking to be proactive in fortifying your immune system and keeping it strong so you WILL NOT get sick again, this recipe is for you.

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