Tuesday, January 17, 2017

CHOOSING JOY {and kicking worry to the curb}

Joy is the serious business of heaven.
  ~ C. S. Lewis  

Joy may be the serious business of heaven, but it's also the serious business of kids. 
Children have this amazing tunnel vision, like blinders on a horse, that block so much of what could be heavy from their sight. 
This December Tom's business brought us down south to Los Angeles and Santa Monica the week before Christmas (crazy timing!).  And I have to say that what made our time so enjoyable was watching our children experience joy.   
While they were excitedly putting their hands in the handprints of Bing Crosby in front of Grumman's Chinese Theater, I was of course panicking on the inside about germs and kidnappers.  And while they were being tussled and splashed by waves at the beach, I was counting heads, fretting about drowning and sharks (don't worry, it was a dolphin!).  Ya, I'm a real blast at parties too.  
As moms some worry is just going to be carried on our shoulders so our kids can be kids- and that's a good thing, but studies have shown that most of our worries are simply baseless. 
The truth is, where people wrote down their worries over a two week period, not only did the things people worry about not happen, but 85% of the time what actually happened was positive instead!
In other words, we worry most about things that won't ever be a problem.  And that can be a problem.  Worry is a joy stealer.  It's time to pay attention to when we worry and if it's not productive stuff, kick it to the curb!   
We worry about the news, the elections, what will happen now that the elections are over, what people think of us and so on only to arrive later to find that none of the terrible things we fretted about happened at all but we had wasted moments that could have been joyful. 
God says worry won't change a thing- at least it won't change things for the good (Psalm 37:1-11).

But joy.  Joy is an amazing force.  Joy comes from focusing on what God has done and is doing.  It's being grateful for the specific things God has sovereignly placed in our journey (writing them down is a great idea!).  Joy comes from keeping our eyes on Christ and trusting Him for the future.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.  -John 15:11
That doesn't mean we will always feel joyful- it can be a real job to analyze and refocus our thoughts!  But making joy the business of our homes will help us to experience little slivers of heaven here on earth.  Cultivating joy is like taping the fountain of youth.  I can only imagine how it makes our Heavenly Father feel to see us resting in His care and doing cartwheels in our hearts over the blessings He has given us.      
In our home we have tried different things to encourage our hearts toward joy.  One thing we did last winter was create a big "Gratitude Attitude" poster board where we each wrote down one thing a day we were grateful for.  People remember what they do (write, say etc.) so this was a good way to choose joy and kick worry to the curb for us.  I think I'm ready to do this again!  What are some ways you choose joy in your home? 
It's the simple stuff that we sometimes forget: "...warm air in our home, Lydia's help finding puppy, humor, a mom and dad that love us, sunshine, our church, sleep..."
I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds.  -Psalm 77:12 

Rebecca Jones is a believer on Christ, passionate about God's Word and applying it to life.  She and her High School sweetheart have been married for 25 years and have 5 daughters (yes 5!).  Rebecca has a degree in Marketing, has been home educating for 15 years and writing since 2008.  Her oldest daughter is presently attending a Christian college while the other 4 daughters continue to school at home. 




  1. I don't think we have actually yet done anything practical like making a gratitude poster but I really like the idea of it and will start one soon!
    Also, I read somewhere that you cannot think a positive thought and a negative thought at the same time. That's been really helpful to understand that when I put my thoughts on the promises of the Lord I feel at peace and do not fear or worry.

    1. That's fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing! :D