Posts Tagged With: joy

Wrinkles. Eye Bags. Fat.

JG 922

I caught myself staring into nowhere as I sat outside. The breeze lifted my hair and then laid it back down. It had a slight coolness to it reminding me that another summer was coming to an end. Another. Summer. How many summers had I seen come and go? Where does time go?

My heart almost ached as I thought of the years that had gone by. My youth had slipped away, almost silently.

Click here for the rest of the story…

http://joygurls.com/2015/09/22/wrinkles-eye-bags-fat/

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Right Now? I’m Angry–

Anger

Sometimes being angry is easier than being hurt and vulnerable. Sometimes I think I choose anger over hurt because it’s easier to deal with. I think I use anger as my shield of “protection”. It feels like anger keeps me from feeling the hurt so deeply. Because, I think, if I quit being angry, I may never stop crying over the hurt.

But, anger is a sneaky creature. It acts like it’s my friend. It pretends to protect me and wrap me in a cocoon of safety. When, in reality, it is digging deep into my soul, planting roots of bitterness, erupting sprouts of sickness and disease and dropping seeds of division.

Anger doesn’t protect me at all. Anger moves me toward self-destruction.

As I turn my anger toward God’s Word, searching for a cure, I find the answers. It’s still my choice to reach out for the antidote.

Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Psalm 37:8-9 (TLB)

Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don’t fret and worry—it only leads to harm.

Philippians 4:4-6 (TLB)

 Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice!  Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.

Anger only hurts me. It doesn’t change anyone else. It doesn’t keep anyone from hurting me more deeply. I’m going to choose to focus on what is good today. I’m going to make a choice to be who God wants me to be despite what anyone else says or does.

I’m going to CHOOSE JOY.

What about you?

 

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Sunny Days

Aren’t beautiful warm sunny days just–

THE BEST?

We have had the most perfect weather the last three days. Sunny. Warm. Breezy. Low humidity. Everyone is in a good mood. People are cooking out. Birds are chirping, dogs are barking, flies are buzzing–(okay…the flies are gross… in fact, one made it’s way into my iced coffee and I didn’t notice until I had already sucked from my straw (gag))–the point is, the sun just makes everything better.

In the month of December, I think we had something like three days with sun. It was gloomy and cold. My mood seemed to follow the weather. I felt–just–BLAH.

What I find interesting is that the sun is always there. It’s not like it’s gone somewhere. It didn’t disappear. It’s still shining. We just can’t always SEE it.

It’s there though.

And, it will come back out once the clouds roll away. It’s not gone, it’s just covered up.

Isn’t it the same with Jesus? He is God’s Son who shines brightly into our lives bringing us hope, joy, peace–LIFE. When we feel His presence in our lives we are happy and feel like nothing can touch us! Life is good!

But what about when life’s struggles and trials come bearing down on us–the clouds of grief, anxiety, fear blocking our view of Jesus?

Has Jesus left us? Is he gone?

No.

We’ve just lost our focus on Him. He is still there! He is still shining. Keep looking up. Turn your eyes upon Jesus! He will break away the clouds. He will walk through the storms with you. He will be your SONshine in the midst of the rain.

I love that!

John 8:12The Voice (VOICE)

On another occasion, Jesus spoke to the crowds again.

Jesus: I am the light that shines through the cosmos; if you walk with Me, you will thrive in the nourishing light that gives life and will not know darkness.

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Obsessed with Obsessing

Fear Page 2

I started thinking about today’s post on Thursday. But, Thursday came and went without anything going down on paper. Friday I started again. See the picture? That is how much I wrote on Friday. I showed it to my friend. I was like, “Girl. Look! This all I’ve written!”

She giggled at me (I think that I am her source of entertainment–I have a LOT of material!) and said, “What are you gonna say about fear?”

“Uh, yah. What am I going to say about fear…”

(I’m pretty sure she giggled again.) “When was a time you were afraid?”

“From age 23-44…oh…you mean to pick ONE time?”

At this point she is just plain laughing at me, “Girl. That is a blog in itself!”

So. Yah. I’ve had some issues with fear for a little while. Fear of germs. Fear of car accidents. Fear of flying. Fear of failing. Fear of illness. Fear of storms. Fear of not being accepted. Fear that my kids would be injured, sick, hurt… Fear of sleep. Fear of not sleeping. Fear of Y2K. Fear after 9/11. Fear of terrorists. Fear of being robbed. I think you might be getting the idea.

Yet, all that time, I considered myself a Christian.  I loved Jesus. I accepted Him as my Savior. And, yet, I had no peace. None. There was no joy in my life. I could not allow myself to enjoy anything–ever.

