Mission Monday – My mission this week, should you chose to accept, is to live in Joyful Increase!!
This is easier said than done, especially in our society. The news, listening to our friends relationships and problems, work, our children, among other things can make life anything but joyful. It is almost as if we want to live in a state of depression, stress and over burdened. It is almost as if our society applauds this type of living.
I am sure when you read “joyful increase” it brought to mind dollar signs. That was my initial thought; however it applies to more than just finances. In fact, we can have joyful increase in our lack. I have dwelt on this for the past few weeks and this being a season of joyful increase, I wanted to share what this means for our family and how it changed our thinking. Maybe by doing so, it will help to change your perspective.
Joyful increase is applied to more than our finances. It can be seen in every area of our lives. From our marriage, to other relationships, to school, careers, children, motherhood, fatherhood, our attitudes and even our health. Wouldn’t you love to have joyful increase in all those areas of your life? I know I would. How do we obtain this “joyful increase?” It really is simple, while at the same time will take some practice and a mental overhaul.
It first begins with how we see ourselves. Do you see yourself bearing fruit or barely hanging on in life? Do you see yourself winning your battles, overcoming sickness, living a healthy life, being the best mom, getting a promotion at work, gaining more clients. Or do you see yourself tired, stress, overwhelmed, plagued by sickness and disease, overweight, invaluable at work, living pay check to pay check, overwhelmed by guilt and shame, in a hole of debt.
While it may be true that at your present moment your student loans are mounting, your health is failing, and that promotion at work is further away, but this is only because we have let ourselves believe this lie. Again, one scroll through Instagram as a mom looking at other mother’s feeds, and it seems it’s popular to be tired, stressed and barely hanging on. To be the “hot mess mom.” I have been this mom, and applauded it!! To be quite honest, I hate living this way. Daily I have to train my mind to avoid the negativity and to see the positive. In other words, to live joyful and hopeful. To have an attitude of gratitude in all circumstances. To not be a “hot mess” but to be a “joyful imperfection.”
This really is not an easy task. I truly do not have it all together. My husband and I both work several jobs, so we can climb out of debt from student loans. All extra money goes to the student loan debt. We try to live frugally so we can chip away on the student loans and pay them off as quickly as we can, but we also live very blessed, always having all we need and more. At least we are not knee deep in credit card debt like most of America. I know to Praise Him for our education we have received, and thank Him for giving us added provision to add more money to our loans so we can pay them off faster.
A few weeks ago we received news that has changed our lives in one area and at the time added stress and worry. Upon learning of the news, my first reaction was to ask “Why God?! You brought us here. Why did you bring us here. We are spreading ourselves thin. Now what?!” I was angry and frustrated and blamed Him.
It took me one night of sulking and then I snapped out of it. This wasn’t living in Joyful increase. Negativity was not getting me anywhere. I had to change my attitude and perspective and REMEMBER God’s promise. I had to RELEASE my fear and believe He is my provider. I began to praise Him and thank Him for all we do have. A roof over our heads, a job, a beautiful family and a place to live even if it is in very tight quarters. There is much to praise Him for. I control my attitude and I control my perspective of my circumstances. I choose to see His faithfulness and to trust Him.
If we truly want to see Joyful increase we must embrace the challenges in our lives and change our perspectives to have a heavenly perspective of every challenge. I believe it was a test for Marc and I. A test of our faith and attitude. How will we respond when challenges hit us? When our world begins to fall apart? When we receive devastating news? Will we respond with praise and thanksgiving and a joyful praise? Or will we become bitter and angry, questioning why.
Instead of continuing to ask “why?” I asked “What are you teaching me Lord? What do you want me to see in this season? What can I do to allow you to teach me, work on me?” I began to see myself as victorious and blessed, because I am.
The question is how do you see yourself? How can you have joyful increase in your life? It begins with a shift in perspective and a heart of thanksgiving. Feed your spirit with His fruit...Love, Joy, Peace, Goodness, Patience, Self Control, Gentleness, Kindness, and Faithfullness. Marc and I don’t know all the answers, but we do know that God will always provide for us because He always has. We also know He didn’t say life would be easy with Him, but He did say He would supply all of our needs.
“Count it all joy […] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
I hope you can be encouraged today and make it your mission to live in Joyful Increase!! Praising Him in all circumstances. Finding Joy in all circumstances.
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Blessed