Welcome to the Joy Right Here Podcast where I sit in my rocking chair on the front porch to tell you stories and share personal reflections filled with life, hope, humor, and felicity. I'm Sierra, your host, and will keep each episode short, simple, and filled with joy. Come sit awhile! And by "awhile," I mean not too long, because we've got things to do and lives to LIVE!!
LETS TALK ABOUT THE BIRTH STORY! I saved the best for last. Pizza, curvy roads(😖), the Mask (😫), the tears (😭), and LAUGHTER (😆) all make their way in our final episode of the series. At one point, I mention labor being discouragingly early, but I MUST SAY, I was so happy things were *finally* moving. So, let's be clear on that.😁 I did have gentle pain reliever before the epidural, but the epidural was the hardest decision to make during the process, BUT SO WORTH IT. More on that in the episode! Also, didn't mention the first cup of coffee after labor which my husband and I practically cried over on the first morning after labor. IT WAS LIKE THE DEW OF HEAVEN. Best cup of coffee in 2020.👏So, here we goooo!! (The Content in this episode is my *personal* birth experience, does not take away from your birth story, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding birth, postpartum, or any other medical condition.)
This year has brought us a lot of unexpected things, mostly awful, but there have ALSO been some good surprises. Some great UN-expectations, some things we wouldn't trade back in if we could. Today, I'm telling you the story about my writing poetry again after years of ignoring it. To tell the story accurately, we've got to go all the way back to when I was a kid where it all began.
I also share a pretty important poem that I wrote in spring 2020. It's good to talk about the good stuff, and that's exactly what we're going to do on this Monday. Welcome back!
THE GARDEN! I do not believe this would even exist without the pandemic or our camp-wide quarantine! It may have happened EVENTUALLY, but it would not have happened this soon, and it most certainly would not be as delightful and surprising as it was and is (minus the deer, rabbits, and ground squirrles, heheeee). Today, our chat on the porch is all about saying yes to where we are with what we have. It's about the enjoyment that happens when we do say yes. I
get distracted by the beautiful outdoors. I'm a little scatter-brained, but the wind-chimes make music and it's just so good to talk about the good stuff. Here's another story highlight from 2020!
We chat honestly about how Thanksgiving felt (or didn't) and the practical thing we can do this holiday season which will help us celebrate more freely & fully! This episode is a mixture of lighthearted life + the honest way we can approach this holiday season. While this conversation wasn't a planned part of this podcast season, I think it's what we need to hear. Plus we walk in the garden and take a FUN goat tour. Which just feels like life in all the best ways. Happy Monday!
HELLO! It's been months and months! Wasn't sure I would get back to this, BUT HERE WE ARE. And I am happy about it!!🎙👏🎉 This is the first episode of a 5-part series where I tell you stories and catch you up on life in 2020. We'll start with November 2019 when I found out I was pregnant with my son! FOREWARNING, I do talk about morning sickness in this episode (not the whole time & not in gross detail) so if that makes you queasy or uncomfortable, skip right over or go ahead and mute me whenever you need to! Without further ado, welcome to my porch where we keep it S I M P L E and F U N with the motto: It's good to talk about the good stuff.
Today's episode is our last one for awhile & it's such a good one to end on! With a few simple questions I'm going to help you dive into your own life, see the beauty of it, find the things you enjoy, challenge you to anticipate the future, as you learn how to savor the season you're in. Life isn't a bowl of cherries, but there usually are some cherries in the bowl if only we took time to notice!
Note: The Joy Right Here Podcast is taking a hiatus as I prepare for our baby, figure out new routines, and contribute to all my writing projects and deadlines. You can find lots more at sierrafedorko.com and can reach me via Instagram @sierrafedorkoblog!
Let's start today's episode in the Plant Your Feet series with a question. "How have you planted your feet in all this chaos & change?" I think you'll be delighted with the answers you're about to find. You're growing! Improving! Moving forward! Adapting! Let's acknowledge our progress and celebrate it. Next, let's get practical. No doubt you've felt overwhelmed by the change of routines and rearranged plans. Today's exercise will help you define your point of frustration. Once defined, you will be able to move forward confidently and without the layers of unidentified stress weighing you down. The exercise for defining your point of frustration is surprisingly simple, but very honest! You won't be disappointed. We CAN do this!
