This is the story of us. It is the songs we sing and the seasons we live. The songs may be lyrics to tunes, or they may be more subtle melodies. Our songs may be the stories we tell, the journals we keep, and the words written deep in our hearts. The seasons may be the passing of days, the falling of leaves and the blooming of buds. But they are also the deep valleys we trek through and the mountain peaks we summit on this journey of life. And our seasons are the blooming of new life in us when we are transformed along the way. All these tiny pieces, each intricate detail, they are part of The Potter’s great work: The masterpiece of us.
But we will always be works in progress.
There’s always something more we strive towards, ever seeking, ever longing for that mystery we can’t quite grasp in our fingers. It’s always there though. That loving embrace, drawing us near in our darkest hours and lifting us up in our greatest joys. We feel it without seeing or touching it. We believe in it beyond any reasoning. Yet we know, without a doubt, that there’s something more. We see the suffering in our life, in all lives all around us. We wonder why and ponder how we can change it. What power could we possibly have to stop the cruel cataclysm of society? We struggle to find balance, desperately grasping for air as we drown in the chaos that forms in our minds. And then, we finally hear it. A tiny voice from inside after years of silence. A voice telling us that we are more than the lies we have believed. And the tiny voice becomes louder, until it is so loud that we can no longer ignore it. We must stop everything and listen. And then we surrender and from it a new journey begins. A journey into the heart. And once we begin, we finally understand. All the past, all the pain, all the connections, we see it all. And nothing will ever be the same again.
Dear soul, you always have a choice in your life.
When it comes to pain and disappointment you can choose to let them destroy you or you can choose to be reborn again into something better. There’s a battle raging all around you and one side is struggling to turn your brokenness into beauty.
Which side are you fighting for?
ABOUT THE SITE
Songs and Seasons is a Christ centered blog exploring the fullness of what it means to thrive on this WILD journey of life. My mission is to share the transformative power of Christ through topics on faith, wellness, recovery, and fearless living. As a trauma survivor and woman living with chronic illness, I have personally felt the sorrow and desperation these struggles can bring. I have tasted the bitter temptations of suicide and lived through the madness of addiction. I have walked in the shadows of shame and believed the same lies that so many are still imprisoned by.
But I have also overcome.
By the Grace of God, I have overcome. I am still here, speaking words of life, being a voice for the voiceless in a broken world. My story may not look exactly like yours, but I know that we are still unified with the same hearts of love. I am devoted to serving those that have lost their way and I believe wholeheartedly in the common humanity of all people.
I first began blogging casually in 2008 as a tool to cope with my chronic health struggles. But over these past ten years, the simple act of writing has become a foundational piece of not only my own recovery and career, but a valuable tool in my walk with God. It’s been a long journey to this place of peace, but the lifestyle changes I’ve made have opened the door for the incredible transformation I’ve experienced. My commitment to leading a Spirit filled, simple life has allowed me to truly thrive, even in the midst of struggle. I’ve learned many hard lessons over the years that have forever changed me, but the person I am today is no longer afraid for the future. Because God has given me a fearless heart and a life of true wellness.
This site focuses primarily on ways to cultivate lifelong mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Everything I discuss comes from a holistic perspective. This means living in a way that takes your whole being into account instead of focusing solely on individual areas and challenges. In essence, it means making choices for you and your family that support your mind, body, spirit, emotions, and relationships as a whole. Because I truly believe that all these aspects of life are interconnected. Join me as I share everything from personal essays, podcasts, reflections on life, recipes, tutorials, and more!
A BIT ABOUT ME
My name's Joanna Rae Lopez and this is my little corner of the internet where I share resources and reflections on faith, recovery, holistic wellness, and fearless living. First and foremost, I’m a fervent disciple of Christ and a devoted wife and mama. I’m passionate about women's ministry and mental health and I personally battled for over two decades with mental illness which have impacted my life's work in many ways both beautiful and challenging. But by the grace of God, I have been healed in SO many ways! Glory to God! Now, even when I face hard days, His grace is sufficient! By trade I am a writer, graphic designer, photographer, and business administrator. I also own my own business as an independent distributor for Young Living Essential Oils, a company with products I wholeheartedly believe in. In my free time I love to create and cook whole food meals, sing and write music on my guitar, and adventure in the beautiful Pacific Northwest wilderness with my family!
When I look back at this journey, I can see that I've changed immensely over the years. I no longer believe in quick fixes. I believe in taking leaps of faith towards a more positive existence. Ones that build lasting health, happiness, and peace, not just momentary pleasure. I believe our lives are only as good as we choose to make them. If you want to change the way you feel, then you have to change the way you live. And to change the way you live, you have to change the way you think. It’s a choice, and it takes practice. It takes time and consistency to reprogram our broken thinking patterns and our deep set strongholds of negative behavior. But it is possible when we walk a surrendered life in Christ. Because through Him, all things are possible!
Here's a few things I’ve come to believe along the way:
I believe in God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe God is holy, eternal, and infinite, Sovereign of the universe, all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present, the Alpha and Omega. I believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the way, the truth, and the life and that none may come to the Father but through Him. I believe He came in the flesh and carried the full weight of our sins, that we might be forgiven and have communion again with God. I believe He suffered and was crucified, buried for three days, and was raised from the dead, that we who believe would also have eternal life. I believe in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, who is able to cleanse us and enable us to truly love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as ourselves. I believe in the full inspiration and authority of Scripture. And I believe in the Church, the body of Christ and God's visible expression of His presence and mission in the world.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” - Acts 4:12
I believe in the ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity.
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:12-13
I believe that happiness is a choice and that God is always good.
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” – Habakkuk 3:17-18
I believe that beauty begins on the inside and that a devotional life is a beautiful life.
“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” – 1 Timothy 2:8-10
I believe in compassion and the importance of being present with the lost and broken because I have seen first hand how open hands, kind hearts, and listening ears can transform a person’s life.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:12-14
I believe that words are powerful and I strive to speak words of love and life into everything shared here.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
I believe there is always hope, even in the most difficult and dark times.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:1-5
And I believe that recovery is always an option. Even for people facing chronic or terminal illness, spiritual healing and the rekindling of your relationship with God is always possible.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved…” – Ephesians 2:1-5
After years of trying to pretend and live up to the image the world built for me, I decided to forge my own path, leaving the madness behind me and choosing the narrow road instead. I decided to be content with my life and live one of devotion and purpose. It is a choice that every person must make for themselves. A diagnosis, a difficult circumstance, a life riddled with pain… those things do not mean there is no hope for your future. A joyful and peaceful life is always possible even when faced with countless struggles. It will require great sacrifice, surrender, humility, and the choice to die to yourself daily, but the rewards are priceless and eternal.
Dear beautiful human, I pray for you peace, love, and a gentle walk upon this earth.
Joanna Rae Lopez