Wednesday, July 02, 2008

To Be Joyful

One thing that has really been laying heavily on me for the past few weeks is the notion of being joyful. The more I think on this, the more I research it and seek out biblical guidance, the more convinced I become of my need to be joyful - a joyful wife, a joyful mother, a joyful person who is filled with joy inwardly and outwardly.

Doesn't that sound like a huge undertaking? It does to me! Overall, I am a very happy, calm and content person. However, I don't know if joyful would ever be an accurate description of me. This is what I really want to change. I want to feel joyful, and I want to carry myself in such a way that my inward joy is obvious to all, but especially to my husband and children.

I am beginning to realize that part of my problem is getting caught up in day to day activities and just spinning my wheels without ever getting anything much accomplished. This seems to sap all the joy right out of me. I tend to focus on one activity and let others slide. Then I feel guilty. There is no joy to be found in guilt, that's for sure.

So, I'm pursuing new avenues in all things to instill joy in myself. I am just taking baby steps though. I don't want this to be just a passing fad. If I jump in 110% and overwhelm myself with "all things joyful," I know from previous experiences that I will be setting myself up for failure. I want this to be my new reality, not just another whim.

To encourage me as I go, I'll look to these two verses.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for
this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thes 5:16-18

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans
12:12

One of the first steps I've taken may seem like a silly thing, but it has really made a difference in my attitude. Spurred on by Toni's post last week, I have begun to put my apron on every morning. I leave it on throughout the day, except when we go out. Honestly, this has made such a difference in my attitude. My apron has become my armor, and once it is on, I am ready to face whatever battles may come my way. I feel confident, happy, and yes, joyful, when I am wearing my apron. I don't really have an explanation for this, but that's just the way it has been the past few days. Eric even remarked to me yesterday: "now this is the wife I signed up for!" See, there's that outward manifestation of the inward joy.

Such a simple baby step on the path to joyfulness. Who would have guessed?
Graphic courtesy of allposters.com.

5 comments:

Carlie Faulk 12:15 AM  

I find it easy to be joyful with I'm remeber to be thankful and full of praise. Sometimes when I'm feeling "grumppy" (lol) I'll sing to myself an old song

I will put on my garmet of praise, I will put on my garmet of praise for the spirit of heaviness is gone from me, I will put on my garmet of praise!

It reminds me that being happy and joyful is a choice and I must chose everyday to put on my garmet of praise. Or in your case - you apron! Great thoughts :)

Mary Ann 6:46 AM  

I so needed this reminder! Thanks for sharing, Kate.:-)

Lisa 11:06 AM  

Being joyful is an attitude, not a feeling. It doesn't mean happiness. Thanks so much for your post. When I'm mentoring someone I always ask them, "Are you enjoying your relationship with God?" Some people look confused when I ask, but that is the ticket to a joyful heart and spirit.

Michele 12:04 PM  

This is so wonderful to read. Thank you, Kate! :)

I totally agree about the apron, by the way. I just feel lost without mine on! :)

I love Romans 12:12. It was our "wedding verse," and was written out on my bridal shower cake. :)

Have a joyful day! :)
Michele

Niki 4:17 PM  

Thank you for this post---it reminds me how off-track I have gotten lately.


God Bless your heart!

:)

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