Last week was a rough week. There were plenty of logical reasons why. I had been traveling the week before, my kids were off their routine, my husband wasn’t feeling awesome, and I had started a new workout routine. I have to just face the facts that exercise . . . especially butt-kicking exercise . . . always makes me grumpy. But, I found it ironic that I was having such a non-joy filled week as I prepped resources for a new series I was launching called Summer of Joy.
Friday morning I woke up with plenty of work that needed to be done, but I choose my journal and purple pen first. I wrote on the paper:
God, I feel like a hypocrite!
And of course the response I heard back was “YEP! You are.” (Gotta love His honesty!)
My week had been void of joy but not because the Holy Spirit, who lives in me and provides awesome fruit like joy, decided to head out on a beach vacation it was because I was not giving God the power to be in charge. I was letting all these other things/excuses have the power to control my emotions in the day.
It was very clear that I needed a new game plan because all the reason why Monday-Thursday felt drudgingly painful still existed. It was my attitude that needed to change.
How do we fill up our cup of joy up when it is on empty?
Ask for forgiveness
I needed to come clean. I needed to say I was sorry to God and my children, who had mostly felt effects of my yucky behavior. God, got a lovely hand-written note in my journal and my kids got snuggle time in bed as I walked through my not great choices in the past week. They even managed to negotiate Jello for breakfast out of my confession time.
Declare your intention
After step one was done and the air was clear and the weight was lifted my kids and I prayed together. We asked God to help give us a response and attitude of joy in the day and we all shook hands and declared it: NO GRUMPS DAY! There is power in out loud declarations because you have other people holding you accountable even if those people are 4 and 6. I actually find they hold me accountable better than my adult friends.
Live in real time.
I have the ability to live in the past (i.e. I love strolling down memory lane via pictures on Facebook) and the future (i.e. dreaming about the beach vacation that is two months away) really well, but I can fail at living in real time. I am becoming more and more aware that when I am living outside of the present it is easy for joy to get sucked out of me. Choosing to let the text message that binged, or the wet laundry sit, or the dishes in the sink be content and simply enjoy the fact that my children are putting on a puppet show, or that my body says it needs a nap, or calling an old friend for some catch up on life IS OKAY. God is not in heaven saying “Shame, shame! You didn’t check off all the to-do’s on your list.” In fact God says your priorities for the day are: Love Others and Reflect Jesus.
With a new season upon us take a moment to stop and check your cup of joy. It is brimming and perhaps even overflowing or are you scraping the bottom and wondering where your joy has gone? If you are on empty make the choice to ask for forgiveness, declare your intentions, and live for this day because: