Hello! I want you to meet my friend and companion. Meet Joy!
I have found Joy hiding in some of the most surprising places. Yes, in giggles and sunshine and mud-puddle-splashes. But also in intense loneliness, heartache, and suffering.
I think people get a little muddled up about Joy, so I'll try to clear up the muddy waters a bit here.
Joy is not a choice;
though you may choose Joy.
Joy is not a feeling either;
though you may feel Joy.
Joy is a person,
fully embodied in my friend and companion.
His name is Jesus.
It is my deep honor to introduce you to the playful, creative, compassionate Jesus I know. He is full of grace, full of truth. He tells me corny jokes in church, just because He knows I like them. He whispers the most intimate beautiful lovely things about me, even though He knows everything I've done and all my ugly pieces. He even tells me to go to the bathroom when I don't need to go, just so I can make a new friend. He brings me to tears and makes me belly laugh.
Every thing I share here at Splatter Joy is out of that deep love I have for a man I call Joy. I call Him lots of names, beautiful names... Freedom, Hope, Redeemer, Friend, Lover of My Soul. But today, let's just start with Joy.
How do you find joy in postpartum depression, military moves and deployment, loss, grief, chronic failing health, insomnia, mental illness, trauma, pain and physical pain? Come along with me. I'll show you!
I care so much for you. I'm delighted you are here today. Please consider subscribing below, because that way I can keep pouring into you. This is a life-giving place. This is a little spot I've made to inspire you and make your ears itch to hear His voice too.
God still speaks! Let me help you hear His voice.
The Splatter Joy story
About 15 years ago, my mom and I went on a stroll through downtown Niwot. We found a pillow: small, beautiful, and overpriced. I was struggling with depression, self-worth and insecurity, though my symptoms probably looked more like arrogance and pride. I feel like that is important for you to know because, when feeling unworthy, an expensive purchase for a pillow seems like a ridiculous thing to ask for.
But this one sort of sang to me.
And seeing as the world seemed so dim through my eyes, something in me heard that faint song and actually asked. The asking is always important. And something in my mom caused her to say … “Yes!” She bought me that pillow, and it sits on my bed to this day. It’s small as my journal and Bible. The words embroidered with sage thread give me hope. An Emerson quote that simply goes:
Til now, I’ve always been taken by the beautiful, whimsical images these words paint in my mind. Images of the scattering. But what I realize just now, in this moment of sharing that story with you, I realize the profound nature of this quote. To boldly tell a young woman with depression to “scatter joy” suggests, rather requires, that she has joy to scatter in the first place!
When my husband deployed, postpartum depression had me in its grip. I don’t know the difference between depression and oppression, but I felt smothered on every side. The one verse that was a gasp of air to my soul during that time was this:
“May the God of hope fill you
with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
This verse showed me that trusting in God is the key I needed to be filled with God’s joy and peace. I began to trust Him more and more. Desperation led me to trust in Him. But as I did, joy and peace became more than a promise, more than words on paper, more than something I hoped for. Joy and Peace became my companions, my experience, my strength and my song.
The Joy of the Lord is my strength.
Which leads me to my next season of difficulty. Sleep deprivation. I just recently heard that if your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it can kill you. Well. I’m surprised I’m not dead yet. But my husband and I have learned to depend on prayer as much as the air we breathe. And I have learned that sleep or no sleep, the Holy Spirit can renew my strength and make me soar like the eagles. Of course, my body still grows sore and aches from the lack of sleep. But still, the Spirit renews me and the Lord’s joy strengthens me.
I've had a vision for splatter joy for probably five years now. The domain was purchased for me as Christmas gift 2 years ago. And now, at long last, the Lord has given me the go-ahead. This summer I wrote the following real quick as a “Coming Soon” page. I didn’t know at the time that it was prophetic. And I didn’t know it was a prophecy for me!
“prophetic art. praise poetry. original songs.
Out of the darkness and depression, hope rises and faith is renewed. Nothing you are going through will be wasted. It will turn to the sweetest, richest of poetry. Join me as we cling to the arts and express our faith and joy in sweet Jesus.
We'll launch on the shortest, darkest day of the year. Because that just seems appropriate.”
Like many things in my life, this is past its due date. But even better, I get to launch in a new year for a new beginning. I believe the Lord delayed me because I kept trying to put “old wine into new wineskins.” He wanted me to quit looking back and work with the new material and the new outpouring. This day has finally come! My heart bursts with joy!
Oh! By the way! While Emerson did inspire this title, I chose to go with splatter instead of scatter. I guess I like the honesty of the mess that comes with creating beautiful things! And I enjoy the mess of little hands helping me do art!
All this said, the Lord has given me some joy and peace. He has given me some talents and gifts. And it’s my pleasure to share with you what I’ve been given! But here’s a saying I gleaned from my pastor:
God didn’t give me these words and gifts because
I’m so good. God gave me these words and gifts because
He is so good.
So, please don’t think too highly of me. And please don’t be judging me either. This is just imperfect me trying to share some of the joy and wisdom that has been given to me. And honestly, I have a slightly selfish motive. You see, in God’s economy, it seems that the more we pour out, the more we receive. So, I’m more than happy to leave with you some peace and joy and giftings and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because with my extravagant, lavish, abundant God, I know there’s more where that came from!
Cheerfulness and Joy to you this day!