Friday Seven: For Joy

It sounds so simple joy, three little letters. Like some sweet old lady who knits booties and hums  about Saints Marching In. Like air bubbles wiggling their way to the top as a plastic bottle is submerged at children’s bath time. Like some sweet, fleeting thing – a kite let go that escapes with a gust of wind, but I think it’s more.

Joy is the thing that holds us fast when we are anything but happy. Joy can still sing a song to our hearts when sorrows are heavy in our lap. Joy sustains.

Today I want to bless you with joy.

For Joy:

May you have joy that remains in the midst of difficulty,

and your heart be continually served a feast of joy.

May you know a joy that sustains and strengthens you all the days of your life,

and when your heart is heavy may you have friends to help you find the source of supernatural joy once more.

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Joy for you today, and always dear hearts.

xxx

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Reward

These words are playing on repeat in my heart today – a promise to Abram. (That’s right good ‘ol father Abraham, before he was even Abraham).

“Fear not, I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.” (Gen 15v1)

I am all filled up – into the corners, and the cracks, and to the top of all the dusty shelves of my life, with the joy that is Jehovah – my reward.

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As dusk inevitably comes and the Hope of Christmas bears down like a woman in labour I am wrapped in a promise where God is my reward.

All I want for Christmas.

All I want for life.

My reward.

A reward that cannot be bought. A reward that cannot be stolen. A reward that is never sold out, broken, or disappointing.

This Presence, this promise today – this is what is at the top of my heart, my Christmas list and this is what gives ‘strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow’.

Praying this knowledge, this promise, this Hope for you today dear beloved heart.

Merry, merry Christmas Eve to you. xxx

Fixing on the Smallest Things

When the world feels like a never-ending stream of bad news, of fearful threats, of actual violence on small and large scales it can feel like a crushing weight.

When children come home with distorted views of news you haven’t even talked about together, and the internet rages with right responses and rumours of revolutions. It can feel like very second person has a differing opinion on what’s the ‘right’ way to oppose injustice.

On and on, round and round until it just feels like a hurricane of disagreement shouted louder and louder over the bodies of the broken.

I start to feel like there is no reason for joy anymore.

Like it’s inappropriate to feel anything other than hopelessness and despair.

Like weeping will last and last and last.

So today I am looking through the disabling, overwhelming bad news, through the rhetoric and the rubbish, over the piles of grief.

Today I am stopping to honour the beauty of Jacaranda trees in full bloom.

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I am listening to the sound of little people I love laughing.

I am joining my children in the swimming pools and chasing them until we are breathless and delighted.

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I am going to the door of a rundown stable and peaking over the heads of those gathered, hushed in wonder. I am gazing silent at the Son of heaven whose love has never walked away from brokenness.

Of the One who came to give us joy and life in all its fullness.

Of, Good News incarnate.

I am filling up on the smallest things, the beauty of creation, the song found in laughter, the warmth given in a small hand holding mine.

I am not hiding from the news of sadness – my heart is sighing wordless prayers for all the world. But, I am choosing today in the midst of strife to honour and be grateful for the beauty I have been given today to appreciate.

There is beauty to behold and today I am choosing with all my heart to see it.

Let us not dishonour the gift we have by placing on our shoulders the worry of what might be, and miss the joy of what is today.

Wherever you are today, however deep the challenges of your own news, may there be a moment to delight in. May a ray of light stream through the cracked places of your heart today.

Always, always may you know the love of being worth a King’s ransom.

xxx