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Choosing Joy

In two of my recent posts I wrote about giving our “box” of expectations to God, as well as placing our trust in him, in his plan for our life. In return, he can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, if we allow it.

It is a choice to trust, have patience, and trust some more. Especially when we don’t like the way things are going in our life. When we stand at the mountain’s toes, shaking with insecurity as we imagine the difficulty of the climb ahead of us, fear takes its grip on us. But when we choose to take a deep breath and place one foot out, then the other, we are choosing to trust. Then we look around and appreciate a beautiful flower, the fresh air, a magnificent tree. Wow. What about rejoicing in the fact that we have feet to get us up the mountain, ears to hear the birdsong, and sight to see the colors of the bird musicians? We are choosing  joy over insecurity about our future. The pain of the journey is diminished when we choose to allow moments of joy to reach our soul.

But what do we do with the meantime? Until more than we can ask or imagine happens? Well, the meantime is now. At the foot of the mountain or halfway up – what are we waiting for?  To “arrive?”  Where?  Conquering whatever mountain in your life right now is certainly a victory, but be aware that there are more mountains to get through the range. We can fetter away the days of our life waiting for “IT” to happen, (whatever IT really is). And in the meantime, life is painful, miserable, and depressing. Unless we choose to participate in the lighter moments available in life.

I think we are expected to enjoy today. To live IN JOY. Regardless of our circumstances, we can find even the smallest thing to smile about. It is a choice. Please understand, I believe God wants to give us the desires of our hearts, if it is within his will for our life. It is wonderful to hope for and dream about  things to come in our life. Hope deferred can make the heart grow sick. But we will be so much happier if we choose to find joy during the journey, instead of setting our sights only on our arrival to an anticipated place in life.

In our home, we tickle each other until our stomachs hurt. We keep journals of funny things that are said, dress up for a fancy dinner, treat ourselves to beautiful flowers, stop to appreciate the new leaves budding out, watch the full moon rise over the trees, and tell each other what we appreciate about one another. We go for walks in our p.j.’s, stop to watch the deer across the street, and thank God for the countless ways he takes care of us and blesses us. Oh, and smell the ponderosa pines. They smell like sugar cookies!

These are just some ways my kids and I choose joy in the midst of a painful, difficult period of our lives. But I know first hand how the heartache is lessened when we laugh, savor, appreciate, and express thanks. God has amazing things in store for us, but today’s joys in our lives are part of his plan from yesterday. So it is one day at a time, one foot in front of the other on our journey up the mountain. And each day contains opportunity for load-lightening  joy.

-Erika

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About Erika Barrett

Endlessly curious and a strange mix of too simple and way too complicated, I'm in awe of the beauty and glory this life offers, celebrate resourcefulness and finding simplicity in life. I am a certifying LifeCoach, specializing in helping others find a way forward towards crafting a life of joyful purpose. I'm also Masters Level Practictioner of Splankna Therapy, which is a mind-body-spirit therapy model. I'm a currently single mama to three beautiful souls, and I love to be outside, adventuring and exploring, laughing, playing in the water and hugging those around me. I'm a believer that life is rich when we become aware of the little moments placed before us and embrace them fully-the joy, sorrow, beauty, love and pain. Life is too short to be so serious, yet there is so much devastating brokenness all around us that feels crushing. My writing is about a journey into wholeness and restoration. For me, you and those around us. So won't you join me in diving into our experiences and hearts? Feel free to share a thought or many, and please, please, love those you're with.

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