They come, and I never like them, but they always leave.
This is what the world looked like from my kitchen window this morning...
...there was not one sign of distress anywhere, and for a second I didn't think about terrorist activities, or the frustratingly hopeless election coming up, or alligators eating people's babies. I didn't worry about my missionary in Germany or my 12-yr-old at Scout Camp or my girls having to travel two hours to a youth dance tonight. I didn't think about all the people who are too far away form me most days whose voices are starting to fade a little too much in my head already. I didn't worry about future callings or making friends or this upcoming trip to DC that I'm SO not prepared for. I just enjoyed watching the sun come in through all those windows and I looked forward to the day. And I wondered why I don't get up that way every morning.
I always see those quotes everywhere on social media that say, "Choose JOY"
I even have it on my phone case. You'd think I'd be better at remembering it every day.
But honestly, most days I feel like I'm pretty much a slave to whatever mood I happen to wake up in. And a lot of times it's based on the weather.
Yesterday looked like this...
Some people like rain, but I don't happen to be one of them. Looking out the window and seeing this says, "Choose Miserable" to me.
Choosing JOY, like writing a blog post, is a privilege and a responsibility, which means it requires some effort. I don't want to just come here casually every day and leave miserable footprints all over this blog. I'd rather have it be filled with light, love, gratitude and joy.
During these interim days when there is no real reason or urgency to get up and DO anything, I could easily stay in bed and do absolutely nothing. Or I could wander around the house all day in jammies moving things around and cleaning things and call it productivity. Or I could be at the mercy of my teenagers and spend the day running them around. Why do they love to be in constant motion? On days like this when there is no schedule it is so much harder, but just as important to make an intentional decision to CHOOSE JOY. I have to set my day up for JOY instead of letting the weather and whatever other loud variable dictate my mood and my pace. Because if I don't, the days suddenly all seem grey and lifeless.
A joyous day for me is one where I have heard the Spirit whisper things in my head. It's one where I have acted on promptings or done things I didn't wake up thinking I would do.
Creativity = JOY
Purpose = JOY
Connecting with other humans = JOY
Spiritual increase = JOY
And if I want to have a day sprinkled with at least a little bit of that stuff, then I have to choose that
...by actually getting ready in the morning...like with my hair brushed and a little lipgloss on and wearing clothes I didn't sleep in the night before.
...by taking the time first thing in the morning to pray and read my scriptures,
...and by making sure there are moments of quiet somewhere in the 16-18 hours that I'm awake. Sometimes they're tiny, but if I look for them and capitalize on them, I can do amazing things with 5 minutes.
"The struggle of life is one of our greatest blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive, and Godlike. It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Helen KellerI could spend my days being productive and my nights worrying about everything that's not going well in the world and in my life. Or, I can do something better with my days.
Today I chose JOY.