"The joy-filled life is not found by diminishing my God-given responsibilities as a woman, wife, and mother, nor can I find joy merely by refusing to face the hard realities of life in a fallen world. There is a tension that God is asking me to acknowledge and accept ~ the tension between ideals and realities. True joy is found by living somewhere between the ideal life and daily realities. That is where Jesus meets me, where His Holy Spirit empowers, and where I learn how to live the Christian life with supernatural joy. To celebrate life is simply a choice."Sally Clarkson The Lifegiving Home Book
When my adult children come back home to visit me, the excitement and anticipation ignites me to tidy the house, set out lovely flowers, light candles, and leave them chocolates and goodies, prepare their favorite meals. I do this so that they can feel welcome, experience my love for them, and feel the peace and joy that comes with home. However, can you imagine how I would feel if I went to all of that effort to make things beautiful and love them extravagantly, only to watch them walk in, sit on their phones and computers all day, have bad attitudes, and tell me that they're just "too busy" or "too stressed" to enjoy it? How must our loving God feel when we don't choose to celebrate this life He has given us to subdue or prepared for us to enjoy?God is available, prepares for us each day, wants to shower us with His love, grace, compassion, wisdom, but often we are too busy or self-centered to notice Him and to "be" with Him.
Often times, our own expectations of how we thought life would be, get in the way of us being able to grab onto the joy and abundant life that God has for each of us. Finding peace and joy does not mean giving up on our ideals, but in seeking the balance, the ebb and flow, that is life.
Joy won't always feel as second nature as taking a breath, but with every breath, how can you choose joy?
It is a conscious, daily effort that can transform your life if you allow it to. Joy is a choice to see Him in the midst of daily moments, to call upon His spirit's presence and strength at each turn, each curve in the road. Joy comes from being assured we are not alone in the dark places and that He is light and will shine His light in each place.
You are the conductor of joy inside the walls of your home.
But joy is a choice of faith, of submission when we say, "I will choose to believe in your goodness. I will lead all who are in my home to a pathway of being thankful and finding God's fingerprints in the moments of my life so that I can be joyful."
Decide to lead yours into a pathway of joy today. The more you practice having a grateful, joyful heart, the more the atmosphere of your home will breathe the life of God.
Friday has finally arrived--whew, what a busy, wonderful week! And what fun we've had, giving gifts to our friends here! More today--and we hope you've registered for all the fun we have planned for Tuesday night of next week, with even more giveaways including the grand prize--a weekend at Sally's! Find out more and register here: Online Launch Party Registration
Thursday's prize winners are ...
Fruit of the Spirit Embroidery Kit--Laurel M!
Precious Hymn Notecards--Wanda O!
Fruit of the Spirit Teacups Painting--Elizabeth!
First Hands-On-Bible and Devotional Reading Journal--Shannon B!
Winners have been emailed. Congratulations!
AND NOW FOR TODAY'S GIVEAWAYS!!!
#1. Rejoice Evermore Print from Breezy Brookshire!
If you want to purchase one of these lovely prints, find Breezy here!
#2. 2 copies of Think Through the Bible kids devotionals!
#3. Three One Sentence books from Tyndale!
These sweet books are just right for beginning readers--a simple way to learn more about Bible heroes, animals from the Bible, and great Bible stories. Find more from Tyndale at your favorite bookseller!
#4. HOME sign from It's a Beautiful Life!
This 8"x24" wooden sign was created just for Sally--and you! Find more designs by Kirstyn Wright and the girls at Beautiful Life by visiting their brand-new blog and shoppe here: It's a Beautiful Life.
Today, enter by visiting Sally's Facebook page! Or leave a comment here--We'd love to hear from you. Then come enter with the Rafflecopter entry form below. Contest ends Friday at 8pm. a Rafflecopter giveaway Be sure to order your own copy of The Lifegiving Home--or one for a friend!-- at your favorite bookseller--we have them all here!