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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Always There

Just the other day, I had a vivid flashback to eighth grade.  I was sitting on a chair in the gym floor listening to Mr. Lott, the principal at the time speak.  I was probably one of like 50 students there, invited for an awards assembly of some sort.  As I sat there, I scanned the crowd and saw that though there was a small group of parents in attendance, my mom was sitting on the bottom bleacher.  I can’t remember what award I received that day, but I remember my proudest moment of that assembly.

I can’t remember if it was before the students received their awards or after, but Mr. Lott invited my mother to the podium and was commended by him, in front of everyone in attendance, for being one of the most dedicated supporters of her child’s education and educational programs at large.  Just that week, my mom and I had run into Mr. Lott at both the VMS choir and band concerts….and I didn’t participate in either.  I loved to go to those sort of things and I’m sure mom loved those things too, but I secretly think she also just really liked to go places with me….because I know without a doubt the reverse is the same.  So back to the memory…my proudest moment, was when my mother was being recognized for the amazing woman she was in public, by someone that had nothing to gain from his affirmation.

In short, the quality I will always always always remember about my mother was that she was there.  She was there at nearly all of my sporting events, open house, awards assemblies, concerts…you name it…if I was in it, she was at it.  But she also was a support of others and tried to make it to every event she could to show her support and care for those involved.  I don’t think there was much question of her loyalty or love to those blessed enough to call her family/friend.

So what I take away from this trip down memory lane, is that I want that legacy too.  I want my family, my friends, and my students to be able to say that I was there.  That I showed up, cheered on, and stayed around for the ride, whatever that looked like, through good and bad.  I may not be the most excitable person…may not always have the right words to say….but I was there to show I care.

She was always there…and though she’s no longer here, in my heart she’s always near.  I pray I turn out to be even a fraction of the godly woman that gave birth to me. 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Give Thanks In All (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Give thanks in all, but what does that mean?
Sit back and pretend everything is serene?
I take in the view; don’t like what I see,
Show me You’re in this, I humbly plea,
For the world has gone crazy and people are lazy,
The outlook for the future, is at best, hazy.
So show me Your glory, that You’re in on this story,
Though the devil’s at work now, he’ll soon be sorry. (Said like a Canadian to keep with the rhyme scheme)
So with hands to the plow, keep my eyes fixed now,
Though I can’t see the end to this, in surrender I bow;
Knowing that You hold tomorrow, worry's not something to borrow,
I can trust You with today, in both joy and in sorrow.
So I praise You in this storm like it’s the norm,

Because it’s through grace like rain that You transform.

Joy Lynn

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thought Jot: Discipleship

This morning, I was listening to a Ladies Retreat and the speakers stated that they believed the difference between mentorship and discipleship was one of time/season.  Mentoring could last a season or even a few seasons but discipleship was a life commitment to taking or coming under one’s wing for a lifetime.  I found that to be very interesting and I’m not sure I’d be so distinct on the verbage but it did make me think about both the mentors and the disciplers (by their definition) in my life. 

First off, I think the hardest part about this concept is I don’t think anyone can actually truly know, going into a relationship with a person, how long it will last.  Relations with people are pretty dynamic and unlike buying flowers from a store, I don’t think we can always know ahead of time which friends will be seasonal and which will be perennial (and in clarifying, seasonal friends can still be lifetime friends...just their major/consistent involvement may only last a season).  For me, I keep my close circle pretty tight (not a lot of people in there) but I’m an all-in friend once you are allowed in.  But me being all-in doesn’t mean they always choose to stay or that the friendship stays looking the same. 

So how does it all fit together?  I can make a lifelong commitment to someone and say, I want to walk you through life for life, but I very well may fail in that commitment and they very well may find a new “discipler”….and that’s ok.  I think at the end of my thoughts, I’ve come to realize, that in both my relating to those I would say have mentored and discipled me through the years as well as those that I hope I have a mentor/discipleship role in their lives, that my true lifetime commitment needs not to be to these people exclusively but to my God….. trusting that He is weaving both my story as well as theirs, and will bring me in and out of lives for a moment or a day or a year or a decade but in that, trusting He’ll use each of those moments of deep connection to deepen my/their relationship with Him and strengthen the bonds of love. 

I am thankful for the disciplers and mentors I have and have had over the years.  Thank you for consistently pointing me to God even when I am in my lowest and especially when you are in your lowest.  Thank you for stepping into these chapters of my life and seeing me through to the next one.  Thank you for your distinct piece of thread, that God in his marvelous handiwork, has used to continue on the tapestry He is creating of my life.  Thank you for what you have poured in and I pray I am equally poured out through His Spirit and work in my life.  And thank You, dear Heavenly Father, for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate Discipler to whom I desire to follow each step of my life. 

In His Steps,

Joy Lynn

Saturday, October 4, 2014

lies vs. Truth

What I see in the mirror,
Is not who I want to be,
Sometimes I don’t understand,
Why anyone befriends me.
Every day is a battle,
And some days I lose,
I believe all the lies,
My heart is easy to confuse.
Because it takes in all the negativity,
And gives it weight in reality,
While pushing away positivity,
Often with fierce brutality.

But when I look at His face,
Seek to bask in His grace,
Let the walls crumble down,
And rest in His embrace…
That’s when I finally see,
That the mirror is a liar,
Need to throw it in the fryer
For Your ways are higher.
When You look me in the eye,
You don’t see my sin and cry,
But instead You see Your Son,
Whose blood has drawn me nigh.

So when I am tempted to feed,
On the self hate and lies,
Remind me that
It’s never about how hard someone tries…
I can’t be perfect,
I may not be adored,
But there is beauty in these ashes,
And a heart You seek to be restored.
For my only worth is found in You,
And by You I was designed,
So may I run to the Truth,

And may Your peace I find.

Joy Lynn