I am late to the game, but I suppose I wasn’t ready or motivated until today. Today I will become a blogger. Why? Because I want to keep a record of my children’s life as they grow and mature. I would also like to see my own growth in finding joy and seeking Christ (because Christ is the reason and only true source of all joy). Life seems to go so quickly. I want to take mental snapshopts of my activities and my kids that leave me feeling filled with joy, peace, or happiness. Our lives go by in a flash. It seems like just weeks ago I gave birth to the twins. Now they are walking and talking. At 19 months old they seem to be learning about 1 new word a day. I can see their little minds grasping things and development taking place as I watch. I don’t want any of it to get lost in the mix of daily life, and thus forgetten weeks or months from now.

There was a time in my life when I honestly thought joy would never be possible again. We (my Husband Justin and I) lost our first born, a son named Barron Christian Battles. He was a beautiful, full term baby, but was  (unknowingly to us) born with a deadly genetic disorder. So deadly was this disease, that he only lived 8 weeks. After he died I felt that my life had been sucked of all joy. However, I decided that in spite of what happened God STILL had plans for my life. I knew that there was a hope and a future for my life (Jeremiah 29:11), regardless of how long it would be. The journey to finding true joy was found only when I submitted my grief to God. My life had already been given to God at a young age, when I decided to accept Jesus into my heart. However, I have experienced a great deal of tragedy and sorrow. Some from the decisions I have made and other times from life circumstances, such as the death of our son by an incurable disease. Joy, is an entirely different level of walking with God. It is the pursuit of Jesus woven into every facet of my life and the life of my children. What does this mean? I try to show the love of Jesus in my actions. Actions speak more than words. I do speak about Christ (obviously, since I am doing it here so openly). But I think that making an effort to keep Jesus and God at the center of your life is when you can find true joy. Scripture says so. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. By no means am I a perfect wife, mom, or Christian. Far from it. However, I am making the commitment to try my best to be the person that God created me to be. I will make an effort to be a joy filled Mother, Wife, and Christian. Joy filled because Christ is the reason for joy, the cause of joy, and the giver of joy.

I want to share this joy with others, so that they can all find it as well. For many people in life their life pursuit is the pursuit of happiness. Doesn’t that seem to be the mantra of today’s society? The pursuit of happiness can only be found once the pursuit of Jesus has taken place. I can’t explain how it all works. I just know that it worked in my life. Jesus saved my soul, but he also brought me back from the greatest life despair I ever felt. I didn’t know how I could continue in life, so I prayed. I prayed that Jesus would lighten my burden and deep sense of longing, loss, and solitude. I prayed for a family (children), for love, and to do it according to his will. I didn’t know at that time what was in store for our family or if my husband and I could even have healthy biological children. We fostered children and even pursued adoption. We were willing to pursue the avenues that God put before us. God brought us joy along the way because we were obedient. We continued to submit our lives to God and his calling. We are still doing it today. Now it is about raising children who will love and follow Jesus. There is no greater calling in life. Life is short. Where we spend all of eternity is more important than anything on this earth. Making sure all of my children will be reunited in heaven someday is my calling. Helping them see the joy that Jesus can provide during this lifetime is one of the greatest gifts I can give them. Their salvation will someday be their own decision.