Song of Joy

Mar 3

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

What is in a name?  Carol.  That’s the name my parents gave to me.  I’m sorry to say for many years I wished for another.  Carol just wasn’t an elegant sounding cool name.  I wanted to be an Amanda or Allison or Christie.  Why Carol?  Couldn’t they have at least named me Caroline?  I liked Caroline.

Nope.  Sorry.  Carol is what I got.  Even looking at my name, it looked round.  It rhymed with barrel.  Carol Barrel.  Not the best name for a bikini challenged girl. As a child, I tried to give myself a nickname – C.J.  It didn’t stick.  I’ve always just been Carol.  

In the past year, God has been molding me.  He has stretched me and shaped me into something pleasing to Him.  He took the colorful Play-doh shape that was me and balled it up to start over again.  I was holding my breath that He was going to make me skinny this time, but, alas, those hopes were dashed early on.  

But in the re-making of Carol, I found something inside me even better than a size-six bathing suit. Joy.  Joy is different from happiness.  I’ve had plenty of happiness in my life, but happiness isn’t lasting.  I was happy when I found Faith an Easter dress for $16.99.  I am happy when the lady at the McDonald’s drive-thru accidentally throws a hot baked apple pie or two in my bag.  I am happy when I find five dollars in my pants pocket.  But that, my friends, is not joy.  

Joy is being content with who you are, what you are, and where you are.  Joy is the Mamma of happiness.  From joy comes happiness, but happiness does not always last and joy does.  Joy lives in your heart.  It’s the way you feel overall about life.  I may burn my baked ziti and not be happy about it, but deep within joy remains.  And that joy even affects they way I respond to my unhappiness about my now crunchy-brown pasta dinner.

God has been teaching me what true joy is, all the while filling my heart with it.  Friday night, Amy gave me a card just for being her friend. (I know, she’s the best!)  On the front in large letters was “JOY” and this quote:

When joy is deep within us, we will walk through this life with a lifted heart, soul, and mind.  ~Patsy Clairmont

I was talking with the Lord one afternoon a few weeks ago about joy.  He was smiling on me when He said, “Carol, your parents didn’t choose your name.  I did.  Carol means song of joy. Daughter, you are my song of joy.”  And it was that day that I knew that my name was the best name ever!  I love it.  It’s who I am. It’s who He made me to be.  

Thank you Mom and Dad for listening to the prompting of the Lord when He put my name into your heart.  I am a song of joy.

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  • DeAnna Mar 3 at 3:31 pm

    Okay, you are having way too much fun with the digital imaging!!! You are exactly right about joy. Joy can be seen even in the midst of the biggest cup of sorrow. It is always encouraging to me to see people that I KNOW should be down and out because of their circumstances, but they aren’t. Why? They have JOY. Only God can give us that sweet gift. Thanks for sharing that today!

    And, by the way, where did you find such a deal on the dress?

  • kmom3 Mar 3 at 3:43 pm

    Oh, Carol! God is so amazing! He is so awesome! He has been talking to me about my name as well!
    I love, love, love this post!!!! May He show all of us what true joy is and may we be full to overflowing with it!!!!
    You bless my socks off, you song of joy, you!

  • Janet Roller Mar 3 at 3:56 pm

    Zeph. 3:17 says the Lord will rejoice over you with singing! I love that He has a song for each one of us.
    Thanks for the post today –


  • Cheri Mar 3 at 4:39 pm

    First, I absolutely love this picture. It says it all…no words are needed.
    Then, your words came and how beautiful they are. I know as we speak God is working on me and this joy thing. We all know I’m not liking where He placed me right now. But, I know He is working and that my joy will someday be complete.

    I love you, Carol…you make me want to strive for more!

  • Mary Lou Mar 3 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you for this post. You hit the nail on the head. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Being happy depends on circumstances and they change with every second, it seems. You made me smile with your post. I’ve always loved my name. I like being called by two names. I have joked and said mother should have named me Mary Grace, because I am so clumsy at times.However, I would not change my name for anything. God gave it to me thru my mother.

  • MaryLu Mar 3 at 5:15 pm

    Wow, great words today. I have often thought that Mary Lucy was not as elegant a name for me. I wanted Lucinda Marie, that was one of my parents’ choices when picking my name. I was named after many great women in my family. So I now wear my plain-Jane Mary Lucy with pride.
    I don’t have a cool name-definition however, in many Baby books, Mary is bitter of bitterness.
    Oh well, I’ll be joyful anyway!

  • Sarah Mar 3 at 7:22 pm

    I’ve been behind on reading my favorite blogs! (And not to mention writing on my own…) But, wow! You’ve had some great ones! I just absolutely loved this one, and was so blessed by it!

  • Totallyscrappy Mar 3 at 7:43 pm

    May you glory in the fact that He has called you by name and you are His!

  • Linda Mar 3 at 8:55 pm

    “Joy is the mama of happiness” is my favorite line I’ve read in a while.

  • BethAnne Mar 3 at 9:24 pm

    Great post! (and I like your name)

  • Gardener Greg Mar 4 at 3:46 pm

    That picture is how I feel sometimes. I just want to hold my hands up and shout for joy. I too have been taking a different road this past year and have learned the difference between happy and joy. Have a blessed day, I am glad I visited.


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