Category Archives: joy

Joyful Moment on this Monday

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Today I’m thankful for the sun!  What a gorgeous day it was today- a reminder that Spring is coming.   My classroom doesn’t have any windows (except for the nice little poster of a window that the teacher from last year left).

When I left the room at the end of the day to do dismissal duty, I overheard another teacher saying  “Oh wait!  It’s sunny today??”  She has several tiny windows in her room but when she saw the big picture windows at the front of the school, she saw how sunny it really was!

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day and not make a point to walk by a window or an outside door.  I live in my own little world not seeing the effects of the sun.

It makes me think…How often do I go about my day without recognizing that the Son is here?  Do I stop and “glance out the window” to see what He’s doing?  Or do I live like I’m still in the dark?

Do I look for the blessings that He pours down?  Do I notice when He shows me a glimpse of Himself?  Do I see how He’s working in that student in front of me or in that relationship with my coworker?

I’m thanking God for His Son today-for the amazing gift that He’s given me.  He sent His Son to this earth so that I could live in the light and not in the darkness anymore.

How am I still living in the darkness?  Yes, we’re still living in a broken and sinful world with darkness all around, but am I allowing Him to sanctify me?  Am I watching when He points to the light?  Am I basking in those glimpses of the light that He sends my way?

Where have you seen the God’s light today?

Thankful Heart

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Here it is Monday-the day I said I would share a moment of joy, but sometimes I just don’t like the path that I’ve been given.   As I walk with another friend through a rough time, I am saddened.   I am thankful for so many things , yet sometimes it’s hard to remember those things in the difficult moments.

I can’t always see what’s ahead and at times that brings fear.  What if those things that I’ve hoped for do not come to pass?  What if my desires for my life aren’t God’s desires?  What if I am disappointed by the road that I take? What if something happens to those I love?   How will I cope? How will others around me cope?

Tonight, I was with some friends.  We began talking about the journeys we’re on.  We’ve all had disappointments.  We’ve all struggled with what our hope should be in life, but tonight we remembered together that we can trust in a faithful God.  We don’t know the future and we don’t always know where He’s leading us, but we can know and believe that He is a God that loves us.  He promises to work good in all situations.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always see how a situation can be used for good.  There’s a step of faith that I have to take to put my trust in God’s promise.   Sometimes gratitude is a choice.  Sometimes I have to look back and see the glimpses of good that God has shown me in difficult situations in the past.  I have to allow my mind and heart to be reminded that He is at work now even in this broken world.

Sometimes gratefulness is a choice.  Today I’m thankful for the body of Christ who can remind me of God’s promises.   I’m thankful for His Word that reminds me that this world is not all there is.  I’m thankful that He has given us the hope of eternity with Him.  I’m also thankful that He gives us glimpses of hope now.  I’m thankful that He is making all things new.   I’m thankful that He is with me through those times that I struggle and those times that I doubt.

I’m thankful that He hears my cries.  I’m thankful that He knows my fears and my sadness and that He walks alongside me.  I’m thankful that today He pointed me back to His promises.

Where did you see a glimpse of hope today?

New Year’s Eve

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I sit here tonight reflecting, as we all probably do in some form.   There have been times this year that have been amazing and times that have been extremely hard.

What has your year been like?  I’m guessing it’s been kind of the same-some great things and some not so great things-maybe some horrible things.  At this time of year, it’s easy to focus on how to make next year better.

We begin to dream about what would make our life easier or happier or less chaotic or more fulfilled.

I guess it’s ok to dream but what would it look like if we focus on joy in the moment?  Not joy for a year or even for week or a day, but for this moment.  What would it look like to live in this moment?

Yes, it’s important to plan and to prepare and to look ahead.  It’s also important to look back and reflect so that we know how to change, but we can’t change on our own.  We’re not promised tomorrow or even the next moment.

So how will we live in joy in this moment?

What can you praise God for right now?

How are you living for Him right now?

What do your relationships look like in this moment?

Where do you see God at work in this moment?

How are you seeing Him work in your life or your friends’ lives or your family’s life right now?

Are your thoughts glorifying Him in this moment?

Do you have sin to confess right now?

What can you talk to God about in this moment? (maybe it’s the sadness or the fear or the sin…maybe it’s the gladness or the thankfulness.  Whatever it is, He wants to know. He wants a relationship with us).

What choice can you make to live in joy right now?

 

(Yep, you’ll have to make another choice in the next moment…but let’s not worry about one yet:).  God will be there meeting us in the next moment just as He is meeting us in this moment.

Happy New Year!  Let’s commit to living in this moment this year.

