When It’s Good, It’s VERY Good

When I’m on a “feel-good” high, it’s like all is good in the world. It feels like I’ll never have to come down! Until, the hard stuff starts rolling through.

Having real, true happiness – joy – is one of the only things that’s strong enough to put an end to the waves of circumstantial emotions. It’s only possible by an ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ, however.

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As my life intertwines into Jesus’, there’s a realization that I’ve been given all the help I need to get through this time of difficulty, without getting caught gasping for air. Furthermore, I have the ability to change how I handle my blessings. I can do this by being realistic, and not fooling myself into believing that I’m on some sort of permanent high.


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True Joy

There’s happiness found in living in a relationship with Jesus daily. It grounds me, regardless of my circumstances. I personally have been learning this over the last couple of years. And while there’s still situations I’m at risk of falling into slumps, I can fully attest to the improvements.

You’ve got to be really prepared to have people who aren’t going to understand your disposition, though. In the middle of pretty dire financial issues recently, I had someone who I was close with, say some pretty hurtful things to me. At this particular time, they were far from Jesus. Some of the things that I heard were: I was irresponsible, clueless and basically dumb, when it came to money. These are just a few examples, but you get the point. They were simply on a whole different wavelength than I was.


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The thing about this is, I had a career in finance for almost a decade! I was none of the things they were referencing me to be, and I knew that. It was because I chose not to wallow in worry and negativity, and instead be at peace, they simply couldn’t understand where I was coming from.

Good Efforts

Of course I made attempts though, to explain how I got to that place. While I certainly knew things were needing to be paid, I also had faith in God’s provision. But, sometimes our words are just going to fall on deaf ears. Especially if people have a faithless perspective, then this concept isn’t one they’ll be able to grasp.

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On the other hand, there’s some events that still affect me deeply. So much so, that I can pray and seek God’s wisdom, and continue to feel my spirits sinking. This was how I felt yesterday, as myself and my family were getting back home from church. We began to hear the tragedy happening with another church, in Sutherland Springs, which is about 45 miles from us.

The Hits Keep On Coming

The evening just brought more details, and all I could feel was this lump forming inside of my throat, and it kept growing. This was a smaller congregation in comparison to ours and the church members were simply meeting as they regularly would on Sunday mornings. They were going to worship the Lord. I’m certain they’d never have come close to thinking some individual would be on his way to cause the community terror like it had never known, resulting in most of their lives being lost.

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This kind of event is something I imagine none of us, regardless of our beliefs, can fathom happening so close to home. We wonder what possibly could’ve been the purpose for this! I sat watching all of the devastatingly young faces, with their ages displaying across the screen. The best way to describe it, was that I felt like someone was repeatedly sitting on my chest, making it extremely hard to breathe.

Senseless. WHY? Heartbreaking. HOW? Pure evil.

Terrifying Thoughts Overpowering Good

We take our sweet six-year-old girl to her room at church every week, while our fifteen-year-old makes his way to the youth building. These families are like my family!

My mind can’t wrap itself around those sweet babies feeling the fear they must’ve felt in their final moments. I pray it wasn’t long.

And what about the Moms? Women like myself, who were certainly distraught in the last thoughts they might’ve had, about the precious gifts they were given by God. There’s never once they likely thought to have concerns. Not about their families, not in this sacred location. Yet still, shot after shot rang out.

The fact this was the first night of it getting darker earlier with the time change, was only adding to my anxiety. Nighttime has always been able to have negative effects on me, particularly when I was dealing with some heavy anxiety and depression.

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So tonight, on this particular day, I was going to focus on God’s Word, in conjunction with being in prayer. Nothing though, no feeling of ease would ever come. More of each, then. Still, however…I could feel my heart racing.

Real Talk

The quiet conversations I was having with Him were now becoming more raw. “I don’t understand. These are YOUR people, God, and there were so many babies…Look, I know You’re real, I get that You’re good. But I just don’t see…”

And that was really what it came down to. I didn’t see. I’m not Him. No matter how closely my worldview comes to being as His is, I’ll still never completely know the purpose of these kinds of things. Not on this side of heaven.

I’VE TOLD YOU THIS SO THAT MY JOY MAY BE IN YOU AND THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE COMPLETE. JOHN 15:11 NIV

So, as painful as it may be, I must choose to trust. And yet again, the light will always shine through in the morning. That’s when I, too, have been called to go shine. Shine my light on the world, like a city on the hill. This was never meant to be an easy life, nor a comfortable one. This isn’t home.

But it still can be good..as I align my life with His. Even though others might look and perceive me as delusional, I have to continue moving forward, in His peace. And, who knows – maybe one of these times, someone will have more questions about it, this transcending peace I have.

Sharing In Joy, While Waiting…

Listening to others’ stories of joy – Do you leave feeling hopeful? Or hopeless?

“Find joy in the ordinary.” Unknown

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Have you heard some of the stories that play on the radio stations or local news, about random people who are getting their home paid off? They have no idea who did it or how it was done; they just receive a statement in the mail, saying that their mortgage was paid for!

I seem to hear these awesome stories a lot these days. The most recent scenario I listened to was about a local couple who won an amazing trip to a beautiful tropical getaway on one of the morning talk shows on the radio. 

Now, I’ll admit that I do feel a little ashamed sharing this. I actually found myself getting down!

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There I was, questioning the fairness of others getting stuff that I’d wanted for myself. Selfish much?

Oh! But not only were these joyful individuals getting rewarded, they were getting it without having to do anything?! Except submit an entry!

To deny I was feeling discouraged, would be futile. I actually let myself, even if it was briefly, get negatively affected by somebody else’s joy! 

Joy

Stop dreaming of being someone else! Find joy in being you!

As I said, I feel awful about having this kind of reaction! Things like having a debt paid for you and winning an all-expense paid getaway are blessings.

First of all, like it can only happen once in the first place, right?! People win these trips once a week, through various different channels.

Ultimately though, I hate the fact that it caused me to feel less than hopeful for something just as great ever happening for me in my own life. Better yet, how about not even having it happen? Instead, how about just being able to do all of these things for myself? Bag waiting for it to be won

I hate losing hope, and frankly it really IS unnecessary. I mean, you never know. I just may be that next story you hear! Nothing wrong with imagining that dream becoming a reality! Am I right?

Being thrilled with and for people about the blessings they receive in their lives is completely possible WHILE remaining hopeful for the best that life has to offer me. Obviously, we’ve already have been abundantly blessed! 

Whatever comes next, well it’s probably going to be so amazing, that I should just not even bother trying to fathom what it’s gonna be anyway! Meanwhile, I choose to praise all of the blessings I have today.

I can continue praising blessings that other people may be hopeful for in THEIR own lives, too. Share the joy, friends!

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