You have possession of your heart’s state of mind just like you have free will when it comes to making choices. The Bible instructs you to not let anyone take your joy. Sometimes it’s easy to miss the attempt to steal your happiness because it is subtle. Sometimes, the attack comes head on with guns blazing.
But you decide which answer you give: Is the glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty? Most people choose one or the other. But have you ever considered that if you say the glass is 1/2 empty, it isn’t that you don’t have 1/2 of what you did, but that you still have 1/2. It’s yours to savor and enjoy at your leisure.
The devil likes you to be unhappy, downtrodden and outright hopeless. All those adjectives describe joylessness. As a child I learned a song in church, The Joy of the Lord is My Strength. If you want joy you must sing for it. It’s true and I still love that song. I put it into action every chance I get by singing along with one of my favorite CDs. But most of all, I learned the truth from that song that if I have a song in my heart, I have joy. No one sings a happy tune if they aren’t happy. I don’t believe you can frown and sign an upbeat song about happy, hopeful things. You can sing about tragedy, but you can’t while you’re smiling. Your face will be angled downward into a frown.
When I guest blog on sites, as I type my responses, I smile. I am a firm believer that your attitude is conveyed through your actions and even your words. It is easier to respond and to be sincere when I smile during those replies. It is freeing. It is empowering. God gives each of us that power–to travel this world with a song in our hearts.
I know you see references to Casting Crowns and their songs in a lot of my posts. Well, their music and the message behind their lyrics give me joy. They have a new album out called, Thrive. It is very upbeat and you can’t help but tap your steering wheel while you’re waiting at the red light to change when listening to most of the songs on the album, the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 8th (the 3rd & 8th especially for me). There are a few songs that are a bit dark, dealing with struggling relationships and disconnected families and one about the thief that comes in the night to steal—your joy and anything else he can. Don’t let him take your joy. Guard it well. Revel in it. Rejoice in it. and Witness through it.
The title song, Thrive, makes me happy when I sing along with it.
So, what song brings you joy?
This year is going to be better than the last for me and my family. That doesn’t mean there won’t be problems, sickness, even death because there already has been even though we aren’t halfway through February.
But I have faith. And I’m surrendering my year to God and going to just be held. Watch this video from Casting Crowns and let God’s everlasting comfort be yours no matter what you face.
The joys we’ve had are renewed health, comfort, and a closeness of family that only comes from facing struggles together. And the countdown to the release of my first book, Campaigning for Love, grows closer each day. Yay!!!!
Let no man steal your joy. It is yours. A gift from God, placed in your heart along with the song of salvation. Rejoice and sing from your heart.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N756Tli-x4k&list=PL05E6E47D9CC4B590 This is my favorite Christmas song. It is by Casting Crowns. Enjoy and I pray God’s peace and love to you during this Christmas season.
I was blessed with an amazing early Christmas present. It came the night before Thanksgiving–so Thanksgiving Eve. Heartsong Presents of Love Inspired is going to publish my Golden Heart winning inspirational romance, Love’s Advocate, in September of 2014 as book 1 in a 3 book series.
I am beyond thrilled. Happier than a child receiving their first bicycle. Still Snoopy dancing.
And grateful beyond measure to my amazing agent, Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates, Ltd, and Heartsong Presents, the talented and encouraging Heather Burch, Carol Post, Dixie Taylor, Sabrina Jarema, and Anne-Marie Carroll and Joni Fisher. No one could ask for a better group of ladies to have as their friends, critique partners, and encouragers. You are all the awesome present I was gifted with long before this one.
To Casting Crowns for some of the most inspiring and revealing lyrics to God‘s truth.
And I’m thankful to God, always. He has sustained me, guided me, loved me, and strengthened me when the days were too dark for me to see where I was going. He truly is a light unto my path, shining bright forever.
And my Firebird sisters. All of you ladies rock. Each one of you has inspired me and helped me realize this world is unkind to all of us, not just me. You keep me from being selfish and you help me know that if I keep reaching higher, I will catch that shooting star–one day. And that day was November 27, 2013.
Last but by no means least, I am thankful to and for my hubby, the amazing Typo-detector. We are starting a new journey, leaving sorrows behind and making new traditions with fewer people gathered around our holiday table, but they will always be in our hearts. I love you most.
And all of my family. Never has someone been more blessed than I am with all of you. I hope I can live up to your expectations.
Merry Christmas to all.
I’m reading so many posts about all the things different people are giving thanks for. So, I’m going to jump in and give my thanks–to God and what He allows me to learn from His people each day.
I try to keep my personal and writing lives separate to some extent, but the last two years have posed the biggest challenge for me and I’ve wondered if I would survive in one piece. We lost my mother-in-law unexpectedly in May. I moved into my in-law’s house that day and became the main caregiver for my father-in-law who had been home under hospice care for a year already. Then he passed away in July.
Needless to say, there wasn’t much writing going on during the first eight months of this year. There are MANY other people that I’ve spoken to in random conversations that made me feel ashamed that I considered my problems and struggles too hard to handle. For those people, thank you for showing me your strength when you probably felt your weakest. You renewed my hope and helped grow my faith. I’ve said prayers for you and you have been a burden on my heart that I bring to God in prayer often.
God has taught me patience (this is not a lesson I ever wanted to learn from practice) when I didn’t even know I was in the classroom of life taking the course. I think I may have earned a “C” and that’s if there was a curve. So I will probably have to repeat that class several times.
But God has used music, specifically my love and appreciation for all things Casting Crowns, and the lyrics and scriptures of their songs to open my heart and my eyes to new truths that apply to whatever I’m dealing with at the time and then something new the next time I listen to the words or read the scriptures.
Thank you God for Your amazing love and the grace You grant me to try again when I don’t get it right the first time.
And thank you for the most wonderful friends in the writing world and my church who are like family to me and my family by birth. And my husband, there aren’t enough words to thank you for him. I want to be a source of encouragement and hope to each person when they face their darkest time as You allowed them to be for me.