Friday, November 29, 2013

Finding Joy- Part I

//An unpublished post from yesterday. Warning- it's very wordy! This is different than my normal posts, but I decided I wanted to share this with y'all.//

Happy Thanksgiving!! Today is the time to be joyful & thankful. Today is the day to watch the parade, spend time with family, and enjoy all of that delicious food you've been working on.

In the past few months I've really been focusing on being a more positive and joyful person all the time. Sure, it's easy to be positive and happy when everything is going good in your life, but what about when things go bad? Maybe school or your job is stressing you out. Maybe you're lonely, or maybe you've had a fight with your best friend. Whatever your reason, what is going to keep you anchored in the midst of the storm? What is your hope, your wave of calm?

The other day I was flipping through my Bible and came across the passage of Philippians 4:1-13. I have a womens devotional Bible, where there are little side devos to go with certain passages. This particular passage did have a devo and questions to go with it, so I sat down to read it.

It talked about how in this world gentleness is no a longer seen as a great quality to have. To our society gentleness can mean weak, timid, and vulnerable, or that you won't stand up for yourself. In the scripture however gentleness is something to be greatly valued.

So what exactly does it mean to have gentleness? According to the dictionary it means to be considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender. My devo explained gentleness as being someone that never raises your voice, never threatens, but is still calmly authoritative, and always smiles. The Bible in Philippians 4:5 says, "Let your gentleness be evident to all."

Verse six is what really got me though. It says, "Do not be anxious about anything." Honestly, this is one of the most well known Bible verses. (At least to me) It's one of those verses that I've known from a young age and could say the long version by heart. Actually, I have the VBS song of it going through my head right now! The point is though, I know this verse so well that I no longer pay attention to the meaning. The deep message in it.

As the passage continues it tells us to "give our anxiety over to God". To pray and give thanks, and then to focus on things that are beautiful, pure, and positive. This spoke to me personally because in the past year I've started to deal with a lot of anxiety. While it's gotten much better, I still fight it from time to time, and the idea of simply "giving it all over to the Lord" sounds so relieving. I also love the reminder to give thanks, not just to ask for things when praying, and also how they tell us to focus on the positive and the beautiful.

My devo pointed out that meditating and focusing on the positive and beautiful helps us to develop our ability to notice and appreaciate small beauties and increase our sense of thankfulness to the Lord. A spirit of contentment and gratitude brings peace.

I loved this passage and how it spoke to me, and I really encourage you to go read it for yourself.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday lovelies!

xoxo, em


  1. Such a lovely post! I often find that I get really worried about everything and is important to just not let that get too much really. :)

  2. Beautifully written Em! :) I know exactly what you're going through because that's what I'm going through. The process of finding a job, being a junior in highschool, and other crazy life tasks. We must think alike because it's also been my goal to stay happy and not so stressed out with life gets tough. It's hard though, and "giving it all to the Lord" can be harder than it seems. One day, I just cried and prayed for God to not make me feel so overwhelmed and thankfully it worked. Just laying it all out for him to handle is better than handling it alone.

    It's ironic you mentioned "fighting with your best friend" because that has also happened to me recently. Thankfully a good friend of mine talked to me about it and I got the courage to talk to her and we worked it all out. But life is hard and good and stretching and odd. But living your life with joy will make it all worth while.

    xoxo and thanks for writing this!