What’s Naming You?

One of the greatest joys of being a mother is naming your child. There is massive power entrusted to us by our Creator when we name that little one we hold in our arms. Countless times we will call that name…as they crawl across the floor…as they learn to ride their bike…as they walk down the aisle.
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We often think about naming things but what is naming us? We all carry a name given to us by our own parents. We may carry the name betrothed to us as we stood at the wedding altar. But we also carry other names – mommy, sis, wife. Yet there are other names that can tag us along the road of life if we are not careful – wounded, useless, bitter, tired, and pained. Pain, what a name!

Perhaps you found yourself wading through the ashes of a relationship that went up in flames. Maybe you have shaken your fists at God more than once indicting Him for allowing the pain of abuse to mark your childhood. Or, life just has not turned out as you imagined and you are just plain angry. Pain wants sink into the very fiber of your being and permeate the deepest, darkest places of your soul. Pain would try to name you.

Pain has stormed the stage of my life multiple times. First, in the form of an abusive, controlling marriage. Then, not a decade later, in the form of a casket lowering my four-year-old son to his grave after a fierce battle with brain cancer.
Unstoppable tombstone
Pain tried to name me. Ugly. Unwanted. Rejected. Forgotten.

You and I have a choice. We can let our pain or our healing name us.

Pain is inevitable. Jesus makes that clear to us in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” The question is not whether we will encounter pain; it’s part of the world we live in. The question is whether we will allow pain or our healing to name us.

That inner voice on the inside of you – what are you going to allow it to say to you? “You’re a mess!” or, “You’re a masterpiece!” “You’re a piece of junk!” or, “You’re worth more than gold.”

Eventually, you will come to the place where either your pain or your healing will define you. God gives us time to grieve, mourn, and process our pain. Yet at some point, we will have to make a decision; grovel in our pain or heal. The fruit of a life marked by pain is anger, bitterness, mistrust, fear, self-protection, insecurity, and hesitation. The fruit of a healed heart is love, hope, strength to help others, and freedom. God wrote to His love, the Hebrew people, and He writes to you today in Isaiah 62:4: Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his bride.

We will all experience loss and pain in this life. My question to you today is: What will name you – your pain or your healing? Allow God to give you His new name for you.
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Joy Scott is an inspiring and authentic author, certified teacher, and passionate speaker. But her greatest joy is found in being a loving – and patient – wife to her energetic husband, Jonathan, and devoted mom to her lively boys. Together Joy and Jon began Joseph’s Joy, (www.josephsjoy.org), a non-profit organization designed to offer hope and help to children and their families battling life-threatening illnesses locally and around the world.

You can get your copy of Joy’s book, Joseph’s Joy: Living With Unstoppable Hope on http://www.amazon.com. To book Joy for a speaking event inquire at http://www.joyscott.me.

Joseph’s Joy Book Release

Josephs-Joy-Book-Cover-06Well guys…it’s almost here!  Jon and I have a date for the release of Joseph’s Joy: Living With Unstoppable Hope. Drum role please. May 4, 2015.  I exhale with a sigh of relief while my heart simultaneously explodes with joy.

I began writing Joseph’s Joy  in the months following Joseph’s death just over three years ago.  My intention for writing about the events that took place throughout the course of Joseph’s battle was simply to share about the goodness of God to us – even in the midst of this tragedy.  God never left us.  He was so near and good. My primary motivation was that I wanted Joseph’s younger brother, Josiah, to know the truth about what happened since he was only three years old when Joseph passed away.  The boys were the best of friends and only fourteen months apart. I wanted to be able to explain things to him later.  Not wanting to forget the details myself, I also wanted Josiah to know about all of the miracles we encountered along the way. So…I started writing one tearful sentence at at time.

As I recalled everything that happened and put words to our experiences, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart, “This is not just for you.” Intrinsically I knew that our story was meant to be shared.  As a complete novice in writing a book, I transformed my journal writings into chapter titles. One chapter at a time our story came to life! A real-life story that brings unstoppable hope.  God truly directed my every word and I am humbled at the powerful message of this book – which has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with how loving God is.

I would like to personally invite you on an intimate journey!

We will be selling Joseph’s Joy: Living With Unstoppable Hope on Amazon.com in kindle and paperback versions in May. ALL proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit our non-profit charity also called, Joseph’s Joy, where we provide hope and financial help to children battling life-threatening illnesses. (Please like our fb page if you have not already.)