The first episode of the Plant Your Feet series is beginning with a pep talk. Let's get on our feet so we can plant our feet in this wild time of change, chaos, and cancellations. Today, I'm sharing with you a simple thought that is sure to encourage + challenge as you adjust & adapt to all the new things happenings (or not happening!) in your life. Episode 29 will provide clarity as you move forward and embrace your 100% life. We CAN do this!!
WHEW! Nothing has been "normal" since November and the podcast has been in & out since December, so today I'm just sitting down and having a laid-back chat about life and all that's been happening. I also share a phrase that's been absolutely H U G E in helping me settle in during this very transitional, wild time of life. I hope this episode encourages you wherever you happen to be today. Grab that cup of coffee or fold some laundry (blehhhh!) and let's chat!
Today, I'm sharing my 5 ground rules for social media. And then? I'm going to challenge you to sit down and make some of your own. Believe it or not, giving yourself a set of boundaries actually sets you free! You'll be less overwhelmed by social media and more apt to use social media as a purposeful tool that enhances your life and the lives around you. Positive change is truly up to you. You can be free from social media and STILL use it.
Take charge of your Valentine's Day and go ALL OUT! Yes, you CAN have a great Valentine's Day whether or not your're in a relationship. Yes, you CAN have a great Valentine's Day even if your current life season is dry as bone. We make things so much harder than they have to be. Let's look out! I hope this episode cheers you onward to a Valentine's Day full of greatness. It can happen! It's up to you.
You won't believe how simple this is advice is to apply! And the best part is you can totally tailor it to your lifestyle. I've been implementing this one piece of advice since 2015 and it's made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Life just keeps moving. Days are often busy. Things are going on everywhere! Do this and you WILL see a positive change!
Did you know that it takes DISCIPLINE and INTENTION to be surprised and delighted when you're an adult! Did you know 2020 can be full of goodness and gladness if only we noticed the other side of our reality? Now I'm not saying we ignore our pain or live wearing rose-colored glasses, but I am daring us to see beyond the stress, unmet expectations, and busy responsibilities to SEE the good stuff. Here are 3 simple ways you can choose to see delight in 2020. Let's start small, go step by step, and be amazed at the little ways we are drenched in delight and caught off guard by ordinary life surprises.
Overwhelmed yet? Done with the hoopla of the New Year? It's time to B R E A T H E! We are standing in the invitation of a lifetime. . .more life experienced with God! I hope this episode gives you a beautiful idea of what you're year could be. And I hope it equips you with the freedom to RUN WITH IT!
Happy New Year.
There is so much more.
In the spring, I shared this on Instagram,
Little Roxanne looks soo much like her billy goat dad! I've even nicknamed her NJ (Nigel Junior) She's got his wild spirit. She holds her own, is super smart, and SOMETIMES she will show a SPLATTERING of affection (just like Nigel😂). After Nigel died, I hoped one of the goat kids would look just like him. I think I even prayed it. And so came Roxanne. It may just be a goat, but I believe God delights in watching us enjoy what He's created. God knew I'd feel an extra measure of His care when Roxanne came out looking like Nigel. God is in the details. All the good & perfect gifts. . . every single, tiny one is from God. Never doubt it and don't ever deny it! Yeah, it's a goat, but it's also a display of God's love! So here's a small, yet profound question. . .➡️ What display of God's love are you blind to right now?❤
And I'll be honest I was hesitant to share that and here's why + what I've learned about God's good gifts to me. Podcast will return JANUARY 2020!
You want a good holiday season, but you’re a human holding tough things. So how can you–and all of us–enjoy the holidays? Here’s 7 practical tips I believe will help all of us live the holidays fully and without regret. I think you'll be AMAZED at the unplanned, candid, meaningful moments you’ll get to enjoy when you implement these 7 things!
