Sunday, March 24, 2013

Herein Lies Joy

"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
Psalm 37:4
(KJV)

"What brings me joy?",
I asked myself this morning,
searching for nothing but completely honest answers.
It didn't take me long to figure it out.

My recipe for a joy-filled day...a joy-filled life....
is really pretty simple.
I'm a simple kind of gal.
Not many frills attached.
What you see is pretty much what you get.

I love to pray.


It brings me the greatest joy to talk to God.
To pour out my heart.
To find comfort as He listens.
Then sit quiet...still...and wait.
Until He starts talking back.
I love the daily surrender...
knowing I don't have to figure things out....He already has.
The release....it isn't up to me, it's up to Him.
The relinquishment of will...
knowing mine is swallowed up in His.
The transfer of responsibility...
off my shoulders, onto His.
It keeps our relationship current...on a daily basis.
If something happens, and I don't get to pray first thing,
my whole day goes out of skelter.
There is a nagging tug that follows me around all day long
and steals my joy...until I drop it all and go seek His face.
I crave time with Him.
I need it.

Joy comes to me in the form of two strong arms
that wrap around me as I cook,
stand at the sink doing dishes,
flitter here and there...doing what I have to do.
Kevin keeps me grounded.
Gives me a deep sense of peace.
Brings untold joy into the every day...
just by being in it.

Joy bubbles within me when a sweet voice says "Mama",
and I realize he is talking to me.
The longing for him started when I was a little girl...
long hair pulled high in pony-tails,
sitting on my bedroom floor,
playing with dolls, dreaming of Prince Charming,
wishing for the real baby who would one day call me "Mama".
I thought it would never happen.
Bundle of joy took on a whole new meaning to me
the moment they first placed him in my arms.

Joy happens every morning when I realize
we made it through another night,
and we are all still here.

Joy comes along and fills my heart just by being with the two of them.
Being a wife and mother are my personal dreams fulfilled.
I was meant to do this.
This is why I was born.
It totally satisfies me.
Fills me with the deepest contentment.
Nothing is a chore.
Down deep, it is all I have ever wanted to do...
more than anything else in the world.

Every time I wash a dish,
change a sheet,
mop a floor,
clean a toilet,
teach a lesson,
fold a towel,
bake a roast,
pack a lunch,
grade a test,
wipe the table,
pick up a toy,
iron a shirt,
cut up a salad,
juice a carrot,
blend a smoothie,
sit between them at the table...
I feel Joy....true and deep.

Joy comes to me in my natural element.
At peace with my Maker,
within Kevin's arms,
raising and homeschooling Zachary,
spending time with them,
loving them,
taking care of them,
serving them...
I am content.
This is right where I am supposed to be.

Joy happens when you are right where you are supposed to be,
with the ones you are meant to be with,
smack-dab in the center of God's perfect will.
Joy is not wishing for anything other than who and what you already have.

Joy is being together...with them.

Whatever we are doing.
Wherever we are.
Living life.
Sharing blessings.
Dividing burdens.

Joy comes to me through the writing of words
flowing from Him Who made me...
filtering through my mind,
then finding their way here....on to my computer screen...
in the form of devotionals.
I love the inspiration part.
Hearing God speak...
feeling His gentle urges to keep writing.
Without it, what worthwhile word would I have to say?
On my own?
It all stems from Him.
These are His words.
His messages.
His thoughts.
Placed in my heart, then shared with yours.

God promised that if we take delight in Him,
He will give us the desires of our heart.
I believe He places the desires there
based on what would most fulfill our lives
and bring us the most joy.
Staying within the parameters of our God-given talents
brings about an automatic sense of fulfillment and deep-seated joy.
The desires that come from the deepest recesses of our hearts
are driven by God's design for us, as an individual
and they give us a good indication of the direction in which we should sail
to find the most joy.
For example, if you are a people person, there's a good chance
you will never be satisfied working in a back office.
Not being able to fulfill God-instilled dreams and desires,
leaves one feeling stymied, smothered, and unfulfilled.