 

Monday Moment-Thankful for Memories

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Tonight I was thinking about what I was grateful for.  I’m in a Bible study that is studying  prayer.  Tonight we talked about the different kinds of prayer-one of those being thankfulness.   When I got home, I was reminded  grateful I am for the body of Christ.  I’m thankful for long term and shorter term relationships.  This Bible study is a combination of both.  Several of us have been together for years but about a month ago, several new women joined our study.  Tonight I was grateful for getting to know these new women (even though I’ll admit that a month ago, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to open up to a new set of people:).

When I got home, I found a list of things that I was thanking God for in December of 2009.

Here are some of them…

  • Fun family gatherings – birthdays, spur of moment times, Christmas celebrations-thank You for growing us and helping us to love each other more and more
  • Healing-time to grieve-as I stepped back from leadership at church ,You gave me some time to be emotional and to do a little more healing and to see Your presence
  • Tears
  • Smiles
  • Newness of life
  • Times of grace within relationships in the body of Christ
  • The women’s ministry at church growing to be more real
  • The women that have been involved in my life from church
  • Your grace in the midst of my sin and my inability to give grace to others on my own
  • My job-in the midst of a very hard year, You’ve shown me Your grace and helped me to give grace to some students and families that I never would have been able to give grace to on my own. Thank You!
  • Thank You for those students and families that are hard to work with.
  • Long term relationships –friends from high school, family, friends from church, youth at church, students and families from school

Wow!  What a great blessing to find that list of prayers of thanksgiving written down.  It make me realize how important it is to actually thank God for those things that I am feeling grateful for.  When I got home from Bible study tonight I was grateful for the body of Christ, but I hadn’t actually lifted up that prayer of thanksgiving to God.

Thank you God for the body of Christ!

What are you grateful for?  Have you told God yet?

Monday Moment

Today I’m thankful for a new week.

I’m thankful for the joy that comes from watching students get excited about learning. It makes me wonder can I help to facilitate this joy more often?

 

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I’m also thankful for….

-Fall weather and beautiful colors

-Full moons (I might have to remind myself of this as the week goes on and there’s a full moon and Halloween:)  They are so beautiful though!  Thanks God for your gorgeous creation.

-Friends who keep me accountable and encourage me to pray often

-God’s Word that reminds me that my hope is certain and it comes from Him not from my circumstances

-Family who listens to and encourages me daily

-The body of Christ

-God’s presence with me all the time

What are you praising God for today?  I’d love to hear!

 

 

 

Grateful Monday-He guides and leads us.

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Today I’m thankful for God’s sovereignty.  Listen to what Isaiah 52:12 says.  “…for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”

As I think about this new year, there are many things that I could be anxious about.  There are also many things that I’m excited about. I don’t know what the future holds.  I don’t know what tonight or tomorrow will be like, but I can trust that God is there ahead of me.  He will lead and guide me along the way.

I remember kayaking down the Colorado River a few years ago.  I was a bit nervous at times about what was around the corner.  Would there be a power boat rushing at us?  Would I be able to navigate around that log or that rock that’s jutting out up ahead?  I had to learn to trust our guide who had navigated this river hundreds of times.

As I think about this new year and all the unknowns, I can trust my Savior and Lord. I may not know what is around the corner, but He is already there!  He’ll know how to guide me around that corner.

That verse also says that He is our rear guard. I take comfort in knowing that He protects us from behind as well.  Sometimes, bitterness or regret or frustration or anger creeps in from our past.  As I read that verse in Isaiah, I am encouraged to know that God will guard us from those things as we move into the future.  There’s hope in knowing that He walks with me before and behind.

I pray that as we move into this new year, that we ask God for his courage to step into those new adventures, for His joy and forgiveness as we move through things that have happened in the past and for His hope as we consider His sovereignty and His active care for our lives.

Thankful Monday

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“Great are the works of the Lord.  They are pondered by all who delight in the Lord.”  Psalm 111:2

So another school year has started for me.  I started the day with great positive thoughts and ended it feeling more stressed. Sometimes days (or weeks) just don’t go way I plan!

As I began to think about posting my Monday Moment of Joy, I was having a hard time coming up with thoughts that made sense. 

Then I read those words from Scripture.  “GREAT are the works of the Lord.”  I began thinking….”what are the works of the Lord?”  Psalm 111 then says “They are pondered by all who delight in the Lord.”  So I was reminded that the act of remembering and pondering God’s great works can give me joy.  

So, today I’m just going to make a list – a list of God’s great works.  Why don’t you help me make that list?  Feel free to comment and add to the list of God’s great works.  