My goal for A Pygmy’s Life for Me was (and is!) to bring clarity and truth to anyone feeling small, misunderstood, or isolated. And God has brought that goal to fruition. Meeting it in ways I never could. Yes, this book is my personal history (some fiction added, of course!), but it also holds the anthem of freedom for all of us. We are not defined by how we began. God's grace has permeated every corner of our life. And we are free! (Order HERE or search on Amazon)
A Pygmy's Life for Me is the very beginning discovery of tenacious joy and full freedom. You can finish the last chapter of the book and know your story is far from over. And God's story in us is always stunning, always good, and always full of better and best and healing and hope. Let's recount a 5 of my favorite things that have happened since the book released last November! PS: The reader mentioned in #5 "Telling Her Story" was the daughter who received the book for Christmas. HOW COOL IS THAT?!
It's NOT TOO LATE!
Begin that creative project, learn that new thing, become an artist of sorts, enjoy the fall season, or press into the gift(s) you never expected to be yours this year! I'm learning there are gifts given directly to us and gifts we can experience if only we choose to be a part of them! So here's a story about my snapdragons that began so woefully and then bloomed so vibrantly at the perfect time. They're a lot like us. This is just the episode we need to begin our holidays well.
On Monday, we see Maryn reconcile with the overwhelming reality of 30 years and the possibility that it may very well be her story too. We see Aneta grieve and be given the gift of a sunset that looks just like her. Perhaps the most triumphant moment of all is hearing Maryn speak to the Light-Maker for the first time in many, many years.
Chapter 11 will find Maryn more at peace than ever before but soon met with the meadow of her past. To see the meadow is beautiful and hard. It's a comforting scene and yet a call to courage.
One of my favorite moments in Chapter 11 is Maryn's honesty, "My sob-like words are more an admission of how I feel rather than a request for help, but I wait, heart sinking fast, knowing my cry was enough."
Take a screenshot and share what you loved most about our first audio-book series, Where Maryn Goes! Tag me (@sierrafedorkoblog) in the photo. Love, love, LOVED having this adventure with you!
The Joy Right Here Podcast will return November 11th!🎙💛
This is our last week of Where Maryn Goes and I have loved having this adventure with you! I trust that you have seen yourself in these words, that you can find your heart in Maryn, Aneta, or Stella. We still have two days and, my oh my, they are full to the brim. Last week, we saw more deeply into Aneta. . .a small hint of the vast heartache she has endured. Chapters 9 & 10 will delve into the aftereffects of Aneta's pain and will, in turn, reveal comfort + light to Maryn.
I love Maryn's reflection in Chapter 10--"I breathe in slowly and try to process this wildly hard, delicate, and lovely day. Yes, life-eyes see life well, but I didn’t know it meant I would see heartbreaking things like this. How can I explain the sadness and the hope combined? How can I put into words the terror and the triumph?".
Take a screenshot when you listen and share your favorite part of Chapters 9 & 10. Tag me in your photo @sierrafedorkoblog. Can't wait to hear what you love most about these very full chapters!
Maryn and Aneta have just pulled Stella from the Ocean and are helping her stay alive. While neither Maryn nor Aneta can rescue Stella from Ocean like the Light-Maker can, they are able to take part by helping her to Peace. . . by giving her the company she needs in this wide expanse of terror and pain. (May we be like Aneta, always eager to help others to the Great Rescue!)
But today is a new adventure! We find Maryn examining her new life-eyes and beginning to understand what it means to make space and that Ocean is a good teacher of how to do so. Aneta is left in a horrifying state of mind and life as we wrap up Chapter 8.
See ya next Monday for Chapters 9-10!
Where Maryn Goes is back for another week of adventure, reawakening, and healing! We left off with Maryn having just experienced the waves of grief. We left her with a new dress made of orange flowers and tentative hope slung about her. We see her welcoming the life she would not choose and we hear her confiding in Aneta about the grief so personal and terrifying to her. A favorite part of Chapter 6 reads like this: " 'Ocean feels like forever, but I’ve seen some good things happen in the span of forever.' I can hardly believe these are the words leaving my mouth that harbors so many screams, so many angry, bitter cries. But here I am. And here is Ocean. And it’s true. . .I’ve seen good things out here."
