“This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!” John 16:23-24 (The Message)
I’ve been talking a lot lately about how God has been inviting me to experience joy in life again. I hate admitting it, but I had stopped letting myself feel anything for many years because it just hurt too much… and I was afraid that if I allowed myself to feel happy or joyful, I was setting myself up for even more pain. It became easier to just stop feeling altogether and switch to survival mode. However, survival mode isn’t fun. My Heavenly Father knew that and He started to slowly invite me to start feeling again because He knew there was more to this life than pain… He offers true joy.
I started a blessing journal about four years ago which helps me say “thank You” and remember that every good thing I have comes from Him. I’ve been mindfully trying to find joy in those things this year. Here are just a few:
Waking up next to my best friend every morning. Having a few extra minutes to share a laugh, pray together and cuddle before beginning our day. Sitting next to him on the couch, drinking a cup of delicious coffee while we watch the weather together for five minutes. It’s may be only five minutes but it’s time together before we both go our separate ways.
While I would welcome any child into our household, I’m blessed that God chose me to be the mother of these children. Taking a minute to truly appreciate each of their unique personalities, traits and gifts that make up “them.” Even being thankful for the noise… reminding myself multiple times that someday I’ll miss it.
I used to struggle with finding joy in my work because I have the heart of a stay at home mom. However, I am truly grateful for my boss, I enjoy what I do and even the challenges that help me grow and develop my skills. I enjoy the people I’ve met and the flexible schedule which allows me to give my boss my best without sacrificing my family.
While I still don’t completely know the path God has planned regarding my ministry, He has been revealing more and more. And while the unknown can be scary or cause worry, I am choosing joy in the moment – joy in each article or blog or book I get to write, joy in the connections I make with people God puts on my path, joy in the journey.
Joy in the moments I get to spend with extended family. There is no guarantee of tomorrow for any of us, and I want to live a life of no regrets. God has been gently reminding me of the blessing of relationships. Last year He told me to stop writing and invest that time in my family. I think it was to teach me to slow down and take time for the people I love. I have been intentional about it again this year and it brings joy. There is a time to work hard and there is also a time to play… playing can be quite fun.
What are some of the “bigs” in your life that bring joy?
© Cheri Swalwell 2017