I'm so glad you've stopped by my blog! I am a Women's Minister and a former Pastor's Wife. I love finding God in my regular-everyday-stuff. I struggle with keeping up with the laundry, I love blogging, and my kids are my first line of ministry. I am recently widowed. So God and I are on a brand new journey as I try to find peace and understanding. Please grab a cup of coffee and let's get to know one another as we journey on our faith walk together.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Choose Joy Anyway

Yesterday morning I had a wonderful prayer time with the Lord.  Upon finishing my time of prayer I wrote a devotional and posted it on my blog.  It was all about being joyful about the restoration that Christ has performed in your life.  It was from Nehemiah and how the children of Israel celebrated their newly built wall!  You can read more about it here.

I did just that in the quiet of my house and on the pages of my journal.  I thanked the Lord for restoring and renewing me and committed to letting others see and know of my joy throughout the day.  I closed my Bible & my journal and went to the laundry room to get my workout clothes to go for my morning run.

I quickly realized it was raining, so in my head I thought, "I'll just stay inside and lift weights instead."  But upon opening the laundry room door, I found water everywhere!  We live in an old house and occasionally find leaks in strange places.  The laundry that was hanging clean (from the day before) was now dripping!  ARG!!!

I quickly rescued the other clothes that had not yet received the rain.  Needless to say, by the time all was saved my workout time had passed.  It was now time to get the day going towards breakfast & school.  I wanted to forget my committment to be joyful and just lash out!  But I didn't.  I kept my cool and focused on the verses I had just read.

In fact, as I was beginning to stew about the rain and the laundry (that I'm now going to have to RE-WASH) I thought about the women in Jerusalem that day.  The day they were all standing around the newly constructed wall - celebrating and praising the Lord for His restoration.  I wondered if they were experiencing similar things as I had just encountered.

Something like:
"I know we have to be at the wall to sing - but dinner is not ready and we can't find our son's sandals!"
"Yes, I will be there with a smile on my face and I will thank our God for bringing us home... but we're still unpacking and I can't even find a decent dress to wear!"

I know this isn't written in scripture, but somehow I think something like this could have been possible.  And yet - all we read about it how they took time to show their joy.  So in my moment of frustration - I decided to chose joy instead.  And this is what the power of Christ looks and feels like!

How do you choose joy on days like this?
How do you stop yourself from sinking and rise above instead?
How do you choose joy no matter what's around you?

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Catherine said...

Penny, This is exactly what i needed today. thank you. :) hope you have a wonderful day!

Sharon said...

I can just see you redoing the wash with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. You remind me that we need to feel the joy of Christ in us and shout it even in the midst of simple frustrations. Love you.

lifeasacrazyquilt said...

Penny .... thanks for the reminder today. I'm bogged down, overwhelmed and ready to to cry at the drop of a hat.

Last week it was my photography studio that flooded ... and took several days and several trips from the carpet cleaners to get the horrid smell out. Yesterday it was the air conditioner repairmen in my studio who destroyed my projection system {which I discovered only minutes before a client was due to arrive}... last night the refrigerator water dispenser that got stuck and wouldn't turn off. Water everywhere for me too. All this added to a list of 'to-do's' longer than the hours of my day.

What can you do but smile and thank God for all the blessings that we have to take care of?

Thanks again for the reminder,

Theresa said...

Hi Penny. Thanks for the reminder to choose joy. I am picking up your button. For now, it is going in my sidebar until I get a scrolling one.

Shell said...

Thank you for this post. I needed to hear this. I've had something that's been trying to bring me down for a week now, and I keep trying to remember to pray about it instead of be frustrated. I need to also find joy...There is more than enough to be joyful about! Thanks.

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Great to meet you! Definitely some days I need to focus on counting it all joy. :D Great post! Came by from iFellowship!

Have a great day!

Joy said...

Thank you for this reminder. I do need to chose joy! Thanks for stopping my blog also. You are such a sweet friends. Praying for you!

Sharon Cohen said...

I want to be succinct with this response - but it might be hard. Almost three years ago I had a stroke that nearly killed me (BP was 287/175).

I was caregiver to my disabled husband - also a stroke survivor. I was sole breadwinner in my home - far from family. As I lay in the ambulance thinking I might die - I asked Father to preserve my life or provide my husband with good quality of life without me.

With every moment I continued to draw breath - moments, minutes, hours, days later - I rejoiced.

As I went in and out of the ICU - both going in and coming out - I rejoiced. For medical care, for loving friends and clergy, for the USA and medical schools.

Above all the many, many tender mercies offered me then (and now) was this overarching fact: God was very aware of me and I was very aware of God. He gave me trial - He gives me trial - so I will seek His face and find peace in Him.

Melissa said...

This is something I work on almost every day. I can choose joy when circumstances aren't sunny, but what eludes me is how to stay positive when a chemical imbalance drags me down.

Thank you for this message!

Marieanne said...

OHHHH NOOOO!!! God love ya, what an ordeal. Water, plumbing, AUGH. Do I feel your pain, and do I admire your forbearance and ability to choose joy.

Ashley Pichea said...

Isn't it interesting how God chooses to test us? Not only does He want us to share what we're learning, but He wants us to LIVE it! Thanks for sharing a GREAT example of living your faith!

Anonymous said...

yesterday i was at the funeral of a fifteen year old, i struggled to find joy, yet in the mist of it all i realised that he was free. That he had gone to be with Jesus and yes i found joy in that x

Our Family said...

Oh Penny, I so enjoy reading how God is working in your life!! Thank-you for sharing & encouraging us all to choose joy!

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