Janet Aucoin November 18, 2022

It’s Thanksgiving week, and this week’s episode is a little different! Janet and Jocelyn interview each other about all the goodness and grace that God has shown to them this year. We hope you enjoy this more informal chat as we praise our Good Shepherd for the amazing ways He has blessed us.

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Episode Transcript


The Pursuit of Holiness - Jerry Bridges

Untangling Emotions - J. Alasdair Groves, Winston T. Smith

How Long O Lord - D. A. Carson

Dark Clouds, Deep Mercies - Mark Vroegop

The Glory of Christ - John Owens

Gentle and Lowly - Dane Ortlund


Blessed Self-Forgetfulness - Tim Keller

Handling Criticism - Faith Church


Jocelyn: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.

Janet: I just want to make it as totally simple as possible for ladies to see that the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.

Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.

Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy.

Janet: Welcome back to our special Thanksgiving episode of the Joyful Journey podcast.

Jocelyn: How exciting!

Janet: So today, what are we gonna focus on, do you think for Thanksgiving?

Jocelyn: It's anyone's guess. Today's episode is focused on Thanksgiving.

Janet: No way.

Jocelyn: Yes. And to celebrate this important holiday together, we're going to be interviewing each other. Doesn't that sound fun?

Janet: That sounds interesting.

Jocelyn: This could be great, or it could be terrible. We may never invite each other as guests again. Well, there are lots of traditions that people engage in at Thanksgiving time to purposely remember things that have happened over the past year that they wanna praise God about.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Lots of families have all sorts of cool ways of keeping track of blessings that God has given them through the year, and then they share them when they're gathered together for Thanksgiving, feast and festivities. And the last time my whole family was which was last year at Thanksgiving and also our 25th anniversary celebration. We had these little pumpkin place cards that we had spread all over our feast table. They were cute for one thing, but also through the day we all added a specific memory of something that had happened through the year, and then we put our initials next to it, and then we ate dinner and then we read a liturgy together. We sang some worship songs, and then one by one we read all of the memories from the year that we were thankful for.

Janet: That's really cool.

Jocelyn: It was really worshipful like, I don't know that I can remember a time that my heart has felt so full of praise for God.

Janet: Wow.

Jocelyn: It was really cool. Even though there was a huge variety of topics about things we were thankful for, the focus of that evening was Jesus. And over and over we just talked about everything he had accomplished in all of us through all of those events of the year. It was super.

Janet: That's beautiful.

Jocelyn: What about you, Janet? How does your family remember important thankfuls?

Janet: You know, I'm gonna be the voice of those who feel pressured and burdened by all those traditions. We really don't have that many. It's funny since we've been married and in ministry, holidays are whatever needs to be done for ministry and we love that. So especially for Thanksgiving, it's different every year. When we were in college, it was ministry. It was having those students over. Now that we're over the seminary, it's making sure everybody has a place. We did have this gratitude jar when the kids were little. We had it for several months and whenever they thought of something, they would put something in it or we would put something in it, and then at Thanksgiving we opened the jar to remember those things. But I would say our biggest tradition is that no tradition lasts long.

Jocelyn: Well think about all the options your kids are gonna have to choose from. Well, no matter what your tradition is, no matter what your practice is, it's so important for us to purposefully remember.

Janet: True.

Jocelyn: One of my favorite passages is Deuteronomy 8:2-3 and this is what it says. Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these 40 years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry. And then feeding you with manana a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone. Rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The word at the beginning of that passage is remember, and it means this to cause to be remembered, to keep in remembrance, to record, to make a memorial, or to make remembrance. And you can see from those definitions we're talking about something really purposeful. You're choosing to remember, you're calling to mind things that we recorded through the year, and now you're making a memorial. God is the point of it. You're remembering what God has done. God really wants his people to think. To think about him, to think about his ways, and to remember all the good things he's done and is doing for us. The scripture talks about God remembering and here's what he remembers. He remembers his covenant. He remembers his love. He remembers of his rescue of the Israelites and the scripture show us in Genesis 9:16 that God wanted us to remember that he would never again destroy the earth with a flood every time we see a rainbow.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Isn't that so cool?

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And in Deuteronomy 5:15 that God gave the Israelites the Sabbath as a reminder that God's mighty hand and outstretched arm had rescued them from slavery in Egypt. In Leviticus 23, God appointed feasts and special holidays for the Israelites. So they would remember important events in their past, but also remember to look forward to their Messiah.

Janet: I mean, it's so true. We have to consciously remember what the Lord has done. You know, it makes me think about an event we did even on our women's ministries that was really helpful. She talked about memorial stones.

Jocelyn: I was just thinking about that.

Janet: Yes, and I still have my three. We each got three and we wrote in Sharpie on the side, something that God had done. And on one of them, I believe it was the salvation of one of my family members. And so I have those on there and I still have them on my dresser. And when I look at those, I'm like, oh yeah, I need to be thinking about the things that God has done. Cuz if I don't do that, we naturally just forget.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And then sadly the attitude can become, I know, but what have you done for me lately?

