Tag Archive | Joy

Grin and Bear It

One day, not so long ago, I had one of those kind of days. I had my schedule in mind and the tasks I hoped to accomplish only to have the entire day changed. For some reason, on that particular day, the switch came like a curve ball. Can any of you relate? How did you react? Did you get upset and let everyone know; or did you take it all in stride and go with the flow?

Being a farm girl all my life, I should be used to this sort of unexpected schedule alteration. Working with animals or machinery, you never know when a critter is going to get out or when a truck or tractor will break down. In this most recent situation, I knew there was nothing I could do about it, so I figured I had better just grin and bear it. So that is exactly what I did.

As the evening began to wind down, I was reflecting on the day. Although it was not how I originally planned and most of my to-do list was unmarked, the day had been pretty good. Then I felt the Lord saying, “I didn’t want you to just grin and bear it. I wanted you to give me your all – 100%. I wanted you to do it for me!” I wanted to argue and say “But God, I did the best I could under the circumstances.” However, I remembered the few comments I made, and the disgruntled thoughts that kept running through my head. No, I hadn’t given 100%. I allowed those thoughts to rob me of some of the joy God had planned in that little switcheroo.

When I was praying in the early morning asking God to bless the day, He already knew His plans were not my plans. He knew what was ahead. He did bless the day, and He helped me adjust to the changes. I, on the other hand, let my stubbornness get in the way. Maybe it was not visible on the outside, but I sure knew it on the inside. I was like the little girl who was told to sit down but didn’t want to. When she finally complied and sat she said, “I may be sitting on the outside, but on the inside I’m still standing up!” God didn’t want me to just go through the motions, to grin and bear it; He wanted me to do it for HIS glory.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it ALL for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Joyful Singing

As I was working in the yard, the mockingbird siblings were trying to out do one another in their singing. With a bit of imagination, I could almost here them sing:

“I can sing anything you can sing better. I can sing anything better than you.”
“No, you can’t!”
“Yes, I can.”
“No, You can’t!”
“Yes, I can!”

Whatever it was, their chorusing back and forth was a joyful tune.

Oh how I love music. It can express any emotion and tell any kind of story, but the music I enjoy most is singing praises to God. Have you ever heard 130 third through eighth graders worshiping God in song? They sing without caring if they are too loud or on the right tune. They sing their hearts out to God. The praise and worship music from last week’s camp was that kind of singing!

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4

“Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.” Ephesians 5:19

Now that I think about it, maybe those mockingbird siblings were singing:

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart….

Gratitude Attitude

How has your week been so far? Has it been a rough hard week overshadowed with disappointment? If so, how are you handling it? Do you have a gratitude attitude?

We all face problems and difficulties throughout life, and sometimes we feel we are about to be swallowed by the obstacle. When we face these giants, we have a choice: 1) let it ruin us, turn us sour and apathetic, and destroy our spirits, OR 2) let it be a source of growth, wisdom, perspective and patience. Gratitude helps us see God’s presence in all circumstances.

In recent years, there have been two women in my life who made opposite choices in how they dealt with their difficulties. One is a young woman, who has let the results of some poor choices turn her sour and destroy her spirit.  I can’t think of a more negative person. Whenever I see her, I give her a smile and try to encourage her, and I am always met with negative comments. This poor girl has absolutely no joy. The second woman died of cancer. When healthy, she was always a very sweet person, but let me tell you about when she was sick. She was polite and pleasant, thanking the nurses, doctors, and anyone else helping her. She was a favorite among the hospital staff because as they cared for her she cared for them. She would ask about their families, and then pray for them. Next time they’d be on duty, she would follow up on that conversation and again say, “I’m praying.” Visitors would begin asking her how she was, but she immediately turned the conversations to them with sincere love, interest and concern. No matter how much pain she was in, she always had a smile and an encouraging word for her visitors. She was quick to share her love for God with anyone who would listen especially as death grew near.

The second lady had a gratitude attitude. She was grateful for the little things in each day. She did not take them for granted, but saw them as gift and blessing from God.

Whatever your week has been like, it’s time for an attitude check. Do you have a gratitude attitude?

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

 

 

Merry and Bright or Blue?

Are you eagerly anticipating a holly jolly Christmas with everything merry and bright, or are you dreading a blue, blue Christmas? Madam Blueberry of Veggie Tales sings “I’m so blue-oo-oo, blue-oo-oo, blue-oo-oo, blue. I am so blue I don’t know what to do.”

So often in our hustle and bustle of shopping, baking, and celebrating we over look those around us who are having a hard-candy Christmas, barely getting through. Some may be very lonely and sad because they cannot be with their family. Others may be in the midst of a difficult time financially or struggling with their health. The empty chair of a loved one is yet another reminder that he or she has passed on forever leaving an empty hole in the lives of the family.

God loved us so much that He sent his one and only son that first Christmas so long ago. This year I’m looking for ways to share that love with others who may be dreading the holiday season. I’ve been brainstorming ideas: offer to help put up decorations, bake extra goodies and share, have a game night, Christmas carol, invite to be part of our Christmas day, stop in for a visit, call and visit, leave an anonymous gift on porch… Can you think of other ideas?  If so, please share a comment.

There are 25 days until Christmas and a whole month until we ring in the New Year, I challenge you to intentionally look for someone that needs their Blue Christmas turned to White, and then do something to share the Joy of Christmas.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12 NIV