I travel the country full time from the west coast to the east coast and everything in-between. I visit small towns, big cities, thriving churches and some congregations that are just barely hanging on.
I see joy.
I meet women and hear their stories. I see bits of their pain, their brokenness, their hurts and their longings.
I see joy.
I hear a woman tell me she wants something new and is leaving her husband. And then I turn and see another women broken because her husband is leaving her for something new.
I see joy.
I see a 50yr old grown women who was locked up and tortured as a child just now learning how to breath. I see her broken and curled up in a ball.
I see joy.
I wipe my face from the tears of a 70 year old women's sobbing because she feels so alone and doesn't know how she is going to pay her rent. I see in her a 5 year old girl just wanting her mommy to hold her.
I see joy.
I see and women, angry at the world and nothing will soothe her, so she hurls insults because that is all that has ever been hurled at her.
I see joy.
Then, I look in the mirror and I see in me a women whose body tires easily, wanting to be home where it is safe and warm in the arms of her husband, but God has different plans and keeps sending her out to hold the hurting, to hear the stories and to be a Herald for His voice. I see a women who carries the pain of others deeply and has to hide away each night and release them to the Lord for Him to carry.
I see joy.
The JOY of the Lord is my strength.
Joy is our ability to see past our circumstances and look into the face of the Son, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, disregarding its shame and now sits victorious in honor at the right hand of God. Jesus is our joy. Jesus is our victory. JESUS. JESUS. JESUS.
This is Joy. And it is my absolute Joy to do it, to see past my own circumstances, help others see past theirs and point people to the face of Christ in the best way that He sees fit.
Today and everyday, May you see the joy in all He has called you to do day in and day out. The joy of the Lord in YOUR strength. Keep pressing in!
Mia Koehne- Here to hear, hold and herald
"And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away." Ezra 3:11-13
I read this passage this morning and so many thoughts flooded my mind. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ. The old men who had seen the glorious temple in all it's splendor in the days of King Solomon looked at the humble foundation of this days temple and wept because they knew what had been and at the same time rejoiced in what was to come..... the new had come.
Those who had not seen the temple of the past rejoiced at the rebuilding and the newness of it all brought such joy that they SHOUTED (and I mean really shouted) to the Lord... "And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, 'For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.' ” Ezra 3: 11
I have had times where I saw what had been and wept, and at the same time I saw what was to be and I rejoiced. After my sister died, leaving behind four amazingly beautiful daughters and the worlds best husband and father, he remarried. I remember sitting at the wedding and shedding tears for what could have been if my glorious sister were still alive....her girls someday getting married, graduating, my sister being a grandmother...but none of that was going to be. I shed tears because I knew what had been taken away, YET, at the same time, I rejoiced at what was to come.
Here standing before my eyes was a man with his four daughters committing to love another women, to take her as his wife and to embark on something new and because of that I rejoiced. Because of the Love of God in their lives, because God is sovereign, because I know that God is good, I could rest in joy and know that what was to come would be beautiful. Because of that, I have a new sister, whom I love because God first loved us.
You see, my weeping of what could have been was wrapped up in the joy of what was to come. My shouts of joy covered and held close the tears like a mother holding a weeping child to her chest.
Sometimes we weep, sometimes we mourn, sometimes we rejoice, sometimes all at once and sometimes in part. But, sometimes the joy comes in the mourning and sometimes joy really does not come until the morning.
So whether you are weeping right now for what could have been, know that joy will come. And if you are one that is standing in joy, may your joy encompass those around you, may you be a rock for them in their sadness and may your joy carry them through the mourning and into the light of a new day.
Shout for Joy all you people, Shout for Joy!! Salvation has come!!
"For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!"
Earlier today, I was in the back room reading the Bible and just being a still for a bit. Now, I am sitting at my computer, getting some work done. During both of these experiences I was listening to the sounds of my son and his friend. His friend is happy, very happy. She loves to laugh, she loves to giggle and she finds humor and joy in just about every situation.
Listening to her giggle, made me want to giggle, to smile to join in joy she felt. She has a contagious personality. I love being around people like that. I want to be like that. Contagious!
And here is the reality....we are all contagious, but sometimes the contagions...
a : rapid communication of an influence (as a doctrine or emotional state)
b : an influence that spreads rapidly)
.....we spread are complete seriousness, foul moods, negativity and lack of humor.
My prayer today is that I would spread joy, reflective of what has been given to me.
Today I want to SHINE!...and tomorrow...and the day after that! SHINE!!!
Today, my husband and I were able to witness our firstborn walk the stage and receive His diploma. From the heart of this college drop-out, I stand in admiration of my son, Chris, for this accomplishment and all the hard work he did to make it to this day.
As parents who have not adopted the practice of paying for our children's college (mostly because we simply can't) seeing how he worked diligently to save his money, put himself through two years of Community college debt free and go on to the University for another three years, work hard to earn as many scholarships as possible and not have to take out massive loans is pretty impressive to this Mom & Dad.
So I stand in admiration not only for the excellence he showed in his studies, but everything it took for him to be able to thrive, succeed and finish his education as a Magna Cum Laude honored graduate. Just so proud of my baby boy!
And I am very thankful for a place like Grand Canyon University that not only educated and trained him to be a leader in secondary education, but nurtured him in his faith and walk with Christ. Seeing his relationship with the Lord bloom over these past few years has by far been the most rewarding treasure in my heart.
Today was a good day, and seeing him walk the stage blessed my heart.
As a side note, he wasn't planning to walk, but when he was online trying to pay graduation fees, he couldn't navigate off the page to pay for fees without purchasing a cap and gown. Since he didn't have time to figure it out, he just decided to buy the cap and gown and walk. So for that internet navigation error, I am thankful! Thanks internet glitch, you made my day!
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.