Jocelyn: There are lots of dangers of forgetting. The worst of which is that if you don't remember, we forget because we haven't been reminding ourselves, our hearts can be lured away to worship another God.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Like that's significant. It's not like an oopsy, like I didn't choose to remember and now I'm worshiping a different God.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Are you kidding me? Deuteronomy 4:9 and 4:23 tells us this. Only take care and keep your soul diligently. Lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children. Take care lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make a carved image the form of anything that the Lord your God has forbidden you. So, when we don't purposefully remember, our hearts might stray from worshiping the one True God.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And we might become enraptured with worshiping something else. That would just be horrible.

Janet: Yes. And can we all just be honest? I do worship other things.

Jocelyn: Oh, absolutely.

Janet: And to realize that's because I have a sinful heart, but I have not been remembering what God is like. Because if I were, I would remember that he's better.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Than that other thing.

Jocelyn: It would be so much less tempting. So we're gonna spend the rest of our time purposefully remembering today. We're gonna interview each other, and we're gonna share some of our thankfulness from this year. So I'm gonna start. Okay. Janet?

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: What is a favorite resource or book that you were exposed to in the last year that you are really thankful for?

Janet: Okay. My very first thankful and I'm gonna cheat. I'm not gonna give you a book, I'm gonna give you some books. Cuz I'm really bad at what is the best one, but here are several. I picked up Jerry Bridge's older, it's a little book called The Pursuit of Holiness, and I'm just starting to read it before bed at night. I've been looking for something that wasn't controversial. And it wasn't something that would make my mind race, but something that would get me focused before bed. Oh my word. It was an old book of my husband's. I can see he underlined it like 30 years ago. I am loving that. I'm almost done with it. And it focuses on our need to prioritize holiness and explaining what God has done and what's our responsibility.

Jocelyn: That's cool.

Janet: I love reading books that are not from the last 10 years sometimes, cuz they say things differently.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I value that. I am loving that book. I highly recommend it. It's an easy read, a little book, and it's packed. I've already been trying to think about how I'm gonna use it.

Jocelyn: Oh, cool.

Janet: In my discipleship. Another one that I read this year that is a newer book that I loved is Untangling Emotions by Alasdair Groves and Winston Smith. A great book to understand our emotions and how they're tied to worship. Very hopeful. Very helpful. He talks about this paint bucket that your emotions all get swirled together and then they come out so that you understand.

Jocelyn: Interesting.

Janet: It's not like today I'm sad , but tomorrow I'll be happy. But he also connects it to your worship that you don't.

Jocelyn: That's interesting.

Janet: Don't change your emotion. Your emotion flows out of your worship.

Jocelyn: You've talked about that book several times and I am pretty excited to read it.

Janet: It's a good book. And then the last one, I know you're gonna agree with me on How Long, Oh Lord, by DA Carson. Oh my heavens. As we have been, both of us studying more on suffering and trauma and helping people who've been through some really hard things, that was a great perspective on suffering. A bit harder read as far as you had to think, but the big picture. I thought it was such a helpful book.

Jocelyn: That's actually what I was gonna say too, is How Long Oh Lord by DA Carson.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Oh man. That thing blew my mind. I was reading in the car this one time. I was just reading, highlighting, telling Brian, reading high, telling Brian, I was like, I wonder if he even cares, because I was just so caught up in it. He did care, but it was a deep topic. Super helpful to think about suffering and what God's doing in the middle of it.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: And I also read for the first time, this isn't a new book like this year, but it's new in the last couple of years. Dark Clouds, Deep Mercies.

Janet: Oh, so good.

Jocelyn: By Mark Vroegop. I just read it for the first time. I was a little reluctant to read it actually, because it's about suffering and I don't wanna just think about suffering for the fun of it. But it was super helpful to know how to talk to God in the middle of suffering. And I really appreciated hearing what real conversations to God would look like.

Janet: Yes. And I found it hopeful and not discouraging.

Jocelyn: I did too. In the end, I did too. But I was like, oh, dark clouds, deep mercy.

Janet: I mean, that doesn't sound like a fun time.

Jocelyn: I read it cuz I had to, and then I was like, oh, I should have read this two years ago.

Janet: All right. My turn. What is a favorite spiritual lesson God taught you this year?

Jocelyn: Wow. I feel like I've learned a lot of spiritual lessons this year.

Janet: I would hope.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Now it's, do I remember them?

Jocelyn: Yeah. See, that's why I need to write 'em down. So I had an opportunity to be reminded of a couple critical spiritual lessons that shaped how I thought about the daily moments of life. Like I revisited righteousness and justice as a topic. I just studied that a little bit just to refresh my mind. I've studied those words a lot. Like I actually learned about them from you and Pastor Aucoin originally, but I just wanted to be reminded what they meant.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And how they're supposed to change me, and so I had the chance to renew my commitment to doing only what God has told me is right and good. That's what righteousness is.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And then also to make sure that everyone I have some sort of influence over has the opportunity to also enjoy living in those definitions of what God has said is right and good. And that's what justice is.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Psalm 89:14 talks about that a lot. I love that passage. I've also, lately, since the summer been thinking, like super meditating on Philippians 3:7-11 and thinking what it really means to believe that Jesus is the prize.

