I wasn't just hungry for joy.... I was starving.

 

My week was hard.

It was one of those weeks I don’t ever want to remember.

The culmination was to hear untruths spewed out about my relationship with my mother (who died 11 years ago) by someone who has absolutely no idea.  Talk about a kick in the stomach.

So what do I do when my head is spinning and things seem totally out of control?

Drive to the big lake to see big waves.

 

How to live in the present filled with joy.

 

And stay until sunset, that in spite of the heavy gray skies, sprang forth with great brilliance.

 

Or on another day, go to a lakeside park with a bag of tortilla chips and salsa and sit at a picnic table to enjoy a silly, but tasty, substitute for a real supper.  And watch a new mama dip her baby in and out of the water and hug and love on her sweet pea.

 

Or walk the Lake Michigan beach and have fun watching the sandpipers skitter along and peck for something delectable and the seagulls dive and fight over sticks and a tiny plastic fragment tossed by the waves.

 

How to live in the present filled with joy.

 

There’s something almost magical about those moments.

You see in those moments we are totally alive…

We are fully engaged.

We are in the present.

Not the past.

Not the future.

Just this moment in time.

And in this moment in time… we touch eternity.

 

You see… whatever is past is past… it’s a frozen piece of time… there is no life in the past… it’s merely a memory.

And what about the future?

The future is unknown… it’s rife with dread and hope and worries and expectation… all so far from reality.

Reality is now.  In this moment.

And in this moment… this is where we live.

This is where joy resides.

This is where we fully experience life.

 

How to live in the present filled with joy.

 

Where do you live?

In the past?  The future? Or the present?

 

Some days we can get so caught up dwelling on what happened in the past and looking to the future that we totally miss the here and now.

We get caught up in not living.

We are joy-less.

 

Today, my devotional contained this verse…

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full.”

John 15:11

It grabbed my attention.

I KNOW this verse…

But today… I was joy-less.

And I wasn’t just hungry for joy…. I was starving.

 

I wasn't just hungry for joy... I was starving. How to live in the present filled with joy. An inspired devotional to help you live more fully and beautifully than ever before.

 

You see… I was guilty of dwelling (allowing my thoughts to be consumed) by things of the past and the unknowns of the future.  Allowing my mind to go to both of those places was paralyzing.  Maybe we could say I was frozen (past) in fear (future)… and I missed the present entirely.

 

How about you?

Do you ever find yourself caught up in the past or the future?

Where does it get you?

 

How to live in the present filled with joy.

 

I want the joy of the present.

And not just a little joy…. I want my joy to be full.

 

Remember my little escapes to the lake?

Those were escapes to the present.

Escapes to joy.

Escapes to God.

 

There on the lakeshore my spirit was renewed.

Why?

Because there I am awed by the waves, the details, the colors, the wind, the birds, the reflections, the bubbles in the sand, and the setting sun all created by a God who extravagantly paints the skies and the tiniest details in a bird’s feather.

There… life is bigger.  Greater.  Grander.

There my spirit is renewed.

There I find myself giddy with joy.

 

How to live in the present filled with joy.

 

Do you need a lakeside escape in order to live in the present and be filled with joy?

No.  You don’t.   But… if it’s available… do it.  Or walk in the woods, or out in the fields, or garden, or anywhere outdoors.  Marvel at God’s creativity and his creation.

Whether or not we have a nature escape into the present we all have an opportunity to LIVE in the present…

“I have loved you the same way the Father has loved me.
So live in my love.  If you obey my commandments, you will live in my love.
I have obeyed my Father’s commandments, and in that way I live in his love.
I have told you this so that you will be as joyful as I am, and your joy will be complete.
Love each other as I have loved you.
John 15:9-12

 

Living in Jesus’ love and expressing that love to each other is the best reality.  It’s the most present present and it’s the best present we have been given and the best present to give away.

To live in Jesus, loving each other with the love he’s given us, is complete joy.

It’s even better than the most beautiful sunset or the most exquisite mountain flower.

Those moments when we are fully alive in Christ… when we’re living completely in the moment… those are the moments that our joy is full and complete… and those moments are most like eternity… they actually touch eternity. It’s a perfect communion with God.  No wonder Jesus commands us to live in his love.

He didn’t do it to put a burden on us… causing us strain.  Instead… it’s the very opposite.  He has given us a way to live… fully… beautifully… joyfully…. in the present.  Because there… the past doesn’t matter… nor does the future.

 

How to live in the present filled with joy.

 

You know what? If I’m not careful, I can spend too much time with one foot in the past and one in the future that I miss living… I miss out on joy.

Our situations may not change.  But… that really doesn’t matter does it?  Yes… I want my situation to change and you do too.  But, since living fully in Jesus, loving others, we will find joy.  And our current situation might just be the most joy-filled place to be.

Hmmm….

Speaking of JOY…

It's JoyDay!

 

It’s JoyDay!

 

I’m so glad you’re here to join me for JoyDay!  I love it when we take time to share the good things God has done in our lives.  Both the good and the not-so-good.

Will you join with me in counting ‘seven’ from the past week?

I’ll start!

Thank you God for…

  1. this time to be near the lakeshore.
  2. knowing that in spite of how things seem… you are always with me.
  3. being in the details of life no matter how complicated things get.
  4. being our provider. Every single thing comes from your hands.
  5. a picture perfect night at the lake… a balm to open wounds.
  6. your word that encourages and uplifts our hearts.
  7. praying friends.

Now it’s your turn!

Please join me by tapping in your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below. I dare you!

Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave your sweet thoughts.

