I am really excited because I just ordered these from the pleated poppy:
I just sent an email to find out more about the women's version of these skirts.
Because I will wear them. They are adorable. Heather Bailey and Amy Butler fabric. You can't help but have joy when you see these. :)
A sweet high school friend of mine, who I have reconnected with through the blog world, passed on these sweet words to me that she found on another blog. The girl who wrote this is amazing, she is the worship leader at my old church in Lexington, KY. I never knew her, although she went to my high school. I was so encouraged by this yesterday. Joy is available to all of us. Joy is what the Lord intended for us, but it does not come from us. That is the whole point :) Joy is made available to us through Christ. I wanted to link to it, but I didn't save it as a bookmark like I thought I did :)
Joy is undeniable and cannot be fabricated. Joy is not a smile or a laugh, joy is different. Joy comes from inside - and you just can't force joy to come out of you.
Joy can preach, too. You can have joy even when you're really sad. Joy is not happy. Repeat after me, joy is not happy. Joy is settled, sure, steady, peaceful and strong. Joy is resilient, not fleeting. It's more than a mood, it's a state of being. How else could the Bible say to consider it "pure joy when you face trials of many kinds"? (see James 1:2). James sounds nuts! But, he knows joy is not being thrilled you're facing trial. Joy looks further down the road than the present trial. Joy says, "Somehow, someway, God is going to use this for my good." Joy says, "This is building character into me in a way it could not have been developed otherwise." Joy says, "God's got this and because of that, I'm okay even though I don't feel okay." Joy is awesome, joy is available to you and joy reeks of hope.
The more freedom we experience in Christ, the more joy we have because we stop worrying about the Christians we should be, or shouldn't be and we start simply enjoying God. We start letting the truth about who He is and who He says we are really become the only truth that matters to us. We find that the joy of the Lord really is our strength (see Nehemiah 8:10). Right now, I'm praying that if you feel miserable, you will be reminded of the freedom available to you in Christ. People often think God is a rule maker and the punish-er of rule breakers. What a cheap shot at God to think that! He's a Dad and He's not stupid. He knows we need boundaries and ways to live so that we don't get kicked in the pants by a very real enemy.
I love this. FREEDOM is what I seek when I am in the midst of pain. Freedom not FROM PAIN but IN THE LORD. Lord, today I pray for FREEDOM to feel JOY.