Where Is Joy?

img_0918I always hated my first name, mainly because no one used it. When I heard it used, it wasn’t me.  My middle name is my identifier – Martell, a created name by my parents. Growing up, whenever someone learned my first name, they would use it teasingly, and I would cringe.  On the first day of classes each semester in college, I didn’t respond when my name was called because they always said, “Joy Johnson”. I didn’t even recognize that name!

The irony is that I have a lovely first name – Joy.  I don’t think I truly appreciated this name until I read Ann Voskamp’s book one thousand gifts.  Now I want to use it – put it on my website, use it in my signature because I truly do feel the joy that comes from God’s blessings.

When  I began my first blog I questioned God at times – “where is the joy here?”  I have been in some pretty intense struggles with God at times in the last 10 years.

I’ve had a broken heart that I blamed on God, and He patiently held me, waited for me, loved me. He was the loving Father to an angry and devastated child.  This heart is mending – probably in the best shape, it’s been in the last 10 years.

Ann Voskamp inspired me to write this blog.  Reading her book one thousand gifts gave me a different perspective on living.  I started counting the gifts God gives me each day in March 2012; by December 31, 2012, I had counted 2559 gifts.  Who knew there were so many things to count!  Are some of them repeats?  Sure, but only because they are worth repeating.  I usually counted 10 a day, some days I counted Morning Blessings as well as the gifts at the end of the day. It has become a habit that I seldom skip.

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