Janet: I've heard you talk about that, and that is really compelling. It's a challenging thought.

Jocelyn: Knowing him, like being found in him. Those are the goals. And everything else is counted as a loss compared to that. It helped me put a ton of things into perspective this year. I actually just read John MacArthur's study Bible on those topics cuz I was thinking about it and they were saying that Philippians 3:7-11. Actually, it's like 5 through 11. It's a passage that is all about mathematical accounting terms. So what he's saying is like all these things that I did count as a gain, they were all in like my addition column. But when I take into account that really the gain is knowing Christ. All those things get moved to the subtraction column. And so what's actually good accounting, is if I see that Jesus is the gain. Isn't that so cool?

Janet: That is good.

Jocelyn: It was a great explanation.

Janet: I don't know if you've ever heard Tim Keller's sermon on this passage.

Jocelyn: I don't think I have.

Janet: On building your own resume. I highly recommend it. We'll link that in the show notes. Some of his are free. Some you have to pay two or $3 for. I don't know. Which one that is.

Jocelyn: Is that like a YouTube?

Janet: He has Gospel in Life. His own website. And he has a lot of free ones out there. It's so good. I use that a lot. So for me, a spiritual lesson, God taught me, I know that there have been many, but when I think about it, I think take a step back and get a bigger perspective. I get in the weeds in so many areas. In my own life, in the lives of those I love and the lives of those I'm trying to help. I can become a problem solver. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to help solve a problem, but...

Jocelyn: there's more.

Janet: To your point, it's about Jesus.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: He's the prize, not just solving the problem.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And I realized I just, I need to take a step back. I've gotta be, that's why I'm trying to read things before bed that are not necessarily about issues I'm trying to help people with. It's like, I just need to think about God. I need to think about the big picture. I need to be thinking about eternity. Our trials seems so big. Constantly, what do I have to do right now? How do I advise others? Everything gets overwhelming. There's so many details, but I need to constantly take a step back and look up and look at the big picture. What is God up to? What are the themes? Where should my focus be? He really is enough.

Jocelyn: That's so cool. Okay, here's the next question. What is a favorite memory with your husband that you're thankful for?

Janet: Yeah. Well this is our first year of being true empty nesters and we are enjoying it. Something we did this year that was fun, and I'm thankful for that we've talked about for years, I never thought we'd actually do, was learning how to ballroom dance together.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Well this is our first year of being true empty nesters and we are enjoying it. Something we did this year that was fun, and I'm thankful for that we've talked about for years, I never thought we'd actually do, was learning how to ballroom dance together.

Janet: Yeah. Well now we got busy again and we haven't gone back. So I was talking to the leader and she's like, you'll remember more than you think, but it was fun. Just things that I'm thankful for that stick in my memory. Pictures of things like when my son graduated from seminary this past June, and watching Brent, who's the president of the seminary up on the stage, announce his name and then stop what he was doing and walk over to hug him.

Jocelyn: That was so special.

Janet: Oh my word. I started to cry. Hearing how he calls my daughter at work to see if she wants to go take a walk around the building. You know, I love my family and when I see I'm just so thankful for my husband and those memories stay with me. They just warm my heart. We laugh a lot together, but truly this year's had a lot more heavy moments. And I'm so thankful that we get to go through it together.

Jocelyn: Oh my word. I started to cry. Hearing how he calls my daughter at work to see if she wants to go take a walk around the building. You know, I love my family and when I see I'm just so thankful for my husband and those memories stay with me. They just warm my heart. We laugh a lot together, but truly this year's had a lot more heavy moments. And I'm so thankful that we get to go through it together

Janet: I love that idea.

Jocelyn: Yeah. This was our idea. Do you know what our retirement plan is? We're not waiting until we retire to enjoy each other. That's our retirement plan. We're 45. We have 20 more years until official retirement, which who knows what that even means for us. But we've been getting away one overnight each month, probably pretty much for the past year, doing some kind of activity. Like we're trying to not be food focused. We're not like going out to eat and stuff like that, but doing some activity like backpacking or bike packing. It's been super fun to be purposeful in spending time together and making sure that our relationship is growing. It's not getting lost in all these other priorities of life. We're super creative. We're super frugal. We don't spend very much money, but what we spend is time. And we think it would be such a shame if we eventually got to your place to be empty nesters. And we didn't even like each other anymore

Janet: or know each other.

Jocelyn: Yeah. So we have really looked forward to every month having our one little overnight, it's like a Friday night into a Saturday morning. We're home in time for church. We get all of our responsibilities done. It's been super fun.

