Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I've been robbed! It crept in like a thief in the night, and it robbed me. Right under my nose, it was gone in a flash. Something stole my joy.

I didn't even realize what had happened until my pastor pointed it out to me, along with the rest of the congregation, Sunday. It explained everything -- the exhaustion, the stress, the difficulty, the pain... It had been snatched right out from under my nose!

I am a joyful person. Anyone that has been around me for any amount of time sees that joy just naturally flows out of me. However, anyone who has been around me lately that really knows me, and you know who you are, could tell very quickly that I was straining to muster that joy up to the surface. When it isn't flowing out naturally, it takes a lot of work and takes a lot out of me.

I have been drained. I have been flat worn out. I have felt trapped by circumstances that really aren't that bad, but that have managed to take control of my life, sapping me of everything I have. It's almost like my hope had floundered, when in reality I lost my focus.

You see, our circumstances don't control our joy. I know this, but I needed to be reminded of it. Our happiness is many times dependent on our circumstances, although I am also a big believer in being in control of our happiness no matter what. Joy, on the other hand, comes from the Lord. It is a natural out-flowing of what He is doing in our lives. When we lose the focus of the bigger picture of what God has for us, we can let that joy slip deeper within us, almost as if it gets covered up by the other gunk in our lives. (And I, like most of you, have plenty of gunk.)

I have rarely allowed the gunk to take over. I am not a person who allows very much to take over the joy in my life. This has happened another time in my life when I was overwhelmed with moving to South Carolina, my health was bad, and I was trying to keep up with 4 small children without any help. This time, it has been more vague. It has been a slow culmination of things that have finally weighed me down. The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back is my most recent exhaustion. Fortunately, God knew I needed a word, an out loud word, and I heard it loud and clear Sunday.

My hope has been renewed. My priorities have been re-shuffled. I am taking control back from the gunk, and I'm handing it back over to the Lord. I reset the security system of my life, and I'm not letting that robber steal my joy again.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

There comes a time...

There is a time in everyone's life when something, or things, causes them to step back and reflect on where they have been and where they are going. At the risk of repeating myself, I am right there once again.

Several things have started coming together lately, or I at least feel like they are beginning to. Ken's job is good, he seems to be appreciated there, bills are being paid, and there is a sliver of hope that things are going to improve financially. (I may even get a car with air conditioning and heat within the next few weeks!) I have a new job, which I really enjoy other than the night shift thing, and I'm beginning to feel older (and comfortable with it) and somehow ready to move into another phase of my life, whatever that is.

With all of this, I have realized that I'm letting some things get by me, and I'm not really doing what I want to do with my life. My dream, for those that don't know me very well, is to write. The challenge has always been knowing how to take the first step. I was blessed enough to be a newspaper writer for a time a while back, and it was a real kick to see my name in print. It was more of a kick knowing that I was earning money, however little it was, doing something that I loved so much. Now, mind you, I love my job as a medical secretary, but writing is my passion. How many people get paid for doing what they are passionate about? Not very many. Why? Is it because they haven't tried? Is it because they let life keep them caught up in the cat and mouse game of making ends meet? Is it simply reserved for those who are passionate enough to actually make it happen?

Moreover, am I one of those that is passionate enough to make it happen? So far in my life, I've done very little to make anything happen, things just happen TO me or FOR me. (Which I'm grateful for.) What if I suddenly took life by the horns and MADE things happen? Now, if I just knew where to begin....