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Joy-Filled Life

"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)



Favorite Son? You Bet!

Happy Birthday, Payton!

My son is Great! He is thoughtful and considerate. He compliments me on clothes, food, room arrangements and even on the curriculum I choose to teach. I don't know a lot of children like him. He loves to read, climb trees, read while climbing trees, sword fight, play soccer, build with Legos and throw a football.

He loves the Lord. He is intense sometimes, and silly others. He's a great brother, not without faults, but striving to have as few as possible. He tells great stories, gives great hugs and always says "I love you."

Because of him, I became a mom! He is a JOY! It's been a GREAT 11 years!



Seclusion is a LIE

I am always amazed how the Lord gently reminds me of thoughts and resolves I have made in the past.

I am currently reading through Dancing With My Father, by Sally Clarkson.  It is a book on what REAL joy is for a believer.  The last couple chapters I have read are focused on relationships.  How our deepest joy can be found through the course of "laying-down-our-lives" relationships.  Where my wants and desires are not always on the top of the list. Where encouraging and breathing life into an other's day should be natural and overflowing, not fake, like bloating someones ego, but pure and from the a heart that is overflowing from my relationship with the Creator and the love he has for me.

I have always been a people person, outgoing and.  I moved to a rural town and now live on the outskirts of town.  I don't know but a handful of people that live in my town, and that is to my detriment.  Because I don't attend one of the denominational churches in my town and I homeschool my children, my circle is very small.  I have a handful of GREAT, Godly women who I have invested my life in around me. I also have a group of families that share our homeschooling lifestyle that have become those dear friends. Because life is so different for me here in rural America, I have lied to myself and have begin to believe that I don't like people!  That I enjoy the seclusion my acreage affords me.

At first, this lie was a defense mechanism to wart away the pain of loneliness.  I was my way of stopping the tears of not a "bosom" friend, or even a surface one for that matter.  But over the course of 10 years...the lie has become a reality to me.

I believe that I don't want to invest time, that it's not worth it, that I like my little circle. THAT IS NOT BIBLICAL!!!!  Jesus did not come down from Heaven and pour himself into immature people that questioned Him on everything for me to sit around like a hermit because I simply lied to myself to make me feel better.  SPARE ME!

I need to be out there. To open my home to people, not just my friends. To love on people the way my mom taught me.  To enjoy the children coming in and out of my children's lives.  To make myself vulnerable to others again.  Not to be a doormat, but to again be genuine in my loving.

I am resending the lie that I don't like people.  Better yet, I am reforming TRUTH that I in fact LOVE people.  Which, is how my heart feels! So, from now on I am taking my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, who layed down his life for me, and for all mankind because of his overwhelming LOVE for us.

Gotta run to Bible Study!