Thursday, December 13
Since this post is going to discuss joy I want to share these pictures with you. We attended our granddaughter's graduation from boot camp at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina during the Thanksgiving week and this is a picture of her joy at seeing her grandparents. Please pray for all our soldiers in foreign countries and away from their homes at this time of the year. Pray for their parents and their families that God would bless them all.
I removed my "lovely" walking boot on Friday. I jokingly have told people that boots are in style for the Fall season and I certainly always want to be "in" with my clothes. The best news is that on Monday I WALKED nine holes of golf.I know many of my readers would not find that very exciting, but it was thrilling for me, and even better I did not have any pain. It has been more than a year since I could say with all honesty that I didn't hurt. First, it was my back and a sciatic nerve-then it was my hip and the culminating hip replacement-then it was my broken ankle. All in all it has been some time since I have been the woman I want to be physically. I am praising God for His healing power. I realize that many people have constant pain, and that my aches and pains have been minor in comparison.I certainly have more compassion for those suffering individuals.
I prayed often in these past months that God would guide my attitude about my physical weaknesses. Paul writes to the Ephesians in the second chapter about how God has prepared us in advance for the special purposes He has created us to accomplish. Purpose is still a buzz word in Christianity and if we are pursuing His purpose for us what should our attitude be? Our attitude can change our life. I have heard my daughter more than once tell her young daughter that she "needs to change her attitude". Maybe God, my Father, is admonishing me to change my attitude.
A change of attitude can often make a big difference. So I want to share my own personal Be Attitude list.
"Be joyful always." 1 Thessalonians 5:6 "Again I say rejoice. "Philippians 4:4
One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy. So many women in today's society seem to be unhappy. And not just the women of the World. I personally am acquainted with Christian women who never seem to be happy. The mood of the home is usually the mood of the wife and mother. "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is one of those funny but true statements. Our chidren and our husbands often reflect what is felt in the home. "A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day." Proverbs 27:15. Criticism and nagging can become a habit. We don't even realize we are doing it,and our family becomes hardened in their hearts to the drip, drip drip of little criticsms. We really only want them to be the best they can be,but each of us must be careful with our words. We often take the joy out of small pleasures for our children, our husbands and our friends.
We worry too much about outward appearances and what people may think. How often have you said to your husband or your teenager, "You surely aren't wearing that outfit are you?" And only after it is out of my mouth and I see the look on their face do I realize what I have done. I have humiliated and hurt the one I love and it really isn't an important issue at all. Teenagers and clothes are always a point of distress.Many times we are making it more important that it needs to be. A rule of thumb at our home "If it isn't illegal, immoral or indecent then we can talk about it." Everyone needs some form of self-expression. A cutting comment from Mom can steal the joy from the moment for your teenager.
And so what if my husband has worn that shirt to church for the past three Sundays. I am probably the only one who knows what shirt he wore last week anyway. Does it matter if there is paint on the pants he has on? He's just going to the store. Each little nagging comment takes a bit of joy from his life that moment.
I once watched a little boy playing in a glass of Kool-Aid with a spoon .Red Kool-Aid is such fun to stir and when it splashes it makes lovely puddles on the table. I saw his mother go to the faucet, get a glass of water and replace the Kool-Aid with the clean water. "Here now stir to your heart's delight" she smiled. What a lovely way to handle the situation. I am sure I would have grabbed the Kool-Aid glass, quarreled at the youngster for making a mess and sent him on his way. No joy in that scenario. We must learn to enjoy the moment.
Proverbs 17:7 reads "A cheerful heart is good medicine." Joy is catching. When we demonstrate the inner contentment and true joy that comes with Christ we are sharing the attitude of Joy. When we leave a group do the people feel lifted up? I want people to feel such joy when they are with me that their comment becomes,"whatever she has I want it." And then we can share Jesus.
My next post will be my second BE ATTITUDE I pray that you will share joy and that you will know joy in the days ahead. Just an added footnote: I plan to start my daily walking in the new year. I have no words to tell you how much I have missed my morning walks. My hip and leg both feel strong enough to do this now, but we are leaving for Illinois on 15th and will return to Florida on 30th. May all of you continue to walk with me as I walk both physically and spiritually. I pray my limping days are finished for awhile.
Monday, September 24
Tuesday, September 4
Sunday, August 19
I remember walking in the mountains of Montana early one morning and the same feeling came upon me. Walking on the mountain takes your breath away-figuratively and literally. The mountains were beautiful in the early morning. That morning I walked down the hill for quite awhile, not thinking that if I wanted to get home, it would be necessary to walk back up the hill.
Going uphill is difficult. In fact, so difficult that I quit at one point, and decided I would wait for someone to come along and pick me up. It was here that the imaginary wall showed up. I felt I must go on. Physically I was depleted, but I needed to walk on up to the top. I pushed through the wall. I rested often, but as I rested I still had this wonderful view of the Mission mountains and the valley below. Even in my resting time I was aware of God’s presence in those mountains.
What an analogy of the Christian walk. When a person first starts walking with Christ, the walk is not too difficult; we are on the top of the hill. We start down the hill just a step or two. We aren’t going far, but we want to test ourselves just a bit. How easy it is to wander on our way admiring the beauty surrounding us, oblivious to how far down the path we have traveled. We have gone too far away from Christ. We are walking an unknown path. Realization hits and we recognize that we need to get back to where we started.
We decide to start back. Traveling back isn't easy. We often need to take a breather. Prayer becomes necessary if we are to continue. Our time with God’s Word increases as we realize the need for spiritual food. Friendship and encouragement from our friends is the crutch we lean on. Just like the beauty of the mountains was still surrounding me so the spirit of Christ still is with us.
We recover our spiritual breath, take a new look at the situation and go on toward the top. We continue struggling with the determination to go back to where we began this downhill journey.
Physical walking and spiritual walking have so much in common. The Spirit keeps pushing us to walk a little farther, to become a little stronger in the knowledge of the Lord. We walk through that wall. Certainly it is a struggle. Sometimes the struggle is a daily thing; sometimes it goes on for years.
The top of the hill is worth it.