I knew this wasn’t how my life as a Follower was supposed to be lived. But. I couldn’t stop. I would tell myself not worry and fret.  It didn’t help. I was always tied up in knots on the inside. I wore the mask of calm. I’m sure some people knew about my anxieties. ( I couldn’t hide the terror storms brought to me at my sons’ baseball games). But, for the most part people would never have guessed the extent of my problem.

I was obsessed with obsessing. Truth.

Are you wondering what changed it all?

I’d like to say that God just reached down and healed me one day while I was praying and BAM I was free. But. Yah. *sigh* No. That is not how it went down.

I literally threw myself into a breakdown. My mind said, “Nope! Not gonna do this anymore…I’m on overload”. And, I just–shut down.

It was bad. People. It was a nightmare. I thought I might not make it out of the hole I found myself thrown into.

You know. Something happens when you can no longer rely on yourself. I mean, that was what I was doing. I was trying to control everything in my life with worry–which led to anxiety–which led to hopelessness. But, when I hit the bottom of my pit–when there was no more Lisa left–I said, “God, You got this? I need You to take this and carry me out of here.” And He did. It took time. It took lots of people speaking life into me. It took doctors (plural). It took my family literally caring for me and nurturing me.

Here I stand (well, I’m sitting really) a living testimony that fear CAN be conquered through Jesus.

Do I ever have fear? You betcha! Big time. But, I have learned to immediately go to my Father instead of to worry. Worry is an ugly companion.

So, here are some verses that deal with fear. Hugs all around. ❤

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

Psalm 34:4

 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

Matthew 6:34

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time”

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Catching Joy

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It was almost completely dark as we drove home. There, in the field, I saw a flicker. It was there, and then it was gone.

Again.

Flicker.

Gone.

I smiled and sighed. It’s lightning bug time again.

Just as the thought crossed my mind, my husband spoke up, “Lightening bugs are so much fun. It’s amazing how such a short period of time each year can evoke such strong memories, isn’t it?”

We both became quiet, our lips curling up into grins. I thought of barefoot hunts in the yard, giggling as I captured the little shining bugs. I would place them in a glass jar (with holes punched in the lid for air) and fall asleep with their soft dancing glow filling my room.

Sometimes, the smallest things bring us the greatest joy. I wonder what our lives would be if each day we looked for the little joys. I wonder–what life would be if each day we found joy in even the smallest of God’s creations.

You make known to me the path of life;  you will fill me with joy in your presence,with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

(Picture by Laurie of my cute little cousin, Lillian)

 

 

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Plugged. Unplugged. Wait, What?

True to my word, I’m going to continue to write periodically about my experience with OCD. Today seems like a good day for that.

Yesterday I was getting ready to leave for work. I had actually used my curling iron (that doesn’t happen too often anymore). I was running a little behind, so I quickly unplugged the iron, turned off the light, and headed out of the room. As I did, I stopped and thought, “Hmm. Maybe I should make sure that really unplugged.”

I turned the light back on and checked the outlet again.

Yup. All clear. I was free to proceed.

As I left, the memory of how that would have gone in the past struck me. Let’s go back about two years.

Two years ago, it would have gone something like this:

I unplugged the curling iron and started to head out of the bedroom. “Maybe that didn’t really unplug.” I turned the light back on. I could see that it was unplugged. However, that wasn’t enough. I had to walk over and touch the empty outlet. I turned out the light.Then I turned the light on again and had to touch the outlet AGAIN. Okay, I turned the light back off and walked all the way to the garage door. Yet, I couldn’t leave until I went back in the bedroom once more, turned on the light, looked at the outlet, felt the end of the cord, and touched the empty outlet. Finally, I felt released to go. 

Wow! That was a lot of work to unplug something, huh?

For those of you who have never struggled with OCD, this probably seems absolutely ridiculous.

For those of you who have struggled with it, you’re probably saying, “I totally GET that!”

If you suffer from OCD, or something similar, let me encourage you to seek some help. Find a doctor you can trust. Make sure you have a family member or friend who loves you enough to allow you to share with them the things you are going through. I went years without doing either of those things.

So much wasted time. So, much happiness lost.

And, pray, pray, pray.

God knows you and He wants you to be whole, happy, and healthy. He has not given us life only to be prisoners to ourselves.

Hugs! Choose Joy. Choose Hope.

