Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Potpourri

Well, today I have a mixed bag of special thoughts and happenings to share with you that have all transpired in the last five days. Let's begin with the obvious!

For any of you who have visited my blog for any length of time now you will have noticed a beautiful "face-lift". My dear friend Kelley gifted this make-over to me. Don't you think it's absolutely gorgeous!!!! She is so amazingly talented and she has such a sweet heart for God. The Lord has truly blessed me with her friendship and He is using her in my life to bring His aroma of joy. If you have time today, stop over and visit her blog - you too will be blessed!

I had shared with Kelley how much I love daisies. I call them God's "I love you" flower. With the Lord it is NEVER "He loves me, He loves me not", but always, "He loves me, He loves me, He loves me...." The daisies on this header are a constant reminder that God loves me, always and unconditionally.

The key also has special significance. Through this avenue of writing God is unlocking the secret treasures of my heart. Words that used to stay confined are finding release. The locked garden of my heart is being opened and new life if blooming.

Thank you Kelley for once again hearing unspoken desires of my heart and selflessly giving of your time, talents and love. You are a treasured friend.

Next, I want to share some exciting news I received on the weekend. Back in March I entered a writing contest through The Word Guild, entitled "God Uses Ink". It was a contest run all across Canada for novice writers who have never been published. The entrants had to write a personal journey story of their walk with the Lord. For the experience alone that this would provide, and for the very valuable critique that would be given to every entry, I decided to submit my story. The panel of judges consisted of publishers, authors, editors and journalists.

As time passed and the date of the Awards Night approached, I assumed I would hear nothing more until my critiqued manuscript was returned in the mail. Well, you can imagine my surprise late Friday evening when I found a message in my Inbox notifying me that I was a winner. I had placed third in my age category! What an encouragement. The Lord has used this recognition to confirm in my heart that I am to continue following His direction down this writing path and keep seeking Him.

Yesterday, He opened yet another door. My church has asked me to begin a Women's Ministry blog! This will be another opportunity to share His truths and my heart with precious ladies through the written word. I am SO excited about this ministry as well. God has been speaking to me about using my mind and the abilities He has given me to minister to others. Although this new adventure brings apprehension as well, again I am following His lead.

This morning I read an amazing quote by William Faulkner. It was referring to pilgrims travelling to the promised land. "They are not monuments, but footprints. A monument only says, "At least I got this far", while a footprint says, 'This is where I was when I moved again.""

God is moving me again. It has barely been two weeks since I found out the Bookstore I work for is closing, and already God is moving me on. Life is too short to be standing still. We are not monuments, but footprints. A statue is still; but footprints suggest following. One is a memory, the other is a miraculous life in the making. A statue is unmoving, but a footprint is on a journey. The monument is an altar, the footprint is an adventure. A monument marks history; a footprint is the active, current writing of "His story" across my life.

Thinking that better than a memory stone, is fresh dirt rising beneath my sandal. I do not want to be an atrophied adventurer but a faithful follower. Today, will you come along with me and follow in the footsteps of our Father? I can't guarantee the way will be without danger or hardship, but He is safe to follow.

Shaking the dust off from around my feet,


17 comments:

Kristen said...

Joy,

My heart is overflowing w/ thanksgiving. Below are my words from your May 16th post...

He has prepared you through your job for something far greater than you ever imagined! And how this speaks of your faith, even in your disappointment knowing that a new invitation is coming... How He has blessed you already!

What wonderful answers! God is sooo good!

Congratulations on your award!
I will be praying for you as you begin your Woman's ministry blog!

God Bless you!
K

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Love the imagery of sandals, sand, and the shaking of both! Faulkner's quote is powerful.

Great writing, friend. You've challenged me to ponder the possibilites of my tomorrow. I'm so excited for where God is leading us both. To share it with you brings me joy...Joy...in untold measure.

peace~elaine

Catherine said...

It will be exciting to see what footsteps God has planned for you!!

Congrats on winning the writing award. God is using you to bless many with your writing.

Marilyn said...

I believe this is the most touching of any of your posts that I have read so far. You have a great talent for writing and I am proud of you for expanding on it. Keep up the good work!

