My Narrative of Joy Journey
Hello and welcome to Decembers blog post.
Last month i was invited to share at the student group, Gold, from my church.
The invite was to speak about my narrative of joy journey. As some of my IG followers showed interest, i decided to bring it into my blog post. So here we are.
Lets begin by prayer
Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit,
Thank you for your care, unending love, abiding presence and joy
You are glorious and beautiful.
Help us know how to recognise truth.
Through Your truth and joy we overcome
Thank you for all you gift to your beloved daughters.
May we grasp fully with open hands our belonging with you.
Give us a deeper revelation of your joy
and how we can impact our world. …. Amen
Ann Voskamp, compassion advocate and author writes,
Joy is the realist reality, the fullest life and joy is always given, never grasped.
God gives gifts and I give thanks, I unwrap the God given joy.
On Instagram and in my pencil to paper journal I began a journey that has grown me rather than the numbers of followers I have!!
My hashtag is #narrativeofjoy
Most days, I capture an image often flowers and nature. I occasionally curate an image.
Depositing encouragement, as best I can, into my writing. Alongside this I write a blog published monthly. Here we are!
I love the way Our God suggests tasks that take the virtual interaction , moving from the online presence to physical feet on the pavement. An act of kindness. A season.
I am realising that the field of contact is wider now through technology and social media. Thank You for your part in that connection. You are valued.
Here are some encounters of Gods goodness and affirmation.
Recently I received a note from a young lady, Annette,
It is so wonderful to hear the work we put into our pictures is seen, loved and valued. There were many many days this summer where your pictures alone kept me inspired and that’s the truth. Thank you for what you do and letting God shine through, because He does.
An encounter in London, at Waterstones, Piccadilly, for Charlie Mackesy’s Book Signing Event.
A liason that brought 3 women together chatting for a couple of hours at a book signing. Both ladies continue to keep the connection via social media.
Happy Christmas Ladies!
After sharing a photo and a post citing the message bible, here is a response that warmed my heart from Ruth.
I love this photo and the words are mind-blowing!
(His word never comes back empty!)
From Christine, who comments, love these words.
Wait on the Lord. His Way. His Presence,
As I recount the ways, joy surprises me still. I expect it always will!
I count the joys,
A camera and the outdoors offering a mindful moment
Coffee in a mug
Wild Flowers in the hedgerow
A candle in the early dark.
Early morning frost
A friend who journeys with you.
The book in your hand that gives you strength.
The blackbird singing a morning song.
Gift of prayer
Intercession through the Inner Room App –
– ( thank you 247prayer )
The big issue lady’s smile
Comfort for the broken. There is always hope. Therefore there is always joy.
A word from Sunday’s teaching that quickens your heart, helps you soar and energises faith.
A tool to carry into your days ahead.
Colossians 1 says,
…. hearts soar with joyful gratitude when you think of how God made you worthy to receive the glorious inheritance freely given.
The pivotal verse for me is in
1 Thessalonians 5
Let Joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. Always giving thanks.
The verse in the amplified version of the bible
Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
I turned 60 this year.
In the preceding years I noted from my old journals a call to open the gift of joy.
The Joy of the Lord. My might and my melody.
Through nurturing my children during some difficulties. Initially at birth because of hirschprungs disease in my youngest son. Then the teenage years.
The turbulent years brought an unwelcome painful season to my life.
In this I want to say how much God came close when no one else knew what to do!
His joy has been a solid hope inside me. His way matters. Focus on Jesus.
At times I did not, I became anxiety focussed, looking for a solution or someone to fix this pain.
And yet God always gently brought me back.
The greatest joy is Jesus the lover of my soul.
I share this to let you know the Joy is not determined by easy times but rooted by the Holy Spirit, despite the difficulties, anxieties and unknown times ahead.
The following words have encouraged me to continue to pursue joy.
Author and speaker, Shauna Niequist writes,
You have to put yourself in the path of joy.
You have to put yourself in the path of peace.
You have to put yourself in the path of beauty or laughter or hope or forgiveness.
This is work. And it’s good work.
Katia Adams, co-director of Frequentsee and author of Equal, writes,
Joy is not frivolous
It is not irreverent
It is the most powerful tool in the battle
And it gives you a platform for
JOY EQUALS STREGNTH
Let us embrace His joy and live complete because our God gives us an identity as a His child.
Jonathan Edwards American Revivalist and Theologian,
Gods purpose for my life is that I have a passion for Gods glory and that I have a passion for my joy in that glory and that these two are one passion.
Emily P Freeman, author of The Next Right Thing and spiritual director, writes a prayer for self acceptance.
This is the closing words from that prayer –
Surprise us with a joy we cannot explain. Give us courage to show up as ourselves.
In 1 Peter 1 7-9
Though you have not seen Him you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now; you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
That joy you hold in your hands. It is unlike a transient snow flake.
Joy is incessant, for it is founded in eternity.
Live then, with our unique God-Colours from the outpouring of Joy.
Continually give thanks.
Gratitude is a way of life.
Brene Brown, Research Professor at University of Houston
Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy.
Joy is not a constant.
It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments.
Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down extraordinary moments.
Other times we are so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.
A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy.
That would eventually become unbearable.
I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments
gracefully strung together by
trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.
Grateful for a place here with you to share my notes on this journey.
May His Peace and Joy continue to fill your heart in 2020
Thankful for words and images in this blog gifted to me.
special thanks –
- to Cecelia Adekoya for her beautiful profile photographs
- Annette Bosaka, annettab on instagram
- Christine ofsimplejoys on Instagram
- Ruth mysimplelondon on Instagram
- Unsplash Photography Resource
- To You, my dear reader
Love Rach x