The Story Behind The Name

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This verse from Nehemiah has been one of my favorites over the years, but it has also proven to challenge me. When I sit and look at it there is really a lot of meaning in just those few words.

The Amplified Bible says it like this: “The joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” Stronghold literally being fortress. A place where a particular cause is strongly defended and upheld. To put it simply so that even my mom brain can understand. God creates a place through joy for us to reside where he defends us and hold us up.

What is joy? Well looking at it from what I have learned through scripture it is so much more than just being happy. Happiness is an emotion. Joy is a mindset. It is the assurance that God has it all in control. God is working for your good. God is good, and he loves us without end. Joy is also making the choice to praise God through all things, not because things are always going well and I am continually happy, but because He is always present in every situation. He is always with me.

In the assurance that God is a loving God and ever-present we can find our strength. I have realized that it is not who I am that brings me strength, but who God is in me. When His joy is running through me I am a new creation. I am fulfilling His purpose for my life.

I love this version of Psalm 33.

“We’re depending on God; He’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own His holy name. Love us, God, with all You’ve got – that’s what we’re depending on.” (Psalm 33:20-22 MSG)

When we put our all into God, then we can truly and fully experience His joy. How amazing is that. It gives me chills as I am writing it.­

Let’s be honest, there are more than a handful of times that I don’t feel joyful. Things don’t go my way. My kids are in sour moods. My husband did something that irritated me. And there are hundreds of more reasons that I won’t spend time listing, because you get the point. We all have things that take our eyes off God and the joy He has for us. And this is where I mix up my perception of joy and happiness. I can’t be happy all the time, and that is ok. That is life. It doesn’t make me any less of a mom, wife, or woman. But what I can continually have without fail is joy, God’s joy through me. That will be my strength, my place of refuge. That will be what I cling to when all seems to be going wrong. God will get me through. His love covers all and holds me together. And when thing are going well and happiness is emotion that I can easily feel I have all the more reason to be joyful.

So what it all comes to is that God is for me. His joy is in me. Whether happy or sad, up or down, He is constant.

Hello world!

So I finally did it. I started a blog.  This is an idea I have been tossing around for the past year. The problem was I didn’t know where to start. It didn’t matter how much I looked at things to try to figure out what I was doing I still felt clueless.  If you know me at all you me all know that I like to feel prepared for things. I like to feel knowledgeable. Well I still don’t feel completely prepared, but I am just going to go with it.  It will be a journey with many things to learn along the way. I love to learn new things and I am always looking for new and exciting things to just pour myself into.

A JoyFull Home

I would like to use this blog to share who I am and the things I enjoy. You will find a lot about my kids and the adventure it is raising them along with my amazing husband who I am sure you will read a lot about as well. We are lovers of the outdoors and when the weather is nice that is where we spend most of our time. The adventures we have are endless including the many things to do on the farm and all of our gardening.

I love all things crafty and I look forward to sharing that with you. I am also a lover of music. I am pretty sure it is on my blood. I don’t ever remember a time when music has not been part of my life. My husband and I are head of the worship ministry in our church and it has been quite the adventure. Along with all this I am a hair stylist by trade. I love doing it, but right now it is just at home on the side. I loved my job in the salon but I chose to stay at home with my children instead of work a full-time job. There are times I miss it, but I wouldn’t trade this time with my kids for anything.

Above all else I love the Lord with all I am and I would not be where I am or who I am without Him. You will find that the things I have to say will be intertwined with Him and my growing relationship with Him. I hope that I can inspire you and encourage you in your own relationship with Him.

Be blessed! And I hope you enjoy our time together.