Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. -Philippians 2:4 (MSG)

This verse reminds me of what my family has been working on most of the summer.  On vacation this year, we learned about the acronym "JOY." 


Initially, we were using it in choosing our words.  Was what we were about to say honoring to Jesus? To others? To ourselves? If the answer was no, it was better to keep our lips zipped. Shaun and I felt it was a great tool for our kids especially, as they've gotten into this habit of saying whatever comes to mind which often leads to hurt feelings and embarrassing moments.

But we soon realized that JOY could be applied to every aspect of our lives. Some examples (not necessarily from our own life):

1. Would skipping church to sleep in show JOY? The answer? No.
2. Would serving in women's ministries be showing JOY? The answer? Yes.
3. Would bringing a meal to a new mama be showing JOY? The answer? Yes.
4. Would calling one's brother a "stinker" be showing JOY? The answer? No.

I think you all get the idea at this point. Our family is far from perfect at this but we are striving to do it daily.  

And this is my challenge for you and me this morning: Ask yourself throughout the day, "am I showing JOY right now?"

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Verses, Joyful Verses

Verses that include the word "happy":

-A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. -Proverbs 15:13

-I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. -Ecclesiastes 3:12

-When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future. -Ecclesiastes 7:14

-Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. -James 5:13

-But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. -Psalm 68:3

Verses that include the word "joy":

-He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. -Job 8:21

-But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. -Psalm 5:11

-You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. -Psalm 16:11

-The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. -Psalm 19:8

-The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. -Psalm 126:3

-Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. -Romans 12:12

-May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13

-I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. -3 John 1:4


Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! -Ephesians 2:7-8 (MSG)

Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this." -Esther 4:14b (MSG)

God has me where he wants me.  As I went through my week last week, I won't lie, I was miserable and longing for another baby (again) while also wishing that I had some other purpose in life than to "just be a mom."  I know, total woman-thinking: wanting one thing while also wanting something completely counterproductive to the first thing. I suppose that's part of my curse.

And that's when Shaun told me this:

"Know that you are exactly where God wants you to be. The feeling of emotional guilt and depression is the devil taking away your JOY. It is at that moment that we need to focus on JOY and realize that the Y (you) is last. When you get through the J (Jesus) and the O (others), you will quickly realize that you (Y) complete the JOY."

JOY is something that we learned through our oldest son from our vacation at Sandycove this summer.  When going through life, we should be thinking about Jesus first, then Others, and finally about You (ourselves).  It was a good reminder and one that I needed at the time. Okay, it's one that I still need today and will likely need again tomorrow.

So here's my challenge for you and me today: Remember your JOY as you go through the day today.  Think about Jesus, think about others, and finally, remember yourself.