Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life


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Choosing Joy When Your Road Gets Bumpy

habakkuk 3

Ever had one of those days that take the smile right off your face? The car breaks down on your way to work. The school calls to say your child just threw up in the classroom and needs to go home. Hard days make it hard to keep smiling, but even so, we still have reasons to rejoice.

We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but we can choose our response.

Hidden in the last pages of the Old Testament, we find a remarkable role model. Habakkuk had no control over the disasters going on around him, but “he chose to control his response by rejoicing in the Lord regardless…” (UCB Word for Today, Sept. 19)

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,  and the cattle barns are empty,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!”

(Habakkuk 3:17-19a)

 

Habakkuk chose joy despite overwhelming circumstances.

We can make the same choice:

Even though the house is a wreck, and dinner’s going to be late,
Even though the washing machine breaks down, and piles of laundry abound,
Even though money’s tight, and the kids are driving me crazy,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!

 

I want to respond to challenges like Habakkuk did. Instead of letting difficulties drag me down, I want to choose to rejoice anyway, but it doesn’t come naturally.  What comes naturally is complaining, whining, and feeling sorry for poor little me.

So I’m taking three steps towards a choosing a more joyful attitude when my road gets bumpy:

1.  Keep an Eternal Perspective.

Nothing that happens today can change God’s eternal promises. Our sins have been forgiven. We’ve passed from death to life. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us, giving us the strength we need. We don’t have to be afraid because God promises to be with us wherever we go.

2.  Delight in God’s Word.

I want to get as much of God’s Word in me as I can. God’s Word strengthens our faith. It counteracts depression by encouraging us. God’s Word gives us a blueprint for overcoming challenges. It imparts wisdom. God’s Word renews our hope.

3.  Trust.

Even when the bumps and hard knocks of life threaten to steal our joy, we can choose to trust that God has a perfect plan. We may not understand, but we know He uses every trial to shape us more closely to His imagine.

Hard days make it hard to keep smiling, but we can still take steps towards choosing a joyful attitude. Keeping an eternal perspective, delighting in God’s word, and simply trusting help us to develop an attitude that says, “I didn’t sign up for this day, but I’m rejoicing anyway!”

God is carrying out his eternal purposes in us. One day we’ll see Him face to face. That’s cause for rejoicing.

What do you think? Is it really possible to CHOOSE joy?

Linking up with Holly Barrett today:

Holly Barrett

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9 Ways to Lighten up When Life Gets You Down

cutting up

I have a confession to make: I’ve been known to rip snort. I laugh loud. When I get to laughing really hard, well, I can snort. It’s so embarrassing. My kids tease me about it.

I do love a good laugh, and studies show that the old proverb “laughter is the best medicine” carries some truth. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter reduces stress, helps us relax, and combats depression by improving our mood. Continue reading


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Husband Driving You Crazy? Remember Why You Married Him

remember why you married him 1Do you remember that Prince Charming who enthralled you while you were dating him? Many wives find that at some point after the honeymoon, their Prince Charming mysteriously mutated into the most exasperating person they know.  A person with all kinds of irritating habits that drive them crazy: Continue reading


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Why You Need Go-To Girls and How to Get Them

go-to girls“Would this bright, beautiful girl even be interested in spending time with a middle-aged housewife like me?” When I met Bahar, she was a social butterfly with a million friends. I was a stay at home mom overwhelmed by two small kids. I could barely get a shower most days, let alone get outside my house.

I sensed the Lord leading me to encourage younger women in our church, but I didn’t know what to do. I began to pray for a few women and call them occasionally.  The first time I called Bahar, I had to force myself to dial the numbers with sweaty hands.  What if I was bothering her?  What if she really didn’t want to talk to me? Continue reading


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When to Let Go of Your To-Do List

walk in the way 1When school and back-to-busy life start up in the fall, I become Woman on a Mission. And let me tell you, it’s not pretty. I barrel through the day with my to-do list, and my mission is to cross everything off of it. If someone in my family needs help or wants something, I get huffy and bent out of shape because they’re interrupting my plans! Continue reading


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You’re No Grasshopper, Girl!

grasshopper girl

Do you ever feel like a grasshopper?

Sometimes our circumstances make us feel small. Like when everyone at your new job looks qualified and competent, but you have no idea what you’re doing. Or when all the other mothers bring well-groomed kids and healthy snacks to play group, but your kids arrive with bed head and McDonald’s French fries.

Grasshopper thinking results when we compare ourselves with others. Continue reading


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Why This Word Girl Writes (Blog Hop)

word girlMost days I love my cross-cultural life in Turkey, but there are times when I want to pull out my hair and catch the next plane home. Writing helps this home schooling mom and pastor’s wife to maintain her sanity in the face of many demands. I write for myself. I write to connect with God. I write to encourage others. I guess that makes me a word girl. Continue reading

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