Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Joy and Fear

These days I am learning first-hand that fear robs joy.

The Bible tells us to give thanks in all circumstances, be content in all things, and have a joyful Spirit.  It specifically tells us NOT to fear.  It tell us not to fear something like 365 times -- that number has always stuck in my mind, because it has a different verse every day telling us not to fear.

I am using the word "joy" much often these days, because when people ask me how my baby is, I tell them the truth -- she is an absolute joy.  I have been happy before... but, for me, motherhood is a JOY like I have never known before.

Since I am experiencing, and acknowledging joy more often in my life, I am trying to become a more joyful person in general.  It is in this effort that I have realized that fear robs joy.

I have said it before, and I will say it again, that my hope and prayer is to, eventually, be home with our children full-time.

I am realizing when I am joyful in my job, I am filled with fear about feeling it.  If I am joyful in my work, then I might not get to stay home someday.  If I am joyful in my work, God (or my husband) might not enable me to stay home, and I will have to work outside the home forever.

As I have noticed these feelings, I remembered back to when I was single and I knew I was supposed to be "content" with my life before marriage -- but I never felt joyful about it.  If I was joyful as a single woman, then God would never give me a husband.

All of these years I have discouraged joy in my heart and my spirit for fear that it will mean something else won't bring me joy.

Here's my revelation -- joy in one area of life is not mutually exclusive.  In fact, joy breeds joy!  When I am joyful at work, I am a more joyful mother.  When I am a joyful mother, I am a more joyful wife.  When I am joyful wife, I am a more joyful teacher, etc.

Fear that I won't get what I want (a husband, the ability to work from home) has robbed me of feeling joy where I am now, and, let me tell you, that stops NOW.

Tracey Ann is such a joy -- but, from now on, I will be on a quest to find joy in the students I teach, the colleagues with whom I work, and the long commute that I make.

Welcome, Joy.

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