My Joy

In a world where it is so easy to focus on the negative, I wanted to write about joy.  Even optimistic me can get sucked into focusing on the wrongs of the world.  It is no coincidence that writing about the joy of my life is on my heart right now.  I hate it when my heart is so easily lured to focus on things other than Christ and yet it happens so often. But, I am discovering that when I write about and remember how God has made things right, I tap into the joy that only He gives.

“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Why am I joyful?

Jesus is our salvation.  He has saved me from a lost, wandering life of sin that would eventually lead to death.   Do I still sin?  Yes, and I hate it but he is good to correct me and forgive me each time I repent and turn back to Him.  This is reason enough to do a little happy dance!

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin.”
‭Romans‬ ‭4:7-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

He is our hope.  When all was lost, Jesus made a way for me to be a child of God, never forgotten, never left alone, and I will be with Him for eternity.  When the world throws me curve balls I will be okay because I am His! Jesus is our hope!

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

He is our joy.  Jesus is the reason why I sing. He is my inward joy. I have tried to find my joy in other thing, my husband, my friends, shopping, and more. I am slowly learning I was created to only find joy in Jesus. Friends, this joy is oh, so good!  Sure a new purse or a great vacation is fun and makes me happy but they do not bring me lasting inward joy.

“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

He is our courage.  I am really a big scaredy cat hiding behind my computer screen.  My voice is shaky when I speak sometimes and I often go into an ugly cry when I pray out loud.  I get crazy butterflies almost every time I publish a blog post but here’s the good news.  Jesus has made me brave.  He helps me speak, write, love and serve.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.””
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

He is our strength.  I am weak on my own.   But when I rely on the Lord to be my strength, He makes me strong.  There have been times when I have looked back on situations and known, I only made it through because the Lord was with me.

“for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭63:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

He is love.  Jesus loves us when we are unlovable and when we abide in Him, we can love those who we think are unlovable.   Abiding in Him and loving His people is not always easy but in the moments when I am, it is joyful!

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

As I remember who the Lord is, my heart is filled with joy!  Jesus is the reason why I love to sing. He’s put a song in heart!❤️

Jesus, I am grateful for all that You are to us!  Help us live a life of Joy!

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How do I speak Truth to my child when they have been hurt by wicked words?

How do I speak truth to my child when they have been hurt by wicked words?
This was not, “I don’t want to play with you.” This cut much deeper.

When my child’s heart is hurt, mine is too. I want to defend them, fight for them and take away the hurt. As I let the initial emotions simmer down, I am reminded that these battles are won on our knees and saturated in God’s Word.

I looked up every scripture I could  find in the short time I was alone this afternoon about who God says we are.  I pray my kids believe this when the world says differently.

I am a child of God. John 1:12

I am chosen by God, holy, and dearly loved. Col. 3:12

I have the mind of Christ. 1Cor. 2:16

I am assured that all things are working together for good. Romans 8:28

I can not be separated from the love of God. Romans 8:35

I am God’s workmanship. Eph. 2:10

I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength I need. Phil. 4:13

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:14

And there are more…

Lord, when the world shouts lies at my kids, please help them remember and believe what You say about them.

Then I search for Truth about how I am suppose to respond when my precious people are hurt by others. This one is hard for me today but here it is:

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:32-36‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Lord, I can only do this when I am tightly tucked up under your wing. Help me love, be kind and merciful.

I am writing this because I know as I raise my kids, I will have to come back and be reminded of these truths.

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Press On

This project is slowly transforming in front of my eyes.  It has gone from a picture on paper to exactly what we had planned.  For a girl who never thought I would or could take on a project like this, it’s gone well. We have had to trust, exercise patience, give grace, apologize, pray, rejoice, be flexible and more.  This will continue. We are not done yet.

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As I sit and look at the place where we will seek after God’s heart, raise our children and love the people of our community, I wondered… Is my heart transforming into what the Lord has planned?  Our home is a blessing but I know the Lord is only concerned with our drawing nearer and nearer to Him. Am I becoming the women He created me to be?

In someways, I can answer this question yes and in someways no and in someways not yet. But I found these God inspired words Paul wrote in Philippians 3:

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/php.3.12-14.nlt

I press on. I focus on this one thing. I let go of the past and look forward to what God has for me to become. Because, in Christ we are new and beautiful. ❤️

This will continue, we are not done yet!

Lord, help us press on, focus on You and be transformed into exactly what You have planned for us.