Posts Tagged ‘Joy List’

Joy List 2012

Friday, January 27th, 2012

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. —Jesus


I have not been feeling blogging lately.  See, what happens with clinical depression and just straight up downtroddenness (at least for me) is this: I get stuck.  Not go for a run to clear my head stuck, or let’s make a mindmap to sort through these feelings stuck.  Trapped in a cycle of feeling like I don’t and can’t know anything. It’s a helpless, incompetent feeling that only leads to more despair.  So, while reading back over my joy list from earlier this week (or last week?), I decided I needed to practice.

Because the only thing that fights lies is the truth.

Here, I’m letting you in on a little of that practice as I expand on each item in my joy list. I’ll muse about vague goals, remind myself of the ultimate purpose of each aim, and hopefully you’ll get to add a little something to the conversation, too.  If you have any thoughts to contribute, please comment—let’s get this conversation started, because, well, I’m stuck in my own head and I’d love to be a collective conscious with you.

Giving of myself to church service and fellowship.

Repentance time—I am a bare minimum doer. I have self-preservation and overcommitment anxiety and I am absolutely convinced that more than once a month in the nursery, a meal here and there or helping someone move is the extent of my ability to serve.  Then I hear of people absolutely swamped by church work and I feel guilty. Ugh. What’s happening here is obviously that it’s easy for my sinner mind to twist good and faithful service to Jesus into a competition with others.  Then I feel like I’m not doing enough, but for the wrong reasons. My goal here is to prayerfully consider areas where I (or Eric and I as a couple) might be able to serve more selflessly. Then to work on not worrying about protecting myself—that’s His job.

Praying always

It’s so funny how this concept has changed for me over the years. As a teenager I thought “praying without ceasing” sounded like a great goal, but one that was absolutely impossible.  I still struggle a bit with the idea of literally kneeling down, closing my eyes, bowing my head and praying for hours.  But what I have found through the process is what prayer looks like for me.  I journal prayers, requests, notes, thoughts.  In fourth grade I wrote to my “diary.” In 6th grade, my journal was named “Sunshine” (no, not kidding…).   Oh, doesn’t this seem like an appropriate place to slip in an embarrassing 6th grade journal entry?

Sixth Grade Journal Entry

Yes, I was that cool. Ahhh….

Anyway, after that, I wrote to some vague journal-y being, or maybe myself; but some point a few years ago, without even meaning to, journaling naturally became writing to God. And because my journaling is thinking, I’ve noticed my thoughts generally shifting in that direction, too—thinking to God. Could that not be the start of constant prayer?

Memorizing scripture

Simple reasoning, difficult execution. It comes back to what I wrote above: fighting lies with truth, without having to look it up.

Writing often

To continue to tap into the soulspring; to do something I love and with which I have been gifted.  To practice and work hard to not squander it.

Spending time in creation

Doesn’t this, without fail, prompt thoughts of the eternal? I was reading yesterday that Dave Ramsey went from being an atheist to a theist simply by observing miracles in creation: birth, skiing on an incredible mountain. Order does not come from chaos.

Charles Spuregon is said to have answered, when asked how to defend the Bible/God/the Gospel (100 various web sources differ…), with this statement (or something close):

“Very easy. The same way I defend a lion. I simply let it out of its cage.”

Creation points to Creator.  To me, it is the lion. Who can argue? Who can even stand?

[Edit: Soon after posting this, my mom showed me this incredible video of HD time-lapse photography in Yosemite. You MUST watch it.]

Resting intentionally/Using time purposefully

Um, this means not sitting on Facebook/Twitter/Google reader, etc. Going to bed on time. Scheduling time for internet browsing, instead of letting my rest time be eaten up by cyberspace.  It also means planning short retreats, investing in my marriage and skills I want to keep up or develop.  Specifically, I hope that includes getting back into the habit of playing piano, learning some basic photograph skills, and reading books more than I read screens.

Practicing Gratitude

See this post, and these.

Having grace for myself and my mistakes

i.e. fighting perfectionism, one day (hour, minute) at a time.  It is a serious goal of mine to not avoid starting something because I know I won’t do it perfectly. This is a huge hangup and major manifestation of my fear that actually affects my day-to-day life negatively. No, no.

Forgiving quickly

Not only by forgiving when I am wronged today or tomorrow, but by forgiving immediately again and again when a past hurt arises. Not dwelling or holding grudges. Remembering how much I have offended and how much I am forgiven.  He who is forgiven much loves much.

Serving Jesus by serving other people

With my eyes on Jesus I pray to not look for recognition from Eric, from my boss or students, from clients, from family.  I pray to not feel so dependent on affirmation. To remember again that I am an unworthy servant, and to do all things with that in mind.  I used to interpret the command to “work as unto the Lord” as though it said “work as if unto the Lord.” I don’t know how the words translate, but I do know this: working for God is different than imagining I’m working for God. Guess which one is more effective?

I’d love to hear your insights about any or all of these items. Please chime in if you feel so inclined!

Have a joy-filled, purposeful, restful weekend.