Trouble Finding Joy?

My daughter, Betsy, a pastor's wife and mother of three, enjoys blogging for close friends and family. Her writing is insightful and uplifting, so I asked her if I could post some of her material. She agreed, so here is the second post. You can read the first one here.

As I mentioned before, the whole point of my Year of Joy is to help me re-focus on what's truly important. It helps keep the 'envies' at bay. It also helps me when I get bogged down in the unimportant disappointments in life. I'm emphasizing unimportant here.... I'm talking about the trifling, inconsequential disappointments. The ones that don't really matter. There are disappointments that matter. The big ones that make huge impacts on our lives. But that's not what I mean. I mean something like... getting stuck in traffic. Or having to do laundry when it's piled to the ceiling. Or burning supper. Or having your closing date changed.

Ya, that last one really got me down last week. I was prepared for Wednesday night to be our last night in this house. Everything except what we would need until Thursday was packed away. And I was upset to find out that we wouldn't be closing until the following week. But, really, how whiny is that?? We are fortunate enough to have just built a new house and I'm letting something so trifling effect my outlook and mood.

And then another 'go to' verse jumped into my mind:

Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

So I told myself to snap out of it already!! It's time to make my heart merry! We'll move... eventually. We'll deal with having just a few pairs of shoes and clothes and dishes out... I wasn't going to unpack anything, so we'd figure out a way to make do for another week. Big deal! And then I started to think of all the joyful things we could accomplish between that 'ugghhh' moment and the day we'd move. I came up with several things to do that would bring me (and the family) joy. After a few minutes I felt much better about the situation. And a bit ashamed of how I let inconsequential bad news get in my way of joy. There goes another conviction from God. Just like the 'evil of envy' conviction runs through my mind (as I mentioned here), not letting little, negative happenings get me down is another conviction that runs through my mind. And, as before, I believe it's given to me by God. And, as before, I thank Him for it. I don't want my life to be ruled by envy or negativity.

Not only would this lack of merry-ness affect me, but it would also affect anyone around me. That's rather unacceptable considering that I'm around my children almost 24/7. The word 'countenance' in this verse specifically refers to how I'm perceived on the outside. The Hebrew word (paniym) is most often translated as before, face and presence. So, according to this verse, my outward presence is made cheerful by a merry heart. And how can my heart be merry when I'm allowing silly, paltry events become significant and worth my worry? It can't. And my children will see this. And learn from this.

Lord, help make my heart merry.... it can't be done without You.

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