Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

choosing joy.

Isn't it funny how God answers prayers? It's like one day (or many days) you're worried or frustrated about something in life and then you realize that all you have to do is give it up to God, ask him to take it from you and guide you... and he does. He provides the way for you. It's not always when you want him to answer you, it's not always how you want him to answer you, but He does answer you. Every single time.
Lately, I've been praying about not knowing what to do about having people around me who I love unconditionally, but seem to always have negativity to bring to the table. Whether in the form of criticism of others or self, in always wanting to share bad news, in finding fault even in good situations. I find that is sucks my energy, sucks my happiness and really leaves me wishing our time together was more enjoyable and more free-flowing rather than awkward. Awkward because I never know what to do or say when the negativity starts to flow. It seems like if I try to point out the positive sides I sound like a know-it-all, but if I say nothing at all I seem like I'm distant and I don't care what they have to say. 
So, I prayed about it. A lot lately actually. And for some reason over the past few weeks I found myself looking for Joel Osteen's newish book "Every day a Friday" everywhere I went. It's like all of a sudden I needed to read it. I don't really watch Joel on television very often and I certainly didn't really know what the book was about, but there was this nagging inside of me telling me to get the book and read it. And so I did. 
I picked up the book while grocery shopping the other day and after reading only a couple of chapters I already realize where the nagging was coming from. Thank you, God, for answering my prayers. Not by miraculously turning all of the people in my life into nothing but uppers, not by giving me some simple little answer, but by providing me with a tool- the book- to work through, on my own, in order to begin this journey of learning how to not allow other people and other circumstances to steal my joy. 
I am only in the beginning messages of the book but already there have been sentences where I have felt like someone has reached inside of my head and pulled out my very thoughts word for word. And while I don't yet have all of the answers, I do feel like I am on my way to understanding how to be comfortable being me in situations where people or things are trying to steal my joy. And by no means do I believe that they are doing this intentionally, I honestly believe that they think they are just sharing news or feelings or being inquisitive, but as the book reinforces, we are not here to judge others. We are not here to point out where someone falls short or where they could do better. We are not here to gossip or to get ourselves down about the world's problems. We  are here to be the hands and feet of God, to share GOOD news and to be that good news.

"Be careful what comes out of your mouth. Instead of talking negatively, let everything you say be a report of victory." 

There are always going to be people or things to bring us down in life. It's all a test though- how will you respond? Will you be overtaken by the negativity and pass that onto others or will you be the link that breaks the chain? Breaks it up into a million beautiful pieces to spread throughout the world, leaving it a little shinier and a whole lot happier. 

I am inspired today not only by this book, but by my babies who despite being under the weather still spent their day laughing, smiling and loving life. I am inspired by my husband who was so unhappy in his job, but instead of complaining about it, instead of playing victim, he courageously did something about it. He found a new job, a better job. And he proudly (and adorably) modeled his new uniform for us last night after his first day as Honda's newest mechanical engineer. 

How blessed am I to have this perfect little family of joy-givers? So, so thankful. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow - Honda has a TON of 2002 EC grads getting jobs. Congrats to Dan on the big change!


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