Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Finding Joy

Praise God for new mercies. Amen??

Derek and I were talking last night about how the new year, while just the next day, is such an anchor. It's a visual, mental moment to start anew.
For so many people, it means a chance to meet a goal…a second shot at the things you failed at the year before.

New year's resolutions are often known as set ups for failure.
Diets, promises to exercise, etc.
Why do we do it to ourselves?
I don't typically make any resolutions at all.

This year, I do have a resolution.
Not because it's a new year, though…but just because this has been on my mind and heart.
I have resolved to have joy.
Joy in my mothering, joy in my marriage, joy in relationships with friends.
Joy in wherever God has placed me.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, but it is also a command.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
James 1:2-3

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4

I have been striving to take off some masks and reveal my soul to my friends. I don't ever want people to think my life is perfect or that this mothering thing comes easy for me. I just had my fifth child, and it is HARD. I have been struggling to have joy in the midst of everyday life, and I refuse to let Satan use these five little blessings to steal my joy. 

And so I'm asking the Lord to restore my joy.

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
John 16:24

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I wanted to share a few of the things God has led me to. Facebook and Pinterest can so easily pull us away from doing the things that we should be doing. They can be joy-stealers as well. However, God has graciously used these two things to provide encouragement for me. 

The first site I found via Pinterest is this.
I'm on day 3 and am loving it so far. So many easy, practical things we can do as moms to change our attitudes and therefore change the atmosphere in our homes.

Secondly, The Better Mom group is starting (today!) a challenge themselves. It seems many moms struggle with holding onto joy during this hard season!! Go here if you want to read about that and follow along. You can also find them on Facebook. 

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I know from experience that being in the Word brings joy. Praying, spending time with Him in worship…joy is the product of that precious time spent with Him. That time is becoming harder and harder to find. With a baby who carries quite the unpredictable schedule and the demands of my other four children, that time is sadly pushed to the side. I am trying to find some very easy ways to fit it in...

1. I'm picking my gratitude journal back up. I started it after reading Ann Voskamp's book, A Thousand Gifts. I had put it away (for whatever reason) and it had become a forgotten tool. I'm keeping it on my kitchen bar, so that every day, I can write at least one thing in there.

2.  I have bought a daily Scripture "calendar." It sits on my kitchen window sill so I can see it every day. My grandma used to always have one of these in her kitchen, and I always saw it as a lazy way to be in the Word. Well, look at me now.

3. Worship music in the car. What an easy way to get some time in and to change the atmosphere in your car (I don't know about you, but there have been some wars played out in mine.)

4. I'm going to be posting pictures on Facebook and hash tagging them #keepingitreal2014. I don't want to be ashamed of a messy house, of a not-so-picture-perfect life. Kids who cry and do things they shouldn't. Laundry and dishes that sit, because kids want to play with me. It's all real. There's no reason to hide it, so I'm going to purposefully display it :) 

I don't know if you are feeling depressed or downtrodden at this time when everyone else is making these great resolutions and looking forward to the new year. But if you are, then I hope you'll join me in finding more joy right where God has you. We are all in this together, so let's walk beside each other and not be ashamed of the paths we are on. 


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Sweet post.

"Look at me now." hahaha It's funny how experience changes our perspective.

I believe in you, Anna, and think you're amazing!

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