Do you Wonder If Your Life Will Ever Have Joy?
Do you Wonder If Your Life Will Ever Have Joy?
HOW are you filling your JOY BUCKET?
Do you ever feel as if you are completely drained like a spilled bucket?
That the water you were carrying as a reserve, is all used up and your bucket is completely dry; not even a drop left in the bottom.
Have you ever felt this powerless or hollow inside?
And on one of those occasions the most miraculous image came to my mind!
I’ll explain first by sharing a personal experience with you.
I love my family
I love my life.
I love people.
I love serving and working in my church.
I enjoy being involved in the community.
However, I didn’t expect things to happen in my ‘life’ as it has over the past few years.
Maybe you can relate to this?
I woke up on a Saturday morning and though I had slept some, I was still exhausted.
The turmoil from outside influences made my life seem as if I had been running in quick sand; getting no-where, but expending an enormous amount of energy.
Have you ever had times such as this?
Well, that particular Saturday, it all came crashing down around me, like a ton of boulders, smothering and threatening to choke the last of any forward motivation I had left in will or body.
Sobs rose from deep within.
Before I could bring them under control, they engulfed my body, and I found myself trembling with frustration, worry, sadness and disappointment. Emotions that were hiding in the deep recesses of my soul, demanding attention. All hoping I would fully deal with the turmoil, pain and sorrow brought on by so many factors out of my charge or even full comprehension.
Instead, I gathered myself together…again….and said a heartfelt prayer that I might show a good example to those in my family and others, for the capability to ‘do’ another day ‘well’.
Instead,incredibly, the day became worse.
Waking early the next day, Sunday, I pleaded again with God to help me. Where could I find the strength to get through yet another day, much less that week, the month, the…..oh, I prayed fervently.
Then, in my minds-eye, a vision, you might say, I saw water.
A waterfall, a river, a stream, a fountain, just an incredible amount of flowing water in various forms.
I asked: What did that mean?
A most loving, quiet, calm, empowering, encouraging voice said: from ME.
I know that voice.
He was telling me I would gain the courage and the fortitude I most desperately needed through Him.
That made perfect sense!
He is the ‘living water’. His whole life was spent at a place, and in a time in history, where people relied on wells for water. As he taught the woman at the well, He said, ‘whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst (John 4:14)
So my next question was: How do I fill myself with YOUR water? How do I have YOUR joy? I am doing my best, but I”m so tried.
The answer was simple and clear: Follow ME and SERVE.
I prayed again, this time with gratitude that my petition was answered. Though my burden was not taken away, nothing in my life had change, in fact in the perspective of some who argue that now my load was being added to.
Here I was, troubled on every side it seemed, and yet my answer was to look outside myself, and find MORE ways to lift, inspire and help, then I already was doing.
Serve I did that day, as I had been so lovingly tutored, and it did make all the difference in my attitude and the weight of my trials and hardships did not change or ease, I didn’t not feel them on my shoulders as heavily and most wonderful of all – I felt my Savior’s love for doing as He asked.
Pondering my experience and feeling strongly I should share this with you, a JOY BUCKET was born.
Let’s begin with:
POSSIBLE REASONS THAT KEEP US FROM HAVING JOY?
Do you agree that joy comes from doing things that make us feel content and fulfilled in even the smallest aspect?*
I’m not referring to shallow, selfish fulfillment but deep satisfaction.
There is the fleeting superficial aka anything selfish or self-serving type and then there is the real gladness that comes from helping, serving and giving without thought of getting gain in return.
HOW IS OUR JOY AFFECTED?
- Are you overworked at your job or at home?
- Social Media distracts you from the important things, or makes you feel ‘less than’?
- You are a caregiver or responsible one and feel you can’t live your own life?
- A loved one is no longer with you?
- You are not appreciated, or undervalued?
- Have you been wrongfully accused, yet you can’t change the repercussions, no matter the untruths told?
- Have you had a tragic loss of some kind?
- Another person’s decisions have taken some of your agency, or changed your situation in ways you didn’t imagine and didn’t want?
- Addictions, controlling, dominating – dysfunctional behaviors, these all bring consequences to everyone in their wake; whether you are the instigator or the victim.
IS THERE A SOLUTION?
It doesn’t have to be the grand vacations, a ton of money in the bank or extravagant shopping sprees – though, I think those would be really nice, we are going to find the ways that give true and lasting JOY.
When it comes to relationships, we cannot change another person’s behavior, decisions, actions or thinking.
That’s just a fact.
They have their God-given agency, just as we have ours.
And, that is the answer! We choose!
- Every day we will purposely find JOY! It’s in the Attitude baby!
How we react to what is happening around us is critical. We can choose to be positive, look for the good in situations and think of most people open-heartedly. Take out negative thoughts and replace them with optimism
- A happy life isn’t going to just ‘happen’ or find us – we must find IT!
You might be interested in this scientific study HERE which explains all about how we can change our thinking, while still in the same environment.
- Finding and filling our life with JOY that’s real and purposeful.
FILLING OUR JOY BUCKET
How CAN we fill our JOY BUCKET?
- It’s a constant and continual process, not a one-time act.
- It’s so simple that oftentimes it’s overlooked or brushed aside.
- With all we must do, adding our daily to-do-lists, we need to remember what’s most important.
- It’s easy because we have each other to inspire and share our experiences.
You can find the 6 Steps HERE to fill your JOY BUCKET
Just as I prayed for help, you can too. Christ is the living water. He is always there to offer all He is, all He has and even more than we can ever comprehend if we will just –follow Him. Then our bucket of life will be continually overflowing with true Joy.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2017
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today
*If you have depression, or sadness that is recurring, please seek professional advice. This is not intended to replace that, nor am I a giving any type of guidance or recommendation.