Sunday, May 24, 2015

Joy Bombs - Discovering an Attitude of Gratitude In Everyday Living

J-O-Y, a three letter word that has been on my mind a lot recently.  A three letter word that keeps reappearing in my life in a variety of ways.  What is JOY!? I really like Rick Warrens definition of joy:

Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation. 

Did you notice what one word was missing from this definition...HAPPY! Happiness is about feelings, which are fleeting and temporary. 

I listened to this sermon from Cherry Hills Community Church a while back, and it really resonated with me.  Life is full of ups & downs, peaks & valleys, pain & pleasure, and the list goes on.  Recently I have noticed that people {probably me included at times} are focusing on the lows of life...

- Cancer Sucks {oh my, my heart aches for the number of people who have been diagnosed with Cancer recently}
- I'm so busy
- I have an addiction
- I haven't been this stressed in a long time
- I am beyond frustrated 
- I am anxious

And rarely are people saying, "I am JOYFUL!" Very often the situations of our life do not result in happiness, but there is always JOY. We have joy because of our circumstances. 

Throughout our day we are tossed joy that amazing, refreshing feeling of being hit by a water balloon on a hot summer afternoon.  It's like a 4th of July fireworks show going off within our lives.  Joy emanates out of a true sense and understanding of God's fierce love for us. 

My life is busy, my calendar is full, and at times I feel like I can't do it all. I have been blessed by much, but recently I have had a yearning for more, resulting in a dissatisfaction of where I am currently at.  I struggle with insecurity and self-doubt.  

As a constant reminder that God is here, God is for me, and that God loves me I started a JOY BOMB journal.  Here are some joy bombs that I have been tossed recently:

-A text from a friend offering to bring me vegan ice cream when she knew I was a little discouraged
-Someone reaching out to me to fill a co-director position that I was stressing about filling 
-Meeting and talking with a random guy at Starbucks one afternoon
-A friend, recently diagnosed with cancer, receiving the results of the brain CT...the cancer had not spread. Praise the Lord.
-Having a solid tempo run...both physically and mentally.

No matter what life has thrown you recently, I guarantee that you have been tossed some JOY BOMBS too! Take time to marinate in the truth of God's fierce love for each one of us and really search, find and focus on God's presence in all things...and say, "I AM JOYFUL!"

Here is a great read too: 40 Ways to Practice Joy Every Single Day
5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 23, 32, 35, 36, 38 and last, BUT NOT LEAST, 40 are my favorite!