Then let’s ponder those together!  It will help to put our focus back on Him instead of on our circumstances.

-He saved me.

-He showed me His grace in sending Jesus to die for my sins

-He loves me with an amazing love.

-He gave us His Word.

-He gave us the body of Christ to encourage and sharpen us.

-He gave me a family that loves me and is always there for me.

-He made me unique with gifts and talents that He allows me to use for His glory. 

-He gave me a job that I love with a team that I love.

-He knows me inside and out and yet He loves me anyway.  

-He gave me friends that help point me to Himself.

-He takes care of His people over the ages.  Remember all those times that Israelites walked away from Him or grumbled against Him?  He forgave them over and over and continued in relationship with them!  He does the same for me!

-He left the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.

What else?  There are millions more of His great works!  Let’s ponder them together.  

There’s peace when we are still and think about Him!

Monday Moment of Joy in His Word

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One of the things I’m thankful for in the summer is the slower schedule and the time to slowly savor God’s Word in the morning. This morning I was reading 1 Thessalonians and was encouraged.

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about the phrase “Relentless Positivity” that I got from the conference.  I’ve ALSO been thinking, though, about how much I want to enjoy this week and make it go slow because I am a bit nervous about how the new school year is going to go.

Change is hard.  I know it’s part of life, though, so I’ve been praying that I would find the joy even when things change.  This morning as I read 1 Thessalonians, I was reminded, once again that the joy comes from our God and Savior.

“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess 1:3 NIV

Look at that!!  Our endurance comes from hope in Him!  I don’t have to trust in my own strength to make it through life but I can trust in Him and find joy and hope in Him.  He is my Savior and Lord, and I can find strength and endurance in that.  Paul also was encouraging the Thessalonians because their labor was prompted by love.  That love comes from Him as well.  Is my labor prompted by the love of Christ?

I don’t have to go into this year stressed about all the change.  I can trust that He knows me and loves me and has a plan for me.  I pray that as you start this year that God would remind you to find hope and joy in Him and not in circumstances of life.

Another Snowy Monday

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Does this picture look familiar?  Did you get another snow day or are you basking in the warmth of somewhere like Florida?:)

We’ve now used 9 snow days.  If none of them get waived, we get to go all the way through the last week in June!!!  Yippee!!  Just in time for Extended School Year to start:).

I have definitely loved these unexpected days off, though.  A friend posted that he was trying to be upset with all this snow in the “spring” but when it starts falling, it’s just so beautiful and fun to have that day off that he can’t complain.  It’s kind of how I feel.

Although, I really don’t want to go to school year round, I LOVE those snow days where I can pretend that I can’t get out on the roads and I just HAVE to stay inside and read or watch movies or bake or take a nap.

It gives me time to slow down and enjoy that quiet time….enjoy more time reading God’s Word, enjoy more time praying for those in my life.

With all these snow days, though, I’ve been thinking a lot  about how to slow down and enjoy God’s presence throughout the busy days as well.  We all have 24 hours every day.  How are we going to use them?

How can I slow down even on my busy days and SEE those around me?  How can I FIND joy in the middle of a day of meltdowns and unexpected schedule changes, and many pressures from many different angles?

I’m spending time right now praying that God would open my eyes to His presence whether I have a full snow day or whether I have a full day of teaching.

Would you pray that with me?  Would you pray that you would SEE those around you-see their needs/see their joys and their hurts?

Would you pray that you would FIND joy in the middle of whatever God has for your day.

 

Monday Moment- February 17

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So here it is Monday again.  I missed last week-I’ll blame it on snow, but really life just got away from me.  Today as I sit at home watching Olympics and enjoying another day off (this 5 day weekend has been great!), I am finding joy in rest and slowness.  I’m thankful that I could stay in bed a few minutes longer and spend a few more minutes in God’s Word.

I’m also finding joy in time just to sit and read.   What are you reading right now? The Book Thief is what I’m enjoying right now.

Now there are MANY things on my list to do today-schoolwork, vacuum, clean the kitchen, make that soup with the leftovers, etc…but right now, I’m moving slow and doing one little thing at a time.  Trying to find joy in the moment-even if that moment is cleaning or cooking.

Can I remember this slowness tomorrow when I go back to work and am running quickly through my day to deal with the next meltdown?  How can I slow down not only when there’s a whole day off in front of me but also when I have a very full day in front of me?

Praying that God would remind me to find joy in the moment-not ONLY on Mondays or not ONLY on days that I have extended amounts of time with no schedule, but also on every other day.

How have you found joy today?