Marilyn

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Beautiful post. Congratulations on being a winner on your writing award. Praise be to God for the doors He's opening...with the writing award, creating a blog for church, and whatever else He has up His sleeve.
Blessings,
Paula

Tracy said...

Joy,

It has been impossible to read this wonderful post without smiling. What an overflow of "joy" from your heart is evidenced in every word! ; )

The beautiful new look of your blog is even more special knowing the significance of the daisies and the key, not to mention the heart of kindness with which it was created. Thanks for sharing that.

How gracious of our Lord to confirm his direction by blessing you with a well-deserved award. Your writings are indeed a blessing to many.

I'm especially excited about the opportunity for the women's ministry blog He's given to you. Wow! That is SO exciting! I love that the Lord wasted NO time in moving you from your beloved position at the bookstore to His next intended ministry for you. What an awesome answer to prayer! = )

Thanks for sharing that powerful quote. What an image! Here's to freshly dusted sandals as you journey on, following in God's footsteps! Can't wait to see where they lead!

Blessings,
Tracy = )

the160acrewoods said...

what a beautiful blog you have!!! I love the look and your writing is fantastic!

(came Kelley's)

Hugs and prayers!

Lelia Chealey said...

Joy,
Jesus must just smile everytime you head for your computer as He already knows what is on your heart to share with us.
You are truly beautiful a beautiful example of loving Jesus with all of you.
Loved this post and CONGRATULATIONS on being a winner, although a panel of judges didn't need to confirm that for us! ;)
Love ya,
Lelia

Yolanda said...

Joy:

That is absolutely a "WOW" moment in my heart and thoughts. What a true DELIGHT! You are so blessed with the ability to place your thoughts and HIS on paper. And the quote you shared, about the footprints and monuments is like...Lord, I am walking. No matter how fast or slow, I am moving. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME GIRLFRIEND!

And, when you get your church blog up and running, would you let us know and have the site?

Oh.....HE IS SO AWESOME and so good to US.

Love,
Yolanda

Alyssa said...

Hi ya Joy,
Came over from Lysa's blog for She Speaks...hope you'll come to my place for a visit before we get there in 3 weeks! :) http://lifefrommylaptop.com/2008/05/29/yes-ill-be-there/

tiggerdaisy said...

Oh my goodness!!!! WOW! You go, girl!!!

First, let me say that I love your blog's new face lift! Kelley indeed did a wonderful job!

Second, congrats on the winning entry! I love it when God sends us confirmations about what we are called to do! Whoo-hoo! I hope you share the article on your blog sometime soon.

Lastly, I will join you in the journey. I really love the monument vs. footprint analogy. Love it, love it, love it...want to live the life of a Christ follower!

Prayers and Blessings!
Rebecca

Sonya said...

Joy,

This is a precious post. I am so glad I came over from Lysa T.'s site and read it. You are a very good writer and God is going to be able to use you mightily! Hoping to meet you at the She Speaks conference.

Sonya

Charlene Kidd said...

Joy,
I love the new look. I am so excited for you. Congratulations on the award. You deserve it.
Blessings,
Charlene

swile67 said...

JOy, I love your new layout...I LOVE daisies too, in addition to my sunflowers!! Congrats on the award and congrats on the new women's ministries blog...do let me know it! Thanks for your honest writing! God Bless! Karyne

Jerralea said...

Congratulations on your award! And I'm sure you will do a fantastic job on the church blog. I just joined the bloggy world a couple weeks ago, but I've already noticed several of your posts and you are doing an excellent job!

Sita said...

Hi,
I briefly popped by from Lelia's blog. I do love the design. More than that, It is so encouraging to see His kindness and goodness in your life, since that is what I am presently studying in my Beth Moore study.
By the way, I attended a Word Guild conference several years ago and know how high their standards are. (I live in Toronto.) So, congratulations to you. Our God is simply amazing.

Sita said...

Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving notes. That is amazing that you would know Evie. What is she doing now? Have not heard about her in along while. Anyway, do have a wonderful weekend in spite of the rain. Where,O where is our summer?