The Joyful Things

My middle name is "Joy" and it's often felt like that's the very thing Satan's tried to steal away from me. I'll be honest that after all my surgeries, he almost did.
But there are many things that, despite it all, God sent to sustain me. They've brought me peace and happiness and have allowed me to find His beauty (the best kind of beauty, I've learned) from the ashes.
My Girl.

It was really difficult that she was so tiny when I first began having physical problems.  I still struggle over all I want to do with her and can't. Yet, there were several moments long ago that I don't know if I would have gotten out of bed had not this sweet baby girl been toddling around the living room, needing someone to be her mommy. And every day, she fills my heart right up.

My Man.

When we were dating, I had no idea how perfect a match my husband would be for me.  I was crazy in love with him, of course, but God had the even bigger picture in mind too.  By nature, Andrew is a patient, kind man with a huge heart to help others. He's a genius at filling in the gaps. And between us having a daughter and my back pain...there are many gaps.  I'm lucky to have him.

Voice Over.
My whole life I've studied theater and it's one of the things I enjoy doing most.  After college, I did some professional acting and worked for Disney and it was totally "my" plan to continue working in some capacity with drama forever and ever amen.  But an actor's body is their instrument, and my body has been pretty badly broken. Along with everything else, this was an especially tough pillto swallow.  Not long ago though--in a miraculous move--God gave me a Voice Over.  He allowed me to meet and be mentored by a very generous big wig in the VO industry (Sean Caldwell). So, as fast as my body will let me, I've met with Sean, watched him work, trained under him (and several others), set up a home studio, and started doing real VO work that I get paid for. WOW. Best of all, I am able to bring scripts to life again, all without having to use my body to do it!  It's a miracle, and to God be the glory. 

Here's my Voice Over website, if you'd like to check it out:

This one just cracks me up, guys.  While I majored in English in college and have always appreciated the written word, I've never considered myself a gifted writer. I enjoy it, but it's never really been my "thing." Writing takes me a long time and I can tell you right now that I never, ever would have made the effort it takes if I didn't have to spend so much time resting in bed.  But since I do, I started this little blog. Which (crazy enough) led to being a frequent contributor to "Heart Magazine: Inspiration for Christian Women," which then gave me the confidence to write a little more. I've now been published in "Heart," "Our Iowa" (a popular magazine in the state my hubby's from), and the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper. Writing has even led to some speaking engagements for me!  Now you guys--that's just God at work.  And seeing Him provide in such randomly fulfilling ways after so much seemed lost? Well, that's real joy.