Sunday, 27 October 2013

Joy - Creating in Faith


After all that we have been through, I still have joy.....

I have been reflecting back over my life as another year slowly comes to an end.  As I look to the year to come and wonder if the decisions I made this year will bear fruit in the coming year.  Not one for making New Year’s resolutions I plan from around November the things I want to do or changes that I want to make, that way I am not setting myself up for a fall when you hit the second week in January and all your promises to yourself have been swept to the wayside.

Back to joy... there are many scriptures and references that talk about 'shouts of joy', 'singing songs of joy', 'being joyful', and it would seem as if it were a state of being.  When you look at the glass with water in it, is it half full or half empty?  I have always been a half full type of girl and tried to go into every situation trying to look at the positives that can be seen, and this I guess calls for a particular state of mind, but I think you also have to make a decision with the way you choose to see things.


My mother had a mini stroke twice this year, and after we came back from holiday and she had been in respite care she was in a really bad way and couldn't stand up straight and had difficulty walking, she also couldn't feed herself and wasn't really eating.  It was suggested by some that she go into a permanent home, but this is something that I have always fought against, for whatever reason the ‘residential home’ environment doesn't seem to extend life but I could guarantee that within 6 months she would have passed.  What was important for me in getting her back to some form of health, thee one to one interaction, the encouragement to walk even if she said she didn’t want to and for me the creativity, the laughter and joy would be the thing that would facilitate improvement.  I knew that if I was sitting down all day in a circular formation with other people who didn’t really speak and other people making you do things at set times then I would find it difficult and wouldn’t want to get up or function.  We know that if you have ever suffered from any form of depression, the last thing you want to do is mix with other people and you don’t want to get up and walk but cover your head under the covers, even though the walk will do you mood some good.  It would seem that there is no joy in this situation.  


What we had to look at was not what mum couldn’t do, but what she could, how could we support her where she was but to also retain and build on the strength that she had.  We had to encourage her to see that there was still something worth fighting for – to try and straighten her back, lift up her head, hold the spoon, walk up those stairs with encouragement all the way - to find those pockets of joy, sing a song, dance even though there is no music and as I found joy in the simple things she was able to find the joy within what she had, see the sun shining and get excited.

When we choose to be joyful it lifts or spirits, and brings about a sense of contentment and peace, opening up new insight and views to life.  Wherever you are in the world when you look at your current situation where can you see the pockets of joy?  Sometimes it is in the least expected places, but it is worth taking the time to discover.  Blessings

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you... and I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes... Ezekiel 36:26-27
  
 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
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