Have you ever felt your heart swell? I mean really swell? My heart is swollen this morning! Completely swollen with this love for God. Blessed beyond my wildest imagination. Content. And the amazing thing, is it has nothing to do with anything *I* have done. All God.
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Sometimes we steal our own joy. Did you know that? It's true! We do. We could blame circumstances all we want ~ but really..... if we lose our joy we have no one to blame but ourselves. If we lose the joy in taking care of our families, as wives and mothers, we have NO ONE to blame but ourselves. If we lose the joy working in our current careers... again, we have no one to blame but ourselves. If we lose joy in our marriages, again we have no one to blame but ourselves.
As home keepers, wives, and mothers we are busy women. Sometimes too busy. Why? Have you ever asked yourself why life feels so overwhelming at times? I can tell you why... because you have given over your joy to frustration, greed, incorrectly placed expectations, and the like. I know this because I too have found this to be true for me at times.
I think that is why my heart is swollen today! I can see how much JOY is at our fingertips, to look at, feel, and experience if ONLY we would allow it. If we would stop comparing ourselves to one another, allow ourselves to become better, and focus on what God has given each of us to focus on, JOY comes naturally! I find JOY in cleaning, and cooking for my family. Why? Because we all like a nice clean home, and have found the fruit of having the majority of home cooked meals vs takeout/restaurant dining.
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My Joy does not come from others. It comes from within. That is how it should be! If your waiting for others to build you up, to compliment you, to award your efforts than you are not doing those things that you are wanting praise for .. for the right reasons. In fact, if your doing them to get praise, acknowledgement, etc than you indeed are doing those for selfish ambition. We are warned in the scriptures to do nothing out of selfish ambition, and really that is probably for our OWN protection!
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:1-4
Doing things out of selfish ambition is often for our own gratification, nothing to glorify God though what we are doing could be used for that if the motive was right.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 NIV
When I look INWARD and discover just what is making my life miserable I realize ... it is always (not just sometimes but ALWAYS) myself. My choices. I allow things/circumstances to steal my joy but often because I am doing them for recognition. Really, who CARES if anyone notices that I did something new with my lesson plans, a recipe, even this blog. It can't be done for God's glory if I am seeking my own in the midst.
This morning, my heart is indeed swollen. Why? Because He cares that much for me! God has provided so many blessings that I can't always recall, yet I look back and see and KNOW that it was ONLY by HIS hand they indeed occurred. Even things that may hurt ~ I realize it is probably God's protection over me, so that I can't be accused of something that I am not. I will BOAST of HIS greatness, not my own!