May the words that sound like allegorical fiction sing truth and hope to your weary soul on this Tuesday!
I hope Thursday finds you well. Got more laundry to fold? A second cup of coffee to drink? Get ready for an adventure. May you find yourself in the words you hear and know you're not alone. Chapter 4 brings us a simple, painful, yet comforting truth: "The waves of grief are unique and terrifying, but the way of grief has been a place for both of us."
Today we begin our FIRST EVER audio book series on the Joy Right Here Podcast! Light a fall candle, get cozy, (or just fold the laundry and do dishes), and listen to the first two chapters of my NEW novelette, Where Maryn Goes. Below is a synopsis of the novelette or simply press play and trust you're going somewhere good!
AND WE'RE OFF!
Where Maryn Goes: She wears a dress of dead things and has forgotten how to live, but a nightmarish encounter forces her to go into the season of Ocean. Just as she gets in position to receive the terror and become the pain. . . everything changes.
Here is the reawakening of Maryn.
Here is the episode in which I cannot say C R E A T I V I T Y! Well anyhow, I've got some big news for you! The next few weeks on the podcast are going to be wildly good and so different. I think fall is a perfect season for fresh stories and old books, for new things and mundane things. So in the spirit of all that, here's a different kind of adventure for our podcast.
Before you go, here's a challenge for your Monday; go do something you enjoy and savor the last day of September.
Do you ever feel insecure? Do you ever feel like you're not enough? Well, GREAT! That's the first step to freedom! Let me tell you something: YOU WERE NOT MEANT TO CARRY YOU'RE OWN CHAOS! So let me tell you what you ARE meant for.
This one is SO simple but SO important!! We've got to take a minute to pause and enjoy everything that's happened. . .all the good that God has done & all the life He is multiplying & remaking. Life is not perfect, and we get that, but life holds some lovely things. We simply must NOTICE!
Last week, I shared an emotional look into my heart, and THIS WEEK I'm sharing 3 practical things YOU can implement TODAY to help you effectively fight for your heart. I've learned these by experience and believe they will help you as much as they have helped me. I love the first one, but if you decide to do any of these. . .let it be the second one! This will absolutely change the game and help you refocus and, in turn, THRIVE. To get uplifting emails every Monday, click here. Access to a free 5-Day eDevotional gets sent your way when you do!
A few things to know about this episode:
1. Nothing tragic has happened to bring on this episode. This is the ebb and flow of discouragement and trials faced here in this broken world!
2. The graveyard in this story is metaphorical. And I LOVE the picture it represents. . . for all of us, really!
3. Speaking of all of us, I am pretty certain that you have felt these emotions or you will feel them soon. It's part of living life with God, but living here on earth.
4. I'm passionate about sharing life and all God is powerfully doing in life. It feels uncomfortable, but it's important. We're all here or have been here, so let this be an episode that encourages to face your pain & your grief (however it looks) WITH the God of your life who will raise all that is broken and make it beautiful, good, and filled with His glory.
(If you'd like more reflections like the ones in this episode, you can sign up for the Monday emails here >> http://bit.ly/MondayStories)
WATCH OUT!! HERE IT COMES. . .the great battle between pumpkin spice lattes and swimsuits! Half your friends are enjoying their #PSL and the other half are hurling watermelon chunks at their faces telling them to PLEASE STOP! Oh for goodness sake! What if both sides are just delighting fully in the life God has given?! What if both the #PSL lovers and swimsuit wearers are doing it right!? Let this lighthearted episode give you the permission to enjoy the life God has given you. Let this be the episode that pushes you to be a thankful person no matter how it looks in this odd in-between time.
Here's a story about our goat, Roxanne, who got distracted by the scraps on the ground and how you and I can be just like her. . .settling for what we see, what's easy, and what makes sense to us in the moment. But the truth is we don't have a settling kind of story! Let's talk about our Refuge, the Source of all goodness, comfort, and peace. Here we will find our story isn't scrappy. . . our story is good.
