My Journey to Joy

February 28, 2015

Evelyn Puerto on Acceptance

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“By accepting their trials as from God’s hand, in trusting Him fully, in surrendering to His will, their faith was strengthened, and they were given peace and joy and a profound sense of God’s love.”  Beyond the Rapids, Evelyn Puerto


January 7, 2015


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 4:11 PM
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For so much of my life I’ve offered “cheap” praise to God.  You know the kind that just slides off your tongue in bright, happy moments.  Gratitude that comes easily in the midst of blessing and plenty.  Pat phrases and clichés, offered casually with very little thought.  I’ve tossed a happy “thank you” and breezed by a glib “wow, that’s awesome, God!”  And this is good.  And it’s right.

But I’m learning another praise.  One that comes from so deep inside it almost hurts to offer.  One that is gathered intentionally, by force of will.  Sometimes it takes a moment to tug it to the surface.  Then with jaw set, and often tears streaming, I give praise.  And I say “thank you, God…no matter what.”  And I say “you are good and faithful…even if.”  I don’t think this praise can come from a heart that hasn’t been broken; but it shines through and makes the brokenness so worthwhile.

“Though the fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,  yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like hinds’ feet, he makes me tread upon my high places.”  Habakkuk 3:17-19

The waiting in adoption is impossible for me to describe.  Moment by moment I go from hope (we’re going to get another baby!) to despair (this will never really happen).  Both sides have validity.  And the not knowing can just eat at your soul.  But what is faith, but not knowing and choosing to trust?! 

I have a beautiful quote from Oswald Chambers hanging on the nursery door:  “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading”  And I do know the ONE, so much better than I did before this journey.  He has revealed Himself to me in such peace and comfort that defies my circumstances.

And so, again and again, maybe hundreds or thousands of times, I remind myself and God: “You are good.  You are working on our behalf.  You will be with us I trust you.”

And I choose to praise.  The awesome, loving God who walks by my side while I’m waiting.  And when I’m hurting.  And always.  Amen.

August 10, 2013

Becky Keep on Peace

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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“Although we weren’t granted a last-minute, miraculous healing for our Jesse, we were given something greater.  We were granted the peace to accept the path that was chosen for him and for us with the unwavering assurance that God’s glory would be revealed, even in what seemed unthinkable.  Therein lies the miracle.”  Becky Keep, Eyes to See: Glimpses of God in the Dark

January 29, 2013

Songs for the Journey- Hope Now

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January 8, 2013

Songs for the Journey- Even If

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October 23, 2012

Songs for the Journey- In Times Like These

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September 1, 2012

Oswald Chambers on Faith

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“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”  ~Oswald Chambers

April 18, 2012

Crisis Point Decisions

Filed under: Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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To me there is a great similarity between physical growth and spiritual growth. At least there has been in my case. Physically we arrive as little babies and have to be nurtured and taught, but then comes adolescence where we can accept and trust what we’ve been taught, test it out and see if it’s true, accept it into our heart and live by it; or we can reject advice and the way of truth and go our own way, do our own thing. If we choose the path of trust during adolescence and correct and change any faulty behavior and thinking that we may have had, then comes developing maturity where we build on our choices and upon what we’ve learned.

Spiritual maturity seems a lot the same. After conversion, we are babes in Christ and have to be taught. At some point though, we go through adolescence–some sort of crisis where we can choose God’s way or we choose to trust and follow our own emotions and feelings! During that time, if we choose God’s ways, we realize that He IS trustworthy. He does always speak truth!! After that crisis, we turn the corner toward being a genuine mature trusting Christian.

Are we satisfied being a superficial Christian or do we really want to know God–beyond our feelings!!  ~Cathy Parker

April 10, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Songs in the Night

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March 22, 2012

Who is He?

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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I’ve come to believe that the answer to my questions isn’t an answer at all.  It’s seeing God for who He is.  That always shifts my perspective, clarifies my vision, and transforms my outlook.  So, who is He?

I’ve known of Him all of my life.  I’ve heard stories about Him.  I’ve read letters from Him.  I’ve memorized verses, taken classes, written arguments, studied commentaries, listened to sermons…  I’ve watched other people who know Him.  But that isn’t remotely adequate for where I am now.

I must know Him.  I must know Him in a way that radically changes how I think and what I do.  I’ve staked my life, even my eternal life, on who He is.  I must know Him to my deepest level-my soul must know Him confidently, intimately.  I cannot be unsure of His character, or I am unsettled, weak, and vulnerable.

When Moses saw God, he “bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.”  Exodus 34:8  When Isaiah saw the Lord, he said: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.”  Isaiah 6:5  After God answered Job, he responded: “Behold, I am of small account; What shall I answer thee? I lay my hand upon my mouth.”  Job 40:4  When Jesus challenged Thomas to touch Him and believe he simply said: “My Lord and my God.”  John 20:28

I’ll never know Him completely.  But I want to know Him more.  So much more.  So I am asking.  Asking for Him to show me Himself.  Looking for Him.  Seeking to KNOW Him.

I could write a list of what I know (in my head), but instead I’ll write what I know (in my heart).  Here is where I’ll start.  This is what I know to be true of my God.

He is good.  Always.  Without any wrong.  Regardless of what my circumstances may be, what I feel or perceive, or what anyone may say.  God is good.  All of the time.

I think it’s a pretty good place to start.  What do you know of God?

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