Monday, May 20, 2013

// joy

last week i posted about how i was feeling that dreadful day.
i would love to say that the feeling of hopelessness passed.
but it hasn't. it comes and goes. 
but i'm working on it.

i was talking to my husband about all this and he said to me
esther- of course you feel hopeless. you don't get joy out of what you do.

joy? what?

he read this book called choose joy: because happiness isn't enough by kay warren
(i'm  pretty sure he read it hoping to understand me. poor guy.)
as he was reading it he kept telling me 
"this woman is so much like you" and "you HAVE to read this book"

so on friday night during a long drive he asked me to just read one chapter 
(as a bait and hook kinda deal).

and this is some of what i read in the beginning:

"joy does not come easily to me. i'm definitely a glass-half-empty kind of gal."

"i'm not talking to you about joy from the perspective of one of those deliriously happy, peppy people who never have a down day. some days i'm just thrilled to survive"

"sometimes [glass-half-full people] really annoy me... i mutter to myself, i wonder if she'd be smiling so big if she had my problems."

at this point. i'm hooked. my husband was right: this woman is like me. 
i want to know what a negative nancy (that's what i call myself sometimes) like me has to say about joy.

i should tell you that i haven't finished the book. or even gotten past chapter one. 
but i had to share something that is calling me back to read more... this concept:

"joy is a choice... the level of joy you experience is completely and totally up to you. it is not dependent on anyone else-- what they do or don't do, how they behave or don't behave. joy cannot be manipulated by the actions of puny human beings. it is not dependent on the amount of sadness or suffering or difficulties you endure. joy cannot be held hostage to fear, pain, anger, disappointment, sadness, or grief. at the end of any given day, the amount of joy you    experienced is the amount of joy you chose to experience. you, my friend, are in charge."

if it's a choice. then i'll take it.
being frustrated, feeling despair and hopelessness every day is ex-haus-ting. 

i'm going back to this book to figure out what this joy thing is about and how i can get some. 
i hope to share more about it as i go along. 

i'll leave you with something else from the pages of this book:

"the enemy of your heart, Satan, does not want you to leave the place of despair, but the lover of your wounded heart, Jesus Christ, has a better plan for you, and it includes joy."



3 comments:

carolynmp said...

ahhhh loooove this! I think I should read this book too. People often describe me as a happy person and even have told me that my gift is bringing joy, so when I struggle with negativity, I can feel like a failure and a fraud. I decided that satan likes to attack me in that place and steal my joy. Its especially hard for me to choose joy in the everyday-ness of daily life. But when I hear these kinds of quote I am so inspired! It reminds me of how good it is when I DO choose joy (usually when I feel like I "should" be joyful, on vacation or spending time with friends) but I CAN choose joy when all I'm doing is folding laundry & changing dirty diapers. It just takes a lot more will power. Come Holy Spirit.

Meredith said...

So glad you posted this es, I can totally relate to those snippets from the book as well! I'm going to start this book the next chance I get.

Anna Temple said...

Hey Es! Thanks for posting was just reading in One Thousand Gifts about joy too. She says... "Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love? That Satan's way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus' way?" She was just correcting her children in anger instead of love. Good reminders!

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