This Year, I will Choose Joy

Last year, I selected one word to focus on. That word was “Purge.

This year, I want to go in a different direction. While I loved the word I selected last year, and it was exactly what I need at that time, this year, I need something else. Something more.

That’s why…

choose joy

The verses I mention above are as follows: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2 – 4KJV

If the end of 2013 is any indication of how 2014 will start, I must commit to “counting it all joy” no matter what comes my way. In the last 2 weeks, my 2 year old had a seizure, and my step-father was admitted into the hospital with tumors. I have been hurt and let down by people I love dearly. And while every part of me wants to sit down, cry, and ask, “Why, God?!” I will stand firmly on the words of my Jesus, and I will choose joy.

Our church has been in revival this week, and man! Has it been good! I’m pretty sure each message was written and every word spoken was just for me. The most powerful message, though, was one that Brother Gary Crisp preached on Monday night. The passage of Scripture he used was Luke 10:25 – 37, the story of the Good Samaritan. He didn’t preach on us needing to be like the Good Samaritan, instead, he preached on how the Christian life is like that of the man that was on the journey… the one that fell among thieves, was wounded, and half dead.

I will tell you, in the past few weeks, I have felt half dead.

In his message, Brother Crisp mentioned the hurt of “church hurt.” I can only think of a few things that hurt worse than the feeling of another man or woman of God causing you hurt. I have felt this hurt, and it has left me feeling half dead. I’ve had other friends that have lied to me, deceived me, belittled me, and just let me down. I’ve listened to my mom cry into the phone, “I can’t go through this again…” as the threat of cancer rages in the life of her husband. (My daddy died of cancer 15 years ago. My mom was my rock during that time. My heart aches that she is even dealing with this again.) I spent hours in the hospital not knowing why my son went into a violent seizure in the middle of a church service. I have shed so many tears in the past month… more tears than I can count.


During last night’s service, one of the pastors said, “Don’t give up. You might be one prayer away from the answer you’ve been searching for. Press on.”

So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to press on. I will remain faithful to my Jesus. I will remain faithful to my church. I will read my Bible, and fill my heart and mind with the words God has just for me. I will pray for His direction for my life. Maybe I will never get to teach a Sunday School Class or lead a women’s Bible study. But I will press on. I will be faithful to the positions God has given me: A wife who prays for her husband diligently, a mother who teaches her children the importance of a life in Christ, a friend who can encourage others when they are down. If I can remain faithful to those things, maybe, just maybe, they will prepare me for something greater. And even if not, if I remain faithful, one day I can stand before the throne of God and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Because that’s what matters: What my Jesus thinks of me. Not what anyone else may think.

And whatever circumstance I am in, I will choose to rejoice. I have been blessed.

This year, won’t you choose joy too?

Thankful for the Blessings of 2012

Happy 2013!

As 2012 draws to a close, I just want to reflect for a moment on the many blessings God has bestowed upon my family this year.

This has been a roller coaster year for us – full of ups and downs. I am so thankful, though, that there were lots more ups than downs.

Several months ago, something happened with my husband’s job, and he ended up taking a huge pay cut. We went from living paycheck to paycheck, to barely being able to live. Yet somehow, the money we needed was always there.

There were times when I didn’t know where our next meal would come from, and on those days, food would appear on our front door step. I still can’t figure that one out.

All of our bills were paid, no services were ever shut off.

Someone at our church gave us money to fix both my husband’s car and our Expedition. (New brakes, new tires, the works.) There was no more getting in the car and just praying the brakes would work well enough to stop when we needed them to. We still don’t know who that angel was, but what a blessing bestowed on our family!

God more than supplied every single need we had.

I have been able to teach my children more about faith this year than I ever have before. God has been so good to us, and the kids have all seen that firsthand.

Oh, and hubby is back into a similar position that he was before everything happened, and his pay rate should be adjusted back accordingly soon. Praise the Lord!

I hope that 2012 was full of blessings for you and your family, and that 2013 will be full of even more love, family, and blessings for each of you. With our precious baby arriving sometime early this year, I am already looking forward to what God is going to do with our family.

Thank you for spending another year here with me at Blessed Beyond Words. I’ve got some big changes coming in the New Year, and I hope you’ll stick around and be a part of it.

Stay safe tonight as you celebrate. We’re off to our church’s revival, and I can’t wait to usher in the new year with some really great preaching.

See you in 2013!

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A Little Reminder as We Welcome 2012

don't worry

I am a worrier by nature. When placed in a stressful situation, I worry, fret, and try to fix it myself. This year, I am committing to leaving everything at the feet of my Savior. He has promised to take care of me, to meet my needs, and to never leave me. If I have Him, I have everything.

I pray that 2012 holds nothing but blessings for each one of you, but I know there will be hard times, sadness, and loss. During those times, I hope you will cling to Jesus.

Happy New Year, my friends.