Being the word nerd that I am (and frequently call myself such), tonight I grabbed 2 of my favorite books to jump start my post. Nothing like a dictionary and a thesaurus to get me inspired! ;)
First a word from good ole' Webster himself:
JOY - The emotion excited by acquisition or expectation of good
And my faithful companion, The Pocket Word Finder Thesaurus:
JOY - delight, enchantment, amusement, excitement, glee, happiness, laughter, merriment...
Reading this definition and list of synonyms immediately brought to mind images of my 1 year old niece that my sister recently sent my phone.
No pressures, no expectations (except an occasional diaper change and some food).
Lots of joy! Delight, enchantment, amusement, excitement, glee, happiness, laughter....
She does not concern herself with bad hair days, skinny jeans that don't fit, or accessories that don't match. She could care less what people think of her. It does not bother her that someone might think she should be doing THIS or should have done THAT. She is confident in her identity and knows who she is....she is her mommy's little girl! :)
And her mommy loves her more than she can ever know.
She is a baby, becoming a toddler, still a little wobbly at times, but pressing forward and taking one step at a time. And when she falls down, guess what? She gets back up.
She is enjoying the simple pleasures of life, discovering new things every day. She finds joy in the moment - a gentle wind across her face tickling her nose, a butterfly landing on a nearby chair, a handful of sand thrown in the air, a field of flowers. Delight, excitement, laughter.
Life may not always be simple, but I pray that today, you can find joy in the moment, and enjoy the simple pleasures that surround you every day. You are your Father's daughter, created according to His own purpose and grace!
It is not what we do, how much we accomplish, who we know, how well we speak in front of a crowd, how much we please someone else or how spotless our house is that makes Him love us. He just loves us. Period.
When we begin to embrace our identity in Him and realize the full capacity of His unconditional love for us (although I don't think that is 100% possible!), we will begin to experience once again the joy as of a little child. And when we do this, we begin to take our place, fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle in the body of Christ, each with our own space, each serving a purpose, each pressing forward one step at a time, each making the puzzle more complete.
"...who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." 2 Timothy 1:9
(A link to this post can be found on Rachel Olsen's blog and Devotional Carnival. You can also find some fantastic blogs to read, all discussing this month's topic....JOY!)