Will you choose JOY with me today?

Faith, Inspiration, Endurance, Pain, Joy, Peace, Sorrow, Hard times and Good times

183Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. Isaiah 9:1

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is for one to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him—for this is his (allotted) part. Also, every man to whom God has given riches and possessions, and the power to enjoy them and to accept his appointed lot and to rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God(to him). Ecclesiastes 5:18-19

Toil=work extremely hard or incessantly, move slowly and with difficulty, exhausting physical labor (this sounds familiar to me)

I have been blessed beyond words by all the prayers, comments, texts, and phone calls to check on me and to offer your kindness and love! Unfortunately I got the call that my Rheumatologist wouldn’t be open today due to the weather so I wasn’t able to go for my infusion. It has been moved to Friday so please pray with me that the pain and swelling will improve so I can work on my to do list that is growing by the day.

As for an update, my pain may have decreased a little in my knee and leg or I may be getting used to it lol its hard to tell. The swelling hasn’t gone down and the pain goes all the way down and up my leg. My sciatica pain is back in my hips off and on but thankfully it’s off right this minute so YAY for only minor hip pain! My pain in my spine and neck has improved some so praise the LORD for that, now I can sleep a little better.

I didn’t plan, work so hard, expect or go to school for so long to become a dental hygienist, wife, and mom to be where I am today. Being a wife, mom and hygienist was my dream.  It was not to be sick, in pain and be limited in the things I can do or want to do for my family or myself!  I didn’t want to be in my recliner today on a heating pad wondering if I will be able to accomplish anything for the rest of the week except existing. But here I am and I am going to try my best to make the most of it! My hope is to set a good example for my son, family and others to see that no matter what hand you are dealt in life it’s always a hand worth playing!   It’s our job to make the most of what we have and get all that we can out of life. Some days it may feel like the world or the enemy is taking from us but if you make your mind up you can take right back from it. The enemy may try to destroy you but you can steal from him too. When you choose joy not matter what the enemy throws at you, you are stealing from him and defeating him!

One of the hardest parts about my disease is not the pain but the limitations the pain causes and the misunderstanding of the disease. I have realized that’s partially my fault because I don’t really talk about it or ask for help until I have hit rock bottom or find that my fuel tank has hit empty. I haven’t shared much because I feel like I have to understand something to be able to share it with someone else to understand. I don’t understand it anymore today than I did when I got diagnosed. So if I don’t understand it and I cant explain it what is there to talk about? That’s what I have been asking God for a year now because he has been saying SHARE NIKKI SHARE! I have made every excuse there is not to share. Why do you want me to share my broken story, my broken dreams, my broken plans, my broken body?

I’m not much on sharing stuff with the world unless it’s positive or I have it figured it out and I am far from having it figured out and it seems hard to share without it sounding miserable and usually turns into me trying to make the person I’m talking to feel better my disease. The life I once had figured out turns out to be much different than the one God had planned for me. Even when he showed me his plans for me a while ago I have fought tooth and nail everyday since then saying no I think you are wrong God or I surely misunderstood you! Each day he assures me I am exactly where I am supposed to be and the he has not forgotten or forsaken me. I know that his plans for my life are much greater than my plans could ever be so I have been practicing trusting him with the good and bad days. I am letting him lead the way for once. I have found life to be a lot easier this way.

Two parts from the last scripture I shared says, “and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him—for this is his (allotted) part.” AND “ to rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God(to him).”

Finding JOY is a decision to make and an action to take. It doesn’t come easy and its one that we have to make everyday not just on the good ones. God and I make the choice each day to rejoice and choose JOY! I am not going to lie some days that’s much harder than others and I am guilty to say that I have failed at it a few days as well. I know it is a gift from God because each time I try to face a day or a battle alone is when I fail!   But I’m grateful to know the progress I have made with my relationship with God and with staring this ugly disease straight in the face and defeating it each day with Gods joy and his strength!

There is joy to be found in all labor under the sun and in all the days of our lives. That means that there is joy to be found in your labor if you have the best job in the world, if you have the stinkiest job in the world, the hardest job in the world, the worst job in the world, or if some days your hardest job is just getting out of the bed or getting to your recliner. There is joy to be found whether we are doing what we love, what we wanted to today, doing what you planed, whether it’s a good day or bad day, or whether its where you wanted to be or as far from what you wanted as it could be, whether it’s the best day or worst day of your life there is ALWAYS something to be thankful, joy to be found and it’s what God asks from us.

I am as far away from where I wanted to be today as I could imagine, but ironically I know for a fact that I am much closer to where God wanted me today than ever before and for that I am very thankful and find overwhelming JOY! The ability to find joy in those really hard times doesn’t come naturally or over night but you will find it with practice and Gods help. You have to make it a point to know God and to have a relationship with him. This can be done many ways and it’s not by just picking one way. I do everything in my power to get as much of his word into my day and my life as possible and if you really want to find that joy, peace, and comfort as well you will find several ways to get his word into your day too.

Ways that I love working God into my day include:

  • Church
  • Recording and watching preaching on TV or online
  • Local Christian radio stations, satellite radio has good channels too, and of course by buying my favorite PRAISE songs on Itunes
  • My devotions in the morning (Joyce Meyer’s is a favorite) and reading my bible
  • Christian blogs (Lisa Leonard & Sharon Roller are favorites)
  • Christian podcasts (Sharon Roller- A Virtuous Mother)
  • Meeting with brothers and sisters in Christ to share prayers and praises
  • Journaling my prayers, answered prayers, and favorite scripture
  • Praying and staying in communication with God throughout the day
  • Making a list of all the things you are grateful for. Making a list of things that you are not grateful for and adding beside them good things that have come from them or something about it you can be thankful for even it its just that it’s not worse! This helps you to find the good in all things!
  • Thanking God throughout the day for all the blessings big or small that come to mind is a great way to find JOY and practice being GRATEFUL!

I hope that there were at least a few things that I shared that can brighten someone’s Monday. I know many of you were probably unhappy to be heading out to work or school today when you hoped to be playing in 8 plus inches of snow! Please share with me scriptures that encourage you on hard days. What ways do you work God into your day and your life? How did you choose joy today or in hard times? How do you plan to choose joy in the future?

First blog post

Learning to totally trust God and taking the first step of faith in a direction that he is leading.  Not sure where I’m going yet but totally ready to see what he has in store for me.  I know that his plans are much greater than mine and have finally given him permission to take me where he pleases.