|(picture from pinterest.com)|
As the rich voice of Crystal Gayle makes her entrance through the speakers behind a fake, but realistic tree in the corner, my mind wanders from my book to a place buried not-so-deeply in my memories. I can feel myself dancing with no inhibitions as my apron floats freely over my full skirt; mirroring my mother.
This defines motherhood for me. This is the picture in my mind that identifies a happy wife and mother. Although, I doubt I’ve actually done this myself, we’ll have to ask my children; it’s how I saw my own mom’s happiest days. It’s how I knew I wanted to be a wife and a mother more than anything else in the world. This was the epitome of joy; the never-ending smile on her face as she sang along with the record player so happy to be alive.
|(photo from consultkimberly.wordpress.com)|
Sadly, there came a time when I felt guilty for my own happiness when so many around me appeared to be suffering mercilessly. How messed up is that?
Mind-games. Tricks of the enemy. Lies. Repeated let-downs and rejections. Empathy-overload! Somehow, all those things worm their way into an otherwise happy place I commonly call my mind.
I used to think I had to find the entry point. Where did they find the door open? And you know, I’m sure there was one, but I’ve decided to no longer spend my time in search of those elusive doors and place my focus where it will do some good. If I continue to dwell on the negative and how it got there, I’m wasting precious moments I could be filling with all the positive and life-giving things going on around me and in me!
Recognizing deceptions that leave us vulnerable is important, especially to guard our hearts from further lies. But, living in the Truth has to be a deliberate decision we gladly make, every single day.
*we keep our eyes open. “Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.” – 1 Chronicles 16:10 (NIV)
*we put first things first. “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” – Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV)
*we keep our minds on the “good things”. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
*we renew our minds daily through the Word of God. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 (NIV)
*we choose to rejoice! If we don’t, we’ll find ourselves settling for whatever comes along today… “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
*we repeatedly choose every thought we allow into our minds. “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve……. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
*and continue to choose. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)
Joy is something we all seek after, identifying it with the resources we have in the moment.
To you I say, as John said, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” – 1 John 1:4 (KJV)