Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Choosing Joy

I've talked about it before but if you, my lone reader, know anything about me, it's that I'm far too lazy to link to a previous post.

I learned it over a decade ago from Stacy (Everyday Gifts - over there on the right - see? Too lazy to link.) It was at a Bible study class we attended together. I was lamenting that everytime money came in our door, it went right back out. I wanted to build up our savings account. I wanted the security that money in the bank brought. But each time a check arrived, from consulting my husband did, or from a tax refund, from wherever, there was a repair, an unexpected bill, something to eat up the money before it was even cold in the bank.

But when Stacy prayed for my concern that day, she taught me one of the greatest lessons I have learned. She didn't pray that God would take away those unexpected bills. She didn't pray that He would allow me to get money in the savings account. She prayed instead a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving. She thanked God for providing the resources each and every time before I even knew I would need them! I remember sitting in that little circle of women looking over at Stacy in awe. She had just changed my life by changing my view of it.

It's the little joys in our everyday that make life so wonderful, isn't it? It's easy to be bogged down by the stresses, by the bad, but God gives us joy!! Everyday! He doesn't want us to struggle. He doesn't want us to worry. He wants us to be happy.

A decade ago, Stacy turned my view on life around by showing me all the blessings God has for me and I've never forgotten it (or her!) In every moment, of every day, in every situation, we can choose to find the joy. And it really is that easy.

Today, I stopped at the store, four days before payday with $6 in my wallet. I bought milk and flour and cheap margarine to get us through. I had all the ingredients (I thought) for homemade pizza at home now that I had the flour, but when I arrived home I realized I didn't have any tomato paste for the sauce. I was frustrated. I was just AT the store. It's a $.60 purchase! But then I remembered in the back of the fridge were two small packets of marinara sauce that came in something we had many many months ago. I pulled them out, defrosted them and you would never have known the difference! Saved!

This morning I carpooled with a co-worker. We don't have a fixed schedule yet, but even one day of not driving my car is allowing me to stretch my gas money just that much further. Plus, gas has dropped nearly a dollar!! At $3.38 this morning I'm nearly giddy with the idea of filling my tank!

This weekend, LM and I visited a church to hear a pastor that friends of ours know. He didn't end up speaking and we didn't love the church, but it was a great reminder of how much we do love the church we found this summer through TB. God brings us little gifts in so many different ways!

I still have Pam's two cats. It's not a great situation. I'm sure they would like out of the bedroom, but the one is too aggressive with Jonah to be let out to roam. For all the hassle, however, I haven't had to buy them any food as they came with more than a month's supply. I didn't have to purchase litter boxes, treats or toys as they came with more of that than I would ever need. All these cats have needed from me is love. And for that, for Pam, it comes easily.

The little joys surround us. God gives them to us daily, hourly! He wants us to be happy and full of the joy of being a Christian, of knowing our eternity is in His hands! If we have nothing else in our day to be grateful for, cheerful about, smiling over, we should at least be joyful for our eternal salvation!

I wish all of you a JOY filled day!


Anonymous said...

$3.29 tonight in 2Paws!!!!

Cindy said...

What a great way to look at things! Thanks for changing the way I now look at my own misfortunes!

Jen said...

Thanks for the reminder, Amy. It's true that each day has it's own joy from above.

Katrina said...

Reading your blog is a little spark of joy in my days. Thanks for this post! We can never be reminded too often to count our blessings!