Sometimes joy is unexpected. I don’t know about your doorstep, but ours was host to a frenzy of brown packages throughout the month of December. Gifts came to us by way of the nice delivery man, always punctual, though laden with Christmas surprises, as we ordered things online and family sent goodies our way. Packages are exciting to me: I love to give and, if I’m honest, I love to receive them too. Gifts are especially meaningful when it is apparent the giver has spent time considering exactly who the recipient is; what they love, what brings them enjoyment, what makes them tick. Christmas morning is just so much fun!
By January, the doorstep and mailbox had become understandably quiet – the massive gift giving season had ended. It was time to enjoy all that we had given and received. But lo and behold, last week two surprise packages arrived. Both were gifts for me. And both were from my awesome husband.
The Joy Model
Scott is a thoughtful gift giver, always in tune with what people will enjoy. He nailed these ones too! Both are related to this new part of my journey, and affirm me in the pursuit of joy. First was the book The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Peace, Purpose, and Balance, by Jeff Spadafora.
This was my first introduction to the book that was written out of the author’s personal journey toward joy, and is for anyone who wonders why they are not experiencing the fullness of joy in their lives that they know God promises. I’m only a few chapters in (I’m trying to savor each page!) and I’ve already been impacted. Jeff also has a companion Joy Blog, and a 15-day Joy Devotional that seem excellent so far. I look forward to continuing to read, and expect to share some of the wisdom I glean from this author in coming posts.
Update! I have reviewed this awesome book here!
Hope in Change
In my first full post on Joy Let Loose, I highlighted a “Joy Sighting” of a sweet friend’s ministry, Hope in Change. This began in order to share the truth of God’s Word while also raising money to continually support the remaining Haitian family of their adopted son. They custom create unique necklaces from coins, imprinted with a theme or word from Scripture that has significance to the wearer. They make necklaces suitable for men as well as women. In the packaging, they include whatever Scripture passage is requested. I gave several of these away as Christmas gifts, as they make lovely presents. I’d encourage you to check them out, and consider where you might let some joy loose with too!
My beautiful January surprise was a necklace custom made for me, with the words “Joy Let Loose”, and the accompanying verse, Romans 15:13. My husband and friend worked together to provide this gift for me.
I am so thankful for my husband’s encouragement, my friend’s new venture, her sweet and vivacious son who has jumped headlong into a crazy, incredible family, and my beautiful new necklace!
Unexpected gifts can bring unexpected joy. The Joy Model and my new necklace both did that for me. Where has this been true in your life? Comment below!