Sunday, April 26, 2009

"I Do"

"Do you love me more than these?" John 21:15

Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of attending a "Girls Night Out" event in the afternoon. I had not planned on going. Daily hospital visits are still my schedule, but the opportunity presented itself and after much indecision and coaxing I decided to go. What a blessing!

My sister and her best friend and I drove to the event, about an hour west of here.

Shannon Ethridge was the key-note speaker. She is the author of the "Every Woman's Battle" series as well as the "Completely His" book and Bible studies. What a delightful and godly woman.

She shared about the intimacy we can have with Christ. Intimacy. "In-to-me-see". The Bridgegroom and bride relationship. She also spoke of hindrances to that love connection.

She asked, "What is your addiction? What does God need to prune out of your life to make room for more of Him?"

If you read my other devotional blog, today I shared that answer. God must be my One and only love. He is proposing. "Will you marry Me?" He alone wants to be my first love.

Father, I need You to reignite that flame. I need the fire in my heart to burn with such fervor that no other dream, desire or affection supercedes my love for You. Surrendered moments to 'feel good' are only temporary and fleeting.

Lord, I desperately need You. I long to love You more. You have been wooing me back to You. I have felt Your gentle nudge. I sense You calling. I have been missing the privilege of Your presence. I have been reading Your book, but missing the companionship of the Author. Lord, sweep me off my feet. I hear Your voice asking again, "Joy, do you love me more than these?"

"Yes Lord."

"I do."

Sunday, April 19, 2009



What a blessing it was to receive a Sisterhood Award from Kathy @ Blessed Builder. I first 'met' Kathy on January 23rd of this year, when she left such an encouraging comment on my blog. Immediately I recognized a kindred spirit and my life has been enriched by the friendship she has extended. Many times she has built a blessing into my heart through her kind words and sweet heart. She is beautiful inside and out. The love of Jesus shines radiantly on her countenance. My wish is that one day I will have the pleasure of meeting her face to face, visiting her store and sharing a cup of tea.

Since getting an award means passing it on to ten other "sisters", I will choose gals who have become friends on a more personal level. Please know that even if your name isn't mentioned below, so many of you are special to's just that right now...these gals have gone the extra mile to minister to my heart.

1. Nichole @ Living My Life on Purpose.

2. Cheri @ Seven Branches.

3. Holly @ well...just Holly!

4. Melissa @ Melissa Taylor.

5. Sita @ Sita's Sanctum.

6. Zoe @ Called By a New Name...

7. Renee @ Journey of My Heart.

8. Heather @ On the Road... Walking with Jesus.

9. Elaine @ Peace for the Journey.

10. Leah @ The Point.

Although there is so much to write since my last update on my Daddy, words fall short. I find I have 'run out of steam' sharing the story. Today Dad is having two procedures done and will be given anesthetic again. Sure would appreciate your prayers. The Dr's are concerned with his blood levels and want to check for internal bleeding. Daddy will also be transfered to another hospital very soon. Unfortunately this will now require a lot of driving and extra time for our family. Please pray we will be able to work out a schedule to still see Daddy as often as we are able, yet keep our husbands and children happy. A challenge these days. We are now 8 weeks of daily being with Dad. Yesterday as we stood in a circle and held hands with Pastor Jonathan in my Dad's room, the Lord's presence again filled this place as He continues to carry us through. Thank you for the strength we have found through your love and prayers.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

True Colours

Just over a year ago I wrote a post entitled "The many shades of Christian Camouflage." I'm feeling the need to revisit it tonight and add further thoughts.

I've got to be honest friends. I'm struggling right now. I'm caught between two worlds. Talk and walk. One I learned early the other is still on shaky ground. The writing is easy, the living is hard. Words flow. Life fails. The desire to do comes face to face with the longing to be. The cards are dealt. Emotions often play the trump card.

How easy it is to convince myself that playing the game is right and best. It certainly is easier...being all things to all people...dressing the part and doing the expected. Giving in. Pretending to follow suit even when all the cards in my hand wear a different design. Not wrong, just contrary.

