The best way to start this post and give a description of what I'm challenging myself, and hopefully some of you! to do in 2014 is by watching this video of Davie Downer (aka my Pastor) that we viewed in church on sunday.
Last year before Easter Pastor Dave challenged us to go 21 days without complaining. It was hard, but it was very beneficial to me! It really changed the way I thought about and reacted to things. Shamefully after that month was over I slowly began to fall back into my complaining ways.
Over the past few weeks I have been thinking on Choosing Joy in all situations and circumstances. My Mom and I have numerous conversations over Christmas break about how we want to see the good in things, and train ourselves to Praise Jesus instead of complaining. I want my heart to be a happy heart, no matter what the circumstances. As Pastor Steve said in our Holly Jolly Christmas Sermons (northviewchurch.us) true Joy doesn't come from a moment that makes us happy, like getting a nice present or something we want, but from choosing to have the attitude of Joy and seeing God's blessings in our lives.
He posted on his twitter "The events of our lives are less important than our responses to them" That really hit me because it's so true! Oftentimes when something unpleasant happens to me how I react to it makes it much worse than it is! Dwelling on it, stewing on it, having those "dream tell off conversations" to the offender in my head. Don't judge, I know you do it too!
The other thing he said, which my Mom and I had been talking about, slightly freaky! was that "Trials in your life can either make you bitter or better".
I have seen that firsthand in my life with people I know. I do not want to become a bitter person. I think you have to cultivate an attitude of Joy and Thanksgiving to Christ and live that way, not just wait until you're a bitter person who complains at everything. You have to actively choose that is not the path you want to take or the way you want to live.
So that explains the #ChooseJoy movement I am hoping to start.
Now let's talk about the #JoyGivers365
My alternate title for this post was "Christianity-It's not just for December".
I feel like every year in December we all get excited about doing random acts of kindness and being nice to others because it's Christmas time! The snow is falling! We're buying presents, baking cookies, decorating our houses and oooh pretty! sparkly lights! ahhhh!!
And then by the time January 17'th rolls around we're back to our grumpy selves, content to rush about and cut people off in traffic just to get to where we need to be going.
So here's what I'm proposing, it's two fold for me. I plan to post each week on Weds about these two topics and I am going to post ways or things I have done to be a small random act of kindness to others AND ways that people have done the same to me without even realizing it!
Being a #joygiver shouldn't just be regulated to December. We need to do this all year round!
So, I'm challenging you, and really myself, to be a #JoyGiver365 and #ChooseJoy in your daily life. See past the strike and the hardness to open your eyes to the blessings that God has given us!
I am hoping and praying that as I do this that it will develop a deeper relationship and love for my Savior as I strive to see him in every act of everyday.
Will you join me?