…when we put our joy in Him alone.
One flavor of my personality that the Lord has blessed me with is JOY. I bring lots of joy. I say this not to boast, I say this out of confidence in who I know God has made me to be. I know I will one day be a great wife and mom because I will bring them joy. It has taken me 20-ish years to figure this out about me and almost 27 to knowingly walk in it.
One side to knowing a good quality about yourself is then you intentionally can give life. On the other side, I am now always immediately aware of when I am not bringing joy into a situation. And when I am not being joyous, I usually feel the extreme opposite.
Lately, I have been really grumpy. Just plain grumpy and lonely. The opposite of joy. I’ll wake up with nothing wrong and then BOOM one small thing I hear or something goes wrong and it throws my whole day off. I hate when I’m grumpy so the fact that I know I am grumpy when I am, makes me even more grumpy and mad at myself… do you still follow? :]
Step 4. Ignore step 3!
I know grumpiness and loneliness is not who I am and so my first thoughts lately have been “Man, why am I always like this once I am back in the States,” and I end up blaming it on life here in America. On the overwhelming fast pace of life. On the idea that we have to have a 9-5 job to be successful. On the fact that I *think* I am able to better love strangers overseas than wealthy people in the US. On the fact that these are all just excuses if I let them be.
Tonight I was thinking – “Okay Woody, what if you take away those factors…” Take away the busyness, take away the excuses… the fact that when I nanny a 3 month old all day and then go home to work on a computer all night, wellll of course I’ll be grumpy having had no adult interaction all day, HA! I’ve realized something simple. I’m the one letting myself get upset and grumpy. I’m not choosing to feel a certain emotion – those are real and perfectly okay to go through the motions – BUT I am choosing to believe the lies. This isn’t something new I’ve never learned before, it’s just something I realized I have been doing lately.
Here is an example I know all of us ladies can relate to in some way or another no matter which side of the spectrum you are on – it is the ongoing single life VS married life argument.
I hear from my friends who are married and are moms how lucky I am to be able to still be single and travel the world and not have other people to worry about or take care of. Yes, they are very valid in their statement – it is a blessing to do the work the Lord has specifically given me! It is a bonus it has been overseas. Just as they might struggle with not having the opportunity to experience such things, it is as hard when He has placed a desire on my heart to be a mom and I don’t know when that day will come, when loneliness hits. It is equally as hard to take care of a screaming child for a 3rd day/week/month in a row, all the while getting to experience a love like no other. The roles can be switched. Neither one is better or above the other good or bad. Either scenario we have we WILL find something wrong with it. fact. we all do it.
Here is another example. I am living with my grandparents for the time being. At times, it is definitely not easy hearing your grandmother tell you how she thinks to live or not live your life. Okay okay, most of the time it stinks. BUT it is those other moments that I am reminded what a blessing it is as well… and that time with loved ones is precious. Just the other night, my grandmother fell getting into the shower. I had just gone downstairs and so she was alone. Neither my grandfather or I heard her screaming for help for at least 20 minutes. I finally (thank the Lord!) heard her, but if I hadn’t been there, my grandfather wouldn’t of been able to hear her. I barely did. In those moments I am reminded.
I am reminded that being content cannot be dependent on our circumstances or blessings.
I am reminded that the gifts the Lord has given us are to be cherished.
I am reminded that the Lord is not fair. For none of us deserve what we’ve been given.
I am reminded that the Lord is a dreamer and so we should be too.
I am reminded that being grumpy is okay. staying in it is not.
I am reminded that even though I can be stubborn at times and have to be reminded of these things over and over, there is grace.
I am reminded that when I feel I have taken two steps back, I am still one step foreword and if I’m not then the Lord is there carrying me.
I am reminded that courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is just deciding that fear isn’t calling the shots anymore (Love Does).
I am reminded that struggle is not confined by the color of our skin, our gender, our geography, our occupation, our age, our financial status or our marital status. It attacks every single one of us.
I am reminded to bring life. to all. and constantly. even if no matter how lonely you may feel that day or how frustrated you may be. It is not worth it to not be a life giver and fire starter.
I was reminded these things ^^ and now I am going to do and be. I won’t be perfect, but I will do my best. And my best is with Jesus by my side. So when ya don’t see Him beside me… feel free to call me up and call me out because we can’t do this alone!
We are all in the same big ole boat called life and there is an inheritance waiting for us to grab! One that will last for eternity and be sweeter than any memory here on Earth… and this makes me happy : ]