I always hated my first name, mainly because no one used it. When I heard it used, it wasn’t me. My middle name is my identifier – Martell, a created name by my parents. Growing up, whenever someone learned my first name, they would use it teasingly, and I would cringe. On the first day of classes each semester in college, I didn’t respond when my name was called because they always used first names!
The irony is that I have a lovely first name – Joy. I don’t think I truly appreciated this name until I read Ann Voscamp’s book one thousand gifts. Now I want to use it – put it on my website, use it in my signature because I truly do feel the joy that comes from God’s blessings.
As you learn more of my story you may be surprised that I would choose “countingjoy” for my blog title. And I confess that I question God at times – “where is the joy here?” I have been in some pretty intense struggles with God at times in the last 10 years.
I’ve had a broken heart that I blamed on God, and He patiently held me, waited for me, loved me. He was the loving Father to an angry and devastated child. This heart is mending – probably in the best shape it’s been in the last 10 years.
Ann Voscamp inspired me to write this blog. Reading her book one thousand gifts gave me a different perspective for living. I started counting the gifts God gives me each day in March, 2012; by December 31, 2012 I’ve counted 2559 gifts. Who knew there were so many things to count! Are some of them repeats? Sure, but only because they are worth repeating. I usually count 10 a day, some days I’m able to count my Morning Blessings as well as the gifts at the end of the day. It has become a habit that I seldom skip.
I began with a plan to blog three times a week – Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. I’m interested in many things and I thought that three different categories would give me room to explore those interests. See What I Learned This Year About Blogging.
A brief explanation about my Categories:
Family Legacies. Both my parents and all of my grandparents are no longer alive, but I have plenty of stories that their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren have never heard. One series contains the journals my mother kept while a missionary nurse in Haiti in 1988. Another series chronicles her work in Ghana, West Africa.
Tuesday is for Teachers is dedicated to ALL teachers to encourage them to find joy even on those really tough days. I taught in public schools more than 30 years and teaching will always be in my DNA. I may not post every Tuesday but keep watching for these on Tuesday.
Heart Lessons: These posts are about my journey of healing from a broken heart. On April 13, 2002 our only child, Jennifer, fell to her death while hiking with her fiancé, Josh. The post of Sept. 21, 2012 in this blog gives the complete story about her accident. My purpose is to share how I coped — what worked for me but also my struggles. It has taken me ten years to share this story in such a public way. I pray these thoughts help those who mourn as well as those who want to help the mourner.
Sharing Joy posts are random stories of ways to share joy with others. Sometimes these are specific how-tos such as How to Make a JoyBox or Giving Your Child A Blessing. The point of counting blessings is to remind yourself of the grace God has placed in your life and then it just spills over into sharing with others. The Sharing Joy Tutorials give specific instructions.
Five Minute Friday is rather new for me. Lisa-Jo Baker gives a topic every Friday and challenges bloggers to write for only five minutes. It is writer’s challenge to not edit your own writing and stopping waaaay before you planned to! Check out her website here.
Uncategorized posts are the random topics that obviously don’t fit the other categories. Many of them are spiritual in nature: things I’ve learned in my faith walk.
Join me as I share what I’ve learned, pnder soul-searching questions, and tell stories about my family and other folks on my journey. I am blessed to have you stop by and read.