choose joy, uncliche

Well, life just passes by sometimes. I need a daily reminder that I am unable to grasp time. I can’t save it or restart it or rewind it; I’m good at wasting it. I’ve been reading Tuesdays with Morrie(I know, I’m super late to this party). Phenomenal book about a man who is dying from ALS sharing his final days studying his own death with a friend. It’s an honest and refreshing look at death, and how to live in light of death. It aligns in many ways with what the Bible speaks about death. Except, the book fails to understand and grasp that death isn’t the ultimate end. It is an end to life as we know it, but not the final end. However, the book challenges me to live like today might be my last. I am never promised tomorrow; none of us are. And I don’t care how cliche that sounds because it is true. I could be on my deathbed, fully alive right now and gone in a second. Am I making the most of every moment? Am I praising God for all the good gifts He is giving me? Am i even recognizing them all? Am I breathing fresh air and taking each step slower? Am I squeezing my sweet baby girl a little tighter and kissing my husband a little longer?

Well, I’m trying. I’m praying hard about making the most of my time and not being idle.

But then this morning, I just wasn’t. The baby woke up fussy. I woke up cranky. My husband and I had some unresolved issues from the night before that we realized we hadn’t worked through. It was overcast and I was tired. I wanted to go for a run this morning(finally- I was actually excited!) but life just seemed to crush my attitude and excitement. I invited apathy into my life and begged it to stay this morning, and I was perfectly content being blergh about today’s circumstances and a super grump towards Lacie and ignorant towards my husband. I really could have cared less. I was irritated that today wasn’t going my way and since it wasn’t going my way, it mustn’t have anything good to offer. This isn’t really uncommon either for me. It’s a struggle a few times a month.

Today was different. Today the Holy Spirit reminded me that the Lord doesn’t call me to ‘follow my heart’. He did not give me my emotions to guide me. Instead, He gave me the Holy Spirit to guide me and as I follow the Spirit, He will reward me with joy. I am so guilty of following my emotions. I apologized and changed my direction. I had to make a HARD choice against my selfishness to CHOOSE JOY. I had to CHOOSE to stop being apathetic and at least just go for a walk, however short. I at least had to get myself out of the car and take Lacie, and walk. I convinced myself to think about the good things about walking- how I need the exercise; I’ve been convicted about caring better for my body–another post later-; I need the fresh air; Lace needs the exercise to help expel her energy; the outdoors seems to heal both of us of bad moods. I made a choice in my thoughts, and then I made a commitment in my actions. There’s not really a big ending, but I ended up running for a mile and walking about 1.5 miles more with Lacie exploring the forest and the trails. Being outside in God’s beautiful earth really flipped my mood, and Lacie’s too(PRAIIIIIIIISE JESUS cuz who wants a cranky toddler?), and my body just feels better.

How foolish would I have been to have let my emotions control my day? I could have missed out on some cute moments with my daughter because I wanted to sulk in my bad mood. I could have wasted precious time, and time doesn’t stop her from growing, it compels her growth. I will never look back longingly for moments of crankiness and self pity. Ever. I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone who has. Instead, I would have looked back and wondered what I could have done instead, with Lacie or friends, or David, or serving other people- you get the idea. What indulgently sweet mercy of God to let me see this and to give my heart the strength to choose action despite the gloominess that my emotion dictated. He is always so good to His children, to me, when we choose to obey Him. He fulfills His promise to strengthen us and give us every good thing in Christ Jesus. Today ended up being a really good day, because He showered me in grace this morning.

As simple as faith is, sometimes it really does just come down to making a choice to obey and trusting that God will bring joy in the hard choice, as dumb or inconsequential as the choice may seem. What a beautiful reminder as well that God cares about EVERY little struggle we have. He is faithful with the big things, and also with the small. I forget that sometimes.

lacie love sign.JPG

This pic made possible by choosing joy.

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