Challenge of the day: Let's not be like a stubborn, easily distracted goat!
It's still summer! Pretty soon you'll be back at school, or starting college, or seeing your kids off and away, or getting stir crazy for fall, BUT TODAY IS SUMMER! Let's love life right here. Finish your summer strong, enjoy the busy, soak in the season, and embrace the transition. Let's talk 3 ways you can love your time right here!🌻🌞
NOTE: Starting today, I'm off and away on a mini hiatus. I'm learning what it means to TRULY rest and I'm soaking all the bits of summertime I can before waltzing onward (click here for more details about why this hiatus is so important). The podcast will be back Monday, August 19. In the meantime, catch up on any episodes you've missed. Episode 4 is a long-standing favorite of mine! So much more is coming! And I've got plenty of good things in store for you. CANNOT WAIT!
At 17, I discovered Psalm 62:8 and it has CHANGED EVERYTHING for me these last 7 years! This one is packed with truth--simple, practical, and encouraging. We aren't meant to carry our chaos; we are meant to cast it all on God. HE gives rest. HE gives clarity. HE gives peace! Let's live out Psalm 62:8 together. ❤
I love celebrating the holidays and I LOVE celebrating life. I even invented Birthday Observation Day (because, why not?!).I'm a huge fan of "It's a good day to have a good day!" So I'm sharing the ONE thing you should do for Christmas in July even if you don't like celebrating it. This will make your real holidays even better & it will help you remember the good things and your good God! Ready? Let's go!🎄📝🎁 (emojis will make sense when you listen😉)
More than halfway through 2019 and it's just as hard as last year! And the year before that!! But listen here, 2019 is not hopeless and you are not helpless in it.🙌 Let me remind you of 3 big truths that will help you off the bathroom floor and get you running headlong into your God-given life!
I see you! YOU'RE HERE and it's frustrating! Couldn't you serve God so much better in a different season? Couldn't you do so many more important things for God if you were over there in THAT season?! Well, no. And let me tell you why! You're in for an encouraging few minutes.
On your way out, don't forget to grab your FREE eDevotional at sierrafedorko.com!
PS: I'll say hi to Stella for ya if you want. . .🙂🦃
Let's talk about my terrible cup of coffee...err..I mean my word for 2019! This word is revolutionizing the way I view the ups and downs of life in 2019. Hope this episode is encouraging for you & inspires you to think about your own word for the year!
It's all too easy to place our identity in our pain. We begin to let pain (of all kinds) dictate who we are and who we can become. We live enslaved, swallowed up, consumed! That's been me multiple times in the past 🙋♀️(and probably will be me at some point this week too!). But you and I are NOT our pain. Episode 05 is all about what to say instead of our favorite mantra "I am my pain."❤ PS: 5 Lies That WILL Destroy You is Episode 2 not 3!
Taking just a few minutes to sit outside and casually talk about the significance of my Porch Garden and the unlikely word I use to describe 2018. The birds are chirping about, the chimes are chiming, and the breeze gently interferes, so get some unedited fresh air with me and let's have slow conversation about gardens, goats, and the undeniable life of God!❤
PS: I mention we were waiting on Hattie to kid. She had one healthy, BIG boy and we named him Little Mav! All goats are happy & well.😊
Your season may look and feel like a dead-end, but I'm here to tell you. . . your season is NOT a dead-end. Here's how I can say that with 100% confidence! Head to sierrafedorko.com for your FREE eDevotional today!
Discussing the 5 lies that will destroy you far more than your pain ever will! Have you believed any of these? I've especially struggled with Lie #2,4, AND 5. Let's shed some truth on the matter and walk away with courage and joy! By the way, your free eDevotional is waiting for you at sierrafedorko.com!
Sharing a window into the last 9 years of my physical/emotional pain & my goal for THIS podcast! Here's why YOU & I can live out joy even as we live within 9 years of something hard. . .(many more HOPEful chats to come!)