Her Middle Name was Joy…

Joy of the Lord

She told me her middle name was Joy. She shared the information with her typical sparkle. She laughed and said, “Maybe that’s why I’m so joyful.” Deep down I knew her name had nothing to do with the artesian spring of happy within her. What I did know was that I wanted it and I didn’t have a clue how to get it. Today, it’s 10 years later and I find myself in the embryonic stage of “getting it”. (I’m a slow learner.)

My journey toward joy hasn’t been a quest. It’s been more of a “haunting”.  I’m blessed. I’m in love with my husband. I have three beautiful kids. I live in a wonderful home in a terrific town. I see God’s handiwork in South Dakota sky everyday. I love my life. BUT…

Some days I find myself wondering if there is something more.

The Holy Spirit speaks in whispers but if he’d had a bat I’m certain he would have opted to hit me in the head long ago.  (After all, it has been 10 years.) Thankfully he opted to place “headline news” regarding joy before me instead. This past week words of truth regarding joy leapt from the pages of  Ann Voskamp’s, One Thousand Gifts.

“Can we really expect joy all the time?”

“While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving.”

“Joy is God and God is joy and joy doesn’t negate all other emotions—joy transcends all other emotions.”

“The demanding of my own will is the singular force that smothers out joy—nothing else.”

“Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will.”

“I hadn’t known that joy meant dying.”


These were words worth highlighting. Not only did I highlight, I underlined, marked with stars, drew arrows and made notes in the margins. The Holy Spirit was afoot. Next, He blew dust off my brain and reminded me of a verse I’d read in John. “Didn’t it have to with joy?” I rapidly flipped pages and there it was…truth about joy.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:9-17 {Emphasis mine.}

Joy… deep, artesian springs of joy emanate when I surrender. When I bow my knee, when I die to self, when I say, “Not my will but your will be done” THEN I find joy!

Voskamp shares the words of Peter Kreeft, “No one who ever said to God, ‘Thy will be done, and meant it with his heart, ever failed to find joy—not just in heaven, or even down the road in the future in this world, but in this world at that very moment.”

As I preach the good news to myself I’m challenged to surrender. Christ died on the cross “for the joy that was before him.” Is my tiny act of obedience so hard to bear? Mercy me…some days I foolishly think so.

But Holy Spirit whispers, headline news appears and markings in books and bibles teach me. I’m reminded that death brings life filled with joy and not just for tomorrow but for today. May I take to heart Paul’s advice to the Romans,

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” Rom. 12:1

I hope you’ll join me sweet DoAheads

May our joy be complete!

{If you’re here for Inspire Me Monday don’t be shy! Offer a little comment, link up to another blog, see what other sista’s are up to! Below is  a recap of guidelines!}

1.Share something that will inspire others. It can be a quick thing like a quote or something longer like verses in the Bible and what it means to you.

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3. Link back over here using the button made for this or a blog link and invite your friends.

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 Your DoAhead Friend,


  1. Gerry Recker says:

    Thank You for DoAhead Women, Amazing………

    • Thank you for sharing this Gerry! I’ve seen this before but I’d forgotten it! Thank you for being my “Holy Spirit reminder”. This little acronym is a perfect tool!

  2. Lovely thoughts, all, Cindy. Joy can be so elusive, but I suppose it’s all in how we pursue her, choose her, esteem her, yes?

    Thanks for challenging me to abide :).

    • Agreed! Wrote this yesterday…early this morning an opportunity presented itself to “choose joy”. The pursuit is on and it is not for the faint of heart! Blessings to you today Robin. I’ll be whispering prayers for you as I work.

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