"The joy-filled life is not found by diminishing my God-given responsibilities as a woman, wife and mother, nor can I find joy merely by refusing to face the hard realities of life in a fallen world.  There is a tension that God is asking me to acknowledge and accept-the tension between ideals and realities. True joy is found by living somewhere between the ideal life and daily realities. That is where Jesus meets me, where his Holy Spirit empowers, and where I learn how to live the Christian life with supernatural joy." Sally Clarkson, Seasons of a Mother's Heart

How many times do we wish away our cirucumstances in hopes for peace, joy or "happiness"? I know I certainly find myself wishing for a vacation, bigger closets, a maid who LOVES to do laundry, a La Madeleine in close vicinity to my home...etc. But if I live there, in the discontentment, I will never have true JOY in my life.

intentional living

Choosing Joy is just that...a choice.  It's not always easy. I don't always feel like being joyful, but I can choose to choose.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds me to "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (emphasis added)

There you have it...CHOOSE to rejoice and in everything give thanks. Choose to delight in the day that the Lord has given me.  I choose to rejoice because I have clothes to wash, a coffee pot when I want coffee and a place to store the clothes we do have.  I choose to stop and laugh when I want to scold. I choose to see the extrodinary amongs the mundane.  WHY?  Because it is God's will for me in Christ Jesus!

God did not design his children to live in drudgery.  He did not design us to simply endure this life.  NO...he gave us his creation to enjoy, to find joy in and to live out His love so others can find Him as well! When I live in the place of discontentment  I do not attest to His greatness.  I exalt the mundane above His goodness.

Today...I choose Joy.  I choose to see it through the laundry and the puddles of life that spill into my living room. I choose it as I cook meals and as I open my doors to friends.

Won't you choose Joy today, too?  What areas do you need to remember to choose Joy in?



(photo credit)