(Pretty floral paper by @kristinacompany)
I was going through my little notebook…one of many laying around the house…and I had written to myself back in May of 2015, “Without joy, you cannot flourish.”
Pretty revolutionary, ya think?
But I as read this over again…and thought about JOY, it became obvious that I wasn’t really operating with JOY. I have been going through the mundane routine of life, sure, laughing here and there with my husband and daughter, yet a bit unfulfilled, the slightest things such as money or weather or the dog chewing another expensive item from the carport would set off emotions that were not the least big JOY-filled at all! And that is not living, friends.
There is a fullness I have experienced that takes a lot of focus and decision to aquire and it is hard but simple at the same time. It’s purposely seeking the joy in the little things. If you are of the Bible-reading crowd out there, you may have come across this verse…
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” – Ephesians 4:26-28
Are you giving the devil a foothold? Because of your anger? Or your thought that life isn’t fair and it’s someone’s/something’s/somebody’s fault? The real thief, the devil will steal your joy! How can he do that? How can you lose joy if you have it? What if you’ve never had joy and don’t even know what it is? If you are not content, then you don’t have joy. If you are not thankful, then you are not content. It’s as easy as that. And how do you lose it or know it’s been stolen?
As I have to remind myself…daily…in this struggle of life, my thoughts often direct my feelings, peace, joy, level of contentment. It is a choice.
I was reminded of this verse:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7
and when I looked it up on Bible Gateway, the verse of the day was the continuation of that verse…
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9
And so…your thoughts can be decided. And you can be full of joy and peace from those decisions. And with thankfulness you will be content. And you will flourish.
“Let nothing seem great, high, pleasing or agreeable to you, except God alone and what comes from God. Consider it hollow comfort whatever comes from anything else. The soul that loves God sets little value on anything less than God. God alone, eternal and measureless, fills all. He is the soul’s comfort and true joy.”