January 31, 2023

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Finding Joy

Life has been good lately. Like crazy good where I smile all the time. My friends the other day said, ‘You look so happy,’ and another friend said, ‘You are one of the freest people I know.’ While I’m so incredibly grateful for the compliments and it makes me smile bigger, I sat back a moment and wondered why. We’ve gone through some big bumps the last few years, but even during those times, I had a sense of peace. Sense that everything was going to work out even when I couldn’t see the path through the trees. My life has been filled with so much tender appreciation for others, their stories, and learning how to have hope and hold onto it, that joy has definitely been the fruit of this season.

Hardship Doesn’t Mean You Lose Joy

We all experience hard things. There are going to be times of great fruitfulness and times of desperate pleas. Times of walking forward and times of making bad decisions. One thing has truly become apparent to me is that you don’t have to lose joy when it’s rough. Gratefulness breaks the spirit of depression, disease and bitterness. Thankfulness is a weapon and creates joy in our lives when we live it out.

Joy Can be Found in All Things

I didn’t think this 10 years ago. There have been times where my mind was not renewed and completely negative. I’ve apologized to my ex-husband for those times and putting undue burden on him to fulfill any responsibility to heal me. It has been and always is God’s love which heals us. Recognizing and shifting your mindset to be renewed by God allows you to find the joy in all things.

Being an Example to Your Kids

One thing I’ve been striving to do is speak life over my kids. Want them to understand the power of the tongue and how it brings life and death to situations. (Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”) I admit this last year I haven’t done a great job of parenting. The last few months, as I listened to the words they were saying, I started telling them to speak better to themselves and others. Speaking life brings about joy in your home. It’s taken a while to get there, but we’re starting to see the fruit of life-giving words.

Only God can change your mind, your life, and bring about such unbelievable joy. Hope this holiday season is full of joy-filled moments and nuggets of His truth.

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