Sunday, June 7, 2015

Finding Our Joy Again

Last night we went over to spend some time with dear friends.  Friends who have walked with us through times of pain and times of joy.  Friends who we have shared laughter, meals, children, tears, prayers and life with for the past 6 years.  Friends that God has gifted to us.

This was after I had gone to see movie with a dear girlfriend, and Rick and the kids had gone to do a few fun things themselves.  It was a bright, sunny, summer-like evening with a brilliant Carolina-blue sky.  It was warm and we had the windows in the SUV down and the radio cranked loud.

And then it happened.

"Shake It Off" (Taylor Swift) came on the radio.

And we all broke into song and dance.

Let me tell you-I will not be winning a Grammy in the near (or distant) future.  My biggest only fans of my singing are my children and my shower head.  But when this song comes on-you just have to sing loud and dance.

What I think I look like breaking it down to "Shake It Off"
What I actually look like breaking it down to "Shake It Off"
The point of this is, we are finding our joy again-as a family.  Financial struggle is a quiet killer of families.  It is like a slow-growing cancer that eats away at the soul of the family unit in an area where it can go undetected until it is too late to cure.  I am thankful to God that He revealed this necrosis to our family before it was beyond repair.

In light of this, we have adopted two new family mottoes in the past month: choose joy and love is everything.  We want to live every moment with the understanding that we have a choice, not always in our circumstances, but in how we react and process those circumstances-and we want to choose joy as often as possible. 

We also want to understand that when you strip everything away: hurt feelings, perceived injustice, rules, regulations, and past or present offenses, what matters is love.  That is the gospel of Jesus Christ at it's most basic: love.

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (

Not only is love everything, but without it, we are nothing.  All of the amazing things we could do through Christ's power in us, are worthless and meaningless without love.

 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

I can't say that the troubled times are over.  We may face greater storms ahead.  But I can say, that no matter our situation-our family will choose joy together and will love fiercely and recklessly.  We will do this because this is how we live the gospel.  This is how we put feet to the God-breathed words of the Holy Scriptures.  This is how we worship our Maker and Father.