Focusing on JOY

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The last two months of 2013 were especially trying for my spirit and soul.  I took a break from blogging to deal with a heart crushing break up and to really find myself again.   
             To find my happy. Or so I thought.  
Then December 15th came, and on that day my life was forever changed.  Roger Archer spoke at my church about JOY and I walked out of that church with a completely new outlook on life.  Would you mind if I shared some of that insight with you?

^^If you're feeling negative emotions, happiness cannot reside.
^^I rather duplicate someone else's life than focus on my own.
^^I rather be doing something else that makes me happy.

^^This one was just funny and kind of breaks the ice! KEEP READING :-)

Roger Archer said,
"The working definition of happiness is a FEELING of goodness, based solely on EXTERNAL circumstances." 
So if I have this car, this husband, this job - I have found my happy place.  But happiness is kind of like a honeymoon phase if you will.  You get happy about your new car, then the belts wear and you have to spend extra money to maintain it - and now you're irritated with it.  You get happy about having a new best friend!! Then she has her time of the month and she is a complete drama queen and now you can't stand being around her for a few days.
"Happiness can taint and wear off... You can only be happy over an external circumstance, but those happy moments can quickly erode and fade." - Roger Archer
For the past 27 years of my life I've always associated happiness with joy. Aren't they the same?  While others may say yes, I have to say no.  S. Michael Houdmann sheds some light on this topic as well.  He shares that,
"...happiness tends to be fleeting and depends on temporal factors like circumstances and people. "
"Joy is a REALITY of goodness, based solely on INTERNAL POSSESSION." - Roger Archer
Joy is something within you, that stays with you through whatever circumstances come your way.  Once you seize that joy, then you have to develop it.  Joy isn't developed when you're happy, but when you're down and out.  When you go through a break up like I did.

I would wake up every morning because I couldn't sleep.  I was distraught about... how could he leave me?  How can he already move on to another person?  Why her?  He said they were just friends, why is she sleeping over his house already?  I could have gone deeper into that hole.  I could have let it make me bitter instead of better, as Roger Archer puts it.

But I didn't. I pursued my saving grace, Jesus.  My Comforter in times of need.  I would wake up and put on worship music and cry out to Him.  Over time I was able to flex my JOY muscles and work them out (develop), and soon enough I was praising and smiling, opposed to worshiping and crying.
"When you don't die from hard things, they are either going to make you bitter or better - it's your choice!" - Roger Archer
When you have JOY inside of you.  When it is your strength.  You can endure hard times.  Joy brings you endurance to live the life that has been designed specifically for you. 
 'How could we ever consider going through difficulties and trials a reason to feel joy? James 1:3-4 gives us a clue when it says, “Knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”' - S. Michael Houdmann
When your living by happiness you will drift when life brings you hardships and fall off your pre-destined life path.  Why?
"HAP'PINESS, n. [from happy.] The agreeable sensations which spring from the enjoyment of good; that state of a being in which his desires are gratified, by the enjoyment of pleasure without pain... Perfect happiness, or pleasure unalloyed with pain, is not attainable in this life." - Noah Webster's American Dictionary
 So my focus this year is to choose to live a JOYFUL life in everything that I do.  I choose to put my trust in the Lord and know that as I submit my life to Him, He is in control and the JOY of the Lord will be my strength through the good and bad times to come.

If you want to check out that life changing sermon - click the video below.

2013-12-15 11am Vintage Christmas-Joy Pastor Roger Archer from on Vimeo.

I'm linking up this post with Melyssa at The Nectar Collective for #creativecollective.  Join us!!
xoxo, Aukele
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  1. Kele, I am so happy that your faith is giving you strength during a time that could have ended in misery and bitterness. I see the positivity and commitment to optimism shining through in this post! :))))

  2. Yes yes yes yes YESSS TO JOY!!!! I am SO glad that you got this message, and that it resonated so much wtihin you! Leaning on joy when things get tough can be challenging, but will also help to pull you from the darkness into the light. I'm smiling for you right now!

  3. great post, Kele! "flexing your joy muscles" is an apt way to think about it :) God's blessing is so precious and special when we make difficult choices like this.

  4. great word!! & reasoning! hope you are filled with joy this year! :)

  5. Thank you Erika!! Yes - I'm so excited for what 2014 has to bring!!

  6. I was waiting for this comment and your response!! HEHE. And I get the name of your blog completely :). The thing is that James 1:2-4 is my favorite verse of all time, but now I get it. I really get it!

  7. Thank you Tina??? Maybe Tico!? Hehe - at any rate, its hard work at times, but no pain - no gain, right?!

  8. Thank you Robyn - that is definitely the goal and what I will strive for on a daily basis.

  9. "Getting bitter or better" is our choice - I LOVE that! It's a good reminder that we have the power to see things the way we want to. We are not helpless!
    "Joy" is a wonderful word for the new year!
    Coming over from The Nectar Collective. :-)

  10. Right!!! Thank you for stopping by Miriam. Hope to see you visit more often!

  11. LOVE this! And it's a great word to choose.


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