My Journey to Joy

April 10, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Songs in the Night

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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March 14, 2012


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 11:00 AM
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This is for several dear friends, who are going through their own agony.  I love you, ladies, and I’m praying…


It has different names. Yours might have been cancer, affair, lost…mine was infertile.  I’m guessing it feels a lot the same.

At first, you think of it constantly, rolling it around in your head.  Examining it.  Looking for solutions, or a way out of this hurt.  Sometimes you talk about it, sometimes you don’t.  Sometimes you cry until you feel like your head will explode.  Sometimes you sit and stare, with dry eyes, feeling completely empty.  Depleted.  Hollow.

Forgetting it for a few moments, or even hours is wonderful…until you remember.  In that awful moment, it’s almost as if it hits you again, fresh, like the first time.  You grapple with thoughts of “did that really happen?”  It can take your breath away, and make you want to double over to somehow survive this onslaught in your own mind.

Then there are the triggers.  They’re everywhere!  I have a roll of return address labels that I bought years ago.  They say “W_____ Family.”  I don’t use them.  We’re almost out of the ones that say “Daniel & Holly.”  Today I opened the desk drawer to get a stamp, and it hit me again.  When I went to vote, a volunteer asked me where my other children were.  And I said: “I don’t have any children.  I’m just a nanny.”  Celebrations can be excruciating.  An innocent comment can tear a rip right across my heart.

And then there are the decisions.  You feel as if your world has collapsed.  You don’t know how to keep breathing.  And people want to know what your plans are.  And you wish you could just go to sleep and have someone take over your life and steer until all of this is over…

And you question yourself.  What could I have done differently?  Is this something that I’ve earned, that I deserve?  Is there something wrong with me that I’ve just never noticed all of my life?

And you question God.  How can He let this happen?  How can He ever “work this out for good?”  Where is He, and why can’t I feel Him?

And then, eventually, You see Him again.  And you remember what He did for you, and how He loves you.  Oh, how He loves!  And your friends learn how to help you.  Your vision broadens beyond this one hurt.  You begin to see beauty.  And slowly, oh, so slowly, you begin to taste hope again.  And now you know to savor it, as the beautiful thing that it is.  You’ll never take it for granted again.  And you live…

December 31, 2011

Filed under: Notable Quotables,Uncategorized — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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“Joy is always a function of gratitude — and gratitude is always a function of perspective. If we are going to change our lives, what we’re going to have to change is the way we see.” ~Ann Voskamp

December 8, 2011


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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A few nights ago I could not get my brain to “turn off.”  Do you ever have those nights?  I was lying there, thinking that I really needed some rest, but ideas kept flooding into my mind.  The first time, I got up and went to the computer.  After that, I just left a notepad on the bed beside me.  Sure enough, more thoughts kept coming.  Trying to remain as sleepy as possible, I just started writing on the pad without even turning on the light.  After jotting everything down, I couldn’t resist turning on the light to see if anything was even legible.  (So much for keeping it dark and going to sleep!)  Two lines overlapped, but it was really quite good.  I could read every word!  I had trusted the pen and the paper to do what they always have, trusted my hand to do what I’ve watched it do many times.  But I was writing in the dark.

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29

The analogy hit me hard.  That’s what I’ve been doing for three years now.  Writing in the dark.  Trusting that God can and will do what’s best for me, when I don’t see it.  Then sometimes, just for a moment, he shines some light on things, and I get to see what He’s been doing.

When we decided to adopt, it was after much prayer, thought and discussion.  We knew that we are not the typical candidates for domestic infant adoption.  We don’t fit the stereotype: two-income, upwardly mobile family.  Most claim the entire tax credit their first year after adopting.  (We don’t pay nearly that much in taxes, because of our income.)  I spoke with our social worker the other day, and she said that we’re actually the lowest income of any of her families.  But God…

He’s not worried about all of that!  He can provide for our needs so much better than we can.  And He has been.  The week of Thanksgiving was just incredible.  Friday and Saturday we had a garage sale, with so many donated items from friends.  (I’ve never had so many people come to a garage sale, ever.)  We made quite a bit of money.  On Friday, a check came in the mail from a dear friend, totally unexpected.  On Monday, I checked the mail while cleaning up from the sale.  There was a grant from Show Hope!  I was so surprised that we got a grant.  Then I noticed the amount: double the amount they typically award couples!  I kept crying, and reading it again and again to see if I’d misunderstood!  Wednesday I delivered 32 pies/cakes for a Thanksgiving bake sale at my sister’s work.  So many people ordered, and lots of them overpaid.  Thursday my grandmother gave us the money she’s been collecting for us, through yard sales, quilting, canning- you name it!  In less than one week we got over $8,000 for our baby!  (I can still hardly believe it!  I’m crying writing this.)

For now we see through a glass, darkly…1Corinthians 13:12

We knew God could do this, but it is wonderful to see Him doing it is such a big, awesome way!  I keep thinking I know how God will work things out, but I forget who He is!  He has all resources!  Time doesn’t matter to Him.  If He needs us to wait, He can do that.  If He needs to work things out quickly, He can do that!  It has helped me to remember what I know- He’s in control of this!  He is all-powerful.  Nothing can stop His will/purpose.  God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.  1Thessalonians 5:24

I rejoice to see God working on our behalf.  I thank Him for all He is doing, whether we are aware of it or not.  I believe that He will continue to do what is best for us.  My faith is growing

Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 

August 6, 2011

John Piper on Fighting for Joy

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:51 PM
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How Shall We Fight for Joy?  ~John Piper

// 1. Realize that authentic joy in God is a gift.

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