About Me

My photo
South Africa
My husband, Brett and I live in beautiful South Africa and have been blessed with the most precious family. We have 2 very beautiful and brave daughters, Tianna (15) and Angelee (12) and a very precious little boy called Zac who touched our hearts forever in his 1 day here on earth. We never would have imagined that we would have to live this side of Heaven without our sweet boy who was born with half a heart, but every day Jesus carries us through and is teaching us more than ever how to live, laugh and love fully. 3 years ago our faithful Great Restorer graciously blessed us once again with another son ... our beloved Gabriel ... a ray of sunshine in all our lives! "Love in Action" is our journey as a family to love the way Jesus is teaching us to love and live.

Blog Archive

18 January 2016

Hello JOY

Hello 2016 ... and hello JOY.

Every year I seek a word that I can be mindful of growing and practicing in my life. This year I am being more mindful to CHOOSE JOY. I say "choose", because joy is so much more than just a feeling that randomly comes and goes. I believe it is a powerful choice that we can choose to embrace and welcome even in tough moments and situations. 

Just yesterday my husband taught in church around the verse from Hebrews 12:1-2 which shares "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat sown at the right hand of the throne of God." These 2 verses can be such an encouragement to us. Every day we are running the race of life. God in His grace and love has gifted us with the power to choose HOW we run that race. We don't always know or have control over what comes along our path, but we have full control of how we negotiate it. This verse encourages us that we are not alone on this journey. We have a loving God who is cheering us along ... willing to disentangle us from the things that weigh us down ... willing to mentor us in perfecting our faith when we struggle. He is after all the pioneer of life. Our part is to fix our gaze on Him ... seek Him out in our every day living. Jesus lived on earth and fully experienced joy and hardship. That is the very reason that He can mentor us through our journey through life. One of the powerful ways He does this is in the very example He set for us ... HE CHOSE JOY!!! At the hardest moment of the His life on earth, He chose joy! He was able to go through and endure the torture of the cross by choosing joy ... setting His heart on the end result of going through the cross motivated by love and the goal of restored relationship between us and God, joy is what strengthened Him to endure and overcome. This is the example that He is giving us in this verse. We get to choose to tap into the powerful source of joy no matter what we negotiate, to carry us through to a place of peace and victory. The bible says after all that "the joy of the Lord is our strength". It is soooooo much more than just a feeling! It fills us with strength to endure and thrive! 

If I allow myself to look over my shoulder during the last 4 and a half years after negotiating child loss, I know for a fact that allowing joy even into the grieving journey is what has mended our family. The power of joy is such a huge gift in our lives. It has the ability to mingle and mix even through our tears and resurrect hope and life.

I have a dear friend (shout out to you my dear friend Ingrid) whose greatest example to me is how she and her husband laugh through life. I watched her nurse both her parents through illness at the end of their lives and no matter how tough it got, whenever I went to visit, laughter was ringing through the halls of their home. Through the pain, they found reasons to include joy. When we talk and look back even at the final weeks she had with her parents before they passed away, the memories include joy and laughter. Watching her negotiate her immense loss, gave me wisdom as I negotiated my own pain. I learned how joy can carry us through sorrow. The fruit of their joy shines in their relationship. They have weathered some unbelievable storms together ... but the joy of the Lord has been a strength in their relationship that holds them together like super glue. What a legacy! That continues to inspire me. One day I want to be remembered as a woman who laughed and included joy no matter what! 

This year I am opening up my heart, my relationships, my life more than ever to JOY.  I'm choosing to embrace laughter even in the midst of tension or stress. I know that it's not always going to FEEL easy ... but I know that I am certainly going to FEEL much better embracing joy instead of worry or fear or stress or anger etc. Choosing joy is not a denial of our present pain, but an opportunity to be carried in peace through it.  My prayer is that you too will join me in the journey of embracing joy this year.


All my love xxx
Janine