Joy. have Joy. be Joy. embrace God's Joy for your life. and be thankful.


"Joy is God in the marrow of our bones." - Eugenia Price

"Joy is the echo of God's life in you." - Dom Marmion

i think joy is my favorite word in the entire world.
having true Joy is my life's goal. 
the joy of the Lord is my strength. 
and so on. 

i want to have such an intimate relationship with Christ that i have joy bursting out of my very being!
doesn't that sound delightful?
to be so joyful that other people can't help but notice and want what you have, too? 
isn't that what we as Christians are supposed to put off!? 
we want Christ to be famous and for others to desire that relationship with Him. 
so they too can be saved and have everlasting life. 

i feel like something is new inside me. 
just recently, maybe just the last two months. 
there is a huge change in your life when you start to seek Jesus' face on the daily. 
it awakens the soul. 
i feel like He is with me every second, like a sweet friend or a warm blanket you never want to get out from under. 
i feel refreshed and i'm getting myself out of depressing situations or stressful days much easier because i feel like i'm learning to know better. 
sure, i still have my pity party days but they are becoming less and He is becoming more.

i actually feel like things are too good to be true right now. 
but obviously it's true because it's just the way it is! 
i do know that it's easy to praise the King when things are going so smoothly. 

yesterday's church service was excellent. 
ethan and i worshiped side by side and really let the words sink into our hearts. 
after our long day, on our ride home we discussed the words and their meaning. 
i told him that i felt like it was so easy to worship today. 
it's a gorgeous fall day, we met incredible people, we had a beautiful maternity session, things are golden. literally, the trees in the park were so golden i thought i would die of happiness just from the sight. fall is so gorgeous. i love the seasons. the colors, the change, the life story of the trees. 

some of the words in the song talk about when the oceans rage, i don't have to be afraid. because i know that He loves me and His love never fails. 
now, i know that's true. and how beautiful a picture. 
when our lives are in shambles and we have oceans raging inside of us or all around us and we feel like we're drowning, He can save us, and He does. and wants to. we are that precious to Him. 
but we don't always feel like it's true. 
i know i don't. 
i can imagine myself in my most selfish moments during worship when something is really wrong in my life, be it huge or tiny, self placed or otherwise, i may even roll my eyes at the worship songs. 
i think "well obviously He's not big enough for this or He would take the pain away and make things good again." wow, i'm embarrassed to share that i actually think that sometimes. 
but really, i think my God must not be working right now 
if He's allowing this crappy time in my life. 

then everything you do feels like a chore. 
dishes are a curse straight from hell. 
socks all over the house make you really dislike your husband. 
everyone else looks prettier and more put together. 
it's ridiculous. 

attitude is everything. 
seeking God's face is necessary. 
this life is beautiful and very broken. 
we need Jesus. 

i read a status this morning from WBGL's morning show with Tim and Pam and it reads :

"A new survey says that 92% of moms admit to being envious of other moms' organization, looks, house, kids' behavior and husband (in that order). Is this true for you?"

holy cow. 
does that bother anyone else?
i really have a problem with this. 
why on earth, if we know the King and we read His Word, would we EVER feel less than wonderful? about life, about ourselves, about others, about our husbands, etc. 

but i'm kinda in that 92% sometimes. a lot of times. too many times.
i'm not a mom but i think it just still applies to all women. 
because when we're not moms, we want to be. or think we should be. 
even if that's not God's plan, we do everything we can to make babies happen. 
i think that no matter where we are in life, we think we should be somewhere else. 
i've struggled with that for a long time and just in this last year have things actually changed. 

i definitely don't have it all together but i am very thankful that over the last 3 years, i have changed and have grown some confidence. thank God. 
phew! 
although i still have a long way to go! 
it's like once one problem is fixed, which might have taken a year to get there, another one that you thought was long gone arises and you are now a mess in that category  until you work on that. and it's probably never ending. (until death and heaven. glory!)
i've fasted and prayed and struggled with my husband for 3 years getting certain things that just shouldn't be in our life out of our life. 
and i know there's more coming. 

and i know he has things to work on, too. and he does. 
but really, the growth for me finally started when i stopped thinking about what he needed to change and started seeking God on what needed to change in me. 
and this is not just about married life. 
this is in friendships and even our relationship with Christ. 
we need to stop thinking that it'd be great if they thought this or changed that, we can't change anything about anyone. and we can't change God. 
i don't know how many times i told God how He could be better. for my life, it would just be better if You'd do this.. so on. we like to play God sometimes. we have to realize that we need to change our own hearts. and that can only be done with the grace of the Almighty. 

my prayer for all of us, sisters, is that we can encourage one another to be confident in what God has blessed us with and to not have any jealously. but to build up each other's strengths and to fight alongside each other through the weaknesses. 
let's be sensitive to each other's struggles and keep each other accountable by encouraging the reading of Scripture to help us through. we need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and start every single day with a huge slice of humble pie and much thankfulness. we have the Joy of the Lord to rejoice in and spend our day in. 

do the dishes for the Lord. 
invite people over despite how dirty you think your living room is. 
be thankful you have a home. 
or, forget about the dishes today and just cuddle your babies. 
put away your make up and look in the mirror with fresh eyes. 
God made you beautiful. His kind of beautiful, not this worlds opinion on beauty.
be thankful that you have another sock to clean up because it means your husband is alive and well and maybe a little annoying. it keeps us young ;) 
encourage your husband and tell him why you love him. 
every single day. 
trust in God to guide your marriage. 
don't put your expectations on your husband. he will fail you and you definitely fail him. 
find fulfillment and satisfaction in your relationship with Christ. 
and be a light to others. 

"Bathe in the morning light, pray that the lantern of  your life move gently this day into all the places where light is needed." - Macrina Wiederkehr