Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hold on to Joy



Time, like an ever-rolling stream bears all her sons away
They fly, forgotten as a dream dies at the opening day.

--Isaac Watts



How quickly time passes . . . 

Can it be June already? And soon September will fly in like a brisk-winged hummingbird-- and then October with her delicious cool air and the scent of burning leaves and the feel of crispness and remembrance. 

And we try to hold on to peaceful moments and perfect days and delicious scents and meaningful gifts. 


But they fade. 


And no matter how tightly we grip them, they eventually slip through our fingers. 

A moment, a memory, it flits like a butterfly in the warm summer breeze and then vanishes. 

Spring and Summer, Fall and Winter rushing by, a kaleidoscope of days - sorrow and laughter, joy and pain meshing together and moving, tripping onward, onward, onward. 

I want to hold on to the things of wonder and joy. And I want to loosen my hold on the things that have been painful - loosen my hold without losing my grip on the lessons that I've learned through pain, and the hard-as-iron way that these things have bound me to the Savior who has borne all of my griefs and carried my sorrows. 

I want to hold on to joy.




The first time that I kissed the beautiful, soft skin of my babies . . . 

The scent of my Mama's flowers drifting into the open window in the cool of the morning-breeze . . . 

The delightful taste of a homemade chocolate cake on my birthday, prepared by the hands of one who loves me . . .

The wonder of Christmas, the family-closeness of Thanksgiving, the glory of Easter . . . 

The soft Spring sun seeping in my open window, the birds lifting their beaks upward to the Father of lights and singing, singing, delighting in the beauty of the Creator's day . . . 

My Mama's kind smile, her hands gently planting perennials in the garden, pressing the soil firmly around them . . . 



My husband's quirky jokes and quick-wit . . . our word-bantering for the fun . . . 

The feel of our dog Bonnie's soft  fur, the look in her deep eyes as she played with her ball, brushing her old, worn body for love before we had to put her down at 17 . . .

I want to hold on to joy . . . 

And I've learned, I've been learning, that when I try to hold on to the things themselves, I lose them. 

When I place my delight in the things themselves, when I grasp them too tightly, they slip through my clenched fingers. 

I have to let them go . . . 

Offer them to Jesus . . . 

Offer back His gifts. 




And I find; I am finding, 

That when I offer them back, I receive them again - a true possession -

And my soul is flooded with joy, built on joy, sustained by Joy -

Because I am really holding onto Him, the Giver of every joy, of every true gift--

And I have the joy of His salvation, His presence, His peace. 

Finding out the greatness of His loving heart--

The One who holds all things in his keeping, 

For the joy of our hearts. 






You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, SDG Gathering, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysSo Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every SeasonA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, Testimony TuesdayTell His StoryA Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Theology ThursdaysChildren Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Thought Provoking ThursdayEvery Day JesusCount My Blessings, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewBlessing Counters Link PartyThe HomeAcre HopMommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridaySaturday Soiree Blog PartyTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog Hop, Faith and  Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate Monday Link-UpA Little R&R WednesdaysTGI Saturdays Blog HopTotally Terrific TuesdayRaRaLinkup

30 comments:

  1. What a jarring perspective I've gained this morning from your words. As I write my daily gratitude list, I am also writing a list of offerings to God. Thank you for this thought.

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    1. You're welcome, Michelle! It was something that really struck me . . . the holding on and the letting go . . . and the joy that comes when I surrender whatever it is into the hands of the Lord Jesus (even the "good" things).

      Have a blessed week!

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  2. Hello, We must learn to find the joy in everyday! For the enemy always tries to steal that very sweet gift! You write straight from the heart of God...
    Blessings, Roxy

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    1. Yes, Roxy; that is so true . . . the enemy seeks to steal our joy, through whatever means he can. Thank you for visiting and for your encouragement. God bless you!

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  3. I am reminded of the story of an ancient Irish king, who, knowing the end was near, grabbed a handful of the soil to take with him.

    And then he died, and then he awoke...in a new and brighter land, still holding his handful of soil!

    Jesus was there to greet him, and said, "Och, no, Paddy, and sure aren't we having to take a wee stroll before we actually got to Heaven?" (Jesus, as everyone knows, was really an Irishman, from Donegal.)

    So they walked together, and wasn't it a longer walk than the Lord had implied? The king grew tired, but he never set down his soil. And didn't Jesus look on with a smile, all the time?

    In the light of a new morning they came to the Pearly Gates, and Peter stood in their path. "Having a nice walk, are We, Lord?" he said to Jesus. "And who's the new guy?"

    "Sure, and isn't this...uh, well wasn't I after calling him Paddy?" Jesus smiled, and shrugged, palms up. "Sorry, mate. You were a king, or some such thing?"

    The king drew himself up. "I was a king in Ireland," he said, pompously, "and I have brought a bit of my kingdom with me." He held out his hand, the one holding to the dirt.

