Tis the season to be Joyful

This time of the year is supposed to be a joyful time but for many, it's a time of hurt, pain, void, anger. Do you ever look at someone and think that they have EVERYTHING so how could life possibly get better for them when you don't have much? Are there times you just wish or dream to be someone else or to simply be in their shoes for a day? I remember growing up with high dreams of being a professional athlete (and...it's possible I still do at 34 years old - I often tell myself there's still Senior Olympics)! It is human nature to compare or reflect on things we don't have that stir our emotions away from having Joy. 

Each day, I'm reminded of the blessings that fulfill my life. I have to admit, at times, it is so hard to focus on the good when you're so consumed with loss, stress, or even trying to plan your future. There are days I'm so frustrated with what I can't hear or dealing with constant technical difficulties. Or, when everything feels out of place, I'm not on my best game. My weakest virtue is patience and because of that, it makes it challenging for me to be still in the moment. Being fulfilled has a little something to do with the present. 

When you feel lost, overwhelmed, or hurt, take a step back into your present time. Go out for a stroll and take a peek at your surroundings or simply reflect on the blessings in your life. You may even realize the hardships others are facing such as having no shelter, no food, no shoes. Some are suffering with addiction, their health, a loss or simply do not have support or family. No matter the greatness of the pain, there is Joy somewhere for those who choose to find it. 

On this Christmas Eve morning, feeling God's presence under the beauty of His sunrise -
bringing lots of light, comfort, and Joy.
As for me, my present, my Christmas Joy is my husband. Something I'm grateful for each day. I'm blessed to have unconditional love and support from my family, friends, and even my in-laws. And I will forever be grateful for the second chance at life, a life with challenges that has given me strength to overcome the impossibilities. My ears may not work well, I may not speak well, but my gifts are in other places. In addition, I'm thankful it was just my hearing affected and the outcome was not paralysis or brain damage as the doctors predicted at the time. God's greatest gift to me are all the above and the richness of His Glory. No matter the struggles in life, these gifts are the far greater and more valuable than anything else. 

My Christmas Joy
Despite the circumstances for a lot of us this season, I pray for everyone to find their Joy beyond all the challenges they may face. Even if they do not celebrate Christmas...they still deserve to have Joy. 

Bible verse of the day: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  ~ Romans 15:13

Quote of the day: Choosing Joy is being able to see God's goodness even when life is hard and messy. ~ author unknown


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