Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Say Hi to Joanna from "Jo Finds Joy"!!

You know how I love finding new bloggers to tell everyone about right?!
Meet the wonderfully sweet Joanna

She is really really new - she published her first post on July 27th!
I am so very sure you'll be happy to have discovered her as I have!
Let's give her lots of blogolicious love, k?
Remember when you first started out ? {hint hint}

Hello Everyone! My name is Joanna and I blog over at Jo Finds Joy. I blog about finding joy in every aspect of my life, including relationships, cooking, crafting, fitness, the word of God, and even my struggles. I am a student at the University of Georgia and a follower of Jesus Christ. My friends and roommates encourage me daily, and my boyfriend Chad of almost three years supports me completely, lovingly, and unselfishly.

I am a brand new blogger and I just want to say that I amazed at what a lovely community you all have built. It is truly sweet and touching and I am so excited to become a part of it.

I would like to share with you all something that I have struggled with for a while. It's a sneaky little thing that tries to steal my joy: Comparison. I once heard someone say that when you compare yourself to other people, you will inevitably become either jealous or prideful. Isn't that so true? Comparison never does ANY good! Do i still do it? Yup.

When I first started going to UGA I played the comparison game something fierce! I felt like I was the ugly duckling on the set of some super model fashion shoot. I swore they all worked out 3 hours every day and ate nothing but spinach. Talk about discouragement! (and yes, jealousy!)

I also faced (and still face) a different kind of comparison. Comparison of spirituality. I found myself comparing the way I worship or my spiritual maturity with other people, which caused me to either feel completely defeated or look down on other people. What am I thinking!? aren't we supposed to encourage one another daily? (Heb. 3:13) I became so discouraged thinking that I was falling short in my walk with the Lord that I just gave up! Comparing myself to other Christians actually pushed me away from a true relationship with the Lord. Ouch!

Clearly I was finding my worth in the complete wrong things! Oh but there is a BEAUTIFUL solution! Thank goodness I realized I am too important to be thinking this way. Check this out...

"we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

God, the Master Craftsman, created me perfectly! Not only that, but he has things he wants me to do. Things to advance his kingdom. Things to draw me to him. Who am I to ruin that through comparison? But wait, there's more!

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1 ESV)

Ok, so I messed up. I was judgmental and I allowed my pride to take over. I was jealous and allowed myself to be discouraged to the point of not doing the things which God has prepared for me. BUT there is FORGIVENESS! Oh yeah, and one more thing...

"You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you" (Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV) 

because I am forgiven I now have the righteousness of Christ and I am blameless before the Lord. He loves me unconditionally, completely, and beautifully. I don't always remember it, and I don't always do the best job at loving others like Christ does, but by the grace of God I will continue to keep my eyes fixed on him and who I am in him. I made this picture to remind me of that truth. My worth comes from the Lord, my love and my savior, and I am beautiful!

Want a picture like this of yourself to remind you of that truth? let me know and I'd be happy to make you one. 

Thank you so much for reading and sharing in my struggles and the JOY that comes from them!


1 comment:

Shaylee Ann | Mother {at} Heart said...

This is such a beautiful, post! I just "met" Joanna tonight, and I have so enjoyed browsing through her blog!

This whole thing about comparing ourselves to everyone else, in nearly ever aspect, is so true. Thank you, Jo, for reminding us of our true potential, and worth!

God be with you both! :)