Whew! It’s been a busy past couple of months! Our apologies for not blogging more! Our lives are rapidly changing as we close the chapter on our photography company and begin to get our lives ready for a growing family.
As seasons in our life change, this quote from the Bible came to mind:
“Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus.”
It’s easy to focus on the “be thankful in all circumstances” part, but there is more to the picture. If we take a step back, these ideas of joyfulness, prayerfulness and thankfulness were always meant to go together.
Bare with us as we get a little geeky…
Now a days, if we were writing an email or blog post, and we wanted to stress a point an easy way is to simply use bold, italics, or ALL CAPS. Back in the in day when the Bible was written, they didn’t really have bold, or italics. And the Bible was most likely written in all caps. There wasn't even space between the words. Also, compared to today, many were illiterate and relied on memorizing and reciting large portions of the text. How do you speak in bold? You can’t. So in order to stress a point, the early writers would emphasize an idea by repeating and elaborating on it. This usually occurred in sets of three. This is exactly what we have in this passage. Joyfulness, prayerfulness and thankfulness are emphasized and all different aspects of the same thought. As we pray more, our joy and thankfulness increase. If we are not joyful and thankful, we most likely have not been praying enough. Similarly, if we are thankful through all circumstances we will experience God given joy, particularly in times of prayer. The three are joined together so closely it’s hard to separate this trio.
Much like how these three ideas belong to each other, all three are point toward how we ultimately belong to God. We have a reason to be thankful in all circumstances. Our joy, prayer and thanksgiving are all connected to how we belong and matter dearly to God.
As the months turned into years, as we desired to grow our family. And as we were diagnosed with infertility and began the adoption process, we needed strong reminders as to why we should be joyful, prayerful and thankful. It’s easy to let our circumstances dictate our joy. It’s easy to let the busyness of life overtake our prayer times. It’s easy to forget the reason to be thankful...
But God continues to remind us: we belong.
We belong to God, to each other as man and wife, to our family here on Earth, and to the family of God.
Even though our circumstances change, our identity and belonging do not. Our reason for joy does not change.
Also in the original language, there is a clear encouragement to not just be joyful and thankful, but to express joyfulness and thankfulness. For us, we’ll take this as a prompting to not only be joyful and thankful, but also share those sentiments with you all here on our blog. Writing is good for us. It helps us process change.
As we write this, we are on a weekend away to Martha’s Vineyard. This weekend we have lots to be thankful for including our innkeepers and gourmet breakfast chefs, Marla & Julie. The beautiful weather. The beautiful island. The amazing food. Our readers & supporters. Our family. Our citizenship in heaven. An opportunity to slow down and write! (And to photograph, but this time as a hobby. We hope you enjoy the photos!)