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A Prayer for Joy

As the young girl ushered the 3 of us towards the gym, our Mama hearts were beating a little faster in anticipation of what was to come. I think we were a little nervous, yet couldn’t help but smile big and feel the bubbling joy that comes when a Mama gets a special moment with her nearly-a-man boy.

It was a pep rally at the high school and three freshmen basketball players were secretly being duped! The three boys were called up and asked to sit in chairs in front of the student body. They were told they would be blindfolded and one of three cheerleaders were going to kiss them on the cheek. After having the blindfolds removed, their job was to pick out which cheerleader had kissed them! Only they didn’t know the REAL plan!

Us three Moms were behind the scenes and in on the plan! With blindfolds securely in place, music queued, and student body roaring with laughter, we planted those kisses and then quickly ran back into hiding.

Despite their nerves, those sweet boys made their guesses. I didn’t get to see it, but I can only imagine the look of confusion in my son’s eyes. Because as we walked from around the corner toward our sons, their expressions were priceless!

He could have been embarrassed and walked the other way. I wouldn’t have even been able to blame him. But do you know what he did?

My once little boy now taller and much stronger than I am, walked toward me with his arms extended offering a hug and a smile.

Then suddenly it hit. The rushing of joy overwhelmed my soul.

No longer was it momentary happiness. It was something different. Something more.

Indefinable.

As Mary looked into her baby boy’s eyes, I believe she felt it, too. The shame that had threatened to steer her away from the will of God, the overwhelm of the unknown, the insecurity of being Mother to God in the flesh, and the exhaustion of a tumultuous nine months all were realized as she held Him close and looked at the face of her son.

That’s the kind of joy God can give us. Deeper than any storm in this life. Stronger than sorrow. Stronger than pain. A joy birthed that night because a new story would be told. New grace would be offered. New life would spring forth in the face of death.

I love these words from Todd Agnew’s song, Joy Unspeakable.

I have found the joy no tongue can tell
How its waves of glory roll
It is like an overflowing well
Springing up within my soul

So, friends, as I close the Holding onto Joy Series, I pray with you a prayer for joy.

Dear Jesus, I thank you for the gift of Your Son. For the gift of joy, hope, and love. Lord, I pray today the walls from around my heart and the blinders covering my eyes, simply fall away so I can finally embrace the fullness of You. Today, I want a joy that overflows and springs forth from within my soul. I want to see the moments You give me and feel the gratitude deep within my heart. Lord, I ask You to show me when I am choosing to look past You to focus on the hurt. Then give me the strength to put my eyes back on You and soak in that unexplainable joy that comes from You alone. Give me eyes to see the miracles of Your love. In Your Name I pray. Amen 

Three little letters for a great big unexplainable word. More than the everyday moments, yet found in the everyday moments. But only because of the gift God gave us of His Son. Here is A Prayer for Joy as a part of the Holding onto Joy Series - Lori Schumaker

Are you ready for #joy that overflows your soul? #prayerforjoy #printable #hope #giveaways #resources Click To Tweet

Friends, this is my last post for 2016. I am taking these last two weeks off to thoroughly soak in all the Christmas moments God sees fit to give me! But before I go, I have one last giveaway as part of the Holding onto Joy Series, and I have just a little something I need to say.

Thank you.

Thank you for being such a great big part of my 2016. For helping me follow Jesus even when I felt overwhelmed and weary. Your lives are beautiful stories that God is still writing. I am excited to see for all of us the chapters He will write in 2017. Each of you are weaved into the fabric of my story, and that, my friends, gives me great joy!

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. -1 Samuel 18:1 

Merry Christmas 2016 - Lori Schumaker

The Giveaway!

I love gift giving! As a matter of fact, it's one of my love languages and one of my favorite joys of Christmas! This month I'm talking about Holding onto Joy and I'm doing giveaways of my favorite things with each post! Stop by to enter to win one of these fabulous products from The Star from Afar, Rad Joy, HopeLifters, Fashion & Compassion, and ONE Mission! - #MomentsofHope Link-Up - Lori Schumaker

For my final Favorite Things Christmas Giveaway, I excited to share with you the One Mission Slouchy “Choose Joy” Sweatshirt! An incredible company that comes alongside individuals and groups desiring to change the world for the good with their fundraising needs.

Don't miss the final #giveaways! #choosejoy slouchy sweatshirt and Ashley bracelet! @goonemission @Fashion2Empower Click To Tweet

Choose-Joy-Slouchy-Pullover-Black - One Mission

The contest will go through 11:59 pm Wednesday, December 21st! Don’t wait! Enter now! ♥ And don’t forget there is still time to enter to win the Ashley Bracelet from Fashion & Compassion! Just click here! 

Ashley_Bracelet

Winners of each of the other 3 Favorite Things have been notified! However, there is still hope for the Rad Joy Surrender Cross! I notified the winner but have not heard back from them. In the event that they do not contact me, I will have Rafflecopter select another random name!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

May you have a very Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!

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27 Comments

  1. Lori, thank you for sharing your lovely family photos. Your linkup is a blessing to me. Enjoy your Christmas holiday, and I look forward to seeing more of your posts in January!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thank you! I can’t wait to connect with you even more in January!
      Blessings and smiles,
      Lori

  2. Merry Christmas Lori! Praying you have a blessed and relaxing Christmas and New Year’s. Here’s to 2017 with an openness to whatever God brings forth!

    1. Amen, Laura! I’m looking forward to the journey with Him and I’m looking forward to connecting more in 2017!

  3. This has been a wonderful series! Thank you! Praying your Christmas overflows with blessings! Sending you blessings and huge hugs!!

    1. Sending great big blessings and hugs back to you, Deb! Thank you for all your love and encouragement!

  4. What a sweet story, Lori! I love this one.
    And, good news – boys always still love their mommas! Aren’t we glad!

    1. I am definitely thankful for that, Melanie!!! ♥

  5. Debbie Gray says:

    Lori,
    Loved your post. I hope you and your family enjoy every day of this special Christmas Season!

    1. Hi Deb! It’s so good to have you visit! Thank you for your kind words and I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas!!!
      Blessings and smiles,
      Lori

  6. Lori, what a beautiful site – and post! I’m sure your son’s heart was filled with that very same joy!
    I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts! I hope the rest of your 2016 is filled with immeasurable joy, and that 2018 brings with it realized dreams and answered prayers!!

    1. Thank you, Naomi! I look forward to getting to know you! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!!
      Blessings and smiles,
      Lori

    1. Amen, Michele! I hope your Christmas was filled with many moments of wonderful!

  7. I loved this and what mama could read this without their heart melting! So sweet! Thank you for spreading joy! I love your card too. I pray you have a Merry Christmas with your sweet family.

    1. Thanks so much, Valerie! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  8. Loved following you this season – have a blessed and joy-filled Christmas!! And thanks for being a lovely host each week!

    1. The feeling is definitely mutual, Sue! You are a blessing! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!!

  9. What a wonderful response from your son! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful things with us. Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Kelly,
      He kinda sorta really melts my heart ♥ I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I can’t wait to reconnect in the new year!
      Blessings and smiles,
      Lori

  10. Michelle J. says:

    That is stylish. I love it!

  11. the sweatshirt is so cute

  12. Beautiful prayer, thank you for sharing it. I hope you enjoy your time off of blogging. Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Kira,
      I pray you had a wonderful Christmas, as well!
      Blessings and smiles,
      Lori

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