Thursday, April 15, 2010

According to His Own Purpose

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.






Oh how I love that smile. And how I love watching her. She is only 1 and life is GOOD!. ;)

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!)

11 friends had this to say:

fallingintofavor said...

Leave it to Shelly to post something truly touching :)

I am my Father's daughter! And the joy of a little child is what I'm after. There is something about the carefree attitude, the awe and amazement of the simple things that fascinate me when I'm around children. They see a flower and they smile, they play with the boxes their toys come in rather than the toys!

I want to be so enchanted with Christ, and my purpose in Him that it sparks excitement and merriment to all whom I come into contact with.

tcsoko said...

Kids have so much to teach us. My Dad was listening to the song 'the wonderful cross' when my nephew started asking what is so wonderful about the cross. The 5 year old concluded that Jesus was the only wonderful thing!

Rachel Olsen said...

I amen this prayer, Shelly: "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!"

And those photos of her are so sweet. Thanks for linking up!

Livin4Him said...

Joy: The expectation of good... I like that, and am reminded that my joy is not defined by circumstances or even current position, but by the expectation that He holds my today and when I seek His face he will fill me with His joy....the joy that never ceases in wonder and awe. The part I play is in the letting go of any expectation but the expectation of Him alone.

KELLY said...

Beautiful post and adorable pictures!! Thank you for sharing. You are such an inspiration!

Stacy said...

How easily we let the cares of this world steal our joy. How we, like this precious little girl, need to relish each moment, rest in our Father's love and enJOY life!

I love the view from your heart! :)

sprinkled with cinnamon said...

Beautiful. Inspiring. True. Thank you for sharing!
~Kimberley

starleeta said...

Love this post

The pictures are soooo adorable.

Thank you for a little joy today!!
:0) starla

livadair said...

Great post! Makes me think about having faith like a child and how that ties into joy- perhaps it is the innocence factor. As you mention, your little niece doesn't worry about jeans not fitting or bad hair days, she is experiencing the gifts of God in her life such as being outside and a mommy that loves her. Our Father must want us to just experience Him sometimes without all the other stuff that gets in the way. Thanks for posting!

cjlilly1977 said...

Shelly,
Just loved this post and your little one is so beautiful-- like her Mother as can see from reading.
The innocence of children is just so beautiful, truly joy and I find as a Grandmother, one wants to savor those moments.
Thank you for also you kind words today.
Many blessings,
Carla

********Shelly********* said...

Thank you to everyone for such kind words! What an encouragement to me you have been! And I have enjoyed tremendously all of the great posts that each of you shared on your blogs! I hope this to be a wonderful start to many new friendships! :)