I was blessed to attend a women’s conference in Hickory this weekend with two of our daughters. The main speaker was very good, but the thing that blessed me the most was the fact that the ladies who coordinated this event did not feel the need to just  “bring in big names” as speakers. They had asked some local women to speak in the break-out sessions and they did a wonderful job sharing from God’s Word. One speaker, Carol, shared about “Consider it Pure Joy”  from James 1 and there were several things she said that really spoke to my heart.

Throughout my life, since the time I was a very small child, people have said that I have a lot of  “joy”.  That may be because I smile often – and that gives the impression that I have joy. Yet, truth be known, joy is much more than smiles or happy faces. Carol shared that joy is defined as the “prospect of possessing what you most desire.”  (Webster’s Dictionary) When I am planning to spend the weekend with our grandchildren, I am filled with joy!!! The prospect of their happy faces, hugs, and “I love, you, Nana” all fill my heart with joy  – which says that being with my grandchildren is something I desire.

I remember being THRILLED when we found out we were pregnant with our first child. Becoming a mother was something I greatly desired. Joy was the result. Yet, two and one-half years later, when I found out I was pregnant with #3, my first reaction was NOT joy.

  • my milk dried up and #2 was just 6 months old
  • our 1st two children were still in diapers
  • my body was spent
  • we lived in a two bedroom apartment, both tiny bedrooms

There was no joy –  because I did not desire another child at that time. The problem was NOT the pregnancy – the real problem was my desire. As I prayed and allowed God to adjust my desires , I began to anticipate the birth of our third child. It was not an overnight change, but gradually I realized that God’s timing is perfect –  irregardless of my desires. As I began to desire the birth of our precious 3rd child, my heart changed and joy was the result!

I still had to

  • stop breastfeeding
  • have 3 children in diapers at the same time
  • put 3 cribs in a small bedroom
  •  and feel tired.

My joy was restored by God’s grace. Those of you who know our 3rd child know what joy she brings to our family and all those who know her. God’s plans for us are so much greater than our plans!!

The challenge for all of us is to desire the right things. First and foremost – we should desire God.

Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

11 You make known to me the path of life;
   you will fill me with joy in your presence,
   with eternal pleasures at your right hand

This scripture shows that the Psalmist desired to know God’s path and the reward was fullness of joy!

If we do not feel joy, we must examine our hearts and ask what do we desire?  Fullness of joy is worth adjusting our desires!

12 thoughts on “Joy!

  1. Lovely truthful post. You write so well. Then I saw the advertisment for PEPSI. I felt a tinge of resentment at having my sweet mood interrupted. Then I went ahead and watched, which is not typical for me. I thought it was hilarious! So you never can tell what will bring you joy, I guess.

    Thanks for sharing and the lovely photo of you and grandchildren.


  2. Cathy Makinson says:

    Gayle, how timely….I shared at church Sunday how during this fast that I really felt that the Lord was saying this was going to be a year of JOY for the congregation…and I do believe that. So what a great perspective on JOY this is…thanks for who you are and the Joy you bring, love you, cathy


  3. Abigail says:

    Another beautiful, thought-provoking post, mama! Thank you for sharing your lessons which help me to consider my heart and my desires for these years of my life.


  4. twobarks says:

    Gayle, You are a JOY to all of us who know you. Dad and I were the recipients of God’s blessing when He sent you to our home. Do you still have the letter Grandpa Barker sent me when we were expecting you? Little did he know at that writing the joy you would bring to him. God is so good.


  5. Danika Cooley says:

    Joy isn’t based on our hope in our circumstances, but on our hope in Christ. Great example!



  6. Hannah says:

    The sad thing about reading this post is that it makes me miss you and my sisters – and it’s wonderfully written! Yes, you are joyful and loving and I’m glad you had my sister 13 months after me even though I had to be fed formula. 🙂


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