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?
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!