What's With All The Joy(s)?

Joy. It has become a big word in our family.

Definition of JOY
a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires

b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
: a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
: a source or cause of delight 

As the story goes....Before I (*Hannah) was born my parents were considering naming me "Hannah Rose". It really is a beautiful name. But it didn't sit right with my Dad. He decided "Hannah Joy" was much more suiting this unborn baby. He loved my middle name. I can't count how many times he'd be in the middle of a good hard laugh (I like to make him laugh) and he'd say, "Hannah Joy, we named you right." 

Well my Dad died in 2006. In 2007 we found out we were expecting our first baby. A very tiny part of me hoped it would be a boy so we could pass my Dad's name on to him. As it turns out, we got some thing even better, a little girl! Our sweet Roo joined us at the very end of the year (11 hours and 52minutes shy of being a New Years Day baby). We had the honor to pass on "Joy" to her.

Nineteen months after she was born we were blessed with more joy, her little sister "Friendly" joined our family...and the Pip came along 2.5 years later!! Well as you can imagine- FOUR joy's in the house!

Yeah, so some might be thinking, "middle names- so what?" Well....Roo [her nickname] has a name that could be a boy or a girl name. When she was tiny, and quite frankly very bald, it was especially important we differentiate by using her middle name. She's always been the kid who has kind of a blurred name "RooJoy". Then Friendly came a long and we were so in the habit "FriendlyJoy" gets thrown out quite a bit. Also, I have gone by my middle name, and still do in some circles. Ryan calls me "my joy". Joy's a big name in our house, and it's used a lot! So much so, that at Ryan's work the guys started calling him, "Ryan Joy", because it seemed like every third word out of his mouth was "joy".

But more than that? Joy is some thing God is teaching us in our daily lives. To think outside the box, to look to Him...To receive the joy He has for us as we lay down our lives for each other. It's a process.

We never expected to have so many "joys" running around (and there will probably be more!), but it's been nice to be surprised by joy- it is a special word.
*...Assume in this blog all "I's" are written by Hannah unless Ryan pops in and says so!)