Saturday, January 29, 2011

Our "JOY Wall"

Bethany and I had some time at home this past week (in the middle of basketball season, no less) and we used it to finally put up our "JOY Wall" in Hannah's room. If you've followed this blog for awhile, you know I've been collecting JOY items for a few months now. I've been looking for some big letters to put up in the middle of the wall, which I finally found at Hobby Lobby last week. We put those up first, and then starting hanging all the other "Joy" stuff around them. My intention was to save the overtly Christmas-themed items in a box to hang on our tree next Christmas, but Bethany really wanted to put everything that's what we did. The wall is going to look a little bare when we take some of these things down to hang on our Christmas tree in December, but hey, that's okay! It actually looks a little like "JOY" exploded all over the wall, but I love it. Many of these items were gifts from precious friends and family, and each one makes me smile. It will be so much fun to add to our collection, and eventually fill up the whole wall!

There are a couple of reasons why we chose "JOY" as the theme of this room. Probably the most obvious is because Joy was Hannah's middle name. But that's not the main reason. The biggest reason we want to cover her walls with JOY is to remind us of a couple of things. One, that the JOY of the Lord is our strength, even when we are feeling our weakest. And two, that Hannah is right now experiencing indescribable JOY, a JOY that we will share with her someday.

Now, is JOY my overwhelming emotion as I walk into my oldest daughter's empty bedroom every day?

Um, no.

Believe me, there are a lot of days when I feel kind of like this...

Don't you just love that picture? It's actually a Christmas card that a sweet friend sent me. As soon as I saw it, I said, "That's me!" Look into that cat's eyes...It's like he's saying, "Yeah, I've got joy...but I just dare you to make me be happy about it!" Yes, I have a deep-down joy that's always with me because of what Christ did for me on the cross, but do I always FEEL joyful? No.

Sometimes I've wondered as I've looked around at my JOY stuff...

Am I just faking it? Am I being a hypocrite to surround myself with JOY when sometimes I'm just really not feelin' it?

And then I read this on someone's blog the other day....from the book "Kingdom of Love" by Hannah Hurnard.

"What about praising even when the disappointment feels very real? Does that mean we're faking it and fooling ourselves?

No. It means we're being obedient.

It is never hypocrisy to act as we earnestly desire to feel, even though the feeling may be very contrary at the time. Feelings follow action."

So, even though I sometimes feel like a surly feline crammed into a ill-fitting stocking, I will continue to choose JOY!


Kecia said...

Amen! Wise words. And I love your JOY wall.

Laurie and Jerry Wood said...

Joy is kind of like faith, isn't it? Even when it doesn't make sense, even when we can't see it, we are obedient when, by faith, we believe it. So, even when we don't feel it, when we are not consumed in it, even when it doesn't fit our current mood or emotion, we are obedient when, in faith, we claim the joy that is promised to us as believers! There is nothing hypocritical in that! And I think that filling Hannah's room with visible JOY is just another way of claiming HIS joy for yourself!

Kelley's Kids said...

I love your Joy wall, how very special.
Thinking of you, Kelley