Janet: I love that idea. Well, how about, what is a favorite blessing you received through your children that you're thankful for?

Jocelyn: I've enjoyed that we're starting to bear fruit from our investments in our kids. I always had this thought like, I'm gonna discipline them, I'm gonna instruct them. And someday, way off in the future, we're gonna have these great rewards and it's gonna be awesome. But I remember being shocked earlier this year when I realized there's lots of ways that we're enjoying the fruits of those parenting years. Even now, before they're even fully flown outta the nest. And it was interesting because I never expected to like be having fun right now. I was just picturing parenting as nose to the grindstone. Do what's right. One day you'll get to see benefits from this. But I forgot that the benefits were now too.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: It was like accidentally awesome. So it's been super encouraging to be the one receiving encouragement from them. Like I'm their cheerleader, like I helped them accomplish their hard stuff. But there are a couple of times that were really, really hard this year and my kids turned around and said to me stuff that we've been saying to them. I didn't expect it. Like it wasn't like, I believe in you, mom, you can do it.

Janet: You go, girl.

Jocelyn: Yeah. It was like, mom, God is using this to mold you into the character of Christ. This is hard, but God can help you. Let's pray together.

Janet: That's beautiful.

Jocelyn: It was unbelievably helpful. So I never expected to have great results from parenting now when it's like in the thick of things. So, you know, encouragement tell you mom's out there.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: You don't have to wait for 25.

Janet: It may come faster than you think. Yes. Well, for me, with my kids, they're not living in the home, but by the grace of God, at least at this point, they're in town. So when I have adult children who choose to come around, cuz now at this point they don't have to. So when they choose to come around and hang out with us and every Wednesday we get to have dinner together, that is such a blessing when I get unsolicited texts or calls from them asking me questions, asking advice, or just to share something funny and talk to me.

Jocelyn: That's so cool.

Janet: Oh my word is embalm to my soul, cuz. I just really enjoy them. I love them.

Jocelyn: They're so fun.

Janet: They're so fun. And I like when my daughter sends me these pictures, she'll have something happen at work and she'll send me something and I'm like, that is so funny. . We just get to enjoy each other now.

Jocelyn: It's cool to be friends with your kids.

Janet: It's so fun.

Jocelyn: You don't wanna just be friends with your kids when they're little, like.

Janet: Well, you really can't.

Jocelyn: You need them to know that you are the parent. But it's so amazing when it turns into a friendship. Cool. So what's a favorite blessing through your church family that's happened over the past year?

Janet: Oh, that's really so good for me to think about. Here's the thing, for me, there are always difficult situations happening. You know, my husband's in ministry, we get the privilege of being on the front lines, seeing good things, getting shot at all of it. And it can be so easy to focus on the things that are hard and get discouraged. And I know this year and in the past two or three years, I've really worked at remembering the many people who are on mission with us and partnering with us because they're there. From those who work tirelessly for this podcast as volunteers, to those who take care of all that housing issues for interns who are coming in from all around the world as volunteers, to those who are faithful in our women's ministry leadership as volunteers. I mean, these are ladies doing this...

Jocelyn: for free

Janet: because they love God. And they love others and they're on mission. And then I've had texts from friends letting me know they're praying and just asking how they can best pray for us in ministry. We are so blessed beyond belief by our church family, and when I take a step to not just go, wow, this is hard, but to go yeah, but look at all the people who are faithful, who are great examples, who are with, we're not alone. And not last in that is just we've gotten to deepen our friendship, Jocelyn and I love that.

Jocelyn: It's been so cool. I have really enjoyed getting to know you better and to love you even more over the past year.

Janet: Spending our week together in class. That was enriching, but it was also fun. Partnering and our desire to help others. That I can run things by you and together we can sharpen each other, knowing there's someone else passionate, more passionate than me because I don't think I know anybody more passionate than you to learn.

Jocelyn: Oh, what compliment.

Janet: What God says about hard topics so we can love each other better. You are such an encouragement, so when I stop to think about that, I have much to be grateful for.

Jocelyn: That is so cool. Thank you. That's so kind. Well, you mentioned seminary earlier. And the thing that I was thinking about was we got to be the beneficiaries of a relationship with one of the pastoral interns that came here from another country. He was assigned to our adult Bible fellowship and we were so blessed by that. We looked forward to ABF every week. He actually taught every single week with our other two teachers. And so he would be like, I learned this amazing thing in seminary.

Janet: I love it.

Jocelyn: Like I have to tell you about it. And so we were like getting all these delicious leftovers from seminary. It was so cool. It was so cool to see the seminary that our church has loved. and they started all those years ago. To end up turning back around and being such a blessing to us, kind of like the parenting thing, like, we invested in it, we thought it was a wise idea, and look, it's blessing us accidentally on the way.

Janet: I love it. I love it. And that's what God does. He doesn't waste any of it. I love that. All right, well let's think about what sermon topic have you been especially thankful for over the past year?

