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The Fight for Joy

Obviously my time has been filled with things other than blogging recently. The IDEAS are here, it’s the motivation and energy that’s been lacking. So here’s what I’ve got for you today.

My evening devotions the other night talked about fighting for joy. To be honest, I was taken off guard. I feel like this really shouldn’t be a new concept but it was for me. I have always been such an upbeat, cheerful, and content (mostly lol) person that I didn’t have to work at it much. I mean it. Optimism and joy was just naturally part of me. My best friend has told me that I used to be obnoxiously cheerful. Which was her (kind) way of saying I lacked compassion. 🙂

But recently I’ve been having trouble finding joy. I KNOW how blessed I am and I KNOW that thankfulness is the key to having joy but the days keep dragging on and my joy is missing. I’ve read the verses and I’ve prayed over and over about it, asking God to give me back my joy in him.

And I think that’s why this devotion hit me so hard. Joy has always been easy, a part of me, something God provides. I have NEVER considered fighting for it. I’ve never thought that joy was really a choice in my life. It was just something God gave me and I wanted it back.

I love this definition of joy by John MacArthur:

“Christian joy is the emotion springing from the deep-down confidence of the Christian that God is in complete and perfect control of everything, and will bring from it our good in time, and our glory in eternity. That’s Christian joy. Christian joy is not an emotion on top of an emotion. It is not a feeling on top of a feeling. It is a feeling on top of a fact. It is an emotional response to what I know to be true about my God.

I love that. So when I drag myself out of bed every morning, weary before the day starts, I don’t feel very joyful. But I know what is true about my God. I know how much he loves me, I know he is faithful to his promises, I know he cares for my whole being, I know he is good, I know he never changes. And in THOSE things, I can find joy. You can too, friend.

It really is a battle, and I’m aware and ready for it now.

“If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”
Psalm 94:17-19

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2018 in contentment, joy

 

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Lonely in a Crowd

I can’t say that I EVER remember being lonely as a kid. In fact, I’m pretty sure until I moved away from home I still had the idea that usually lonely people were elderly ones who couldn’t get out of the house and sat by themselves for days on end. I had 5 siblings so there was always someone to talk to. And if you got tired of one person, you just went and found another. 🙂

But I’ve grown up a little since then and I know the pain of loneliness. But I also know that most people don’t admit that they are lonely. My friend’s mom has this saying, “If all the lonely people in the world would turn on their porch lights at night then everyone would be a lot less lonely.” Oh, that just makes me laugh. Lonely people don’t TELL others they are lonely! And, from experience, I think I’ve figured out at least one reason why.

There are different types of loneliness. There’s the kind where you actually are alone. When your spouse is out of town for the week on business or when your kids grow up and leave home. I live by myself so I know that every night when I get off work, I will come home to an empty apartment. I will be alone. How about when you are alone in your convictions? When those around you don’t share your faith? That can set you apart and make you feel like an outsider too.

But there’s another kind of loneliness and I actually think it’s worse. When you are surrounded by people and still feel alone. I have often felt this way and it’s taken me a long time to figure it out. How can I be surrounded by my friends and family and STILL FEEL SO LONELY?? Finally a light bulb came on and I realized that (at least for me), while everyone else is present and accounted for, I’M the one not there. My body may be there but my heart and mind feel trapped somewhere else. Somewhere that makes it hard (practically impossible) for others to get there or me to get to where they are.

Maybe this sounds crazy to you. There is a good possibility that I am crazy so just go with it. Or maybe you haven’t experienced this kind of loneliness before. And this is the reason people are afraid to admit they are lonely. They don’t want to make their friends feel bad. And they have found that more “social gatherings” doesn’t help with anything. There doesn’t seem to be an answer.

At this point maybe you were expecting some incredible cure for loneliness? I’m going to have to disappoint. I really don’t have anything to cure but here’s what I know: I KNOW our loving Father never leaves us so we are never truly alone. Talk to him more than ever if you are lonely. Even if you don’t feel like it’s helping: just keep praying and reading his Word. Also, keep in fellowship with his body. Let others know even though YOU. WON’T. LIKE. IT.

I’ll leave you with this quote I read the other day by Paul Matthies on loneliness. As you and I talk with the Lord this week, let’s ask for a deeper joy in Him.

“In Philippians 3:10, Paul uses the phrase, ‘the fellowship of his sufferings.’ So many of us love to enter into the fellowship of God’s joy, but Scripture also calls us into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. And sometimes, we don’t need to avoid the pain or numb the pain; we need to look at that pain and ask God for a deeper joy.”

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2018 in contentment

 

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Video

Caroline’s Present

You know the feeling when you have the BEST present for someone? When their gift is perfect for them and you’re just bursting to give it to them? That was how I felt about Caroline’s gift this year. She has always wanted a video of her singing posted on YouTube to hear what people would say about her voice. My parents decided to do it for Christmas. We secretly taped her singing (she thought it was to send it to our Grandma). We had several people in on it, including the wonderful pianist. She was so surprised. We really knew she liked it because she started to cry. It was the perfect present for her.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Christmas

 

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Bah! Humbug!