How many of you know that you are supposed to write your story? Please share with me.

If I can do it, you can too!

Love,  Joy

Has your life been interrupted lately?

Fire at 500 Serenity
The thermostat in the hallway with Fire Dept.

It’s been a while since I last blogged. In my last bold post, I confidently declared my blissful expectations of Summer 2014. {Check out my comical last post, My Tribute to Summer.} Boldly, I confessed how I was going to live in the moment and have a memorable summer with my family. Well… my life, my plans, my summer got interrupted. My lofty plans for the best summer yet were rudely interrupted by a minor but messy house fire! The A/C thermostat randomly caught on fire. After the first day of Vacation Bible School, the boys and I returned home to a house filled with black smoke. The fire department even got to pay us a visit. The fire caused some damage to the floor and walls immediately surrounding the fire – however, the smoke permeated the entire house. The burning plastic thermostat was immediately underneath the A/C intake and smoke went throughout every square inch of the house. Every inch of fabric in our home – including our clothing, furniture, and drapes – had to be confiscated to the dry cleaners for eight weeks. Every single item in our home also had to be sanitized and wiped down. We ended up not being able to properly live in our house for eight weeks during the clean-up and renovation. The A/C and ducts were replaced, all the walls and baseboards completely repainted, and over a thousand square feet of wood floors were ripped out and replaced – all the while, a busy, one-year old was getting into everything. My plan was to have a blast of a summer while the reality quickly became navigating insurance companies, contractors, and being displaced from our home. All this craziness left me edgy… well, a little mean at times!

Has your life recently been interrupted?

Oh, I forgot to mention that we had just moved into the house at the end of March 2014.  We bought a house that sat empty for a year then quickly renovated it ourselves before moving in. (So we had just painted it a few months prior before repainting it again.) Are you feeling my pain now? We gratefully got the house back together just days before Josiah started kindergarten. Whew!

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Making the most of not being able to go home – Fun in Poplarville, MS

Since August, the time lost was redeemed as we changed the name of our non-profit from Hope 4 Joseph to Joseph’s Joy along with launching the new updated website. We finished creating the bylaws and articles for Joseph’s Joy along with officially obtaining our 501 (c)(3) status. YAY! In addition to all of this, we completed our book which is called, Joseph’s Joy: Living with Unstoppable Hope. (My next blog will have more information.)

So… where did 2014 go?  It flew by! It has not been an easy year, but it has definitely been a productive one! Once again, it has been confirmed that God truly does work out all things for my good, even when it does not feel good. I decided to make the most of my failed summer and enjoy it anyway. Living in the moment, was a skill that I tried to exercise. Only living one day at a time helped me from being overwhelmed by it all.

Have you ever felt  frustrated when plans did not go your way, then later looked back to see that it was a blessing in disguise?

 Every time I mop my new wood floors, I think of just how great a blessing it turned out to be.

May you ponder this verse today:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Don’t switch the cards

I just want to give you a short reminder today of the truth.

The enemy wants to TAKE YOU OUT.  God wants to TAKE YOU OVER.

joy-wendi-maryrThe enemy wants to BIND YOU UP.  God wants to SET YOU FREE.

The enemy wants to TAKE AWAY FROM YOU.  God wants to GIVE TO YOU.

The enemy wants to MAKE YOU DOUBT GOD’S LOVE AND GOODNESS.  God wants you to experience HIM.

The enemy wants to MAKE YOU BITTER.  God wants you to be PURE and FORGIVING TOWARDS OTHERS.

The enemy wants to KILL, STEAL, and DESTROY YOUR LIFE.  God wants you to LIVE ABUNDANTLY, OVERCOME, and OVER-FLOW.

John 10:10

Just a reminder…Don’t switch the cards.  The battlefield is in the mind.

Choose what you will allow to win today!

Unstoppable…Really?

Unstoppable tombstone

It is official.

 Joseph’s tombstone has been permanently sealed upon the ground where his little, earthly body is decaying.  Sadly, it is the cold, hard fact; his body is withering away under the earth, while his spirit in heaven lives on adorned by his new glorified body.  His mere frame of flesh is obsolete and he is soaring with the angels in his forever prime.  The abundant life that Jesus promised is Joseph’s now.