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Comments

  1. I’m so glad you found joy in the midst of your troubles, Diane! God bless you!

  2. Diane, I’m sorry that you had a bad week and had accusations spoken against you. That hurts at the very core. There is something about the noise of the water that soothes our soul. I think we all struggle with not always being in the present. We worry about what the future holds, we wish we could undo some things in the past, but thank God for sending Jesus to redeem us from all of our pain and sorrow and forgiving our sins with His shed blood!! There is a blog I follow called, The Enchanting Rose. You would love her post for today. She’s a Jesus lover as well.
    I am thankful for:
    Grace to do the things God asks of me.
    His strength made evident in my weakness.
    Jehovah is my provider in all things.
    Beautiful sunny days!
    Divine friendships
    Faithful and loving husband
    Freedom to worship Jesus with the Body of Christ
    I pray that you would have a peaceful week this week. That the goodness of God would overtake you as you walk in love and forgiveness (Smile) Watch God move on your behalf! Diane

    • Diane… you truly blessed me with your warm and encouraging words. God is amazing and I know he delights in blessing his children. Let’s receive his gifts with open hands this week. {{hugs}}

    • You know… water sounds ARE amazingly soothing. We take those sounds for granted… but I bet God planned that for our pleasure too.
      Thank you, Diane, for your kind and encouraging thoughts… and thank you for sharing your seven, too.
      May you sense God’s love and grace in an extra measure this week. [hugs]

  3. Debbi Saunders says:

    Oh Diane I am so sorry that you have had such a horrible week and that unkind, hurtful,untruths were spoken about your Mother….
    I am so glad that you have a place of peace to retreat to during these times! I am heartbroken for you.
    Your post today was beautifully written and something most of us struggle with.
    I am grateful this week to God for:
    That He gave me the strength and stamina to work this week!
    That I felt energized at the end of the day…
    My continued healing!
    The beauty and peace of nature…. the birds, bees, butterflies, flowers and so much more!
    Godly, Christian friends…
    The Healing going on in my family…..
    And for Diane’s Inspirational Blog that gives hope,encouragement and Joy!!!!

    • Debbi… I am grateful for the beauty in the midst of the hurt and for sweet dear friends like you to encourage my heart. It’s so exciting to know that you felt energized at the end of your days… God is sooo good!!!
      May your week be filled with many wonderful God-moments and your heart with JOY!! [hugs]

  4. It makes things so difficult when a mean spirited person tries to make us as unhappy as they are! I find my little piece of joy on my front porch looking across the fields and watching the leaves blow in the wind! Finding joy is not easy in times of turmoil but He knows the truth and he rejoices when we search for Him! Dianntha

    • Dianntha… your view from the porch sounds absolutely delightful.
      Thank you for your kind thoughts. Your words are like a sweet hug.
      May you be overwhelmed with HIS joy this week! [hugs]

  5. Joy Day!
    Very encouraging. It just occurred to me that when your path of the past week seems driest and the hardest, God blooms the best insights to meet the needs of your readers ?
    1. Good Christian posts
    2. Oldest daughter stopped by
    3. Youngest daughter took hubby grocery shopping and to church
    4. Nice chat with Mom.
    5. Time for resting
    6. I forget!
    My cousin prays for me and for Curt every single night to be healed. This touches me deeply. To be loved that much.

    • Gwen… my husband made a similar statement as well. Doesn’t that speak to how God uses us in spite of ourselves when we lean in on him?
      We continue to stand with you, believing in God’s best for you and Curt… and that means full healing as well. Praising him with you for his gracious and loving care.
      May your week be joy-filled in every way! [hugs]

  6. Diane, I think your response to the unkindness of that “someone” was the most appropriate. We take it to the Father. He knows the end from the beginning and He alone knows all your history and your heart. We are safe with Him because He gave Himself for us, just as we were. May God bring a healing balm to your spirit at this false accusation.

    1. So thankful for my husband who loves our kids and grands sooo much that he planned a get-together for after church yesterday.
    2. For giving such pleasant weather after yesterday’s morning of showers!
    3. For harmony as we ate lunch outside and hung around the table visiting and laughing together.
    4. For the very amusing antics of our little 2 1/2 -year-old granddaughter who kept us entertained all afternoon.
    5. For her mummy’s flexibility in letting her skip nap time so she could play to the max at Gramma & PaPaw’s!
    6. For other precious children & grandchildren who couldn’t be with us because of such distance, but are kept close in heart.
    7. For a grandchild who, although he doesn’t come to family things because of personal choices, is still greatly loved & prayed for!

    • Carolyn… it’s a delight to see you here! Thank you so much for your words of love and encouragement. 🙂
      And praise God for family and wonderful memories made together. What a lovely blessing. May your joy cup continue to splash all those around you. [[hugs]]

  7. Lucy Belivea says:

    Dear Diane, How dare that unhappy woman try to take your sweet smile and joy away. You are so strong you knew just what to do!

    Dear God,
    1. Thank you for helping Diane in her hours of need and for leading her to the beach.
    2. Thank you for helping Samuel, Siena and Andy back to school.
    3. For Dr. Oyebola who helps control the pain in my back.
    4. For the health you are helping bring back to dear Carmen.
    5. Bobby’s help at Stoneybrook which is awesome!!!
    6. My children’s safe living and their good loving care of my grandchildren!
    7. Guy and his loving caring ways!
    8. Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman ( had to sneak that in.. I like it)

    • Thanks for your warm words of encouragement Lucy. You always bless me. {{hugs}}
      I haven’t been able to read Emily’s new book… but I just listened to a podcast where she was interviewed… JUST before I read your comment!!! 🙂 She is a gifted writer and I have a hunch that you love the way she beautifully crafts with words.
      Thanks for taking time to share your blessed ‘seven.’ I love your joyful heart, Lucy.

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