Overwhelmed By Joy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A few days ago, I was overwhelmed by joy! I had just spent a wonderful time away with my husband to celebrate my birthday. We traveled through the beautiful landscapes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as spent some blessed time with our grown children. I even enjoyed a special lunch with a wonderful friend who lives many miles away. My birthday week was exciting and fulfilling and I felt thoroughly spoiled! Yet, soon I was to discover that more was to come.

After returning home and getting things in order for the week ahead, my husband and I were relaxing in the comfort of our living room. The rain was coming down quite steadily outside and it felt warm and cozy to sit together and reminisce over the adventures of our trip. Then, quite suddenly in midafternoon, my husband stood up asked how soon I could be ready! He “claimed” that he wanted to do something fun before our vacation was over and asked me to pack an overnight bag. Well, as much fun as I’d like to think I am, I do tend to get a bit nervous when it comes to spur of the moment activities! But, my husband has blessed me so much and I told myself to just “go with it”! 

After throwing a few things in a bag, we got in the car and drove. As we went (to wherever it was we were going), my husband was teasing me and trying to keep me guessing as to where our destination was. I assumed that it would be the coast, because we only live about 30 minutes from the ocean. However, he was driving in circles, and not heading west! Finally, after driving through the vineyards and then the redwoods of Sonoma Valley, we arrived in a quaint little town not far from home. After making a few stops to check his GPS (!) my husband drove us up a narrow driveway to a beautiful home overlooking the town. My guess was that he had booked a room in a Bed and Breakfast as a special treat! “What a romantic guy” I thought as I walked with him up the stairs to the front doors. But, when we reached the glass door and I looked inside, I was absolutely stunned! The room as all aglow with candlelight and autumn decorations and standing in the center was my entire family and many friends! I literally began to shake and cry and laugh all at the same time!

As I made the rounds hugging all my loved ones, I marveled that they had all come so far just to see me – They had arrived from Alaska, Oregon, Northern California, the Central Valley and Southern California just for this evening! I was amazed and overwhelmed by joy! I would love to say that I was speechless, but obviously from the many words I’m typing here today, that is not the case! I cannot stop talking about how wonderful it was and how loved they all made me feel!

Today, I am thanking the Father for the incredible blessing of family and friends! I feel so undeserved for the outpouring of love that I received. But isn’t that truly the nature of love – selfless, unconditional, unmerited Agape love? As I think of the sacrifices my family has made for me, I am amazed. But, even more so am I astounded at the sacrifices of our God! Because of His Agape love for us, “…He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). What a blessing to be loved like that! “Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory” (Romans 5:2). Thank you, Father, for the blessing of loved ones and for the joy of knowing that our future is secure with you!

Overwhelmed by joy,

I invite you to link up today for "Sharing His Beauty" and share the blessing that God is to you in your life. Simply click on the "You're Next" linky below and enter your blog information.

Or, if you choose, you may leave a comment on my post to tell of the beauty you have found in His hands.

Also, be sure to visit Reflections of His Grace for: 30 Days of Thanksgiving

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  1. Joan, you were literally deluged by joy AND love! This is what we get when we live in God's light and love, for it ALL flows from His heart and hand!

    Have a blessed week,

  2. Joan - what a cherished and wonderful birthday gift. And how much more wonderful is the gift of salvation - though we are undeserving of His grace, He so freely gives it.


  3. Ahh, Joan, that is beautiful and I'm sure you were very deserving of such an outpouring of love. I think God gives us these moments to buoy us up and just to bless us out of our socks.
    God bless

  4. What a delicious surprise your family gave you!! How fun!!

  5. Overwhelmed by joy .... love it :)

  6. What a precious story. So happy your family surprised you. It's wonderful to know how much we're loved. When I read the part about how you shook and cried and laughed all at the same time....it reminded me of just why we'll have to get a new body in heaven. This earthly vessel wouldn't be able to hold all the excitement and joy of being in the presence of JESUS!!! HOPE you have a great day!!!

  7. Oh my goodness, how absolutely wonderful! What a thoughtful wonderful surprise for you. You must be very special for everyone to come together to celebrate your day like that. Thank you for hosting us, have a good week!
    Gayle from Behind the Gate

  8. I loved reading this. What a special memory for you to have -- such loving family and friends. God loves to bless His children.

  9. Wow, Joan, I'm so glad you shared this with us. I almost felt like it was happening to me. All I can say is Wow Wow Wow! And it's true as wonderful and joyful as your birthday was it is nothing to compare to what God has in store for us in the future. I say it again. WOW!

  10. Dear Joan, Thank you for sharing the joy! God gives us glimpses of agape love, joy and peace, but it's "through a glass darkly" compared to what awaits us in Heaven. Many blessings to you!

  11. Hi Joan,

    What an incredible and blessed birthday surprise! Friends, family, and the blessings God puts into our lives overwhelm us with love and joy at times...what a wonderful memory to keep in your heart forever! :)

    Blessings and hugs for your thankful heart! :)

  12. What joy! Thank you for sharing this wonderful surprise with us. Great when we realise how blessed with loved ones our lives are :)



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