    Peter said, "You're welcome here, Paddy, uh, king, but you can't be bringing in the dirt. Quarantine, you know."

    Jesus rolled his eyes. "Quarantine? Really?"

    "No? Sure, and don't we have anti-littering laws, too?"

    Jesus snorted in derision, and wandered off with a wave. "I'll hold a place at the pub for you, Paddy!"

    The king was heartbroken. All this time he'd carried his small piece of Home, and now...to gain heaven, he'd have to leave it behind. So he sat on the ground, his back to Peter, and said, "No."

    Peter said, "Well, suit yourself, but would you mind sitting away from the path? We're likely to have a bit of traffic here, from time to time."

    The king did as he was bidden, and watched as groups of people - not only Irish, to his surprise - were admitted to heaven.

    Then he sighed, as only an Irishman can sigh, and gently released the dirt into the grass on which he sat, and spread it around with his fingers. "Goodbye, auld sod," he whispered.

    Then he stood, as a king stands, and said, "I'm in now, mate?"

    Peter said, "Indeed you are, Paddy," and with a flourish, swung open the gate.

    And as he stepped through, where do you think the king found himself?

    Och, and didn't you see this coming?

    He was in Ireland, bigger, brighter, and incorruptible, and never, ever lacking in beer.

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    1. Andrew, isn't that it, what we all need to say . . . "Goodbye, auld sod," to embrace the glorious riches of Jesus Himself?! Those words from the story really struck me. Thank you for sharing that with me, and for visiting here. The Lord bless you, Andrew!

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  4. Wow, Rebekah, this is. Really. Beautiful. Thank you. You're so right. There is only One thing we should cling to, though how hard that can be at times.

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    1. Thank you, Heather! May God bless us through clinging to Him! Have a wonderful week!

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  5. Fabulous post. Praying we're all 'in'. :)

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    1. Thank you, Shandra; God bless you!

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    2. What beautiful word pictures you present! We can savor so many simple joys each day, and this craft I am working to perfect as well. Thanks for sharing on Mom's morning coffee today, you gave my day a fresh perspective! I'm your neighbor there.

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    3. You're welcome, Ruthie! God bless you!

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  6. What a beautiful, incredible reminder to give everything to Jesus, let go of the pain, and hold onto and be grateful for the lessons learned! I am so touched by your words!

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    1. Oh, thank you, Michele . . . I'm so glad that it was encouraging; He is truly the Source of all joy!

      God bless you!

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  7. Your words hit the spot this morning, Rebekah! Beautiful, lyrical and so soothing. I need to remember not to grasp things so tightly and to rejoice more often. Thank you.

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    1. You're welcome! I am learning that, too!!--May God bless us both as we reach for Him and find the joy of the Lord as our strength!

      Have a blessed week!

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  8. Beautiful words! I have the most lovely images now that I am wrapping around my heart thanks to your words. It is hard to share the gifts that Jesus has given us but especially when He asks for them back. Blessings and love seeing you at the Wedded Wednesday linkup.

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    1. Thank you, Mary; blessings to you as well!

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  9. This is so beautiful. YES, we must intentionally hold on to those things that bring us joy and peace and life. There is so much in this life that can drag us down, if we let them. God help us to "count it all joy", glean the spiritual good we can find in our trials, and keep thankful hearts for all God has done. I surely appreciated this post. :)

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    1. Cheryl, I'm glad that it was an encouraging post! God bless you in each and every day.

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  10. As I read your words, Rebekah, I was reminded of my sweet puppy Minnie as she sat outside and watched the butterflies in the distance. She understood they were too fast to catch and just paused to enjoy their beauty. Your words remind me to do the same. : )

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    1. Oh, I love the picture that that brings to me mind, Crystal! God bless you; I'm glad that you stopped by. :-)

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  11. So precious, these words you have given us. And such an important reminder that it is God who brings us such powerful joy through the love and adventures in this world, but if we lose the things, we never have to lose the joy. The true joy is given by Jesus.

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    1. Yes, Jen, that is so true; I really loved the way you put it. . . even if we lose the things, we never lose the joy because true, lasting joy is of Him . . .

      God bless you; have a blessed weekend!

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  12. What a wonderful post Rebekah,thank you for sharing it with us at Good Morning Mondays. Thank you for the encouragement to live our lives rejoicing in the blessings that God has given us. Blessings

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    1. Thank you, Terri! God bless you also; have a wonderful weekend!

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  13. Wonderful post, as usual! That is why I just nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Visit my blog's latest post to find out more. God bless.

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    1. Thank you, Chris! That is very, very sweet of you and I feel so honored; I will head over to your blog and read about it! God bless you! :-)

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  14. Grasp them too tightly, and they slip through my fingers...
    Oh, how I identify with this! How good our God is, who gives us all things to enjoy, and then invites us to enjoy Him most of all. Thank you for linking up with us at Grace & Truth!

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    1. You're welcome, Jennifer; God bless you!

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