"Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” ~ C. S. Lewis
I think if any of us could actually remember our first year of life, we’d be
amazed at all we were able to do in twelve short months. Some of us have a better understanding of the accomplishments of the first year of life because we’re parents. Many have perhaps never even stopped long enough to give it thought, but if you ponder it a second it’s pretty amazing. Babies begin as little bundles that can’t even hold up their own head but they turn into little people that learn to communicate, motivate their body, begin to feed and soothe themselves, and recognize the ones they love. All that in 365 days! The really astounding part is they do all of it without going to a class, or a seminar and with very little guidance and instruction; it just happens naturally. Generally speaking, nobody really interferes with the process…we don’t introduce legislation or pass ordinances or seek corporate funding for the process. We simply have faith, pray for healthy children, meet basic human needs, lovingly support and encourage and… ta-dah…the result is as a one year old who is surprisingly different than the child they were twelve months earlier.
Today is the first birthday of the Joyful Words blog and as I reflect back on what has changed and what I have learned in the last twelve months I am surprised, pleased and humbled! This whole process has been very much like the first year of a baby’s life. I started out with no training, no experience and I often feel no business, offering perspective and ideas about how to “Live Christ”. I’m not a trained writer, Theologian or Scripture scholar. What I am, is a woman who gets it wrong more than she gets it right and I’m able to use laughter and humor as I look for God in the most common and the most peculiar situations and experiences. I really think becoming good Disciples is all about practicality and I think God uses the events of daily life like laundry and flat tires and disappointments to draw us closer. I truly believe we seek the simple and simple is what I’m good at!
I will be honest, I fought this writing thing kicking and screaming! I had attended a class on the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit and through the course we were required to complete a 180 question inventory. The scores revealed that I possessed the charism of writing. I distinctly remembered thinking the scoring tool was suffering some sort of malfunction! I sat with that knowledge for more than two years and throughout that time these odd requests kept coming to me that all required writing. My mom was a huge believer in the power of the Holy Spirit as the giver of words and knowledge so when those first requests started coming in, I remembered the way she taught me to pray to the Holy Spirit for HIS words not mine, because His words would always be better. She was completely right! Over the course of the last year, there have been many times I’ve sat down at the laptop to compose the next day’s blog and had absolutely no idea what to write about and my prayer is always the same, “Holy Spirit please send me the words you want me to use today. Please allow me to be the messenger of a word or blessing to someone’s heart.” It’s fun work for sure! When I started I was a little overwhelmed about the thought of doing this twice every week but I just felt Him guiding the whole process so I listened and promised Him that as long as He sent the words, I’d provide the typing!
Just like an infant, who with faith, prayer and love changes naturally and dramatically throughout the first year, I too have been changed profoundly. I have been blessed and humbled beyond measure by this work and I would like to thank all of you for that. I have been so touched by your comments and your stories…those honestly are the things that keep me writing. My deal with God was, as long as people let me know YOUR words are touching their hearts, I’ll keep typing and hitting the publish button. Thank you for putting up with my goofy sense of humor and my simple minded approach to living and spreading the Gospel message. Thank you for listening to my silly stories and for taking a front row seat twice a week as I reveal my shortcomings and my challenges as a Child of God. Thank you for telling others about the blog and sharing the link. I suspect the reason we all show up here twice a week is because we’re all in the same boat...tryin our best to live like saints. I guess we’d do well to remember that God created us in His image so we could love and be loved. If I were to blow out a candle on this first birthday, my wish would be for God’s blessing upon all of you!
A Seed To Plant: Eat a really yummy dessert to celebrate this birthday. While you eat it, reflect back on the past year and make a list of the changes and blessings you’ve seen. Thank God for one blessing He’s given you for each bite of dessert you take.
Blessings on your day!