Choosing Joy

There’s a life-eating-monster I’ve sadly come to know in the past few years. He likes to tell us the lies that we’re not good enough and that we’ll never meet that high expectation of excellence. This monster eats away at our souls and everything that was good is turned to bad. He makes our lives painful where they could be happy. And he abides in the minds of many people, young and old — if they let him. His name is stress and he lives to shatter our joy.

Sound familiar? I hope not, but I’m guessing that it does.  If you’re like me, stress has been the source of many unpleasant days, a thousand tears, and most of all, that horrible mongering, sickening fear of missing the mark. He’s the reason that we cannot be happy.

However, I think I’ve found the cure for this disease or the sword to fight this villain we call stress. I’ve been learning about trusting the Love. I’ve been realizing that He knows all things, even when I don’t. And through all that, I’ve found out that despite stress, it is possible to choose joy.

Perhaps its hard not to give into that stress that we so often feel. Maybe happiness takes more effort. But joy is available. And it is so very much better than choosing the monster. It just takes trust, effort, and making that choice.

So today, let’s kick stress and choose joy. I know that I’m going to make that choice. When the power goes out, I’ll enjoy the apples and bread that we have, play the piano in the dark, walk to Starbucks in the rain, and take silly pictures on the couch. If I’m battling a cold and there’s studying to be done and a Spanish classes to assist in, I’ll make a cup of tea, fill my pocket with kleenex, and enjoy what I can. In the deciding moments when I don’t know which way to go, I’ll celebrate the scholarships and good grades, work hard at what I’m not good at, pray and apply to where I think I need to go, and trust the Holy Spirit with the rest. 

Yes, today I’m choosing joy.

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8 thoughts on “Choosing Joy

  1. Thank you so much Elizabeth. Your post was in my email this morning and it was exactly what I needed to read to start my day. Today I choose joy too. No matter the circumstances around me and the difficult decision I am facing right now, I give my stress to the Lord today and choose joy. Thanks again and have a nice holiday!

  2. Amen sister! No matter what at the end of the day and the beginning, we are blessed to be alive. Keep sharing the good news 🙂

    Love you!
    P.S. I really really like your coffee mug.

  3. I came across your blog as I was looking for new blogs to follow. I too can relate to the stress associated with school as finals are in two weeks. I was extremely tired tonight from studying and instead of draining myself I prayed and decided to get some rest! I choose joy!

    🙂

    • Ugh, yes, school is SO increadibly stressful! I’m not sure we’re you’re at exactly (I’m guessing college because you mentioned finals) but I know that as a grade 12 student, I am certainly stressed (and I’m not even studying for finals yet, just regular work). But God will get us through!!! Just remember that…and keep choosing joy! 🙂

      And thank you for checking my blog out! I have been increadibly busy lately (which is why this reply is so late) but when I have a chance, I will be sure to take a look at yours, too.

  4. I love this! Right before Finals week, this is what I needed. I took a less-than-easy (aka trading expressions of horror that signify “I don’t understand a single word of this” at classmates) exam in my college math course today: and yet, after reading this post earlier, I decided not to let the stress get to me. Because everything I don’t know, can’t do, and can’t even understand…Jesus is going to take care of it. Even if I don’t know how it’s going to happen…it will.

    And if choosing joy involves eating whatever the last pictures includes, I’m all of choosing joy!

    • Oh, I hate those tests!!! Well, at least you weren’t alone. In other words, it was a difficult test!

      God is so amazing though! It’s absolutely crazy. I get stressed a LOT and then He always wipes away the fears and gives me so much joy from the things that caused me worry. Of course, there are still bad things that happen but God always takes care of me.

      OH, and the last picture was of a very cold quiche and a Starbucks chai tea latte poured into a mug. My sister and I went out to get food during a power outage…the trouble was, we just grabbed the quiches and didn’t ask them to heat them up and of course we couldn’t use the microwave…so they were cold. We eventually heated them on the barbeque when our dad got home! LOL. It was all good once we added that final touch! 🙂

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