Thursday, November 10, 2011

Glimpses of Joy

These past couple of days I've been noticing a little change going on within me.  And I'm thrilled!  Now, its a small change, but change nonetheless.  I've found my mood lightening a bit and have sensed/felt glimpses of joy!  Can I get a hearty "hallelujah!"?

So, this is a pretty big deal as I have been in quite a rough spot since we arrived in Portugal.  It has just been hard.  Plain hard.  We left a life of transition and landed in another one, but this time in a foreign country in which we don't know the language, don't have our friends and family here with us, and don't have the resources that we are used to having.  On top of all that, the house in which we were so excited to get into was/is cold and unfurnished.  Our downstairs neighbor smokes and as we all know, smoke rises.  Our bathroom got this horrible "chemical" smell that we could not figure out.  And did I mention I am 7 months pregnant?  ;) The list goes on.  Hard.  It has been hard.  

So, its been hard on me and my spirit.  BUT, God has been faithful.  My times with Him have been rich.  He was been with me, giving me words of encouragement and grace for each day.  Helping me to get through my days with hope for better to come.  

And one day, recently, I woke up, went about my day and noticed those "down" feelings weren't quite as heavy anymore.  I was experiencing a bit of joy in the midst of hard times.  You see, not much has changed externally.  We still live in a mostly unfurnished house, it is still cold (but not as much--**more on this in a minute!!!), we still don't know the language nor have our family and friends with us YET I've felt glimpses of joy.  Where did they come from?  Prayers.  Yup.  Your prayers, my prayers.  Tears.  God is so faithful.  

"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted 

   and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18)

 "I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; 
   he heard my cry for mercy. " (Psalm 116:1)

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.  

They are new every morning;
great is (His) your faithfulness. (Lam. 3:22)

You make known to me the path of life;

in your presence there is fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

**Our team leaders lent us a couple of space heaters and our land lord brought us two more heaters and taught us how to use them.  What a HUGE blessing! I never knew how much my mood was being affected by the sheer simple fact that I was cold!  I just have never experienced that before.  I turn on the space heater in the bathroom and a smile comes to my face.  Really!  I feel stress melting off me and I can relax a bit.  I am thankful.

So, thank you to all who pray.  Pray for me, my family and others who are in need.  God is hearing and answering, and I am so very thankful.  Please continue!

I see glimpses of joy and get excited at what's to come.  :)

Warmest blessings,


  1. So very thankful Janice!! As I was reading your post I thought of James 5:16...and then see you listed it. Praying for you bunches...

  2. I can only imagine the transitions you have been through. Praying for you and your family! I am glad that you have glimpses of joy! Praying that Joy will be easier and easier to find.

  3. Praise God for answered prayers! May your joy continue to grow. Blessings to you and warmth too! Love you!

  4. Praying for more & more glimpses of joy in the LORD!

  5. Praise God - He is so faithful.

  6. You are an inspiration and I thank the Lord this morning for using you to speak into my life. Here I am sitting in relative luxury but have other issues that are my 'cold, smoke and being foreign'. Thank you for reminding me where my refuge lies.

  7. God is faithful to provide for His own...but going through the rough times for his sake like you are doing truly humbles me...i promise to pray for you and your family and the new precious baby....