Abide in Joy

“And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful.  Listen to my instruction and be wise.  Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. ~Proverbs 8: 32-35

Listening more than acting is not natural for me. If you know me, you appreciate I’m someone with opinions-especially if I care about you. (Just ask my children.) It’s who I am.  But then I read these verses about wisdom and how joyful are those who listen, and it convicts me.

Often, I sense I’m not always listened to or heard. It’s probably a mom thing. But this must also be how God feels. He gives direction, but I do not hear Him through the noise of my busyness. God must think why doesn’t she just listen to me?

Abide with me, rings the chorus of a favorite song. I was recently reminded that finding joy comes from abiding in Him. So this is what I’ve tried to do for the last month. Find joy in abiding and listening.  Abiding begins with listening and obeying. It’s been a busy month. I’m digging out and navigating new issues, but attempting to listen first then obey. And looking for joy along the journey.

Following His footprints at times requires more faith than I think I have. So I lose my way.

His path may lead to a place I don’t want to go. So I don’t.

His direction may lead me opposite of my desires. So I procrastinate.

But a lesson I continue to relearn is God leads me where He knows I need to go. It may not be for now, but for my future. What can I learn in these moments, right now, even on this path I may not want or understand?

When I follow and obey in faith, His direction becomes clearer.[tweetthis]As we follow God’s will in #faith, the path becomes more clear as He directs us where we need to go [/tweetthis]

God cleans the lens of His will when I obey and follow.

Some days the walk is easier than others. But there’s joy in it all when I pay attention. Here’s how I’ve been following and #FindingJoy this last month:

  • Abiding in His Word, worship & prayer with more focused attention. His Word is more powerful and impactful the more I seek Him in these moments.
  • Sharing thoughts & Biblical truths with moms on our mission. God gave us our children for His reasons, let’s make sure they know Him.
  • Helping loved ones navigate health issues. As a nurse, it’s my privilege to help others, especially those I love.
  • Getting organized & catching up on my life. This was badly needed and I’m beginning to breathe again.
  • Relaxing in a warm pool and the ocean with my family in January. Beach breezes and pool fun was so needed.
  • Cheering for my kids and their accomplishments. I’m always inspired by mine and all the other kids who push past what others may consider an obstacle and accomplish the amazing.
  • Three straight days of sunny warmth to walk outside again! The treadmill and I have a love/hate relationship. It was soul food to feel the warmth and hear the birds again!
  • Awareness of simple blessings in the midst of life’s messes. Being thankful in the midst of a mess is a gift.
  • Unexpected grace when I mess up. This occurs often and I’m so thankful for the grace of others and most especially of our God.

Each day is a gift. I’m trying to lift my eyes to see more of life than my to-do list. I’m finding joy in the beauty of the world and the people around me. I’m sharing my heart and the gifts God gives me in small ways. And I’m becoming more comfortable in the small things of life.

Where are you finding joy as you abide in Him today? Let’s stop and listen to God long enough to hear His voice, direction and be joyful in all the moments He gives us.

Linking up with Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement, Crystal Twadell at #FreshMarketFriday, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeartand Brenda Ottinger at #ChasingCommunity





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13 thoughts on “Abide in Joy”

  1. Amen and amen! — Love all the practical ways you’ve found joy this month. (And, hasn’t the weather been wonderful? Looks like the cold is coming back, but it was a nice reprieve in the middle of winter.) — “More comfortable in the small things of life.” Love that. Me too, my friend. — One way I’m feeling joy this month is through gratitude. So blessed by His ever-present hand in my life. — Thanks for sharing with #ChasingCommunity today, Jill ! ((xoxo))

    • Thanks Brenda, amen to more comfortable in the small! Yes, I am amazed and grateful for His hand in my life as well. Always a pleasure to link arms and blog posts with you!

  2. Jill, I always appreciate your candor and practicality about the Christian journey. One of my favorite all-time hymns is “Trust & Obey”, especially when it’s a little harder to do. I think you’ve touched on one of the big keys to abiding in joy, “becoming more comfortable in the small things of life”. Thanks for sharing wisdom and encouragement. Blessings from your neighbor at Crystal’s.

    • I’m learning small can be so good, intimate and God-good if that makes sense! Thanks for stopping by and your encouragement to me, Alice!

  3. Jill, thanks for sharing how you’re finding joy as you abide in the Lord. I like that you share the actual, practical ways that you do that. I’m on a road to recapturing joy and will be pinning this to my ‘Joy’ board for encouragement later. After a particularly hard couple of years, I’m finding more and more ways to enjoy the simple pleasures along the way, but it all starts with abiding in Him. Blessings to you!

    • Thanks Carlie for your encouragement and sharing! I understand about recapturing joy and needed to do that myself a few months back. Blessings as you seek to abide in Him and find your joy. I too have a Pinterest board in which I’m posting my ‘joy’ posts if you want to check it out it’s https://www.pinterest.com/JillMHoven/findingjoy/ Thanks for stopping by today and encouraging me as we both seek to find our joy in abiding!

  4. “God gave us our children for His reasons…” What a profound truth! I never thought of it like that before. Do you mind if I quote you in an upcoming blog post? That just blesses me so much and I’m sure it will bless other moms with special needs kids as well.

    I love your post! Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. Love that – there is more to life than my to-do list. I do want to find joy in the small moments especially as my kids are still young. I don’t want to let this time pass me by. Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks Naomi, and yes let’s find joy in the small things of life as we seek to abide in Him and find our joy. Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. I love how real you are in this and I found myself nodding along all the way through.

    Your tips are so practical! I need to trust more, but walking that out can be hard to understand. The ABIDING and GETTING ORGANIZED spoke so much to me. Now to listen and put it in action!

    • It is all about the listening, which isn’t my strongest trait! Here’s to more listening and abiding with encouragement from each other! Thanks Becky!


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