All for the Joy

This is a repost…but I don’t think I could write a better description of my life today.


How to be deeply pressed and yet not be depressed.
How to remain under stress and not crack for the pressure cooker that transforms uncooked hard flesh to tender heart.
How to allow the bitter to turn sweet. How?

How to face giants without human companionship.
How to distinguish small still voices swallowed in roaring, raging winds.
How to say yes when it would be so much easier to say no. How?

Jesus, our mentor, has gone before us in every area, this one incuded. Pressed on every side, and pressured by the enemy to turn back from His assignment, he stayed. He stayed unmoving even under pressure that squeezed blood from His sweat glands. He did it for the joy that was set before Him.

And maybe this is how. Maybe we can do it for the joy that is set before us. The promises that seem just beyond our reach.
The lives who might be changed for our unmovable, unshakeable stand. The snatches of Glory in every day life, even in the midst of disappointment.

Those who loved Jesus best thought He would be a rising political force or an influential prophet. How He must have felt their disappointment! He didn’t appear to be the success others expected Him to be. I wonder if He was tempted to be disappointed Himself? But the joy that was set before Him was that of perfect obedience. Obedience that cared not for the whispers behind His back. The whispers of, “What a shame! He had such potential!” Obedience that desired His Father’s will above being understood by those closest to Him.

Though surrounded by His best friends, he was alone, and yet in this solidarity His biggest and best calling was realized. And in this Solitary Refinement the biggest and best of your callings will also be accomplished. So stay, dear one, stay still in the Garden, your most effective days are right around the corner.

Counting under pressure

Three gifts I gave:

88. The gift of time to make blueberry muffins.
89. I gave worry back to my Father.
90. Prayers for my neighbors during the storm.image

Three things loved…

91. This guy and his girl. image
92. This man of God.

93. This girl and all of her idiosyncrasies. image

Three things read:

94. A word in due season. image

95. Random sweetness. image

96. Opportunity knocking…image

Gifts of faith, family and freedom.

97. Sufficient grace.
98. Sons who change their schedule to comfort moms.
99. Freedom to express…Framed America

Gifts of red, white and blue…

100. Redneck truckimage

101. Lacey flower image

102. Blueberry crisp.


Three gifts of perseverance.

103. God’s grace to endure.
104. Beauty in a tangled mess. image

105. My pastor’s wife whose life speaks loud.

Three gifts of encouragement.

106. A dog excited about the “w” word. image

107. Birdsong
108. I can! image

…sharing a playdate with Laura:
and at a new place for writers Unforced Rhythms of Grace.

and with beautiful Jennifer Dukes Lee…
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And with my dearest Emily…

3 thoughts on “All for the Joy

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