Monday, July 8, 2013

KillJoy or Counting Joy- You Choose

Monday dawns a disappointment in the making, back to the real-world from the magic of sand and surf and sun. 

Vacations mean time stands still yet goes by even faster.  The change back to reality is always harsh, even for me, off of work for the summer.

The magic is replaced by everyday life.  The phone ringing.  A muddy front yard.  Tasks to complete. 

This everyday life... one day at a time, much the same as the last, can be a killjoy.

or it can be a blessing- it's all in the perspective.

So often we dread Mondays.  I'm the world's worst during the school year.  Another day of waking up early, working all day, running all evening, homework, lecture work, careplan grading, clinical day with white uniforms that are sure to get destroyed by ink and mud and ketchup... and it seems that once Monday is over, the week seems to just.  keep. going.

Even today, on my summer vacation- I look up and it is nearly 2 PM.  Before I know it, I'll be getting my walk in and getting Caleb ready for bed.  Same old song, new day...

And it is a new day, every morning.  New opportunities.  new challenges.  Even in the sameness, things are new and nothing ever stays the same and change, it's coming. 

Change is inevitable.  It's part of the circle of life we see so vividly in The Lion King.  Change is hard, though...

and it doesn't even have to be big change.  I'm thinking of how I'd like to be more organized, and how I'd like to clean out my closet.  Small change... but still hard.

True change means meeting new opportunities and challenges head on.  It also means dealing with the old problems... you can't truly move forward if you're still wearing yesterday's wounds on you like a badge.  True change must come from within.  Meeting challenges means you will always have enemies, people who don't approve of what you're doing.  It may even be people in your own corner... but we have to change.  Being stagnant means death.

And it's scary.  I'm thinking of this year of grace, self-declared by myself at the beginning of the year.  Stepping out of my comfort zone sometimes means that I'm going to have my toes stepped on.  I'm going to venture out into the unknown and just possibly get hurt.  I'll lose control...

But in order to live your life you have to lose it.  And in order to live parts have to die... the old part, the fleshly part.  And I'm never really in control, anyway.

As I've been pondering this betterment of self and the change process, I've been unsettled and overwhelmed.  At the beginning of the year, I had a verse prayed over me by some very lovely ladies at Proverbs 31 Ministries.  When I read the verse at the beginning of the year, I thought, well, that's nice, but I don't know how it applies to me.  Yesterday, in a Bible study, we wrote out the first verse.  Today, in another, completely different study by a different author, the second  God knows what we need... and He knew that this week, as I'm contemplating and fretting, I'd need to hear that He is the same today and tomorrow and yesterday and forever. 

Psalm 145:13-14, "Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.  The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down." God is in control!  Even when I am scared of change, His kingdom is everlasting, and His control remains.  He holds me up as I stumble, and He raises me up.  And from The Message: "Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal; you never get voted out of office. God always does what he says, and is gracious in everything he does.  God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit."
A fresh start.  Change.
And this is why Monday can go from a kill joy to a counting joy, because I know Who is in control and I can see all that He has already done for me.  Counting those joys.  Past 1000- thanking God for a right word at the right time and for reading and the beach and my family, for cinnamon rolls from Lighthouse Bakery and for all of the men and women who have served and are serving for my freedom, for fireworks and knowing my family has my back and for a clean house, for Wallace's persistance in his marathon training and Caleb's persistence when he wants something, for God's persistence after my heart and showing me that He is for me... and who can be against me?  For quiet time and my KIndle and time with Caleb, laughter with friends and Dauphin Island. 
Linking up with Ann Voskamp today at, and counting these gifts that help keep the joy alive even amidst change and challenge and stress and hardtimes, because gratitude changes your perspective and a changed perspective changes you... changes everything 

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