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Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy, Happy... Joy, Joy?

Shall I start off by saying "Happy Memorial Day!"?

OK, then! :-)

Happy Memorial Day... especially to all those who have fought (and those who are still fighting) for the freedoms we all enjoy today!

My husband and I are both actually working today and saving our holiday to take sometime later this year. That's okay, though, 'cause we had friends over yesterday and stuffed our faces very much enjoyed some good ol' Texas BBQ brisket!

I fear I have digressed a little from the topic at hand.

I was going to tell y'all that after feeling like I might have a nervous breakdown being slightly overwhelmed last week, God really blessed me with a very nice and happy weekend.

Yep, He sure did! There were definitely lots of things that made me happy this weekend!

A gorgeous view when I took the dogs outside on Saturday morning.

A few minutes of being alone while D.T. went shopping by himself... again, and the big, loud dog had her fill of fresh grass and warm sun without me having to be out there with her the whole time. What are locked doors good for, if it's not to hold a leash in place? :-)

A husband who comes home from getting "groceries" with this!

and these...

so that he could do this...

Where in the world did I find this handsome man? He cooks, cleans, shops, brings me flowers to make our house look nice, AND plants herb gardens! No, you can't have him! He's all mine!!! Mine, mine, mine! All mine!

Oh, and he also got these...

which I totally LOVE! Don't they look awesome (and make watering easier) in our new hanging basket and herb garden?!?!?

Then, I refrained from procrastinating *gasp*, and actually finished my final assignment for the week on Saturday at 4:53 p.m., even though it was not due until Sunday by 11:59 p.m. Me?? Get an assignment done early??? I mean, where did C.C. go, and what have you done with her?

Sunday was just as nice.

After rocking this little one to sleep in the nursery again, (waaay blurry, so sorry)

I was able to fellowship for a short time with a couple I've become close to over the last few years!

(picture circa 2008)

Later that day, D.T. and I were able to share a yummy meal and good conversation with another couple and our puppies all enjoyed a little playtime.


Okay. Phew.

All that was to share with you a little of what happened this weekend and what made me happy.

Of course, none of that is really the point of this post.

The point of this post is that while lots of things can make us happy, no thing can bring us joy.

After all, happiness is not the same thing as joy.

Happiness is that pleasant feeling I get when my circumstances are favorable.

Joy, on the other hand, is taking pleasure in my Savior despite my unfavorable circumstances.

Certainly joy and happiness may sometimes go together, but rarely is true joy ever achieved apart from pain.

Jesus knew that all too well... perhaps better than anyone else ever can or did.

***"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

***He invites us, too, to "consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

Of course, our final joy will not be experienced until we are together with God in heaven forever!

***I love how Isaiah refers to that day: "The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end." Isaiah 60:19-20

***The book of Revelation also describes what heaven will be like when "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'" Revelation 21:4-5

Isn't that amazing!

God may choose to bless me in unexpected ways on this earth with things that make me happy. He may even help me to navigate the muddy waters of my mortal circumstances, disappointments, busy schedules, and seemingly endless times of waiting with peace and joy that can only come from Him.

It will, however, not be until I get to heaven that I will be free from the cares of this world and can ultimately experience HIS perfect joy ~ the joy that can only come from spending every day in His glorious presence!

Don't you want to go there to?

There is a song ~ actually the last line of a song from my childhood that kept running around my head the other day ~ and it drove me absolutely bonkers because I couldn't remember the rest of the song. Well, God must have known that it would be the perfect ending to the thoughts He was giving me to write here because all of a sudden, it came to me like a flash!

Perhaps you sang it when you were little too?

Come and go with me up, up, up
to my Father's house
to my Father's house
to my Father's house!
Come and go with me up, up, up
to my Father's house
where there's joy and happiness
joy and happiness

***personal emphases added to Scripture

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

***Don't forget to pray for someone today!


Leah said...

Lots of JOY!! MckMama skipped the Not Me's this week, but you can still participate in Toot Your Horn Tuesday! Come on by

He And Me + 3 said...

so glad you had a wonderful and joyful weekend. Great post my friend. Enjoyed some more of that chocolate today. YUM.

amanda said...

wonderful post!! i love all the pictures too.
and if you're serious about cheese, i could totally send you some. ;0) i'd just have to know what kind you all like. and i'm so craving that chocolate now that mimi talked about it! lol.

-stephanie- said...

Great post. I know the joy of the Lord, even on my unhappy days.

I'm hungry for Texas BBQ.

I've got my own flower planting husband here. Nice isn't it?

Jessi said...

Glad you had a good weekend! I love your flowers and herbs. Gardens are so fun!! Thanks for the congrats on my engagement :)

~Amy said...

Is that the view from your house or work?? ;) Definitely breath-taking (one of my favorite parts about this area)!

Hey, do those aqua globes really work? Have seen them advertised on TV and then they are everywhere in the stores now ... wasn't sure (you never know about those $19.95 things - hahahaha)!

Am praying for you!

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