My Journey to Joy

March 10, 2012

Ann Voskamp on the Gift of Losing our Comfort

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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When God moves us out of our comfort zone —- into places that are way bigger than us, places that are difficult, hard, painful —- that even hurt — this is a gift.

We are being given a gift.

These hard places give us the gift of intimately knowing God — in ways that would never be possible in our comfort zones.”

That the greatest gift we can ever receive is the gift of losing our earthly security and comfort? So that we can unwrap the intimacy of the Savior and His Heavenly Comfort.  ~Ann Voskamp


November 3, 2011


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 12:16 PM
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I few weeks ago, I asked my small group a question: “Does it get easier?”  It seems like so often I’ve fallen into a pattern.  God does something/asks something of me, then I “react.”  I’ve promised to always submit to Him, and obey His will, but so often I struggle with His plan.  I worry, argue, and try to understand for several days before just saying “okay.”  This is exhausting!  I know there is something better, because I’ve seen it lived out!  Those people who say “whatever God wants” and mean it…that’s who I want to emulate.  But how?

Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. Mark 9:24

Practice.  I’m so far from where I want to be, but I can see a difference.  Every time I choose to say “yes,” I’m practicing.  Forming a habit of agreeing with whatever God has for me.  Intentionally.  Through tears, gritted teeth, whatever it takes.  I will bend to His will.  Over and over.  Again and again.

 Mt 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done…

I was talking to a friend the other day, and he mentioned how the best athletes don’t think about each move.  They’ve done each step so many times that it becomes instinctive.  It clicked.  It’s not a matter of being some sensational Christian with an unhuman lack of self-preservation.  It’s choosing to believe that God does know what’s best.  And then choosing to believe that God does know what’s best.  And then choosing…  Over and over.  Again and again.  Practice.

James 1:3 …because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

I may not be destined for the saintly major leagues.  But if I keep practicing…doing the next right thing…and working out my faith muscles, I know He’ll take care of the results.

Romans 5:3-4 …we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

September 13, 2011

Songs for the Journey

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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September 7, 2011


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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I follow a blog called A Holy Experience.  Ann, the author, signs her posts “All’s Grace.”  She emphasizes eucharisteo, or always giving thanks, even for the hard things.

This is where I glitch, like a computer unwilling to read the data.  See, I can handle I Thessalonians 5:18: “…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  But Ephesians 5:20?  “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”?

I’ve become a good deflector.  When I see something bad occur, I notice something worse that didn’t.  “We had a wreck, but praise the Lord we weren’t seriously hurt.”  “A tree hit our house, but at least we have insurance for that.”  “Those words hurt, but I do have other friends.”  I dance all around the painful, the ugly, the unpleasant.

What if that thing that I avoid, what I refuse to accept, what I turn away from- is exactly what God intended for me?  What if He sent those things that I would never choose expressly for my good?  What if I hold Him responsible for what I have deemed “bad”?  What if my perspective is so skewed by my self-centered nature that I need a whole new vision?

This family’s testimony of grace is astonishing:

My God is gracious…but I don’t always know what that looks like.  I’m not who determines what is “good” or “bad.”  He is the potter (Isaiah 64:8) and the gardener (John 15), shaping and pruning at His discretionHe knows what is truly good.  My part is to present myself to Him, as a living sacrifice, to be transformed by Him, so that I can know His will, and what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:1-2, my paraphrase)

And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, strengthen youI Peter 5:10

August 23, 2011

Songs for the Journey

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 3:36 PM
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The Potter Knows the Clay

I know you are going through the fire

Its  getting hard to stand the heat

But even harder is the wondering

Is God’s  hand still on me

Its lonely in the flames

When you’re counting days of  pain


But the Potter knows the clay

How much pressure it  can take

How many times around the wheel

‘Til there’s submission to His  will

he’s planned a beautiful design

but it’ll take some fire and time

its gonna be okay

‘cause the Potter knows the clay

Friend I just  came through that fire

Not too very long ago

And looking back I can see  why

And that my God was in control

But on the hottest days I’d cry

Oh Lord, isn’t it about time

*My note: Sometimes He leaves us in the fire even after we’ve submitted to His will.  His ways are not our ways…  Isaiah 55:8

July 30, 2011

Mary Beth Chapman on God’s Plan

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:57 PM
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“…Jesus has always loved me enough to show me that even when I push my own ideas and expectations, He is there to guide me back…” ~Mary Beth Chapman

July 2, 2011

C.S. Lewis on Pain

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 8:00 PM
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We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be

~C.S. Lewis

June 14, 2011

Songs for the Journey

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 8:13 PM
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Different songs have meant a lot to me throughout this journey.  Hearing others sing of their pain and God’s faithfulness is a wonderful encouragement.  My prayer…

If This Is What God Wants

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