Your Joy is Your Strength

11199399_1581552952122173_1678725977_nI keep meaning to get on here and write but apparently my baby can climb the steps now, so ya. Also, it’s 85 degrees out. I know it’s been summer everywhere else in the country for like two months, but seriously you guys— EIGHTY FIVE DEGREES. Sometimes I just have to go outside barefoot for a few minutes before I can sit down calm enough to write.

The other day I was walking around the block pushing Roman in his stroller. It had been a rough day, rough week…a really rough winter and season of life if I’m being honest. While I walked, I kept thinking about this verse, “…the joy of the LORD is your strength” {Nehemiah 8:10}.

I struggle with being a joyful person. I tend to be a pessimist and often see the negative in a situation before I catch sight of the good. I have good days when I feel positive and hopeful but even more days when I struggle with seeing the hope, joy, and light all around me.

So I mulled over this verse and thought about what it means for me on the days when I’m weighed down and overwhelmed, when I’m struggling against the darkness and missing the light.

I thought about strength and finding strength in joy. Strength—I’ve been tired lately, more tired than I was when Roman was just born. And the idea of strength for my days and the tasks before me—that is something I’m searching for.

It didn’t make sense to me, how joy could give me strength. But the more I mull over these words, the better I understand just how true they are. It’s hard to feel discouraged when I choose to focus my thoughts on God and all his mercy and gifts to me. Even when I’m tired, discouraged, overwhelmed—remembering all God has brought me through, all he has given me—these things fill my mind with joy and it is true, that in that joy, there is strength. When I am consciously choosing to think right—choosing joy—I am encouraged and find the strength I need for that day.

Of course I still have bad days, I’m not happy or encouraged all the time. But I’m finding that I have a lot of power over my own thinking and the way I choose to think greatly impacts my mood and the way I choose to live each day. If I choose to dwell on those things that frustrate and discourage me, then it’s no surprise when I find myself discouraged and overwhelmed. But if I choose to dwell on all the good and hope in my life each day, there is strength and joy enough even for the hard things.

So I’m learning, learning to choose joy. Learning to control my own thoughts and beliefs about life rather than being tossed around by difficult and changing circumstances.

My joy, the joy of the Lord, is my strength—it’s not just a saying or a pretty verse, it’s a way of thinking and living and there is so much hope to be found in living a life filled with joy, strength, and peace rather than gloom and discouragement.

3 thoughts on “Your Joy is Your Strength

  1. You are tired, anyone with an active toddler is exhausted… He is so precious and I know you know what a gift and blessing he is… but, you are tired. About a year ago, maybe longer, I was struggling with joy also. I read a blog post from a pastor and it was about joy. I wish I could find it now and send it to you. But, I commented on it and he wrote back and instructed me to do this. Several times a day say aloud to yourself, “The joy of the Lord is my strength. I have the joy of the Lord.” As I was pretty joyless and very discouraged, I figured, what the heck… I started to do that. In fact, when I was alone in the house I would scream it to myself. Slowly, I found that I did not have to scream it so I could hear it, I could think it and know it was true. This is a lovely, lovely piece (as usual). It speaks so much of what we all deal with. Discouragement, tiredness, and a struggle to daily remind ourselves that our blessings are in front of us if we open our eyes and think on those things. I love your blog and you are in my prayers often. Roman is adorable! ❤ DAF

    Like

  2. Great article! Joy comes from the Lord, from knowing Him, loving Him and serving Him. It will always be there in your heart, to help you through the difficult times when it comes. Reading the scriptures, understanding and living our faith is a daily journey. Its not the same meaning as ‘being happy’, as happiness comes from material and external things. You can’t always look for things to make you happy every moment, but joy is always there. I am still learning! Thanks be to God!

    Like

  3. This is truly such an important lesson to learn, and I am so thankful that God is allowing you to learn it so early in your life as a mother. Being a parent, especially a stay at home mom is hard, thankless work a lot of the time. I wouldn’t have traded the privilege of being able to stay home with my children, and I do KNOW that it was a PRIVILEGE, but it was challenging at times. Learning to find joy, the joy of the Lord, each and every day regardless of circumstances was and still is a life changing experience. There are so many other wonderful lessons that come alongside joy…thankfulness, contentment, peace. Praying you find each of these and more as you celebrate the strength you’ve been given.

    Like

What do you say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s