Name Game

Okay, so at 12:30 ish am when you REALLY should be sleeping because you are not one of those people who can survive on 4 hours of sleep, and you’ve typed in umpteen (well maybe just 3 or 4) different combinations of your favorite blog name ideas and “Reaching Joy” is NOT TAKEN! And your 17 yo dd says, “I like it.” So you go with it… and in the morning you take a 2nd look at your new blog and say “hmmm” Because you are good at 2nd guessing yourself. Because you always 2nd guess, or 3rd or even 4th guess yourself. (Are people allowed to question themselves that much?)

BUT, here it is – for the next 3 years of this blog experiment, I have bought the domain name “Reaching Joy”. What other names did I try? “Breathing Grace” was by far my favorite one, but unfortunately there is already even a book by that title. (Looks like it might be good, but I have not read it or anything else by this author.) Space of Grace, Quest for Joy, I can’t even remember them all. More important, though, are the thoughts I was trying to convey. How do you encapsulate up a deep idea within a witty 2 or 3 word combo? Some people make it look so easy.

Thanks to my genes and who knows what else, I have been cursed blessed to struggle with anxiety and depression pretty much since I can remember. Its kind of like having a black cloud follow you around, weighing on you like a blanket. One of the greatest helps to me has been Ann Voskamp’s blog “A Holy Experience” and especially her book “1000 Gifts”. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it! She shares her heart in such an open way.  While I’m still not disciplined at listing the things I’m thankful for every day, but when I do I notice a huge difference.

So, one of the reasons I created this blog is in hopes that I can be an encouragement to someone else who shares the same struggles. Someone else who battles daily to reach for joy. And ultimately, as I’m reaching for joy in this life, I know with each day I live, I will one day soon be Reaching Joy in eternity because of the One I have placed my trust in.

What about you? Have you ever struggled to find joy in your day? Feel free to comment with your thoughts on what helps you!

5 thoughts on “Name Game”

  1. I love that you started to blog about this! Your words are strength, and coming from your personal experience, brings us all to listen more closely. I often catch myself-remind myself-that graditude is the cure to negative thinking which leads to depression. I look forward to reading what you’ll write more of! 🙂

  2. I am so glad to see you open a forum to discuss this very important issue. Depression and anxiety are very real. The CDC reports 1 out every 12 Americans over the age of 12 suffer from depression and that number is probably low. The National Institute for Mental Health reports that 18.1% of Americans suffer from anxiety disorder and that the average age of onset is 11 years of age. People who suffer from anxiety are more prone to suffer depression as well. Many people go undiagnosed and/or untreated. Using an integrative approach promoting healthy lifestyle changes, therapies and healing practices, and judicious use of medication can help treat both anxiety and depression, two of the most common mental health concerns in American society today. The important message is that if you suffer from depression or anxiety you are not alone. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Michelle being courageous enough to create a forum to identify and discuss these very important issues is commendable. I hope starting this site has brought you self empowerment. You suffer from depression and anxiety but they do not have to define you. You are a warm, gentle, gracious person who I have always known to have a deep love for her family and friends. God bless you.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words – and the comments about the integrated approach it takes to deal with anxiety and depression. So very true! I hope to touch on these topics more in future posts and create an environment where people feel supported and encouraged. I think the stigma of mental health challenges is still very real and hard to talk about!

  3. I love the name of the blog, it is uplifting just in the thought it conveys. Everyday, that pressure to feel happy, be happy can really feel just as you described, a dark cloud instead. I want to see the joy in my days takeover the negative thoughts. There is so much to be grateful for and the name of this blog makes it seem tangible – like the smile you receive that warms your soul when you tell someone that you are proud of them. I’m proud of you, Michelle!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *