There are these people in our homes, in our lives, in our hearts who are desperate to celebrate each blessed day with us.  They are the ones who stop the raking to throw the leaves.  But you and I... we keep raking.  




As the leaves fluttered back down upon the driveway, this Word descended with them:

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10


If I could take a poll, broad and sweeping, I would ask women if Joy was on their short list of goals the new year.  "More happy time as a family, more smiling, more laughter..."  In my eleven years as a mom, this desperate desire to enjoy my people has been a reoccurring theme.


I love a good musical.  One of my favorite theatrical elements is the song writer's masterful ability to weave a reoccurring musical theme  throughout the diverse tapestry of songs.  A simple thread throughout.  One melodic pattern, subtly repeating, tying the story, characters and themes together.  I long for Joy, and not the pursuit of Joy, to be the reoccurring theme of my days. Interwoven through the ups and down, amidst the trials and celebrations of family life... Joy.  Yes, the composer who sang our lives into existence, the orchestrator of our story, desires that for us.


However, if I were honest with you, and you know I strive to be, I would have to say that the most recurring of themes in my mothering life has been joylessness.  This has all been so much harder than I expected it would be, and there was post-partum depression, hormonal imbalance and adrenal fatigue, my husband traveled for work, and my spirit sank low.  And all the while children were born.


Don't get me wrong, there was intense love and happy moments throughout, and I love these little people with an everlasting love, but my soul has spent more downcast years than I care to admit.  And each new year brought about the same Resolution:




Until his year, when I threw my hands up in faith and resolved to resolve no more, and told the Lord that He could do it all!


The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14


And the leaves came down.  And my hands came down.  And the Word came down.  Be still and know... 


Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10


In the striving it's what we know... but in the stillness it's who we know.  Here in the stillness of unhurried moments, I am finding God.  And the glorious I-can't-believe-it part, is that as I find Him, I find Joy.




In Your Presence is fullness of Joy! Psalm 16:11


After all these years of going about it all wrong, I'm finding Joy.  And you're never going to believe this.... it truly is just like the lovliest of melodies, playing through the smiles of my people and the colors of the sunsets and the smell of bacon frying.  A simple melodic ribbon, tying together all the sights and scents and sounds that constitute my life.  I am surprised by it all. Most surprised by the joy.  Because I strived long and hard to embrace it, the Joy, all these years.  But it could only be found when I stopped striving and started abiding.


"Abide in my love..." He said it clear this time.   And I replied with trembling lips, upturned, "In Your Presence is fullness of Joy."




I sought for years to embrace Joy, but only when I ceased from striving could Joy finally embrace me.


And there is peace and there is love and there is gentleness and self-control... The whole blessed basket of spiritual fruit we talk about is ripe for the picking!  I see now how all of the fruit really does come up and into our lives from the abiding root of being still and knowing that He, indeed, is God.



DSC_0097 Copying


I find it ironic that one of my sweetest friends, Christy over at The Write Season,  has begun an online movement called Joy Resolution.  I know that I just told you how I found my Joy by resolving to let go of resolutions, but our hearts beat the same... that you would know His incredible Joy-infusing Presence each day.  Follow Christy's Joy Resolution on FB, and share your Joy Stories with us.