I have 14 children.
14 literary children that is …
This week, on March 29, my 14th book was released!
Excuse me while I celebrate for a minute …
Woo-Hoo! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Thank You, Jesus!!
When I was just a little girl … my heart’s desire was to be an author.
And now … I am living that dream that was birthed so many years ago as I sat on my pink bedspread with “Little House in the Big Woods” in my hands.
Now … my dream didn’t happen overnight but it took decades of education … reading … writing … rejection … editing … dreaming … praying … hoping … and planning.
If you have a dream in your heart ~ get to work!
Don’t just sit around being frustrated … roll up the sleeves of your heart and get at it!
Don’t be moved by rejection … impatience … waiting … or jealousy.
You do what you can do … and then let God do the rest!
You see, in the preparation lies the true calling.
My books are not the finish line of my life … it’s been a glorious process filled with pain and purpose … filled with frustration and faith … filled with dreaming and desire.
I have loved every single day … every single week … every single month … and every single year of the process.
The process has refined me and molded me.
Don’t resist the process of your dreams coming into fruition … but welcome the long process with joy and delight!
Have a blast on the journey … enjoy the view!
These are the names of my literary children in order from oldest to youngest … in case you were wondering …
“The Rooms of a Woman’s Heart”
“No More Ordinary!”
“Joy for All Seasons”
“Let There Be Joy!”
“Pass the Joy, Please!”
“Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue”
“The Rooms of a Mother’s Heart”
And now … “At Home In Your Heart”
And my heart overflows!!
This new book is a 60-day devotional … filled with scripture … rich thoughts … sparkling encouragement … and undeniable hope!
As my gift to you in honor of this extraordinary birth announcement … I thought that I would include one chapter for your personal encouragement. And, if this chapter speaks to your heart, would you consider buying a copy for yourself and one for a friend?
It would simply mean the world to me!
Here you go … Happy #14!!!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy… —Galatians 5:22
In fifth grade, my beloved teacher, Miss Sullivan, taught her curious class of eleven-year-olds that in order to define a certain word, one should never use the word itself in the definition. The rule that Miss Sullivan taught all of her eager students is an accepted grammatical rule that most savvy writers and wordsmiths follow implicitly.
However, I have discovered that it is nearly impossible to define the word “ joy” without using the word itself in the definition.
The Hebrew definition of the word simchah is “joy, mirth, gladness; the joy of God.”
The Greek definition of the word chara is “ joy, gladness; the cause of occasion of one’s joy.”
Due to my frustration as a grammar elitist who is convinced that substance is lacking when using a word in its own definition, I decided to dig a bit deeper and to valiantly endeavor to discover the root definition of the word “ joy.”
“Joy wrought by the Holy Spirit” was a definition that resonated a bit stronger in my frustrated soul because at least it gave some credit to the Holy Spirit.
And then, at last, I came upon this definition from a Hebrew dictionary I found among my grandfather’s archaic library: “The blessedness that the Lord enjoys around the throne of God Himself.”
Wow! What a heart-stopping definition of this glorious word that is so profoundly difficult to define! I must share it with you again so that you can linger on it with me: “The blessedness that the Lord enjoys around the throne of God Himself.”
Although this particular definition does indeed use a derivative of the word “joy” in the word “enjoys,” I found myself completely agreeing with this ancient meaning found among stacks of dusty, dog-eared books.
Joy is the atmosphere of heaven! Joy is the very air that God the Father Himself breathes every day of eternity. And, wonder of wonders, because joy is heaven’s delivered gift to me while I walk on planet Earth, it is my delight and strength to experience the blessedness that God on His throne enjoys. While I am living in time, I am the beneficiary of eternal joy.
Joy is God’s indescribable gift to us as we contently snuggle into His presence and hunker down into all that He is and all that He gives.
How does “joy” differ from “happiness”?
What was the most joyful moment of your life?
Is it possible to “choose joy”?
“Loving Jesus, would You make my life a showcase of Your joy? Would You use my broken, dilapidated life as a trophy of heaven’s joy? I give myself to You anew today and I ask You to fill every corner of my heart with Your indescribable joy! In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.”
You will make known to me the way of life; in Your presence is full- ness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever. —Psalm 16:11
Read Psalm 51:10–13; Nehemiah 8:10; 1 Peter 1:6–9.
Thanks for listening to my heart this week. As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart, but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me. And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is.
Used with permission from carolmcleodministries.com.