About Me

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I now live in Victoria, after a couple years on the North Shore of Vancouver, and a (too) brief time in the prairies. Working as an artist, mother and wife (not necessarily in that order), i am striving to live well, to find the truth of God in all things, and to pass on this truth to others.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

ode to joy

a few years ago, after my second miscarriage, i began to define joy as this:  the ability to trust in God regardless of ones circumstances. looking back over the last weeks and months of my life i can see a rhythm:  days of contentment and peace, where my eyes are on my God and my family and friends and my heart is full; and days of frustration and compulsion, where i'm tossed around by life's circumstances and wounded by my dissapointments.  joy and sorrow.  trust and distrust.

i don't mean to over simplify, for there are days where despite my best efforts to focus on the constancy of God's love i am bulldozed by anxiety.  but, on the whole there is definitely an equation to be seen of trust equalling a confidence that spills into every area of my life and relationships.

joy in me these days looks like this:  playing with my children, relaxing about my home, laughing, being brave enough to look into my mirky future and maybe even daring to dream a little, enjoying my husband, praising and thanking God throughout my day, investing in relationships.  it does not always look like happiness; i can still cry, but it's with a sense of being shielded and safe.  it certainly looks nothing like perfection, but it is movement in a right direction.

i was reading in habakkuk the other day for advent and found that habakkuk defined joy as i do.  he says this:
even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in  the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 

believing in the sovereignty of God is definitely my strength in these days.  i know that there is purpose, that there are reasons for me to be here in British Columbia while my husband is there in Saskatchewan.  is it so that i can look into the face of a friend who is newly pregnant and shine my happiness and pride to her in person?  or so that i can hold a friend who is finding it hard to stand under deep sadness and hurt?  or to celebrate with my daughter that her and her best friend have both lost their first tooth this week, and it's in the exact same spot?(!)  is it everything, or none of these things.....i know that it's not for nothing.  

so, friends and strangers, i call you to trust with me this week.  let's put our hearts and minds and bodies in the hands of the One who loves us best, and let the figs and trees and crops and cattle do what they will.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Janet,
    I read the following from, Everyday Sacred, by Sue Bender and thought of you.

    "What I am learning is not 'light-bulb joy,'" Helen said that same day. "Nothing really dramatic, but the experiences add up to the beginning of wisdom." She thought again about the day of the fire. "If I use the word 'searching,' someone might think I'm not content. My searching is more like that of a monk. I'm not driven in the search, but hope to keep learning things along the way."

    "After my visits to the Amish,"I told her, "I had expected to be transformed. I expected to see big changes. Instead I found little changes, and a new appreciation of all the things I had taken for granted."

    Helen smiled. "Maybe that's the beginning of wisdom. There are no answers, there are just experiences."