Jocelyn: Well, I was thinking about this, and I'll say I'm thankful for it, but I'm still, it makes my tummy hurt.

Janet: The best kind.

Jocelyn: So we were having this criticism series.

Janet: Oh yes.

Jocelyn: Oh my goodness. Every single time on the way home from service, we're like, oh man. I was repenting so hard during sermon. So this series is like on the danger of avoiding the dainty morsels of a whisperer, back biting, complaining, criticism, like how to give criticism, how to take criticism, gossip every single week. We have just been challenged to handle criticism biblically and to really guard our minds from becoming critical, which quite honestly is something that I very much struggle with, like I think a lot. And so I overthink things and I think quickly without saying like, how would love, you know.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: How does love intersect with this observation? But it has been a great sermon series. It's one that I'm gonna have to go back and listen to a lot of times, I think.

Janet: Yeah, I was just thinking as you were saying that we should. We'll make sure that in the show notes, the books that we recommend and we'll even have a link to this sermon series.

Jocelyn: Oh, that's a great idea.

Janet: Cuz the sermon series is online. But, and I would have to agree with you. You know, there are so many sermons that have been helpful, but the series on criticism and a critical spirit, it just hits so close to home and to see all the different passages, it's all throughout scripture. So the importance of me learning how to fight that the sermon on Cora and his rebellion, I mean, I've read that story a lot of times. There was so much that I didn't understand. That I was able to walk away from. The bronze serpent when that was explained in the sermon and what that's, it was like, so yes, we will link all that. Cause you're all going, what is she talking about?

Jocelyn: What? We gotta hear it now.

Janet: Links, it's there.

Jocelyn: I love the rebellion sermon. That was so mind blowing.

Janet: Yeah. So I love when I understand scripture better. And I see how it applies to my life. So those were, I agree with you that that series has been amazing this year.

Jocelyn: I mean, I remember earlier in the year thinking, wow, this sermon series is also good. But the one that we're talking about criticism was just so deep. So, whoa, weighty. So what's the most important investment in eternity that you've been able to make that has really caused you to be thankful?

Janet: Boy, that's hard cuz part of me, I think the privilege that I've had to do some counseling with some people who are just going through some really hard things. That is a privilege. I really do believe that's an investment in eternity. But I think I'd probably have to say, Again, kind of a broken record here getting to invest in my own adult children.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That I get that privilege. They are on their own, but I get the privilege to invest my support now and invest my prayers, and I'm so thankful for that, knowing that they don't have to ask or listen or let me help, but they do. That investment in eternity I take very seriously. And I'm very grateful for it.

Jocelyn: It's so cool that they're at the beginning of their careers and their beginning of their adult life and you get to have an active part in encouraging them in that. So cool.

Janet: And God didn't have to do that. I'm just grateful.

Jocelyn: I've also been thankful for family stuff and the way that we've been able to invest in eternity and eternally important things by investing in my extended family in a couple of big ways this year. We were able to support what they were trying to accomplish in their families. And it just a couple ways that were super sweet. We were able to meet some needs by physically serving them, and it just made me think about how God might use those sacrifices to open up avenues of understanding God more and seeing his ways played out. Just in the lives of like ordinary lives, ordinary decisions, stuff. Conversations that happen around the supper table and things like that. I always joke, I'm so lucky to get to have these amazing people in my extended family, cuz if we were not related to each other, I would never be cool enough to be their friends.

Janet: But now they have to like you.

Jocelyn: They have to like me because we're related. But it's just so cool, like God placed us in a family together and I get to love these amazing people. And God has allowed us to have some eternally significant conversations with them this year.

Janet: And what a privilege, cuz when you love them to be able to do things that could maybe help them more eternally. Wow.

Jocelyn: And we were just loving them. Yeah.

Janet: Yeah. That's so great. Well, what would you say is the greatest thankfulness that came from a challenge this year?

Jocelyn: Oh, it's important to remember to be thankful in the middle of challenges. Cause in the middle of them, they just feel so heavy. The one topic that comes to mind is I've searched for years for ways to serve some friends of mine whose past were shaped by just some very significant, deep suffering. And it's been really challenging to know how to do that best. We have spent years thinking about it.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: We think we see a way to help, so we tentatively go for it, but we're always asking God along the way, like, show us how to love them better. Show us how to serve them better. A couple of these different topics I've thought about for like 10 or 15 years. Like I've really tried to understand them and I'm really grateful that you and I were able to go to that class that we went to.

Janet: Oh, me too.

Jocelyn: It was a master's level class that we went to at Southern Seminary. It was super defining. It was very helpful and we were able to connect with lots of people who were also working hard to think about this, which was like I was thankful for the class. I was also thankful for everybody else in the class. Because they were spiritually thinking hard. And said to go to that class we had to give up lots of time. Like we read so many pages of books.

Janet: We did.