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I Saw Myself in Him

This morning I had my weekly breakfast with my dad. Well, I had breakfast (oatmeal) and Dad had his coffee. As we sat there, a guy came walking in and went up to the counter. I noticed the cashier’s face as he walked up to her. It was a mix of curiosity and fear. I could only see his back, but I could tell something was “up”. He didn’t stand still. He would wipe at his face with his arm and acted like he couldn’t concentrate on what he wanted to order. 

I tried to pay attention to what my dad was saying to me, but my eyes kept traveling over to where he stood…or rather, where he paced. He took his tray and sat across the room. He sat there with his hood up. His movements were very “jerky”. I kept watching him. Finally Dad asked what I was watching. As he asked, I watched the man take a bite of his food. It was obviously too hot for him, but he painfully chewed on it anyway with his mouth partially open, tossing the food back and forth. He finally spit the food out and then started the process over again. He looked confused and very uncomfortable. What I mean is, he seemed uncomfortable in his own skin. He couldn’t sit still. He would swipe at his face, rub his face, and rock himself. I couldn’t stop watching him. 

My guess? Meth. We live in (at least we have been) the Meth capital of our country. So, it’s not that hard to spot around here. I could be wrong, but that’s my guess. 

I looked back at my Dad, “I was watching that guy over there. I think he is on drugs. Why do people do that to themselves?” 

As we left the restaurant, I said a prayer for that man. I come in contact with Meth addicts every week: Wal-Mart, the gas station, the roads…There was just something about this particular man. It was as if he was fighting the demon he lives with. It tore at my heart. I thought of him throughout the day, and I am still thinking of him. 

You know, I have never been a drug addict. I don’t know what that is like. However, I do know what it’s like to live with demons. I know what it’s like to feel like my skin is crawling. I know what it’s like to pace the room because I was afraid if I sat still I might go crazy. I know what it’s like to run my fingers through my hair because I simply had to do something with my hands because they were shaking so badly. 

His demon: Drugs

My demon: Anxiety

As odd as it sounds, I guess I sort-of saw myself in that man. Not the today me, but the me of my past. I pray that God will somehow deliver that man and free him of his bondage.

Freedom, Joy, Peace: they are priceless. Well, they are priceless to us. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our gift of deliverance: He gave His life. 

Galatians 5:1 ESV For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 3:12 NIV In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Psalm 118:5 ESV Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.

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More Choices: Make This a Great Day

The head of my division at work sends a devotional to his employees every Monday morning. He always ends it with “Make it a great day”. I have stolen (er-uh, I mean borrowed) this phrase from him.

You see, to say, “Have a great day” really isn’t saying much. It’s like saying, “Hey, I hope you’re lucky and end up with all things good today.” But by saying, “Make it a great day”, we are saying that there is a choice. We can choose to MAKE it a great day.

We have choices. Let’s choose today to praise God. HE IS GOOD.

Give God your needs and desires. Voice them to Him. And then leave them at His feet. Enter into praise and thanksgiving for what He has done and is going to do in your life.

Psalm 118:25-29 NKJV
25 Save now, I pray, O Lord;
O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
27 God is the Lord,
And He has given us light;
Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.
29 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

MAKE IT A GREAT DAY!

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What Will Your Choice Be Today?

It’s Monday Again! Let’s Choose Joy Today! 

Nehemiah 12:43  (KJV) Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off. 

If I’ve learned anything lately, it’s that I have choices to make every day regarding my attitude and my outlook on life. For far too long, I had chosen to wallow in regret, un-forgiveness and worry. 

I would wake up and worry, fret, worry, fret. I would go to work and worry, fret, worry, fret. I would lay down at night and worry, fret, worry, fret. (See a pattern here?) Guess what I was, can you guess? Miserable. 

We don’t always have control over our circumstances. We certainly do not have control over our past. But, we do have control over the way we deal with our present and our future. 

The past will not change. It’s a finished story. So, let it go. Replaying it in your mind is not going to change what happened. Find forgiveness with the help of God and say “Goodbye” to it. 

Each day try waking up with a joyful heart. Joy is a choice, not a feeling. Choose to rejoice because of God. He is your Strength, your Comfort, your Healer, your Peace, the Master of Everything, the Beginning and the End, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace: We HAVE a reason to rejoice with joyful hearts. 

Begin to speak words of thanks, praise and adoration to your Heavenly Father and see if you feel a change, a softening, taking place in your heart. 

May His Peace and Joy fill you today! 

© [Lisa Bull] and [mommalisaof2@wordpress.com], [2013-2015]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Lisa Bull] and [mommalisaof2@wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Categories: Empowerment, Encouragement, Forgiveness, Joy, Let go of past sin, Motivation, Worry | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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