When I first started contemplating the possibility of writing a blog, I knew it needed a name. I hemmed and I hawed, I made lists and scribbled thoughts on napkins and notebooks, and I asked for the opinions and ideas of friends and family – my husband told me I was obsessed. Ultimately it took seven months before the name “Nourishing Joy” came up in conversation – but it has been a great blessing because, as with all things worth thinking about, it’s a phrase that has layers. (Does anyone else think of Donkey from the movie Shrek when I use that phrase….???? I apologize, I digress.)
“Nourish” is most often used within the context of food and giving our bodies what they need, but there are also the contexts of nourishing one’s mind and nourishing one’s soul. It gives the connotation not only of taking in sustenance, but giving us all we need for life and health and growth.
“Joy” is also pretty straightforward. “Joy” is not mere happiness, but contented happiness. I heard Bob Mackowycz, a CBC morning radio personality, define it one morning as “Happiness is when you smile because there are no hardships in life. Joy is when you smile in spite of life’s hardships.” Not the most profound definition nor the most complete, but an interesting one nonetheless.
To me, though, the two words are more powerful and more poignant when put together and within a larger context. I firmly believe it’s important to nourish our bodies, our minds, and our souls, and in so doing, we nourish the ability for joy to abound in our lives. On the converse, joy itself is what nourishes us so that we can grow in mind and soul. But most importantly, the context is how we live, why we live, and why we nourish ourselves at all – and in our home and in our lives, that context is Christ.
As Christians, my husband and I believe deeply that living as sustainably and as intentionally as possible is an act of stewardship and thankfulness for the great gifts we have been given by God.
As Christians, my husband and I believe deeply that living as sustainably and as intentionally as possible is an act of stewardship and thankfulness for the great gifts we have been given by God. We believe that it is in Christ that we “live and move and have our being.” As the very first question of one of the teaching tools of the Christian faith, the Shorter Westminster Catechism, asks, “What is the chief end of man?” to which is answered, “The chief end of man is to obey God and enjoy Him forever.” I’ve always loved that this formal document points to the act of taking joy in something greater than ourselves as one of the very primary aspects of why we exist and what gives our lives any meaning at all.
Despite all the passion I have for the Christian faith, for discussing Christian doctrines, and with the deep belief I have that any joy we have in life comes only from Christ, I will not write much (here) about Christian doctrine and living, as that’s fodder for a blog entirely of it’s own and I’m already writing like a mad-woman with just one! There certainly are others who blog much more eloquently and frequently than I on such topics, and I invite you to visit our list of blog links to dive deeper into discussions of Christian apologetics and Christian living.
I mentioned at the beginning that this title has become a blessing, and I say that because it has specifically blessed me and reminds me to be nourished and marked by joy. At those times when my toddler has emptied the Tupperware cupboard in my freshly tidied kitchen for the fourth time that day or when I feel overwhelmed by my daily schedule in the midst of my children’s urgent requests for my attention, pondering about the joy that is nourishing helps me step back and truly take joy in my children – who cares about strewn Tupperware! Really, it’s more fun to just take a picture and laugh about it later…
Let me end by saying thank you for reading “Nourishing Joy” and for being a part of this blogging community. Thank you for your comments around the site and for teaching me new things along the way as well. It is most certainly my hope and my prayer that you, the readers of “Nourishing Joy,” will be nourished by what you read and that joy will abound in your homes and in your families.
May this be to the glory of God, as with all things. Soli deo gloria!