to our faithful readers, subscribers, and supporters,
This is an emotional letter for me to write. In fact, it has been on my ‘to do list’ for a couple months now and I continue to push out the due date because it’s not a letter I ever wanted to write.
The past four years of printing The Joyful Life Magazine have been a literal dream come true for me. To publish a print magazine, to be at the helm of something so incredibly beautiful—not just in content and aesthetics, but in the richness of relationships built through a Gospel-focused, united purpose—has been one of the most profoundly humbling experiences of my life. I dreamt of printing a magazine for Christian women, but God brought to fruition so much more than I ever could have conceived. Isn’t that just like Him?
However, as the author of Ecclesiastes puts it so eloquently, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
Over the past two years, The Joyful Life, alongside a multitude of other small businesses, has experienced tremendous difficulties resulting from excessive increases in printing costs, supply chain issues, rising shipping costs, and a global paper shortage expected to continue well into 2023. These hardships on small businesses, particularly one that relies on the timely and affordable supply of paper and printing services, have made the cost of producing a high-quality printed magazine that we are proud to offer to our readers unsustainable for us. Because of this, I have had to make the very difficult decision to discontinue the printed version of The Joyful Life Magazine following the end of this year. Our 17th issue (winter 2022), REJOICE, will be our last printed issue.
This magazine has been an extension of my heart, and the hearts of our entire staff and all of our volunteer teams, for four+ years. What many people do not know is that this business has been run as a ministry-driven effort from the very beginning. I have never taken a paycheck for my full-time work in this ministry since its beginning. My staff team has served this ministry from a heart-invested level that has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. And our volunteer teams have served from such a Christ-honoring, sacrificial place of genuine Gospel-motivation that is unlike anything I have ever seen in decades of ministry work. I can not possibly adequately express my thanks to all of the women (and our sole male volunteer—my husband, Tim) involved in this ministry.
To every member (past and present) of my staff and ministry teams—God has been extravagantly faithful through you and your selfless service. I truly love you all and I can not wait to meet every one of you face-to-face, whether here or in eternity. You are the hands and feet of Jesus.
I must also take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to the two most instrumental people of this ministry—my mom and dad, Tom and Wanda Eaton. Without their initial financial investment in this business, The Joyful Life would never have existed. The dedication of our very first issue, ABIDE, was written in their honor. It reads: “Your example is inspiring. Your support is life-changing. Your love is unfailing. Thank you for prioritizing Jesus, each other, and our family. I love you both with all my heart.”
Mom and Dad—God has used your endless support and your finances in exactly the way I had prayed He would—to encourage women to turn their hearts toward Jesus and back to an authentic faith that permeates every area of their lives. I can not thank you enough for putting your initial confidence in me and then wholeheartedly trusting God for all that I lacked.
To our readers and subscribers—our plan going forward is to finish strong, releasing two more beautiful print issues for fall and winter 2022. This will allow us to fulfill the remaining print issues for all current subscribers as well as close out our print chapter with a complete Volume 4. We realize there will be questions concerning how other aspects of our business will be affected going forward, whether we will continue in a digital capacity, and how subscription renewals will be handled. Please know that if you are a current annual subscriber, we will be communicating directly with you by email regarding your subscription and how it may be affected based on your renewal date. We are currently seeking the Lord for direction as we prayerfully consider whether we will be continuing the magazine in a digital capacity beginning in 2023. We expect to share our decision on that within the next couple of months.
We do want to be clear that the Joyful Life Blog, our daily devotions, the shop, our social media accounts and groups, and our annually released, “Everyday Joy” devotion books will still continue as normal. It is only the print publication of The Joyful Life Magazine that is being discontinued at this time.
Although this has been a painful and difficult decision for me and my team to make—it is one that God, in His great mercy and love for us, has allowed us all to be at peace with. We have truly loved you all so much throughout the past four years. And you, dear reader, have given me one of the greatest joys of my life—to have taken what my team and I have created for you each quarter, to have held it in your hands, to have lingered over it’s pages, and to have allowed it to draw you closer to Christ—that is all we ever wanted. Thank you for making our dreams come true.
To close, I will leave you with one last updated excerpt from my Letter from the Editor in the first issue, ABIDE:
“The Joyful Life was born out of a deep longing to be used by God to encourage women to turn their hearts back. Back to Jesus. Back to home. Back to family. Back to genuine and authentic faith that permeates every area of our lives.
I knew the first issue would be called ABIDE within weeks of taking my first timid steps forward on this journey. I didn’t know exactly where the first steps would lead, but with great conviction, I knew that only by abiding in Jesus would His plan and purpose for The Joyful Life be accomplished. Please know, sweet friend—you are a part of that plan.
This work has been for you. I’ve loved you every step of the way in creating this publication and with my whole heart, I pray that it has blessed you and has drawn you into a deeper, closer walk with Jesus.“
To God Be the Glory—Great Things He Has Done,
Founder | Editor in Chief | Creative Director