What do a cow, a fish, and a house have in common?
No....it's not the beginning of a bad joke...it's the introduction to Finding Joy....our newest Blessing Bracelet.
A good friend of mine is, as she put it, "coming un-glued". I can relate to that, though I usually use the term "drowning" or "melting" or any thing that depicts something that shouldn't be going down...going d-o-w-n.
She, like me, is a homeschooling Mommy to six. Among other issues right now...she is struggling to find Joy in her daily duties as Mommy-Teacher-Wife-Homemaker-Taxi Driver-Chef, etc. etc. Add to that the guilt produced when she thinks being a Christian means she should automatically feel joyful-and if you don't-then are you really a Christian???
She inspired me to look into Joy a bit deeper-that inspired me to create our newest blessing bracelet. Finding Joy. I've decided I don't think that Joy is something we just "are" or something we automatically have. I think we have to really search for it-find it-clean it off-polish it often-and make a regular point of pulling it off the shelf to admire it again and again.
In Habakkuk (3:18,-19):
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."
Here's how I read that verse in my friend's (and many other mother's circumstances):
"Though the veggies aren't growing, and there is no food in the fridge, though the bank account is empty and I'm tired all day, though the kids aren't in their beds yet and the goats got loose again, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior." You could add in whatever trials you face daily: though the house is a big fat mess...though I'm feeling weak...though the kids are fighting...though I'm lonely...though I'm bored....too many bills in the mailbox...the list goes on and on. The bottom line is always the same!
YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL BE JOYFUL IN GOD MY SAVIOR.
The bracelet has an adorable dangling cow (cattle) to help her remember that no matter how bad things seem-or what her circumstances....we WILL rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in HIM!
The fish is a reminder of Jesus and this verse where he says:
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:9-11
For our joy to be complete we must remain in Christ and obey his commands. This is not an easy task and requires daily time in prayer and in his word. However, this teaching comes with a promise that IF we obey his commands we WILL remain in his love. And therefore...we will FIND JOY!!!! This little fish charm is a daily reminder to get time alone with Jesus every day!
In 1Chroncicles 16:27 we read:
"Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place."
Well-I don't know about you-but I think this sounds like a great place to be! His dwelling place I mean. Home is usually seen as the best place on earth...but as a very busy Mommy-it's sadly sometimes the place we want to escape. To find joy.....escape to HIS DWELLING PLACE!!! The dangling house is a reminder that there is no better place to be then where the Lord is-AND-where the Lord has you. Feeling content with all He has set before you is a great start to FINDING JOY!
Finding Joy is a jam packed-full of truth and beauty-blessing bracelet. In addition to the above there's also a bead/verse about singing, love, hope, eternity and light.
Though I had some....none of the beads actually say the word "joy". You have to FIND the joy in the meanings of the other beads.
I hope you had a joyful day in the Lord and in your dwelling place today. But..maybe it was a tough one.
Maybe you are wiped out and feel like you are "coming unglued" or going d-o-w-n in a bad way....take a few minutes to search for that treasure...to remember Jesus your Savior-to stop thinking about your earthly problems and focus instead on his dwelling place. FIND your JOY in HIM and I pray that you will break out into a smile as you realize that even if there are no cattle in the barn (or whatever you feel is lacking) you have everything you need in Christ and He will give you the strength to enable you to go to the heights!!!
PS...as she inspired this creation...I gave the first Finding Joy bracelet to this special Mommy. I hope to have it listed for purchase by the end of the week.