Once again, I’m inspired by a friend’s blog.
This past weekend, my pastor spoke on the topic of Joy. It was the second of a two part series. Unfortunately, I missed the first part because I was in Oklahoma watching little Sawyer Baker being born. (That was quite a joy itself). However, this night impacted me like crazy.
The topic focused on on joy- despite the circumstances, using the life of Paul (particularly Philippians) as an example. Our pastor talked about the importance of being joyful in many circumstances, being joyful because of good but also in spite of the bad. He reminded us that joyfulness doesn’t always equal a smile on your face, happy-go-lucky attitude, but it means a desire to trust God and be joyful no matter what trials come your way….
Back in the day, when I think of little Aimee, long wavy hair, flowers in her face and a huge smile on her heart I would say yes it was most definitely natural for me to be joyful. But lately, I would have disagreed before Saturday night. I would have told you that I was an non-joyful person. In fact, I would have probably told you that I was one of the most grumpy pants person around.
But I realized Saturday night that the thought that I was destined to be “grumpy pants” forever was untrue. It was a little lie that at some point along the line between the stresses of life and trials, between class schedules, striving for perfection, and desiring for value in the wrong places, I fell prey to that lie that Satan wanted me to believe. Somewhere along the line I decided that lie was truth.
Now I know. I know that the little girl with a smile on her heart was destined to be a beautiful woman beaming with his joy and unconditional love….
Read more at: Aimee Bee: joy, joy, joy
John’s talk really kicked me in my grumpy pants too!
I’d been feeling sick all day, and the only reason I was going to church was because I had a Honduras meeting after. I hauled my grumpy butt into service feeling like the best I could do was fake a good attitude. By the time we sang “Hosanna,” my attitude was fully adjusted.
I’m pretty sure the whole talk was written for me. I’ve memorized lots of Bible verses throughout my life, but there are only two entire chapters that I’ve attempted to memorize. James 1 and Philippians 4. I haven’t completely memorized either of them, but they are deeply ingrained in my heart through numerous repetitions and mucho mucho estudiando.
Like Aimee, I feel like I used to be a much more naturally joyful person. I have a necklace I bought my freshman year of college – 10 years ago – that says “Joy.” Back then, folks at the BSU called me Joy, because of my good attitude and my ability to take pleasure in simple things and small delights.
A pile of circumstances slowly chipped away at that girl that I was, and I’ve had to look for a deeper joy. The joy “in spite of.” Most days I’m too lazy to even make an attempt, and I settle for being “OK.” That doesn’t seem too bad until I think about whether “OK” is glorifying to God at all? Not really.
I don’t even have good reason to not be joyful. Just the frustrations and annoyances of everyday life. Maybe it’s not the life I imagined for myself at age 18, but it’s not a bad life by any stretch of the imagination.
God is good.
Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece.