the pattern of joy

Jesus was thirty when He started His “ministry,” and I think about this because I am 30, sometimes ministering, but usually only peering over the long drop-off at the edge of melancholy.

So yesterday I began to think about the patterns of His ministry that I am to follow, like the pattern of Joy. 

I wake this morning realizing that I’m allowed to be simple and childlike in my steps toward learning the Jesus Pattern. So I ask: what would my house look like, what would I look like as a mother, if I were Jesus. (Yes, it’s embarrassing. WWJD?)

With all Jesus’s gathering children in his arms, threatening mill stones, and telling His good, good stories, I do believe He sounds like a very wonderful mother.

How would Jesus play with them and take them on adventures? How would He stay up pointing at the stars? How would He make special treats for them? He might wake up every once in a while and feed them the sweet stuff, maybe a Dutch Baby.

Would He care about the mess?

When I think about Jesus as mother, I think of joy, and I am not good at JOY, so I’m going to pursue it. Starting now. Starting here.
I’m going to use Tumblr to document “a JOY pursuit for the ministry years of Christ – what simple things make my home and heart glad.” If you want to follow, subscribe to JoyinTheRunaMuck.

What other patterns in the ministry of Christ can we follow? I suspect they’ll all lead to JOY. 

PS: Can you feel Christmas coming? I can.


Tweet with me? I’m Amberrunsamuck.

About me


What I Knew In My Dying Day: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Tara Owens
August 19, 2015
Condemnation on the Molehill
June 08, 2015
Tools for the Highly Sensitive Mother: An Introduction
April 27, 2015
The Uncouth: The Hormonal
May 12, 2014
What Mothers Me
April 01, 2014
Learning How to Eat (and a giveaway of Mom in the Mirror)
May 20, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: Alter
February 22, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: Motherhood and Anti-Depression
February 08, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: On the Trail
January 25, 2013


Your Husband
Reply August 27, 2009


That's disgusting. How do the Dutch feel about that?

Heather of the EO
Reply August 27, 2009

I doubt He fussed over dust, sand, or mud the way that I do. Actually, he used them all to speak joy. Can we imagine the joy of the blind man, slathered with spit mud and then seeing?

Love your thoughts, Amber. LOVE this idea.

Reply August 27, 2009

You have encouraged me today. Sometimes you need to hear the wwjd bit all over again, just in a different light.

Reply August 27, 2009

Oh mercy. Can we be friends in real life??

This is what I need. I have no reason to not be joyful, yet I struggle to get there. I am too consumed with the toothpaste on the counter and the mud tracked through the kitchen and the overwhelming pile of responsibilities. I need some Jesus-joy today.
thank you.

Reply August 27, 2009

Ok, your husband's comment made me laugh out loud. In the silent office I work in. They are going to think I'm deranged.

Good post, I'm reading another blog who is focusing on joy for 40 days. Your blog and hers are new to me. Perhaps The Lord is trying to tell me something. Hm.

    Reply August 27, 2009

    Are you talking about Holley's blog?

    It's weird. I have had several post ideas brewing about JOY, and then I saw that Holley is doing that, too.

Cassandra Frear
Reply August 27, 2009

"Would he care about the mess?"

A loaded question. Depends on what the mess looks like, what it means, how it's affecting people. If the mess is because you've been taking care of a sick child and holding him all night, then no. If the mess is because you've been watching daytime television and neglecting your household, even though you know that the mess makes it hard for your husband to rest when he gets home, then yes. Where's your heart?

Taking care of a family is hard, and we can't always control the end result on a given day. But what matters most is not the visible exterior.

"For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7 ESV)

    Reply August 27, 2009

    Megan, I need to put my chalkboard paint to some good use.

    Cassandra, you are so right! In fact, so much of my lack of joy has come from my not doing the work I know I'm supposed to do! Often, too, the work over which I obsess is counter-joy because I'm doing it at the expense of my children or my husband or my time with God.

Reply August 27, 2009

"what would my house look like, what would I look like as a mother, if I were Jesus. "

This? Is being carefully handwritten on a big piece of paper and taped to my refrigerator door (I visit there thirty-seven times a day to fetch juice, water, milk, blueberries, etc. etc.) to remind me of my mission. My mission is not orderly cupboards and dust-free baseboards. My mission is not a shiny sink nor is it fingerprint-free windows. My mission is to know for myself the Word of Life and impress His Words on my children, to talk about them when I sit at home and when I walk (drive) along the road, when you I down and when I get up.

Thanks for inviting me to the pursuit of joy.

Reply August 27, 2009



Reply August 30, 2009

i need this. i love it. i'm new to your blog, but i'm kind of blown away. i am going to be thinking about joy, and yes, WWJD.... even if my home doesn't look any different, i hope my heart will. thanks for the inspiration.

Volunteer programs India
Reply September 3, 2009

I like reading your blog. I am inspired with your writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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