I think it is a daily battle to experience JOY… True Joy…
I feel like we are in the stage of constant chaos with little ones! I keep seeing families with older kids and I am reminded that we do survive this time of life. Last week I got to spend some time with table leaders of our Big Valley MOPS group and I was refreshed, encouraged, and challenged as Allison Jesse (one of our amazing mentor mommas) shared her heart and a little project with us. She shared from Philippians 4 –
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 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. 9Whatever 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. 10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Allison brought a handful of cute jars to choose from and little slips of paper. She challenged us to take a few quiet moments and think about what we are thankful for… think about how God has showed his faithfulness to us… to just sit and be joyful in the gift of salvation. The more I thought about it… the more thankful I became. And I was reminded of how important it is to be intentional about focusing on the meaningful things in life. Just as the author of Philippians wrote (paraphrased) : “hold onto whatever is good, true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable – focus on these things” I think life has a way of distracting us from those things… and it’s easy to be discouraged! It’s so easy to feel like a failure… but when you filter life through God’s truth and his blessings – You experience JOY… True Joy! So I have set my little jar in the organized chaos of my desk top to be a constant reminder of those things. After this past weekend I added a few more slips of thankfulness to my jar…
I am thankful for true and intimate friendship
I am thankful to be doing life with my hubby and best friend – regardless of where we live!
I am thankful that God allows us just enough understanding to learn how to trust him more!
So here’s your challenge… look for a little jar around your house and write down a few things that you are thankful for… things you find joy in. And continue to add little notes of what you are thankful for… you know what the best part is? On those tough days… Those days where you struggle to get in a shower… the kids are screaming… and you are tripping over the toys on the floor… You can pull out your joy jar, read, and reflect on the incredible blessings in your life!
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