Jocelyn: Oh my word. So many articles. We were gone for a whole week. But it was really worth it. And like you said, it was cool for us to get to hang out together in the middle of that, which I never expected. Like that cool blessing to come along with it, but so much good is already come from that class. So it has been challenging to think about something so difficult for 10 or 15 years, but I'm very grateful for the answers that we have found from God along the way.

Janet: I agree. If I had to think about what a blessing that's come from a challenge, I would say the very same thing. One of the blessings. We are both wanting answers, so it's not so alone.

Jocelyn: Yeah, totally.

Janet: We're trying to help each other love others, and then being able to go and talk and learn from someone who is passionate about the word of God, passionate about the sufficiency of scripture, and understands this topic of deep suffering and can put it all together. I agree. It really helped me gain a greater passion for the power of the word of God. It didn't only help me love some precious friends, but it really changed.

Jocelyn: Yeah, I agree.

Janet: So I'm just gonna have to agree with you on that one, that that would be my big takeaway for the year two.

Jocelyn: Absolutely. So what's something that you're thankful for from your time in women's ministry work? That's one thing that you and I talk about a lot is women's ministry work.

Janet: Yes. Honestly, when I think about that, the very first thing that comes to my mind is I'm so thankful for more help. I was aware I was spread too thin. I was not performing my responsibilities well. We have a pretty active women's ministry, which is totally separate from this podcast. And from some other things that I do. But it is something I love, but I was not doing it well. And several women, Jocelyn, you're one of them, have just stepped up. We're restructuring how we do things. I'm able to focus a bit more and already much more is getting done that's targeted on what we value. We've got a meeting coming up later that will be our first really thinking ahead how are we strategically going to long term equip our leaders. We've always said it. We've done it. It's just been haphazard because of me. So I'm so, so grateful that we're doing more in that I need the help of others and some incredible women have joyfully stepped in to partner with me, so I'm so grateful.

Jocelyn: Exciting. Along with that one, my grateful in this area is that part of those changes is now I'm transitioning to being the overseer for two ministries that I used to be a worker in, and it's super exciting to watch new workers step up to the challenge.

Janet: So many.

Jocelyn: And it's so amazing. So we would make a strategic ask, like, we think that God has gifted you in this area, would you consider serving? And they would just like be, oh my word. I would love to serve. And so it's so exciting to see this team of people that I'm working with now to help them develop their gifts. So instead of being a teacher from mom to mom, I'm now helping a team of teachers learn how to teach in that ministry.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: It's so cool. They already love the ministry. They see the benefit of taking that ministry, like to take steps of growth to be pushed to the next level of preparation is, I love it when ministry is multiplicational, when just not one person is doing everything. Like you can just get burnout so quickly. We're fulfilling the creation mandate, like we're investing our time and talents in helping other people follow Jesus more closely. And especially in my area, I worked for so many years in Vision of Hope with teens and young adults who are facing difficult, addictive issues and life dominating sins. And now I get to work with moms who are investing in their children earlier in life.

Janet: Yes. Yes. More proactively.

Jocelyn: To try to help more proactively to disciple their own kids. So I just think it's so cool. I love what we're doing in women's ministry.

Janet: That's so exciting. What would you say is a quality of Christ that you've been especially thankful for this year?

Jocelyn: Well, I've been reflecting on Christ's perfect representation of God as we see in Colossians 1 and in Hebrews 1 a lot this year. Hebrews 1 says, the son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God. And Colossians 1:15 says, Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme overall creation. I've just been meditating on that a lot. Like as I get to know Christ, what it means is I'm getting to know God perfectly. And the more glory that is revealed in Christ now through faith as I read the scriptures, the more fulfilled I'm gonna be in heaven, which is really exciting to think about. I'm being dazzled by the glory of God that I see in Christ, and ultimately I'm gonna be dazzled by the glory of Christ now and later.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: And I'm trying really hard to understand this book called The Glory of Christ by John Owens because he's super smart, but he wrote it like, 200 years ago, 300 years ago. It's really hard to understand, but I'm trying to understand it and that book has just been really rocking my world lately.

Janet: You've mentioned that book a couple of times. That's on my list now.

Jocelyn: Yeah. You're gonna love it.

Janet: I want to read that book. For me this year, thinking about we've talked frequently about the Gentle and Lowly book. That really helped me to get a better understanding of his heart for me and his heart for the people around me. And I'm so thankful that it's one of love. Like the anger is there because of his love.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: The wrath is there because of his love. So it's not that those things aren't there, but to understand that better. That has really caused me to run to him faster and to sit in my sin for shorter periods of time because I don't feel like I need to make up for it or, and I know these things sort of. But reading that book, I was like, wow, I needed to think about that. So that character quality of Christ has made it easier for me to run more quickly to him.

Jocelyn: I definitely agree. That book is, there's a reason that book is on the bestseller list. It is an amazing book.

Janet: How about, what is a counseling moment that happened in the last year that you're super thankful about?

