What do you think of when you first get up in the morning? Are you smiling and ready to greet the day or do moan and groan for a few more minutes of sleep? Me? I wake up & I know I am awake because every muscle in my body during the evening has seized up, so I wake up saying 'thank you Lord Jesus for this day. Thank you Lord for the pain which I know You are using to strengthen me or drive me crazy, but at least I know I am living.
This morning we are going over the letter J for Joyful. What makes you feel really joyful may not be the same thing that makes me joyful. I love the rain and snow while others that live here in the northwest aren't so happy when it arrives. I get that! But, it still makes me joyful.
This morning when I took myself out of bed, the fireplace was still going where my husband had prepped it before he left for work (in the wet rain), but it gives me joy knowing that he loves and cares for us so much that when I first get up in the morning I don't have to struggle to get down and up loading the fireplace.
Joyful is seeing an entire NASCAR race from start to finish without it being called so close to the end!
Joyful is hugs from my grandchildren, students telling me I teach them so much, a phone call from a friend, pictures of friends and their families, being able to move around, finishing a quilt, I can go on.
No matter what we are going through and I know I have had my share of pity parties and some longer than others, we are to look for blessings all around us and in every situation we find our selves in for live is filled with challenges everyday.
Nehemiah 8:10 tells us to not be grieved for the joy of the Lord will give us strength. WOW! I want to experience some of that and I have this week in 2 ways.
First, on Friday as I was sitting in my car leaving work, it hit me that I couldn't remember the last time I had a great belly laugh & was wondering if maybe in some small way I am depressed and don't recognize it. Then when I got home on the fireplace was a card from hubby to me, his Christmas Cupid. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. I thanked the Lord for showing me I could still laugh.
Second was yesterday when I participated in our Girl Scouts Thinking Day. First we went to the leaders home and made real Sushi and then we headed out to the hall we were going to be in. What made me joyful was watching girls of all ages and some boys (who had been drug along by parents)having fun. There was not a cross word, the older girls were helping the younger girls without malice or sniping at them and everyone was joyful.
Here is a picture of the swaps the girls brought home. Thinking Day is set aside for Girl Scouts to learn about other countries and their scouting traditions, foods, etc.
You can see we did Japan and made Sushi pins, they looked so real that some of the girls kept saying no thanks when we offered it to them. There is the Mona Lisa from France, A feathered butterfly from Belize, Flags, small pins and a Korean flag made with a bottle top.
There was food to be tried, cheese from Holland, Cream Puffs, Pico de Gallo, Ice Cream, etc.
There were talks about each country, dancing, songs to learn and in the end there was a huge friendship circle and turn out and everyone was perfect.
Oldest got to attend both Thinking Day and a birthday party and at first I was apprehensive when she entered a room with girls in tights and leotards and she had on sweats, but she was bubbling over when I picked her up.
The most joyful part of her day? Laughing with another girl because they were the only ones without leotards and they didn't care!
Be joyful today, no matter how difficult a hand the Lord has dealt to you, be joyful and be blessed!