A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite stories. Of course, the BEST version out of all the movies is The Muppet Christmas Carol. It is almost word-for-word from the book.  I think a lot of people may identify with Scrooge.  Christmas is a bother and can make you spend money, ect.

Not me. I’ve always loved Christmas. It’s my favorite time of the whole year. I love going into stores and wishing the cashiers a Merry Christmas (right after they tell me Happy Holidays).  I work on my presents (I make most of them) from January to November. Usually, I have them all done and wrapped early in December so that I can just relax and really remember Christ’s birth.

This year is different. There is one particular present that I’m STILL working on, despite the fact that I started it in August. It is a slow process and it seems to crawl towards the finish line. Also, I just wrapped all my presents last night.  It just doesn’t feel right.

In fact, all day yesterday I felt sort of Scrooge-ish. Not that I hated Christmas or anything. I just was feeling a little overwhelmed.  I told my Mom that I didn’t think I was going to finish that present in time, but she reassured me that I would if I just kept going. I didn’t believe her.

But last night, right before bed, I was listening to the Joy: An Irish Christmas cd. I was laying in bed as the last song finished. It reminded me of the TRUE spirit of Christmas. It’s not about the presents or wrapping. It really isn’t.

It’s about God sending his Son as a baby for us. I’m so thankful.

So, I’ll still attempt to finish that present, but if it doesn’t happen- it’s OKAY!

 

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Christmas

 

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Random Bethany Quotes

Bethany is definitely the sweetest little girl ever! And the funniest. Here are some random quotes from her.

“Rebecca, we don’t have wishing stars around here. I wished for a pony once and it NEVER came!”

We were stringing popcorn for the tree this year and I remarked to Bethany that her cheeks were really red. “That’s probably because I’m blushing because I’m so happy to be doing this with you.”  (Awwww….)

Rebecca told Bethany once that if she asked Mom about this one particular thing, Mom would tell her it was none of her business. “Becca, she would say it’s none of your beeswax!” (My Mom never says that! We do sometimes…)

My Dad used to play this (evil) game with the little kids. Whenever he was sure I was listening, he would ask them if I was stinky, and of course they always said yes. He played it with Bethany one day and she gave the usual answer. I then proceeded to put on my pouty face and said, ‘I’m stinky?’  She looked at me and said, “Well, Kimmy, you’re not really stinky, but if I tell Daddy that, he won’t think I’m any fun anymore.”

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in sisters

 

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Thoughts of a Twenty Year-Old

Since I have now lived for twenty years, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned in that LONG time.

#1.  I don’t know how people can live without the Lord.  He is my provider of peace, hope, and joy.  How miserable people must be without him!

#2. Children are a huge blessing.  If I ever get married, I want to have as many kids as God gives us.  Plus, they are free entertainment.

#3. I’m a cheapy-charlie.  I hardly ever buy stuff full price and Goodwill is my favorite store.  And the clearance aisle of Wal-Mart.  And the clearance aisle of K-mart.

#4. I have so much to thank God for.  For his love and holiness, and his forgiveness and sanctification.

#5. I’m not always right.  I know, you already all knew that, right?

#6. I have so many wonderful friend to thank the Lord for.

#7. Wii scores are not something to get mad over.

#8. Computers are HUGE time wasters.  (Ummmm….why do you blog again?)

#9. Some self checkout registers at Wal-Mart are for credit cards only and you should not try to use cash at these ones.

#10. People think you are crazy if your favorite dessert is ice-cream, you don’t really care for icing on cakes, and you dislike pumpkin pie.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in about me

 

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A Homebody

Ahhh…it’s sooo good to be home!  I had a great time on my trip. One day, we got to visit Charleston. We saw some lovely houses including one that is for sale- for sixteen million dollars! We also passed a cemetery and saw one gravestone- the person was born in 1630! By far, the coolest thing we saw were the fountains! In this one park in Charleston, kids are allowed to play in the fountains! The kids with us LOVED it. You really just wear your swimming suit and play in (not on) the fountains!

On my last day, I called my Mom to tell her that we were leaving in the morning and I would be home later the next night.  She could tell from my voice that something wasn’t quite right.  I knew that if I talked too much, I would start crying so it was only after some probing that she found out what was wrong.

“Well, I just really miss you all.”

“You’re homesick?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Well, we miss you too and can’t wait for you to get home. I love you, okay?”

“Okay.”

Oh, I wanted to be home sooo bad!  It was the longest I had ever been away from home without any of my family with me. I missed everyone more than I thought I could.

After I got home, I was talking with my Mom.

“You were really homesick, weren’t you?”

“Yes.”

She chuckled. “You’re such a homebody.”

 

I looked up the definition of that word.

home·bod·y/ˈhōmˌbädē/

Noun:
A person who likes to stay at home, esp. one who is perceived as unadventurous.

 

I guess I am one.  At least the first part of that definition.  I love to be at home.  As to the second part, maybe some would consider me unadventurous.  I just like to think that I prefer to go on adventures with my family, not by myself. They are my favorite people in the world.

So….I am a homebody. A proud one.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in about me, family, joy

 

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