The single word on Joseph’s tombstone is: UNSTOPPABLE.  One word that had to describe his entire life; a potent word.  A word that speaks of moving forward and is ongoing.  UNSTOPPABLE…a word that I want to encapsulate my life as well.

It’s still so surreal to gaze upon this tombstone and swallow that my first-born son is really in the grave. I have to ask myself, “Is this really my life? Did this really happen to me?”  As tears roll down my cheeks, a few words resonate in my spirit: GRACE, PEACE, and JOY.  Yes, joy, in some strange way.  After momentary sadness floods, joy prevails.  There is a deep joy knowing that my son is with his true Father.  It’s an uncanny joy that he will never have to suffer in this life and that he is home.

There really is a PEACE that I can’t explain.  I’m really not that strong.  I actually am an emotional person by nature so why is it that I feel OK with this?  Why shouldn’t I be a wreck everyday?

All that I can say is that this GRACE is REAL!  I can’t logically explain it.   In the natural I shouldn’t be OK with this.  I can’t FAKE this or PRETEND to be strong.  GRACE soothes my soul and rocks me like a baby when memory upon memory fall like an avalanche through my mind.  It soothes me when I try to figure out why MY SON got cancer.  The questions come: “Was it something I ate, did, smelled, etc? Was is something spiritually that I didn’t cast down? What if I would have caught it earlier?” Then, I feel his strong, loving hand push my head to his chest and say, “STOP!  I’ve got him and I’ve got you.  I love you like no other.”

He assures me that He will keep me, cover me, and lead me.  His nearness alone can still me!  One word from Him.  One touch in his presence where I can draw close to him and suffocate the noises of this life.  HE IS ENOUGH! His grace soothes the pain.

This closeness to a gentle, but yet powerful God makes me UNSTOPPABLE, not MY strength, will-power, or discipline to pick myself up by my boot straps and press, press, press to drown it all out; to hide under a facade of busyness.

No, I am an overcomer and am UNSTOPPABLE for one reason:

My nearness to Him and His nearness to me!  I have relationship with the Father because of Jesus!

I am not this strong. I am held by His love in a relationship with the only one who can water my soul.  He is the only thing that satisfies.

Is your soul satisfied by Him?

Are you UNSTOPPABLE?  You can be with Jesus!

Josiah living an UNSTOPPABLE Life!
Josiah living an UNSTOPPABLE Life!

First and Last Breaths

Joshua with Joseph's Lovey
Joshua with Joseph’s Lovey

I would like to introduce to you, Joshua Asher Scott!

Joshua was born on April 10, 2013; a robust 8 lb 6 oz with a striking head full of hair.

As I walked myself down the stoic hallway of the hospital into the frigid operating room for my scheduled cesarean section, I was experiencing a surreal moment.  I chanted in my mind, “Am I really about to have another baby?”  The pregnancy flew by (believe it or not) and I was about to do this newborn thing all over again.  As I cautiously entered the operating room for my third c-section, I was more frightful because I knew exactly what was about to happen.  You see, my motto now with giving birth is, “NO PAIN, NO PAIN”!  I wanted to clearly direct the anesthesiologist about how to do his job to make sure that my spinal had no flaws.

There we went.  Spinal inserted…legs hot and tingly…wide awake…within minutes surgery had begun and merely minutes afterwards, my Joshua Asher took his first breath.  The nurses snugged the curtain down so that I could look at him.  My first thought was, “He is smaller than my other boys.”  He was so tight, compact, and strong.  Then I heard his sweet cry; the moment that he communicated with me for the first time verbally.  Forever connected with a bond that only a mother and a child can have.

Joshua was born in the same hospital that my first-born son, Joseph was born in and also died in at 4 years, 4 months of age.  Joseph took his FIRST breath in that hospital and also his LAST breath there.  I facilitated him coming into this world and also him leaving this world to enter his eternal heavenly home.

I have been thinking about first and last breaths.  First breaths only happen once.  Last breaths also only happen once.  It is all of the breaths in between that compile our life.  As I sit here right now and listen to Joshua’s non-rhythmic breaths, I am intrigued to know how many actual breaths a person breaths in his or her lifetime.  Millions…Billions…Trillions?

I can’t control the first breath nor can I can control the last breath that I breath, but I can choose to FULLY LIVE with the breaths in between.  I can embrace the future and the unknown with grace, hope, and love knowing that life truly is a GIFT!  It is our moment in time to impact the world; to impact others eternally.

