Welcome to ASourceOfJoy's joyous little corner of the web!
I would sooner possess the joy of Christ five minutes than I would revel in the mirth of fools for half a century...Our holy sorrows are sweeter than the worldling's joys. But oh, when our joys grow full, divinely full, then are they unspeakably like those above, and Heaven begins below.

Did you never cry for joy? You say, perhaps: "Not since I was a child." Nor have I; but I have always remained a child, so far as divine joy is concerned. I could often cry for joy when I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him.

Any alleged Christianity which fails to express itself in cheerfulness, at some point, is clearly spurious. The Christian is cheerful, not because he is blind to injustice and suffering, but because he is convinced that these, in the light of the divine sovereignty, are never ultimate.
~Elton Trueblood (1900-1994),
The Humor of Christ

The Christian life that is joyless is a discredit to God and a disgrace to itself.
~Maltbie D. Babcock

To pursue joy is to lose it. The only way to get it is to follow steadily the path of duty, without thinking of joy, and then, like sheep, it comes most surely, unsought, and we "being in the way" the angel of God, bright-haired Joy, is sure to meet us.
~Alexander MacLaren

If you have no joy in your religion, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere.
~W.A. "Billy" Sunday

The word "joy" is too great and grand to be confused with the superficial things we call happiness. It was joy and peace which Jesus said he left men...
~Kirby Page,
"Living Joyously"

Let me be JOY, be HOPE! Let my life SING!
~Mary Carolyn Davies

People need joy quite as much as clothing. Some of them need it far more.
~Margaret Collier Graham

It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.
~Amelia Barr

My Journey to Joy...

All this...and heaven, too! Wallpaper-sized image, complete with poem, can be downloaded here.

A moonlit night, a starry sky,
The beauty of a butterfly,
Sun that shines and wind that blows,
The fragile fragrance of a rose,
Fields of green, and clouds with blue --
I have all this -- and heaven, too!

Family dear, and friendship sweet,
Clothes to wear, and food to eat,
Eyes that see, and ears that hear,
Fellowship we hold so dear,
The blessing just of knowing You --
I have all this -- and heaven, too!

Your Word to read, a song to sing,
The unmatched joy Your vict'ry brings,
A blessed life of peace and rest,
Hope and love to face each test,
The promise that You'll see me through --
I have all this -- and heaven, too!

You took my sins and gave me life,
Granted vict'ry over strife;
If life down here can be so grand,
How I can't wait for glory land!
This song of joy I bring to You --
I have all this -- and heaven, too!
                ~AMP, 6-17-05~
As stated on the front page of this website, my name, Abigail, means "source of joy." As long as I can remember this meaning has been a source of inspiration and challenge in my life (more details here). Far too often I have fallen short of living up to my name...but God is faithful! Day by day he shows me how He is the only true Source of Joy in this world, and that "without Him I am nothing." The joy of the Lord is my strength!

My journey to joy has not been an overly dramatic one by some standards, but God's hand of faithfulness is evident all along the way. I was born into a Christian home; as the oldest child and grandchild I was surrounded by doting older relatives who all did their best to train me up in the ways of the Lord. From an early age I memorized Scriptures and wholesome songs, developing a very religious vocabulary and excelling at Bible trivia. I have vague memories of going through the motions of accepting Christ as Savior when I was about 6 years old...but I had no true relationship with the Lord. My childish attempts at serving Him were legalistic, self-imposed rules which didn't originate from a heart of love for Jesus. Though I'd heard and read the gospel message many times, I didn't understand how it applied to me personally.

When I was nine and a half years old, God mercifully began a major work in my heart. I developed a great "fear of the Lord"—I realized that He could return to earth at any moment and I knew I was certainly not ready to face His holiness. For days, fear gripped me: I was unable to enjoy any activity, I lost my appetite, and would just sit quietly, refusing even to hear or play any music. My parents noticed this change in my behavior, of course. One evening Mother wisely asked what was wrong—and she persisted in asking until I stopped mumbling, "Nothing," and shared what was bothering me. Mother gently showed me again the path of salvation—just repent and accept Christ's free payment for your sins!—and this time it made sense.

