Unrestrained JOY!


When I wrote my final thesis for graduate school it was titled, “Running Out of Joy!”  Running because the joy contained inside requires running; running to recapture any Joy that has leaked out and needs restoring.  Today my joy is not about running;  it about simply living.  Like the orchid that waits for the perfect timing, setting and care to show us with all of its beauty….this is my JOY!  Today I have unrestrained joy. 

My first real encounters with orchids was in Nicaragua in 2004. I had never seen such gorgeous flowers.  A friend, Coach Kathleen, sent me an orchid when I was ordained. It still lives. Other friends have continued to send orchids. They are unrestrained Joy to me. Orchids remind me that when we are able to embrace life “as is” and unleash (with time, setting adn care) what is inside…God has something beautiful to share with the world around us.  Here is to unrestrained Joy and all the ways God brings it into our lives. Praying you get a glimpse of yours today. 

13 thoughts on “Unrestrained JOY!

  • I have been noticing how many beautiful orchids we have in California. Your message was timely for me.

  • I am not sad, or unhappy. But I can’t say I experience “unrestrained joy”. Not sure I’m even familiar with it.

  • I had meant to tell you…. Both my orchids are n bloom! They don’t bloom every year .. According got the attention and care I give them ….. I am thinking there is a lesson here for me….pray for me in this ….. I yearn for the ‘unrestrained ‘ joy… I have had glimpses….. Perhaps according to the attention and care I give…..?

    • Actually, I wonder if you and Dick aren’t experiencing “unrestrained Joy” in this season? Just a thought. I see strong glimpses of it in your marriage. Glad to hear of your orchids blooming! Enjoy the gift:)

  • I once had the pleasure of sharing over a cup of coffee and doughnuts with William Paul Young, author of The Shack. Paul told this story about Joy. …. For most of his life, Joy was only a brief visitor. Joy would show up on a Saturday afternoon, only to be gone by the evening. Joy might show up on a Sunday morning, only to be gone by the end of the day. Sometimes Joy wouldn’t visit for weeks at a time, and rarely, Joy would come and stay for a few days. Why wouldn’t Joy stay longer? It was so wonderful when she was there!! Reflecting upon this with a friend, Paul recognized that Joy always left when things didn’t go his way. Maybe an important airline flight was canceled. Maybe a phone call interrupted a beautiful afternoon. Maybe he read disturbing news about some plight in another country. With this discovery in mind, Paul recognized that God wasn’t asking Joy to leave; Paul was not recognizing that God’s grace is sufficient to sustain us through all situations and that some situations that might seem to call for Joy to leave were really calls for Paul to hear God and take a new direction. God’s interruptions can bring Joy in situations unimaginable. …. Having been with you, Vona, in mission a number of times and having seen you react to stressful times there or at FUMC, I know that you feel his sufficient grace at all times and have Joy as a constant companion. God bless you.

    • Howard, thank you so much for sharing this! What a great insight from Paul Young. I do believe this is true and keep experiencing it in an increasing measure. Your words of Joy as a “constant companion” are beautiful and true. I look forward to the day (certain there will be one) when you, Sally and I are on mission somewhere again. Blessings.

  • I have to say….after looking at the pic of your orchid….. One of mine has a small timid bloom…the other has two tiny ones.. Yes, definitely lessons for me here!

  • …and then this poem in one of my devotionals….

    I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
    I want to free what waits within me
    so that what no one has dared to wish for
    may for once spring clear
    without my contriving.

    If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
    but this is what I need to say.
    May what I do flow from me like a river,
    no forcing and no holding back,
    the way it is with children.

    Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
    these deepening tides moving out, returning,
    I will sing you as no one ever has,
    streaming through widening channels
    into the open sea.

    — Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
    (Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

    Gateway to Silence:
    “May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)

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