Jennifer and I are doing a blog swap of sorts. I am sharing one of her posts today and she will be sharing a piece I wrote on her blog in the upcoming weeks. I met Jennifer through an online Bible study class. We messaged back and forth a bit and I learned that Jennifer grew up close by – in the Charlotte and Asheville areas. She now lives in Ohio with her husband and three adorable little boys.
It’s fitting that she sent this particular post as I am currently home, out of work for the second day with both the flu and strep! What the what?!? I’m really hoping life will get back to normal tomorrow but in the meantime I am following Jen’s advice and deciding to choose joy.
1 – At least I can knock ’em both out at once.
2- Thankfully, although Aaron was sick all last week, both of the boys are still completely healthy.
3 – I have ice cream, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and my little lap dog curled up at my feet to keep me company.
Meet Jennifer ….
I recently posted an article talking about joy and how we can set our minds and choose to find joy in each moment. Of course, shortly after writing that post my “little cold” turned into bronchitis and the beginnings of pneumonia. As some of you know, I have a 5 month old son and my husband is in Iraq so that makes being sick just a little tougher. My friends and family keep telling me to “get lots of rest”. While this is great advice and I know they all mean well…..it is a little difficult to do when you are playing single mom to a 5 month old.
As I left the doctor’s office with the news of “you had better rest and take care of yourself or this will turn into full blow pneumonia!” I started to feel all kinds of sorry for myself. Then, as He always does, God brought His word to my mind. I almost immediately thought of what I wrote on my blog the previous day in reference to all the sufferings that different people in the Bible went through and how Paul tells us in Colossians 1:11 that we are to be “Strengthened with all might, according to [God’s] glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with JOYFULNESS” and in Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the LORD always: and again I say, Rejoice.” The perfect picture of JOY is found in the life of Jesus…“Who for the JOY that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2).
Putting things into perspective a little bit, my being sick doesn’t seem nearly as tragic as “enduring the cross”! Even in those unimaginable circumstances there was JOY. Maybe not happiness or a big smile…..but there was joy.
So I am sick…..at least this is the first time I have been sick this year and I don’t live in plagued and infected villages. I have health insurance, and a great doctor to see me right away. I have medicine to take to make me better. I have a great baby who does sleep through the night and who isn’t screaming all the time. I have friends and family to pray for my healing. I have friends to come and help me watch Johnathan and make sure I am ok. I am SO BLESSED. Do you see what just happened??? Did you see how easy that just was?? I found joy even in my sickness!
I often have to remind myself that when I ask the Lord for something, He always hears me and He always answers. The answer might be “no” and the answer might not be what I am looking for, but He never fails to tell me something. When I tell the Lord that I want to be a more patient person and I ask the Lord for patience, do you think He will just give me patience or do you think He gives me opportunities to practice that patience? I believe He gives me the opportunities….that is how we learn. When I ask the Lord to help me lose weight and get in shape, do you think He just zaps 20lbs off of me, or do you think He gives me opportunities to make a better decision? When I ask the Lord to help me find joy in every moment of my life should I expect Him to just smack me in the face with a dump truck load of joy, or do you think He might give me circumstances in which He can prove to me even more that even, in the midst of a storm that He is there. If I would quit wallowing in my own self-pity and look to Him for a moment, I would find JOY in that storm!
I believe that our God is in the business of teaching us to be more like Him, not just wham-bam your prayers are answered. Does He answer our prayers like that sometimes? Sure. But we must LEARN and CHOOSE to be more like Him every day.
What are you in the midst of right now and how can I help you find joy in that storm? Because there IS JOY in every moment and God wants you to find it. You can only find it when you focus your eyes on Him and know and trust that He is in control and He knows what is best for your life. I challenge you today to find and choose the joy in your life. No matter how dark your day seems, He is always there with arms open wide to you.
Jennifer Moye writes from a place of transparency and with the heart of a mom passionate about God’s will for her family. Her candid sense of humor makes her writing easy and enjoyable to read. She speaks with an authentic style that will have you laughing with relatability yet challenged to step up to your next highest calling in your walk with God. Jennifer is wife to an Airman and mom to three rambunctious little boys. With excitement on a daily basis and grace around every corner, she believes we are meant to live this life in community with others and with the mercy to mess up and try again….and again. Being a mom is hard, but it is also one of the greatest callings we can have in this life. Her ministry to women is relevant and heartfelt with her core passion being that we learn to glorify our God in our parenting, our marriage, and in our everyday lives.
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