Meet Matthew! He is my wonderful, caring and compassionate man who I have chose to be with for the rest of my life. No, he hasn’t asked me to marry him and we’re not engaged, yet, but I decided that he is worth every ounce to make happy and to devote time, energy, and all of my unconditional love to him.
I have dated a lot of boys in my past, all of which have taught me a ton and have made me into the woman I am today. But none have ever treated me like Matthew does and that’s how I knew, he was the one.
This photo captures just one quality of a million that he has. He drops what he is doing to spend time with his Niece, who is an absolute princess! Tonight was our halloween “trick or treat” with her in the house and in this photo, Matthew was fixing her hair. I know that one day, when we decide to have kiddos, he is going to be one amazing father and I love him.
Speaking of Halloween, sadly another one has ended and passed. But my mom and I started getting our living room all decked out and ready for Thanksgiving! We have our family coming over to our house this year, which is really exciting because my grandparents live in Ohio and my family usually travels there for the holidays. So, now we have to get everything ready to go, I can’t believe we only have a month! I am excited for that, but not so much for black Friday and retail, yuck!
“Tis the Season” 8×10 canvas with silver embossed lettering and white embossed trees.
Tis the season is right, I have already been listening to Frank Sinatra Holiday while getting the basement cleaned up, finishing up projects for clients, being crafty, etc. Also, my mom and I decided to start celebrating Christmas early this year and we put up the tree!
She is so beautiful! When we put it up I was awestruck and all of a sudden this overwhelming sense of peace and happiness ran through me and I just smiled while “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” played through my TV speakers. The heat of the fire usually would be on but today the weather was just so nice and warm that we had the windows open!
I also added some snow birds and lights to the windows as well! This is my favorite time of the year. When I can bundle up outside and expect to wake up to snowy roads and hear the silence of the quiet roads as the snow falls on a cold evening with purple skies.
So finally, I saw in a magazine that I picked up to try and find one beautiful thing each day for 30 days and write it down in a journal. I wrote for day one, “Christmas tree lights” because that is what I saw today that warmed my heart.
I look forward to the days to come that I can bundle up in a blanket under the covers with my boyfriend and hot chocolate and watch the snow fall outside of my window while watching Christmas movies on Hallmark channel.
So, I started a 6 week session book called “Fight Back with Joy” written by Margaret Feinberg which you can find and pick up at any Lifeway book store. I am currently on week 2 day 4 and today was all about joy blockers but before I begin with what I learned today, I have to go back in time to explain what I learned about Gods joy that He gives to us and how we can live life fully in joy and happiness.
In week one, I learned about the origin of Gods joy and His love for us. I also got a feeling on how much joy I really have on a daily bases and as someone who struggles with worry and anxiety that number out of 10 (1 being bad and 10 being plenty) I fall in the range of 4.
But I learned that “joy is a gift God wants to expand in your life” and “you can be more joyful tomorrow than you are today.” (Quotes from the book above)
“No man truly has joy unless he lives in love.” – thomas aquinas, an Italian priest.
As I was reading these first couple of days in the book, I was preparing my mind to accomplish what I thought would have been the impossible for me. I was preparing for my friends wedding, which I was photographing BY MYSELF. I was struggling.. I know that I have a wonderful gift from God with an eye for capturing moments, I still was covering myself with fear and anxiety telling myself that I will only fail and that this is work and I can’t and won’t have fun. It was lies. There was no joy in this situation. But after reading the first day, I felt an overwhelming sense of Gods presence upon me. I was still nervous but, I found a hint of joy that day photographing her wedding and I enjoyed what I did and used His gifts and His love was with me that day.
A few days later I learned what a “joy bomb” is! A joy bomb is what God drops on our heads everyday all the time. They are little moments that warms your heart and makes you happy and most of the time, we don’t really recognize them as gods joy bombs.. just moments. But in this book, I am told to write my joy bombs daily in a journal. There are a lot in a day but I just write 3!
So, that being said, let me fast forward to the present time and what I learned today, joy blockers. YIKES! Finding joy can sometimes be easy but a lot of the time with distractions and social media there are a lot of joy blockers and joy robbers. Joy blockers are the things we do when we stray from God and his gifts because, “we have everything in life that is perfect and we just don’t need him” kind of thing. God will take away our joy from wickedness, evil, rejoicing over ungodly things, liars (our joy blockers). But hold up!! We can redeem ourselves and our joy for just recognizing our faults and sins, asking him to forgive us and to not do it again. BOOM! Our joy returns.
Joy robbers, this is where my study today comes in. Comparison is a BIG joy robber. This right here will snatch anyone’s joy right from them. But comparison isn’t the only one, here are a few more:
But for me (other than my already anxiousness and fear) comparison is a biggy. I’ll spend hours on Pinterest finding inspirational photos to motivate me to the gym, to do yoga, to be a better artist. About 20 minutes of pinning is fine, but then I hit up instagram and that’s when my joy hits the fan and disappears for a while. I start comparing myself to others who I don’t even know, who live hundreds of miles away and I just get discouraged and tell myself “yeah right” or “you’ll never be able to do this or turn that way in yoga” and sometimes I start feeling things, unlikely thoughts to come from my mind to say the least and that’s when I start to get upset. I’m sure some can relate or maybe what your going through is much different from comparing yourself to others. Regardless, there is a cure to help change the way you feel towards other peoples accomplishments!
Here are three ways:
1. Remember your talents and gifts that make up who you are BECAUSE you are unique! And most importantly, thank God for your gifts.
2. Build that person up, say a really nice and encouraging compliment to their photo and celebrate their success with their god given talents.
3. Be grateful for the difference and diversity in everyone around you in Gods creation. He made everyone different no one is the same person. Which allows space for you and your gifts to be unique.
So if you want to try and find Gods joy this evening or today, or whenever you’re reading this you can practices these few things..
1. Be aware of the joy bombs that God drops in your life daily and write down 3 a day. You can also practice and write down 3 things of what you’re grateful for that day.
2. When you start to feel those joy robbers come into play, go over the bold list above and replace it with something more fitting if it’s not comparison that you’re dealing with.. like, being grateful and recognizing your gifts and talents (yes everyone has something) and asking God to help deal with what you’re going on with in life. You can always ask him anything.. praying is just like talking to a friend.. I start my prayer saying “hey god, how’s it going..?”
I pray that everyone’s evening is filled with rest and relaxation and a peaceful night sleep. Please feel free to email me (if option is available) or send me a comment if you have any questions. Tomorrow, which is day 5 of week 2 of “fighting back with joy” is about “banishing the joy swindler”
Please note: these posts about my studies with the Bible are just studies from books and my opinion on things that I’ve gone through. All information and credit goes to ..
“Fighting back with joy” by Margaret Feinberg which you can find at Lifeway book stores 🙂
Also, please feel free to follow me on instagram- instagram.com/shewalksinjoy (you may comment or message me on there if you have any questions)