Tuesday, April 12, 2011


[I don't really know how else to preface this post except to say that these are mostly just random thoughts on being "joyful" that have been marinating in my brain the last couple of days. Coherency is not guaranteed, so read at your own risk.]

Is there a difference between happiness and joy? Can you still have joy while being sad, upset, disappointed, or frustrated?

Through weeks of frustration and trying to find "joy" even in less than desirable circumstances, I'm realizing that it all comes down to what I'm focusing on. When I feel like my circumstances are not ideal, I focus on them {how to change them, then feeling guilty that I'm complaining about them when really they are nothing compared to what others face, and it goes on and on}.

When it comes right down to it, I'm being selfish. Plain and simple. I'm trying to take matters into my own hands and "fix" everything, when it's not my job. I wasn't designed to be a fixer, I was designed to need a fixer. And that's where the "joy" part comes in...

When I'm focusing my attention on Him and not on myself or my circumstances I can't help but be joyful. I mean, seriously, the God who created the universe calls me His own child. Is that not amazing!? He cares about me. He cares about my circumstances and He wants to be a part of every single thing I do, think, and say. He wants to be my best friend. I just have to let Him, and when I do, all the other stuff sort of just falls away and I can get a glimpse of how little it really matters...

...But it's when I have my eyes focused on myself that I really struggle because lets face it. I mess up all the time. PERIOD. Life happens. Kids are disobedient. My patience gets lost somewhere between toothpaste smeared all over the tile grout and kids using spatulas as drum sticks on the bottom of upside down tin buckets. If I tried to find joy in my own strength I would {and do} fail. Epically.

That's why I need to have tunnel vision. I have to have my heart open to His will and my eyes and ears focused on His truths, and believe them for myself! When I simply seek Jesus, my daily circumstances  end up having nothing to do with my heart's contentment because my heart ends up being so filled with the joy of the Lord and so set on what a gift it is to simply be His child and live in the grace Jesus provides that the temporary happenings of this earth can't touch the depth of joy in my heart. When I think about it - about HIM - how could I not be filled with JOY? Are you?

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:11-14

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