Jocelyn: I get to counsel for our church's community counseling ministry on Monday afternoons and in the evenings. And so I've been so thankful to see how many ladies I've worked with that were, I've never experienced this before, they were willing to drive ridiculously long distances to come get answers for their problems. Some of them spend more time in the car getting to and from counseling than they do actually in counseling. And so it's been really challenging for me as I've seen these ladies invest that much energy in getting help for their problems to be really proactive on their homework and reading, because they really want to know how to obey God. And as I teach them something from the Bible, they're just like, okay, now I'm gonna obey it one after another. It's been a really encouraging. period of counseling for me.

Janet: Yeah. You know, I think for me as I think about this, the variety, like I have some friends going through some very significant trials and then I get to see them learn how to clinging to the word. I get the privilege of praying for them. It's a privilege to have a front row seat, to watch God at work in their lives and it's really heavy. And then I think about somebody else that I'm meeting with that is a sponge. While my other friends are going through really hard trials, they know a lot of truth. It's just really hard to understand it all. Now I have somebody else that I was sharing things and realized, oh, there's a lot of truth she just doesn't even know. And they get so excited.

Jocelyn: That's so cool.

Janet: To learn. And I'm like, well, that's fun. And then I have somebody else I'm mentoring who is just at the early beginnings of adulthood and growing and tells me a topic, we wanna learn it together. And she is just growing.

Jocelyn: That's so cool.

Janet: And it's so fun to get to watch all the different things happening at once and that God lets me have a little part in it.

Jocelyn: That's so cool. Yeah. So what's a fun activity that you were able to do this past year that you're thankful for?

Janet: In addition to ballroom dancing, I suppose. Okay. Well, we've had some family game nights. We like to do that and the kids come back and we do something that's called Finders Seekers.

Jocelyn: I've never heard of that before.

Janet: It comes in a box and it has activities and clues you normally have to do. Well, sometimes you have to do something on the internet. Sometimes you have to make a phone call. Sometimes it's just puzzles that you have to do and do 'em in a certain order. And between the five of us talking and thinking about it and usually making fun of each other and laughing a lot, we solve the mystery.

Jocelyn: That's super cool.

Janet: And it's very fun. So I actually, after we do them, if we don't write on them, we could give them to you. You could do them.

Jocelyn: Well, that's really cool. I should check that out.

Janet: It's very fun. So we enjoy doing that together.

Jocelyn: Well, we learned how to play Catan this year.

Janet: Oh my word. Don't tell my daughter about Catan it's way too long for her. We loved it, but it was too much for her.

Jocelyn: Well, we're late to the game, but we had never learned how to play it before. But our niece taught us how to play and the way she taught us how to play was mostly by dominating us every game. We would be like, why is she not talking? And we would look at her and she would. Plotting, like figuring out what she,

Janet: We're not here to have fun. We're gonna win.

Jocelyn: So by the time that her visit ended, we were pros. It's been so fun to have a game that we like to play together. Well, Shelby doesn't love to play that. So I taught everyone how to play Rummy, which I grew up playing. I love playing Rummy. And what I like about Rummy is that you can play Rummy and not have to think like Catan like you can talk.

Janet: Yes. We call it a games called Seven. So I'll have to teach you. That's another non thinker.

Jocelyn: Okay, cool. Well, I need to learn more non-thinking games. It's fun to just be able to like have something that we're doing that doesn't involve eating or tv. And like we can play games and laugh and chat. We talk about stuff, listen to fun music. Not with Catan, when we're playing Catan we're strategizing, so there's no talking. But it's been fun. Like our kids are big, like they're big enough to have their own interest and stuff. And now like able to strategize and learn how to play a game together. It's just really fun. And it's not shoots and ladders. Right. God bless us. It's not shoots and ladders

Janet: or candy land.

Jocelyn: I'm glad those days are over. So what's a physical activity? You're especially thankful for.

Janet: That's mean.

Jocelyn: I know.

Janet: Physical activity is not my favorite friend.

Jocelyn: Me neither.

Janet: But it has to be done and I really do enjoy going, walking. I do the elliptical because it's good for. I do some physical therapy exercises I need to do because it's good for me, but I am back to doing a lot more walking and I walk behind my house there's this really steep hill. And when I think about it, I actually am incredibly grateful because there was a time when I was, I'm 57 now, and when I was 40, I started having trouble with my hips. And my mom had both hips replaced. I wasn't really sure I could do the hill at that point. I couldn't. I couldn't walk very much. I had actually begun to renovate the house in my mind, trying to figure out, so how do I move the washer and dryer up from the basement to the garage? I'm probably not gonna be doing stairs in a few years.

Jocelyn: Oh my goodness.

Janet: If every step hurt. But I kept walking and in God's grace, my hips got better. They haven't hurt for probably 12 years.

Jocelyn: That's amazing.

Janet: I know. I can't even explain that. I have other issues, but my hips are fine.

Jocelyn: At least you can go up and down the stairs.

Janet: Exactly.

