Counting it all as Joy

Good Day! With a quick update.

It is so wonderful to be back writing to y’all. I don’t want to be cliché, but 2020 hit our company hard. 

We had to stop interviews and in-person meet-ups because of quarantine life. Then two people from our family got covid and later being quarantined again because of another possible encounter. It goes on and on. Subsequently, both Catherine’s family and mine moving. Catherine to another state and time zone. My family and I moved to the country, like the real country – not far from where we were, but far enough to not have reliable cell service or the Internet. It SEEMS like we moved to another country. 

My husband, kids, and I had a bit of a culture shock not having technology at our fingertips. I told them this is what it was like being a kid in the ’80s and ’90s. They seemed to look at me in wonder, like, “what do you mean there were people alive before the internet?” It was an exciting conversation that, yes, made me feel very old. Words like encyclopedia came out of my husband’s mouth, it was a confusing and hard conversation for the kids, but they are pulling through. 

On the plus side, it has helped us become more creative and actually like being with each other “old school” family style. Talking about getting chickens in the next month, and what we will plant for our garden. Along with dance parties instead of TV, and really drawing near to God in a new way, and trusting He has us right where He wants us, it has been a lot of fun. 

Also, my oldest just got engaged to be married. So, we are elbows deep planning a June wedding. Many exciting things are going on in the Cioto household.

Joy in Transition

So, as you can imagine, it’s been quite a transition for both Catherine and my families, stressful but good. Now we are finally ready to move forward in the blog, devotional, and our company. 

Our purpose is to encourage you to stay strong in your fight for Joy and hope in Jesus Christ, the one true king.

We pray that hearing our struggles, our triumphs, and our heart will help you to know that you are not alone and that the God of the universe has you here on purpose for a purpose, for such a time as this. 

James 1 :2-4 “Count it all Joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let commitment have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Stay strong, sister, and dig into life and the bible with us: for the next two weeks, we challenge you to meditate and pray on this verse. If you feel so moved, read around this verse to get the more profound context, but please, I beg you, sister pray this verse and make it part of your every morning. 

Joy

No matter what you are facing, this should be reassuring—being tested. When I find myself on my knees to the Lord, I try to thank Him for the constant struggle; you know what, though many times, the thanking Him comes after the grumbling. 

Counting the Joy comes after the asking God why, because ultimately, I am an imperfect being that wants to know the whole picture. I know that if I know the entire story, I won’t truly learn everything that God is unfolding for me. Knowing God knows best and waiting for arent’ always easy, though, are they sister? 

Sometimes we can get wrapped up in anger, tears, and questioning. 

We must pull ourselves up from that, though. It is vital that you start replacing the negative thoughts with Joyful thoughts. 

Start with this verse. When you are in the bathroom, or bedroom, or closet, and you feel like God can’t hear you, stop yourself from that thought. Instead, say this verse, James 1:2-4 ESV “Count it all Joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Believe that the steadfast will get you through. Trust that God is preparing you. Have assurance that you are not alone in your trials. Believe that God is loving you through this, and He will walk through every moment. 

With Joy!

Jenny

Co-Founder of Pursuing true North with Catherine & Jenny