My husband is on vacation this week. Instead of chilling on a sandy beach and listening to the waves crash against the shore, we have chosen to do a staycation. We’re finishing up projects around the house that have taken a back seat due to the busyness in our daily working lives. We talked through what we wanted to do and started making plans. Well, me more so than him. I’m a planner, a list maker. My husband likes to make it up as he goes along.
After sleeping in until 9 a.m., which never happens, even on the weekends, I made breakfast and then planned out my day. One of the tasks on my to-do list was weeding.
I love vibrant flowers and beautiful gardens, but I really dislike weeding. With the amount of rain we’ve had, the weeds had taken over our flower beds. So, today I spent several hours hunched over, pulling weeds. Instead of whining or grumbling, I chose to focus on the task and be thankful for the ability to do the job. I spent quality time outside in the beautiful weather. And, the final result was worth the effort, especially when my husband mentioned what a great job I had done. I wasn’t doing it for praise, but his words of affirmation buoyed my spirit.
Weeds in our lives
As I was pulling the stray bunches of clover, wayward grasses, and finger-piercing thistles (not the pretty ones), my thoughts drifted toward some of the weeds in my own life.
Last week was a difficult one for me. Not because of anything tragic or horrific happening in my life. But I wasn’t feeling well due to an RA flare-up—my first one in such a long time that it really got me down. Compound that with a pinched nerve in my neck that was causing my right arm to go numb. Then I was still experiencing random periods of grief over the loss of our family dog.
As I sat in my doctor’s office on Friday, I started crying when I told her how lousy I felt. And I said, “I don’t even know why I’m crying.” She was so compassionate and sympathetic. And I did feel better after leaving her office. Today, I feel just fine, mentally and physically.
When I’m not feeling well physically, it skews my thought process. I focus on the pain that steals my joy instead of focusing on the One who can replenish my joy.
When I’m not feeling well physically, it skews my thought process. I focus on the pain that steals my joy instead of focusing on the One who can replenish my joy. #TellHisStory #Faith #Joy Click To Tweet
Finding blooms among the weeds.
Beauty blooms all around us, especially in the warmer months with plenty of sunshine and rain. Part of maintaining that beauty is pulling out the weeds that threaten to destroy the flowers.
The same happens with our lives.
When we’re vulnerable, it gives Satan a foothold into our thoughts. Then those pesky weeds sprout and threaten to choke out the Truth of God’s Word.
Our Heavenly Father is the ultimate Gardener. By opening our hearts up to Him, He can reach in and pull out those weed-like behaviors that intervene in our relationship with Him. Thankfully, God knows exactly what is necessary to nourish our spirits to help us to bloom and grow.
Our Heavenly Father is the ultimate Gardener. By opening our hearts up to Him, He can reach in and pull out those weed-like behaviors that intervene in our relationship with Him. #TellHisStory #Joy #Christianliving Click To Tweet
Reclaim your joy.
If you’re feeling like you’re being choked out in a weed bed rather than blooming in God’s garden of grace, here are three simple tips to reclaim your J.O.Y.
Focus on Jesus: No matter what season you’re walking through, Jesus wants to be with you always. Simply call on His name and claim the promises found in His Word.
Focus on Others: When we refocus our attention on serving and helping others, then we aren’t dwelling on our own struggles. In turn, ask others to pray for you. It’s a blessing for them to be trusted to take your petitions and lay them at the feet of the Father.
Focus on Yourself: When you’re going through a difficult time or walking through a challenging season in your life, it’s vital to keep your eyes focused on the Lord. It’s important to focus on helping and caring for others. Yet, it’s also necessary to focus on yourself. Are you eating right? Getting necessary exercise? Sleeping well? Visiting the doctor, if need be? Taking time for sacred rest?
By focusing on J.O.Y., I was able to reclaim victory in Jesus and weed the devil out of my spiritual garden. Sure, I still have pain and problems. Who doesn’t in this world, right? But it’s a matter of where I’m prioritizing my thoughts—on myself or on the One who can help me get through anything.
I love this beautiful verse from Psalm 16:11. God is our refuge and strength. We have eternal life through His salvation. Be filled with His presence. Take His hand. Trust Him to lead you where you need to go.
Your Turn: Are weeds choking out your joy? What are you doing to rebloom and grow?Are weeds choking out your joy? What are you doing to rebloom and grow? #TellHisStory #Faith #Encouragement #Joy Click To Tweet