For November

“How do you feel?”
Tired.”
“Tired is not a feeling, it’s a state of being.”
I think it’s a feeling. I feel tired.”
“Pick a better word. Google ‘feeling words’.”
Ok, fine…” (and after literally googling ‘feeling words’),
somewhere in the ‘dissatisfied, disillusioned, frustrated’ section.”
I am thankful for (and sometimes annoyed by) friends who push – who lean in – when I pull away and collapse inside myself.
I took a study break to read my favorite blog (aholyexperience.com) and she spoke to my soul: “What grabs a hold of a woman and makes her fear a day and herself and letting anyone get close?  What makes joy elusive and cynicism easy and stress normal?” 
And there it was.  What I struggled to describe, my feelings, she stated simply.  I am stressed and that has become my normal.  I am dissatisfied with where my life is and frustrated that it isn’t what I thought it would be by this point.
I’m impatient with God and wondering when His plan for me will finally be set in motionand I realize I am missing, not engaging, with this part of His plan – because His plan for us begins before we are even on this earth – it does not start when we graduate or get married or find our dream job – our purpose and plan is from the first breath and we cannot live our lives waiting for it to start.  We may wait for a lot of things, but not for a purpose. 
And I get even more frustrated because I am spending my life being frustrated. (Irony.)
What a waste to spend our lives living in these emotions.  How do we find our way out?  Am I the only one feeling this way? 
Sometimes, I see other people living happy lives and I wonder when its my turn.
I try to live a life of JOY but sometimes it’s just.so.darn.hard.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Joy – always.  Prayer – always. Thanks – always.  That is God’s will for us.
“Thanks therapy is God’s prescription for JOY.” – Ann Voskamp (I mean really, just go read her blog please.)
I don’t believe in a formulaic God.
I don’t think that obedience + submission = blessing.
I don’t believe tithing + being happy about it = surprise checks in your mailbox. 
God is not a formula, He does not work in formulas. 
But this life formula is simple, and true.  Look for the JOY around you and you will find it.  And you will become JOYful.  Its all I really want in life is to embody JOY.  I don’t want to embody frustration, disillusionment, or dissatisfaction.  I want to live out JOY and hope.  I want to be a light in a dark world not a dark person in a light filled place.
I need to return to a place of gift-counting.  Of seeking out the JOY in all areas of life.  Even when I have 3 papers to write and a job that seems thankless and a life that seems less than. 
Because when I look for it, I will find it, and I will become JOY.
Challenge to all of us for this November month: 5 gifts each day. 5 things you are thankful for – let’s make it a JOY filled month (:

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One of those twenty-somethings trying to find my way through this silly world. I write to process, and sometimes send those thoughts out into the void. Passionate about Jesus and people and bringing those two together. Living in and loving Denver. Working with college students, who are the coolest. Seeking Jesus in everything.

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