This project I began of taking the time to recognize the blessings that Papa fills my life and noting them in a journal has begun to become a way of life.
The more I watch, the more I find!
Each one brings joy with it.
There is only one source of true joy and that is the Living God.
Each time I stop to take in one of His sweet gifts and turn the discovery into an opportunity to give Him thanks and praise, He responds with the blessing of joy.
There are numerous references to joy in His Word.
In the Old Testament there are eight different Hebrew words that are translated into the English word joy.
Sometimes the use of just that three letter word does not do justice to what Papa seeks to convey.
That is why I love to pull out my concordance and find the fuller meaning.
Sometimes the word is simply joy, which, by itself, still represents something fuller and deeper than happiness.
However, many other times so much more lies under the surface.
Shouting out of joy.
Singing with joy.
The New Testament has just three words that are translated joy.
Each one deserves a fuller definition.
These two lists still fall short of the joy that Papa shares with His children, but they help.
Our God is the giver of all good things.
James says it well,
"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow."Papa loves to bless and loves to increase our joy as we become wide-eyed with discovery.
His joy has no limits.
I imagine Him poised, just waiting for another opportunity to pour more joy into our lives.
Joys comes in an unlimited variety of forms.
Putting on a necklace this morning made by my granddaughter just for me caused me to thank my God for such a show of love.
with the thanksgiving my joy increased.
After one week of searching for our little white cat I had given up.
She had obviously gotten out somehow.
It was Wednesday night and Ray and I had just retired for the night when I heard noise coming from the living room.
There sat Miss Sushi!
It turns out that she had been hiding (and still is) in a little corner next to the washing machine.
That night I trapped her with a trap from the Humane Society.
I then released her in a small room.
She allowed me to pet her.
Probably because I set her free from the trap.
Slowly, but surely she is warming up. At one point she rolled over and let me rub her belly.
This is a big deal in the cat world!
Meanwhile, Stir Fry loves to be carried around in a furry sling which keeps him close to my heart.
I have been thanking Papa for these two fur balls and the life they have added to our home.
Life and joy all from Him!
The weather yesterday left Matt and Tim without work for the day.
This is not a bad thing, as they work hard and long, usually six days a week.
My dear sons chose to spend the time together, just hanging out.
My boys are friends!
This fact caused Papa and I to dance a little celebration of joy.
It warms are hearts!
Ray and I headed out for a few errands today.
Pearly needed gas and my honey pumped it.
Once in the store, Ray steered the shopping cart.
Both tasks are done with a measure of extra effort and difficulty for my man and I could have done both myself quicker and easier. However, Papa has shown me the importance of stepping back and letting my husband do as much as possible himself.
Resisting the urge to take over I was able to enjoy the gift of peace and the gift of a husband who is with me and able to do much more than anyone anticipated.
For both I am very thankful.
Papa added joy to my gratitude.
Outside our last stop a young man stood at a table.
The table had all kinds of material about the ministry of Teen Challenge.
The ones who man those tables are people in recovery who are participating in the program.
I love meeting each and every one of these dear people.
Of course, I stopped by the table to speak with the fellow.
I learned that he was very cold.
The store is perched on top of a good sized hill and is windy on a good day.
Today is an especially windy day, so it is that much more so on that hill.
I knew that his shift was a long one, as they always are, so I asked him if he wanted a cup of coffee.
Oh, yes, please!
After picking up the few items I needed I got him that cup of coffee.
Papa threw in a package of cookies. :)
We also were able to include a few words of encouragement!
As Ray and I drove away my heart overflowed with joy.
Papa and I were giggling.
He was pleased and I was grateful!
Nothing makes my day like such an opportunity!!
My heart joins the Psalmist in the Seventy-First chapter,t he Twenty-Third verse,
"My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; and my soul, which you have redeemed."My joy simply echoes His.
"The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy." Zephaniah 3:17