I'll never forget what an incredible sense of peace and joy I felt after that moment of prayer late that night! The fear and depression instantly lifted; I now had a reason to live and knew I was ready to meet the Lord! It was March 17, 1990: the start of my new adventure with Jesus. This new relationship was put to the test later that spring when my great-grandma died and my favorite aunt tragically took her own life. But Jesus was there for me and brought me through the trials stronger than before.

But, there were more lessons in store. The Christian life is very much a journey: though the initial acknowledgment of Christ as Lord is the most important step, the rest of our life is an ongoing process of being transformed into His image. Though full of many blessings, my teen years were emotionally rocky. When relationships with my only two childhood friends were severed, I felt overwhelmed with loneliness. Satan used self-pity and discouragement to steal the joy of my salvation. My sixteenth birthday stands out in my mind as a time of particular discouragement; I felt like I had no friends and refused to let myself relax enough to enjoy any activity.

July 1997 brought these emotions to a head. My favorite uncle, who had been like a big brother to me, was suddenly killed in a bike/auto accident. We took the train out to California to be with the rest of the family: a trip full of the constant question, "Why, Lord?" This trial brought my focus back to the Lord...I had to come to grips with the fact that God's ways are not my ways; that He knows best.

The year 1997 was also pivotal for me in the fact that I began receiving several home-based publications for Christian girls. The level of commitment, peace, and joy demonstrated in the lives of the girls who submitted articles astounded me. Their relationships with God truly had something which was lacking in my life. I wavered between utter discouragement and faltering acceptance of inspiration and challenge.

Through the next couple of years, Mother's health was often not good; at times she was bed-ridden, so with my sisters' help I tried to take on her many home responsibilities. The future looked dark and discouraging, with no light at the end of the tunnel. I learned to focus on the task at hand, refusing to allow myself any dreams or hopes for the future. I finished homeschool high school but had no particular aim in life except to continue to fulfill family responsibilities and publish HW. The magazine was the bright spot in my life...assurance that I wasn't totally wasting away my life.

Another major turning point came in 2000. Through various ways, God showed me His great love for me--love that planned out every detail of my life before I was even born. I'd never fully realized before how He was working everything together for good, even those things which I found painful and frustrating. Being able to thank God for everything made a huge difference! Though I had maintained a daily quiet time ever since age 9, the Bible now took on a new, personal significance; I found myself reading it every chance I got, not just the daily allotment! God was teaching me so much.

The fall of 2000 brought a lengthy ordeal relating to HW. In the space of three months we received more negative feedback than all the previous 11 years of publication put together. Some was well deserved, certainly, but some was a result of misunderstandings and prejudice. Suddenly the magazine, which had become so much my reason for existence, was only a source of pain and fear.

But the Lord worked through this trial in ways I could never have anticipated. I seriously needed the "wake up call" to re-evaluate the goals and priorities for HW. I realized that I was largely publishing it for the "praise of man" rather than for the glory of God—otherwise the criticism would not have been such a blow to my pride. With God's grace, I was able to put Him back on the throne of my life, purposing anew to serve Him only. His ability to bring healing and joy from pain is truly amazing!

God has been continuing to teach me so much over the last few years, and I can't thank Him enough. Some lessons have been very hard, yes--and I know I have so much yet to learn!--but I can honestly say that each year has been more joyous than the last. Our Father is gently helping me focus only on Him and seek Him first. He's given me the ability to truly enjoy life and the abundant blessings with which He has showered me. Though I deserve absolutely nothing more than God's eternal punishment, He loves me; though my sins are many, He's completely forgiven me. I'm continually overwhelmed at the depth of His love and mercy: His unending faithfulness.

A phrase that has often been running through my mind lately is, "All this...and heaven, too!" With Jesus in control of my life, I look to the future with hope and joy...I can't wait to see what He has around the next corner! :-D

Joyfully HIS,
(Last updated: July 2005)

Home  •  Introduction  •  Family  •  Blessings  •  Thoughts  •  Music  •  Books
Site design © 2006 ASourceOfJoy, all rights reserved.