Monday, October 23, 2017

Choosing Joy

March 7, 2007 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Choosing Joy
By Rita Garcia

 

“Billy hurry up, you’re going to be late for school again. Why can’t you get your act together just one morning? Come on, NOW!”
“Make sure you seat belt is on good. Billy, do you hear me?”
Billy was slumping down in the back seat as Stacie continued.  “I swear this traffic is getting worse everyday. I’m going to be late for the women’s prayer group, again. This is so not good, we’re having a guest speaker this morning. Oh no, I forgot my Bible, again.”

After dropping Billy off at school, she slipped in the back just as the speaker stepped up to the podium.         “Our hectic schedules require us to be proficient problem solvers. A stitch in time saves nine, very sound advice, but it necessitates looking for flaws. It’s imperative to spend equal time noticing the good. The great novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote, “Happiness does not depend on outward things, but the way we see them.”


Stacie began to think … That’s the problem, life is too hectic, and it’s not my fault.
As Barbara continued to share with the prayer group, it was as if she was speaking directly to Stacie.  “Our attitude towards life matters. If we focus solely on the problem areas, stress will run rampant. When we take time to look for the good, we find it, making room for joy and peace to reign in our hearts.” Barbara said.


Attitude…my attitude?

“Can we experience joy and peace in the mist of daily challenges? Fear, depression, and stress are joy stealers. Learning to cultivate joy is of paramount importance. We have reason to rejoice, to be confident in His love. Are we taking time to pursue and cultivate love, joy, and peace?” 
A tear escaped, running down Stacie’s cheek. I have lost my joy.         “Here are a few suggestions to help fill your life with joy. I believe these steps will inspire you to incorporate some ideas of your own, in choosing joy.  (a)  Intentionally look for the good; (b) Every evening, in a notebook or journal, write down positive things about your day. What are you thankful for? And (c) Find a scripture and add it to your notebook or journal.”
“When I follow these steps; I take more notice of the good in my day. I look for things to write in my journal. I find more joy in my interaction with others. I find joy seeping into my heart. Searching the Word for scriptures to encourage choosing joy, strengthen my faith.”
I can try that.


“Help your children develop the habit of looking for the good. Along with hearing their prayers and tucking them in, ask them to tell you something good about their day. What are they thankful for? Going to sleep with pleasant thoughts helps us wake up ready to embrace the day with a joyful heart.”
Is it possible Billy has too much stress? Stacie thought as she wiped her tears.
“The Bible tells us that love, joy, and peace are three of the ‘Fruits of the Spirit.’ It takes intentional effort, to pursue, and develop these areas of our lives. It’s of utmost importance to deal with every aspect of life in a proficient manner, including problem solving and handling of stress. It is equally important in the process to maintain our joy,” Barbara concluded.
Driving home Stacie continued pondering over the suggestions Barbara had made.
“Dear God, please help me to pursue and cultivate joy in my life. Help me put the things I learned today into practice. Show me areas I need to change. Thank you, Father.”

“Lord, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” (Psalms 61:2)

 

 

My love affair with writing began as a child. I write because I feel God nudging me to put words to paper, to lift up His Holy Name.

I completed both the Apprentice Program and the Journeyman Program, through the Jerry Jenkins, Christian Writer’s Guild. I am now working on my doctorate in Chrisitan Counseling.

My husband and I enjoy leading home fellowship meetings, which our group refers to as Inspirational Prayer Meetings. We have seen the hand of God at work in a wondrous way within our group. The Word of Faith Ministry website is a result of our group meetings.

 

Love and Blessings, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

><>Rita<><

 

 

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