Choosing to live joyfully…even when you don’t want to.

Choosing to live joyfully…even when you don’t want to.

living a life of joy

In the English Standard Bible, the word “joy,” or other variations such as “joyful” and “rejoice” appear in the Bible some 430 times. You might say joy is important to God. But did you know he wants it to be important to us, too?

In James 1:2-3, God tells us to have joy even when we face trials.

joy.jpg

Source: Tumblr

If you’re like me, then you’d agree that it is easier to be joyful when things are going great, but it is hardest to be joyful when things are going badly. Joy doesn’t just happen though; it is a choice that we must make.

I recently stumbled upon this article by J. I. Packer. In it, he talks about how the book of Ecclesiastes, a book that I am not very familiar with, teaches us how to live, and how to do so joyfully. I found his article to be interesting, with a lot of valid points I’d never considered before.

So, how do you live a life of joy?

pexels-photo-424517.jpeg

  1. Practice gratitude.

I know it sounds silly to use the word practice here, but think about it. When you pray, or even when you’re just quietly reflecting and thinking, think about what you’re grateful for in your life. It could be the major things, like your home, family and your church, but it could be something small, like the rain, or the fact that your day was good. Being thankful and thanking God gives me great joy, because I remember how much he’s blessed me.

bible-job-reading-christianity-159679.jpeg

2. Live in His word

Reading the Bible, praying, and listening to praise and worship music gives me great joy. It’s like refueling an empty gas tank- listening to His music leaves me more fulfilled than anything else I might listen to. Reading His word or about his word makes me feel closer to God. It also keeps me feeling encouraged instead of bogged down and defeated.

pexels-photo-601170.jpeg

3. Share how God has blessed you with others

When I have been greatly blessed by a sermon at church, an answered prayer, or a song I’ve heard, I love being able to tell someone else about it. When we have something that may bless someone else, I believe it is our duty to share it with them.

How do you experience joy in your life?

Five Friday Favorites: Five Things I’m Loving Right Now

I have to admit, I had an entirely different post in mind for today, but I’ve seen so many cool things lately, it’s almost sinful not to share them. Today, I just want to share these treasures with you all.

1. Old fashioned Coca-Cola cooler from Tractor Supply

How cute would this look on my back porch? I would love to have this thing iced down, with a bunch of Cokes in glass bottles.Gray Basketweave LED Lantern

2. This extra large lantern from Pier One

I want two of these to put on my front porch. I love the cozy farmhouse vibe these give, and I can just picture them on our fireplace hearth. I love them!

Monogrammed T-Shirt Dress

3. This dress from Marley Lilly is simple, cute, and it’d be nice and cool in our sweltering North Carolina heat. I can just see it now with a pair of white Jack Rogers.Mud Pie™ Pineapple 2 Piece Pitcher Set

4. This farmhouse pitcher  is not only delightfully cute, it’s remarkably affordable, too.

Does anyone else love pitchers? I have so many already and I always want to buy more. This one would be super cute this fall with some sunflowers or black eyed Susans in it.

anthro soap

5. This Classic Mistral bar soap from Anthropologie smells great and it looks beautiful. The packaging is almost too pretty to open. I love to keep it in my hall bathroom for guests to use!!!

 

Have a wonderful, awesome weekend.

 

Sunday Musings: I don’t have it all together…and that’s OK

Sunday Musings: I don’t have it all together…and that’s OK

I don’t have it all together. Not even close.

If most of us are honest, we will admit that we don’t have it all together. In today’s Pinterest-perfect society, we are expected to be perfectly dressed with perfect makeup, not a hair out of place, with perfectly clean, magazine worthy homes. We are expected to have a home-cooked dinner on the table every night, with perfectly dressed and perfectly behaved children.

I don’t have that; at least, not all the time. And never all at once. So, who holds us to this impossibly high standard? We do. We hold ourselves to these impossibly high standards we can never meet, but luckily, God does not.

God chose us, even though we are a long way from perfect. We don’t have it all together and God chose us anyway.

Ephesians 1:4 says “For he chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before Him.” We don’t need to be perfect; we just need Jesus. There are no perfect humans, and there don’t need to be. Jesus already fulfilled the role of the perfect human.

It’s tempting to spend all of our time trying to be perfect and live up to those impossible standards, but instead, let’s put that energy into trying to be like Jesus. He already knows we aren’t perfect and he loves us anyway.

Have a blessed week.

Life as a Lumber: what we’ve been up to!

Hi, all! After a short, busy summer, we are now (mostly) back on a regular blogging schedule. We’ve been a bit quiet here on the blogging front as we are trying to establish our farm and spend time together as a family.

If you follow me on Instagram or TiKToK, you already have seen some of this.

1. On the farm front

We have grown our backyard flock to five chickens. I definitely want more of them- I have developed a liking to silkie chickens. Look at those little fluffy butts! They’re too cute for words.

Our squash is done, our lettuce is done, and our corn and cucumbers never did a thing! We are still getting some delicious watermelons, banana peppers and tomatoes. We already have started seeds for our fall garden and greenhouse.

We are also adding some raised bed gardens to our farm…look for more on that this week.

On the home front

Our sweet family finally got to take a vacation to the beach. We had a blast: sand, sunburn and all.
It was lots of fun and I’m glad we got to go.

Back to school

These little stinkers start back to school and dance this week!

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! We will see you this week for the following posts:

New Uses for Old Things: herb plant pots

Back to school photo shoot tips

Lumber in my Minivan: repurposed raised beds

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday Musings: Life as a Lumber

I hope everyone had a blessed week- we had spring break, so I chose to take a week off from blogging to focus on my family and getting a few things done around the house. It was a much needed break and I feel so much better.

I’m happy to be back at it again, from work to blogging. I’d like to share what we’ve been doing with you.

1. We went to church

We have been listening online to a local church for more than a year, and on Easter Sunday, we visited in person for the first time. We had a wonderful experience there and will attend again. It was wonderful to be back in God’s house again amongst other believers.

2. Our greenhouse is thriving

I’ll be the first to admit- I often just DO things without researching or reading the directions. Sometimes it works out well and sometimes it doesn’t. This greenhouse is only slightly different: I researched a bit, but I am mostly learning by doing. So far, it’s working well. We will plant our garden at the end of the month.

3. We plowed a bigger garden

Last year, the garden we grew was a little two small in square footage. Our veggies grew too close together, which often meant that we missed ripened veggies since we couldn’t see them. This year, we tilled a much larger area than we actually need so we can spread things out. We use a Wizard chain-driven tiller I inherited from my grandpa. It is older than I am but it works great. It’s a workout for sure, but I know he’d be happy to know we are using it. Plus, he has a hand in my garden, even though he isn’t here physically.

We will plow the garden one more time before planting.

4. Back to school!

Miss E went back to school this week- as in back in the building to school. In class. In person. She resisted a bit at first, but I think she is happy to be back. I’m also getting ready to get most of my students back four days a week.

5. The chickens went outside!!

Our chicken littles are no longer living in a wash tub in our bathroom- they have transitioned to our coop! I think they are much happier living outside. I’m much happier not finding chickens flying around my bathroom.

Have a wonderful week, everyone! Join us for the following articles this week:

1. Scrap wood challenge: chicken coop/rabbit hutch part one

2. Healthy school lunch ideas

3. Farmhouse Friday: spring decor roundup

Have a wonderful week!