I love the picture of Joshua with Joseph’s lovey because it is a symbol of new life and life no longer on this earth.  It reminds me that life is fleeting and is a vapor. It reminds me to ENJOY the life that I have TODAY.

Life does move on and we DO keep breathing breaths.  It is our choice as to how we want to spend those breaths.

A Forever Family of 5
A Forever Family of 5

I would like to encourage you today to breathe your breaths with hope and purpose!  You are loved and are here with a role that only you can fulfill.  Choose to LIVE your LIFE FULLY and EMBRACE your God-given PURPOSE!

What Will Define You – Your Pain or Your Purpose?

What in your life has caused excruciating pain…pain to the point of shutting down or refusing to trust in that area again?  Maybe, it’s a failed relationship and you have internally decided to never really trust again, so you keep your painful place guarded.  Maybe, it’s abuse from your childhood that you had no control over and you have secretly assumed that God isn’t good.  You internally say, “If he was good, why would he have allowed this to happen to me?”  Or, maybe life hasn’t turned out as you planned and deep down you’re just plain mad .  In my case, it’s the loss of my son eight months ago, and enduring an abusive marriage ten years ago when I thought that I had done everything right. In my life, I have come to learn a few things about facing pain.

Here are a few things that I have come to learn:

1.  God is so ridiculously good to me and HE HAS NEVER DONE ANYTHING TO HURT ME!  His intentions for me are ALWAYS GOOD!  Pain comes into our life as a result of three things – our own selfish choices (aka sin), our fallen world, and our enemy. Our own sin, therefore the painful consequences of that sin (which, btw, God can work out for our ultimate good if we let him. Romans 8:28) Also, because we live in an imperfect, fallen world and sometimes, “stuff just happens!”  We live in a toxic world with free-will. And lastly, a direct attack from the enemy.  John 10:10  “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” The enemy HATES you, but God lavishly LOVES you!  Until we get to Heaven, we will endure some things, but Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33   He is for us, not against us!  He has a great plan for us to be with Him forever.  He also has promised us that He would NEVER leave us or forsake us.  Hebrews 13:5  God is the one that we should be running to, not stiffing!  He is ALWAYS GOOD!  He longs to hold us in the middle of our pain!  He has held me in the middle of all of my pain and anger and has brought me closer to Him.  Maybe today you are still angry and blaming God for your pain.  Dear friend, he is not your enemy.  He is your biggest fan and loves you more than anyone else.  He wants to hold you and love you through your pain!

2.  You can’t progress in life with unforgiveness in your heart!  I have been hurt, misunderstood, rejected, talked about, and have lost at many things.  I know that to have a healthy life that I have to have a forgiving heart toward those offenders and also towards God; He is not my enemy anyway!  Why is it our nature to make God our enemy?  Is it because we think that He could have stopped the painful situation?  Either way, we can’t harbor bitterness and resentment in our heart.  WE HAVE TO LET GO!  Now, forgiveness does not equate trust.  You can forgive someone, but not trust them or allow them to continue hurting you.  Your heart must be pure towards them though.  Here is a test:  Can you pray God’s goodness and blessing on that person who has hurt you?  If you can genuinely do that, then I think that your heart is pure!  If you want to fully live, you have to truly forgive! 

3.  Eventually, you will come to a place with your pain where THE PAIN or your HEALING will define you!  Healing results in renewed passion and purpose in your life.  The manifestations of a person who won’t let go of their pain is:  Anger, bitterness, lack of trust, fear, self protection, insecurity, and hesitation.  The manifestations of a healed heart is:  Love, letting go of the past, hope, strength to help others, and renewed purpose.  God doesn’t waste anything, but will weave our painful situations into our ministry and purpose!  God gives us time to grieve, mourn, and be human with our pain, but at some point, we will have to make a decision; a decision to heal or not to heal!

Most people have experienced deep pain in their lives. We are human and will experience loss in this life.  My question to you today is:  WHAT WILL DEFINE YOU?  What will be the marker of your life?  I hope to encourage you today to take God out of the “choke-hold” and let him love you!  His intentions for you are ALWAYS good!  You can trust him!

I look forward to the day, where I can experience no more tears and no more sorrows,  just as Joseph is experiencing now!  As Christians, we have that hope along with tremendous purpose for today!  Let’s run our race well!

My boys – one on earth and one in heaven!