Jocelyn: Your family will have clean clothes.

Janet: So I think about that the fact that I'm still able to do that hill is actually something I'm grateful for. But mostly after I've done it. Then I'm grateful.

Jocelyn: Yeah. I was actually thinking like the reason why we're asking this question is because we're not super grateful.

Janet: I need to be.

Jocelyn: And we're supposed to be.

Janet: How about you?

Jocelyn: Well, you know, my waistline is showing that I should be more excited about physical activity. And lockdowns were not good for me. Some bad habits creeped in during lockdown and I need to get back to exercising more regularly, but I'm really grateful that my husband and I started riding bikes together.

Janet: Oh, that's fun.

Jocelyn: We bought bikes during covid lockdown. We found bikes, took a while to find bikes. They were all out of stock, but we've been really having fun exploring new places and seeing scenery, and it's a way to make physical activity less terrible.

Janet: Yes, yes. I hear. What is your all time favorite memory of 2022 that you're thankful for?

Jocelyn: Well, we both love figuring out our all time favorite of anything.

Janet: I know. I hate that. It's like this pressure. What is the thing?

Jocelyn: The thing! I know there's been so many things I've been thankful for, like seeing my daughter on worship team now, and she had so much trouble with anxiety. Like just, there's so many things to be thankful for, but if I had to say the biggest thing that I'm thankful for that has been spread out over the year that has really, really encouraged me is that we made some financially sacrificial decisions that from a world perspective, were not very prudent. And God has really miraculously provided and blessed us more than provided, blessed us in ways that I think if we had provided for ourself, we would've never seen. It's been like our family talks about them, it's been literally miraculous. It's,

Janet: I love that.

Jocelyn: Unbelievable to see how God has taken care of us.

Janet: Because you chose to make financially imprudent decisions because you believe they would honor God and look what he's done. I love that. I love that. So God has been so faithful to us, hasn't he? It's so good for me to take a step back and just think about the many ways God has shown himself faithful. In the midst of challenging seasons, I too easily forget that. My natural tendency is to remember what was hard, where I was treated unjustly, the one who hurt me and not rejoice in first the fact that God will never leave me, and then the many who've partnered with me and faithfully served alongside me. Encouraging my faith along the way.

Jocelyn: Well, I really have appreciated doing the prep for this episode and thinking about this ahead of time. And just pondering, like purposely thinking back on how has God poured out his blessings on us. We're so undeserving. And he is so magnificent. As I was thinking about these, my heart just feels really full. Like I'm not richer financially. I don't have more stuff. I have not had the world's best vacation. Actually, our vacation this year was very unfun cuz it was a staycation. We were all thoroughly disappointed. My highest dreams have not been fulfilled. But those are all things that the world would tempt me to think are the things that we should be thankful for. But our thankfuls are all wrapped up in knowing and loving God more deeply because they have the amazing things he's done in us, in those little mundane moments of our life. I just love Psalm 66, and I think this would be an appropriate Psalm for us to think about as we close. Hear Psalm 66, shout joyful praises to God all the earth. Sing about the glory of his name. Tell the world how glorious he is, say to God how awesome are your deeds. Your enemies cringed before your mighty power. Everything on Earth will worship you. They will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs. Come and see what our God has done. What awesome miracles he performs for people. He made a dry path through the Red Sea and his people went across on foot. There we rejoiced in him for by his great power. He rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations. Let no rebel rise in defiance. Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises. Our lives are in his hands and he keeps our feet from stumbling.

Janet: Wow. How do we not be grateful to a God like that? We hope this was helpful. But I really encourage you to take some time to do this yourself, either by yourself or talking to someone else. Because when you do, don't be surprised if you actually are surprised are surprised at God's faithfulness in ways you'd forgotten. In order to encourage you to do this. Now it is your turn. We would love to hear from you, our listeners. We know God's been working not only in our lives this year, but in yours too, and we'd love to hear about it.

Jocelyn: We sure would.

Janet: Over the next week, our social media team will be releasing a series of posts and stories on Instagram and Facebook where you can reply and comment to tell us your Thanksgiving testimonies of God's faithfulness and goodness from this year. Tell us how you're rejoicing, how you've seen his hesed love, and the blessings you're most thankful for right now in 2022. To participate, make sure you're following our official podcast pages at Joyful Journey Pod on Instagram or Facebook. And keep an eye out for our Thanksgiving posts. If you're not on social media, don't worry you don't have to miss out on this. Just email your words of Thanksgiving to Whether you send your story via email or from commenting on our pages posts, we will see them, read them, and be encouraged as we get to see what the Lord's been up to in your lives this year.

Jocelyn: That's gonna be so fun. I can't wait.

Janet: Thank you for joining us, and we'll see you next time.

To keep from missing any future episodes, please sign up for our newsletter on our webpage From there you can also subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or Instagram at Joyful Journey Podcast. If you have questions or comments for us, you can email us at Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.

Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their website.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.