It takes courage to be different. All my life I've wanted to blend in. Being an identical twin, that hasn't been easy. Wearing dresses down a jean-clad High School hall doesn't exactly let you pass by unnoticed. More like the Joker in a deck of cards, my life has been on display. Cast in a role, I've played my part well.

Time has come for a little improvisation. From planned to spontaneous, I desire the bars yet to be played flow freely unrehearsed. The musical theory rules that demand chords resolve and songs end in the major key negate reality. I'm not saying life is all minor, but dissonate bars appear.

I may not always be a delightful bright. God paints treasures in darkness. A variety of shades and hues have been hidden. I may not be the family pink, but I can let my colour speak of individuality in who God created me to be.

Hypocrisy has it's own shade of insincerity. Lacking real conviction, like a chameleon, moods and environments blend colours easily. How foolish. How draining. Keeping up appearances is exhausting. Transparency, on the other hand, allows God Himself to shine through.

What colour has God created you to be? Will you join me in letting the world see your true colours?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Sweet friends, your patience with me is so appreciated. I know many of you continue to wait for an update, and I'm so sorry that it takes me so long. A sleepless night has left me worn and weary.

Not much has changed regarding Dad's health. He remains in the hospital. Tests are still being administered, buying us more time in this location. New Doctor's appear weekly as hospitalists change shifts. A new face. A new diagnosis. New challenges. New questions. New expectations. New decisions. New confusion. New uncertainty. New bewilderment. Some Doctor's offer a ray of hope, while others seem determined to steal every spark of possibility.

Endless hours, days, weeks, months, sitting at Dad's beside. Feeling selfish that I long for this to be over. Yes, for Dad's torment to end, but mine as well. The daily routine is suffocating. I love my Dad dearly, but life has been put on hold and Dad is no longer the only one in need of healing. None of us anticipated that we would still be living under the effects of this nightmare.

I am consumed with guilt. While at the hospital I feel guilty for not meeting the needs of my family at home. While at home I feel guilty for not being with Dad. A vicious, continual cycle. Expectations weigh heavy. Bench pressing more than my weight as I carry this burden.

Exhaustion is claiming me physically. I am currently under Doctor's care for symptoms most probably brought on my stress. Frustrated. Frightened. Panic. Helpless. Abandoned. Overwhelmed. Confused. Despair. Heaviness. Restlessness. Sorrow.

Needing encouragement tonight I reached for the One who can speak to the deepest, unseen places of my heart. His Words are sustaining.

"The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the LORD comes to the rescue each time." Psalm 34:17-19

Father, our family is in need of rescue. Thank You that our brokenness moves You closer.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

In This Storm

Friends, I am so sorry not to be giving more frequent updates here. I find I come home each night too weary for another telling. So many details. So much confusion. Unbearable heartache and pain. Each day unwraps an undesired gift.

Yet...through it all...God is there.

In a comment sent to me.

In a prayer found in my Inbox.

In a telephone call offering peace for my journey.

In a walk with a found friend.

In a meal delivered in kindness.

In a chocolate cake baked with love.

In a card offering hope.

In a surprise encounter in a parking lot.

In a cup of coffee shared in the hospital 'Food Court'.

In a generous gift of a transponder to cover parking costs.

In a faithful, nightly chat on Facebook.

In a voice reminding me of unfolding secrets.

In a friend and hairdresser who blessed me with "No Charge".

In a listening ear.

In arms that enfold.

In eyes that silently say, "I understand" and expect no answer.

God is in this storm...and I will still praise Him. Was worried that doing so was hypocritical when my heart is wavering between worship and why. Yet, in obedience, I surrender. Praising Him in my darkest times, shines His light the brightest.

Another meeting at 11:00 this morning. Too tired to think. Lord provide.

Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bedtime Lullaby

When all my heart can do is cry, Jesus is singing me to sleep and reminding me that I am His child.

Close your eyes and let Him sing over you as you listen.