Last Thursday morning, I woke to a strange feeling. Instead of my usual sunny “Good morning, world!” feeling, I felt dread and anxiety the moment I opened my eyes. I rolled over, grabbed my phone, and read a middle-of-the-night text from my son through the groggy lense of my grumpiness. The text only deepened my funk.
By the time sweet hubby came down for breakfast, I was on the verge of tears, and the sun had barely risen. Wrapping his arms around me in concern, he asked, “What in the world is wrong?”
“Nothing,” I sniffled, “except a hundred little things.” (And maybe my hormones too. I know that’s TMI, but they sure are a factor. Just sayin’!)
Even though there’s no big crisis, the weight of a hundred little things have sunk your soul. Have you ever been there? I was definitely in the pit, but I didn’t want to move in to stay! I quieted my anxiety long enough to remember a favorite family quote– “Choose Joy.”
There are some days when crisis is the reality, and it’s harder to choose joy. But in this circumstance, and maybe yours too, I realized that I had a choice to make in the moment. I could either continue to let my day roll downhill, or I could do some things to turn my mood around.
- I had already spent time with Jesus, but I wish I hadn’t moved away from that space until the mood lifted! I started to reflect on the scripture from the morning again.
- I took a short break to get out into the sunshine and take a walk. Even though I felt like I didn’t have time for a break from the mass of work to be done, I knew I needed it more than checking one more thing off the list.
- I reached out to a friend to tell her how much I love her. At first I reached out to ask for prayer, but in this case, I decided it would be more beneficial to concentrate on someone else.
In a few easy steps, I refocused the day on Jesus and others and felt the gloom start to lift. I can’t tell you that I switched completely into cheery mode, but I didn’t stay stuck in grouchy-ville either!
This intentional act of choosing joy isn’t just Polly Anna philosophy. It’s actually scriptural. Colossians 3:1-2 says,”Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
God gives us directions for choosing joy! [Tweet “We determine our thoughts over allowing our emotions to determine our day.”]
How about you? What do you do when you’ve decided to choose joy?
Note #1: Congratulations to Suzie Quebedeaux (3/9/16 11:39 am) who is the winner of Little Women Big God, our book giveaway from last week. Suzie, I’ve sent an email asking for your mailing address, so if you haven’t heard from me, please check your spam filter. I hope you enjoy your book!
Note #2: Here are the final Teaching Tips for Teachers. All the tips will be removed from YouTube in a few weeks in order to include them in the final, new-and-improved Leader’s Guide for Breaking Up with Perfect. Please enjoy them for free while they’re still available!
Teaching Tips for Teachers– Week 6
Teaching Tips for Teachers– Week 7