Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Purposefully Joyful

I was having a discussion with my children the other day about how we have to be purposeful when it comes to joy. Unfortunately, we can easily fall into negativity, anger, bitterness.

Last week the kids and I attended VBS. The motto for VBS this year was Facing Fear, Trusting God. The verse for the week was was 2 Timothy 1:7.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Growing up, I always feared my parents. This fear remained with me through my adulthood. If I would get an email from them, or a phone call, I would get a terrible pit in my stomach and I would feel sick. God used last weeks VBS to speak to me, to face my fear, to trust in Him and Him alone. He provided me courage and comfort.

Last week I received an email from my mother. We have not had a relationship over the past 10 years. It is my choice and I do so because I am a better, healthier mom when I do not have contact with her or my second father. In the emails, my mother was condescending, emotionally abusive, and basically being a bully. She used such phrases as "you poor girl", "how sad for your family", and "so sad for you". She continually tells me that I don't remember my childhood correctly. She doesn't see that her words are hurtful. In the past, the words she used and the way she used them would have broke me. But this time, they had no affect on me. I didn't have a pit in my stomach. Her words had no control of me. I felt free. 

Over the past few months with all the loss I have felt, the devil has used my sorrow to bring up issues I have had in my past. He brought back my feelings of abandonment. 

I have decided to not listen to the negativity, but concentrate on the positivity. I am challenging myself daily to find the positive, think positive, and respond with positive. I am choosing to find joy in every day. I am choosing to speak joy every day. 

I wanted to start this challenge yesterday, however, I was not positive. I fought with my husband for no reason at all. I had a bad attitude. I did not seek out joy. 

Thankfully every day is a new day. Today I choose joy!

There will be days that I fail to find joy. There will be days that I focus on the negative instead of the positive. My prayer is that those days will become less and that seeking joy will become more. My prayer is that before I speak, I will think about what I say. Do the words out of my mouth encourage or discourage? Do the words out of my mouth speak joy or hate? Are my tones when I speak kind or angry?

My challenge to you is to find joy, speak joy, think joy, in every day. My challenge to you is that before you speak, you ask yourself if the words out of your mouth are encouraging or destructive. My challenge to you is to think about the tones you use when  you speak. 

I want to be a wife, mother, friend, that lifts people up with my words, not crushes them down. I want positive thoughts to come in to my mind automatically instead of negative. 

Please pray for me as I challenge myself to change and become purposefully joyful. I will be praying for you! 

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