What about you?
What brings you joy?
When are you the most joyful?
What are you good at?
Your natural talents...
the things that come effortlessly to you
These are the road signs to lead you to your true purpose.
Following the desires God has placed in your heart will direct you to true fulfillment.
Trying to struggle against what God wants for you will only lead to misery.
Operating outside of what you are truly good at will cause continual frustration.

The bank in Florida Kevin and I worked for required each person who applied for a job
to complete a test called a "Predictive Index".
On both sides of the test, there were 100 adjectives...
words that describe attitudes and personality traits.
Both sides of the test were identical.
On side one, the applicant was to circle every adjective that described their true self.
On side two, they were to circle every adjective that described how people expected them to be.
After all of the data was entered into the computer software,
the information was compiled and formulated,
and we were provided with an assessment as to which job
the applicant was best suited.
Some people are just not cut out to be supervisors.
Some should never deal with the public.
Others make outstanding managers and shine the most when working with customers.
Everyone is different.
The goal was to match the best-suited candidate to each job opening.
We found this to be best, because people are the most productive
when they are most fulfilled and satisfied.
Putting it simply, a person should do the thing he or she is best at doing.
To put someone in a job in which they continually have to "go against the grain"
to perform their daily duties
is setting them up for failure and puts them at an unfair disadvantage.

God has His Own predictive index scale.
He knows you...and me...inside and out.
He knows where we are best suited...
where we will shine the brightest...
be the happiest....
and find the most fulfillment and joy in our everyday lives.
He gives us desires that lead us to that place.
Your place may be worlds-apart-different than mine.
Only God knows where each of us can be
most efficiently and effectively used in His Kingdom.
True joy is found when we reach that place,
and it will be ours as long as we stay there
and don't wander outside of the parameters and boundary lines God has drawn.

This is real joy.
Joy that transcends any outward circumstance we must endure.
Joy that far surpasses anything this world has to offer.
Joy that is beyond putting into words.
Unspeakable joy.
It automatically comes as we take delight in God, 
finding in Him all we need,
living life at Jesus' feet,
surrounded by the ones who mean the most,
serving them,
continually pouring ourselves out...


for the sake and good of others...
remaining constant in the center of God's perfect will, whatever that may be.

I hope you have more than your share of it.
I hope your heart is overflowing with the joy unspeakable that comes
from being exactly where you are meant to be.
May you always listen to your heart and follow Jesus wherever He leads.
This, my friend, is real joy.
May you find it,
live it,
walk in it...
every, single day of your life.



8 comments:

  1. Ah! Cheryl, I definitely relate to all you wrote. I felt the peace flow as you spoke of taking time to pray each day. I need to pray more. When you spoke of wanting to be a mother, even when you were little, and how God spoke to your heart as a child --I could relate. We are blessed to have the special joy that only God can give, and He shows it to us in so many ways. The Lord be with you and keep you always.

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    1. Thank you SO much, Deborah ~ I am so happy you stopped by. Your words were such a blessing and encouragement to me. May the dear Lord bless you in a special way and always keep you in His care. Come back anytime!

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  2. This is perfect--I'm inspired.

    Be Blessed.

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    1. Bless you, Renee! I so appreciated you stopping by and your kind comments. Thank you so much! May God's peace be with you and yours!

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  3. Cheryl, Thank for attaching "Come Fount of Every Blessing." I needed to hear that this morning. I worshiped the Lord, and that is my prayer too.
    Hugs, Deborah

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    1. Thank you so much, Deborah. That is one of my favorite songs. It is my heart's cry, also! I am so thankful you were blessed by it. You are such a blessing to me!

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  4. Cheryl,
    Thank you for the reminder that every act done with love can be sacred. There are endless reminders of the goodness of God, moments of Joy, to be found in the everyday.
    Peace and good, sister.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind remarks. You are so right, we can find God in all we do and everywhere we look. He is so faithful! May you be blessed in a special way today!

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