Monday, January 31, 2011


"Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing - sickness, failure emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death - can take that love away" - Henri Nouwen

This has been a tough one for me to get past this week.  When I first read this quote I sort of just skimmed past it.  But later on last week something drew me back to.  Ever since I cant seem to get it off my mind.  In trying to understand what about Nouwen's definition of joy it has demanded that I reflect on my own life and what brings me joy.

Honestly, I struggle to find joy in mundaneness of my daily tasks.  No where is this more evident then when I am work.  Sometimes I feel like when I walk through the door I turn into a different person.  I loose my patience much easier than I would normally, I am easily annoyed, and sometimes I even find myself less willing to help those I work with.  The hard part about all of that is thats not who I am at all.  I am normally patient, understanding, and want nothing more than to help and serve others.  So, whats missing?  Why am I so quick to shut people down?  After taking some time to digest Nouwen's thoughts on joy I realized thats exactly what I am missing, JOY!  Lets be honest though, its not that easy to be filled with the type of joy he describes.  I mean I am in the process of editing over 9,000 pages of reports, wheres the joy in that!  But thats just it, this overflowing, overwhelming joy isnt from me, its from Christ.  Its in the knowledge of His unconditional love that I must find this joy.  A joy that knows no frustration and no boundaries.  A joy that sets no limit to my patience or willingness to jump in and help at any moment.

God is showing me that this type of happiness can be found in even the littlest things and shortest moments.  It is in those moments that I am reminded of the source of my joy and of the reasons I so willing enter into a job or situation that isnt my favorite, for Him.  I truly believe that God's glory and greatness can be show in any situation and at any time.  And if I am able to play apart in that then what can be more joyful than that.


  1. "Knowing" that kind of joy takes work. It takes practice. It takes a daily—moment by moment even—understanding of who we are in Christ. I think that to know joy like that we have to sink ourselves deeper into Jesus and than we often take the time or effort to do. And then we trust that God's grace will give us more joy than our time or effort deserve. Great thoughts Kate.

  2. I feel like it is a constant journey trying to comprehend the love of Christ for us. Something that we as humans will never fully understand. But that is the beauty of it. How amazing is it that we have a God who's love is so indescribable?!?

  3. I love what you wrote. Praying that you find encouragement as you seek joy in your corcumstances.

  4. As I camne back to read this post I don't think reading this could have come at a better time. I feel like this is exactly how my heart is right now. Thank you so much for reminding me to be joyful. You're awesome.