I would not consider waking up early a joy or a blessing, nor would anyone around me feel that I express that emotion. I also don’t feel like the “to do” list that continues to grow is comforting me let alone anyone else. I would consider my nights to be almost more burdening then the length of my long days. How many of you suffer from the mood altering thoughts of your preparation for the next day? It could be motherly duties, work projects or deadlines, coaching tasks, finances or sickness to name just a few. Then, right when you think you have it all planned out, you lay in bed and are completely immersed by your brain working as hard as your body physically worked throughout the daytime hours. This is the nagging reality of life when you have too many commitments, and not enough strength to let some of them go. The time I am laying in bed can be time used to read my bible, devotion or just pray. Sure, easier said than done right?
Often In the storm of everyday life we forget how important finding and feeling pure joy really is. Sure, I feel blessed in all of my daily tasks no matter how hard or lengthy they may be. I thank God every day for my role I play in children’s/teens lives. Sometimes the thoughts of rejection, fear, inadequacy and failure try to wriggle their way into my joy. One of the powers and gifts God has given us is the ability to choose. The fact that sometimes I choose these emotions over joy is an indication I am not spending enough time talking with God. When you look up the definition of joy it states: a feeling of great happiness, something or someone that gives joy to someone. I feel joy is a function of giving gratitude, or thanks. Joy is a choice.
A few years ago at a Women of Faith conference I wrote down a quote from Ann Voskamp “Life is not an emergency, life is a gift” this was something that hit me pretty hard. Conviction is like one of those annoying pains that kind of feel’s good in a bad way. This quote is a perfect testimony to my daily struggle with finding my joy. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. What a powerful way of punching me in the stomach with God’s incredible word. The burdens I spoke of above are only burdens because I have chosen to find comfort in those tasks and not God’s word. The negative, hurtful thoughts I sometimes feel are also a choice I am making. Obviously by now you are getting the main idea…I am not making the right choices. Tonight as I write my feelings down, continue to study scripture and pray for God to help guide me in all my choices I will focus on one powerful word..and it is not joy this time. Tonight, I choose Eucharisteo. For those of you who are not familiar with this term. Eucharisteo is a Greek Verb meaning, Giving Thanks To God. I choose to give thanks to God in all circumstances as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states. I choose Eucharisteo, do you?