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Crocus of Joy

As I was walking in the warm sunshine (woohoo) on my way home from work, I came across these beauties.

And my first thought after….Ahhh! YAY! Crocuses!….was crocus of joy. I always associate crocuses with rejoicing because of the beginning of Isaiah 35…

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

The crocuses reminded me to choose joy today. So I’m spreading their message.

Point to ponder while you wander…

Joy is a choice.

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” Martha Washington

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Musical Monday: Get Off My Cloud

Today I’m sharing my fave Rolling Stones song… Get Off Of My Cloud

When I hear the chorus I envision myself as child laying in soft green grass in our yard watching the parade of clouds roll by. I’d call out the shapes…elephant, duck, tree, turtle, ship… or I’d imagine myself floating in the blue sky on my very own cloud. It was quiet & peaceful on my joyfilled cloud. Nothing bad happened there, nothing sad either.

It was dreamy…the thought of alone time. I now know it’s because I’m introverted and I need alone time to recharge. Actually the thought of my own cloud was perfection. Soft fluffy perfection on my cloud.

I didn’t want messy drama brought into my cloud. I didn’t want someone to “wreck” my day.

But the truth is that no one can wreck your day without you conceding the right to them. No one can “make” you angry. They may hurt you, frustrate you, scare you, but you choose how you react. Anger is a secondary emotion, it’s choice.

Only you can determine what your attitude and frame of mind will be. Only you can choose to maintain peace in a storm. Only you can decide to choose joy in the face of a day that is full of problems.

Peace and joy are choices you make every day. Strength comes from joy. Rest comes from peace.

Point to ponder while you wander…Many things will happen in your life that you have zero control over. That is just life. But you have control over how you choose to react. You determine your attitude.

PS Continuing with the theme….here’s Barbra singing Don’t Rain on My Parade in Funny Girl for your auditory and visual pleasure.

You are a Gift

Comparison is the lying thief of joy.

Seriously!

The Word says…

Each one should use whatever gift they have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10

Each person in the body of Christ was created in purpose with purpose. We are all necessary and important.

But if we spend our time focused on what others can do that we cannot, we lose the opportunity to enjoy the gift that they are.

If we discount ourselves because we aren’t “as good” as so and so. We rob others of the gift we could be to them.

Celebrate and appreciate the gifts (aka people) around you, and allow yourself to be celebrated.

Point to ponder while you wander…You ARE a gift. You ARE talented. You do have something to give. Don’t let the lie of comparison steal that truth from you! Be your best you, the world needs YOU.

Joy is not Circumstantial 

You have shown me the way of life, and You will fill me with the joy of Your presence.” Acts 2:28 NLT

Point to ponder while you wander….Joy isn’t circumstantial. Joy is what strengthens you to get through the circumstances.

Musical Monday…Seasons and Waves

 Ecclesiastes is not necessarily one of my fave books of the Bible. It is said to have been written by King Solomon towards the end of his life…and it leans a tad cynical with a twinge of regret. I usually gravitate towards the creation in Genesis, the love of 1st John, or the smack down truth of Romans.  But there are times when Ecclesiastes is exactly where I am at.

This past weekend was one of those times.

I wanted to know when it would stop making me sad to go to Aldi, when I could see strawberries and not well up, when sunshiny spring days wouldn’t make my heart hurt, and when Friday night would not seem so empty.

Sounds weird…yeah. But Nana used to call me and ask me to run her to Aldi. Sunshiny spring days we’d play Scrabble on the deck. Whenever strawberries were on sale at Kroger or Meijer I’d pick them up for Papa. Friday night for a really long time was Papa date night. 

Saturday was the anniversary of Nana’s departure to heaven. Papa’s birthday is this Friday. And Papa left to join Nana in heaven on the 30th. March was rough last year…and even harder this year.

I’ve heard grief comes in waves. Well it’s quite the swell today.

When I was asking when those memories would make me smile instead of well up…I heard this…

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal.A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT
Today I’m sad…but thinking of her also made me smile. Same for Papa.

Nana started me on my family tree researching. I loved calling her with breakthroughs and showing her printouts of documents. I miss that. 

I miss being called “Missy.”

I miss her dancing with us in the basement to the 8-Track of silly songs.

I miss Papa date night. 

I miss mall walking with him and him tattling on me to Nana if I bought something while we were there.

I miss looking at the “fake” art, and leaning my head on his shoulder watching Gunsmoke and Bonanza.

 I will always miss them. 

 Point to ponder while you wander… Enjoy today with your people! Embrace the ups and downs, and use them to cultivate a deeper relationship. It’s worth it.

PS..this is a musical Monday so…here’s The Byrds version of the scripture above…it’s a groovy tune.  “Turn Turn Turn

2016’s Resolution

Last Year’s New Year’s Resolution.  Pass or Fail.  I’ll let you decide.

Backstory:  I determined after about a decade+ of the same new year’s resolution (not putting myself in a situation I was not strong enough to resist).  I was going to stop doing resolutions.  Goals are important.  Yes.  But tying them to a day on the calendar I think can sometimes be more stressful than good.  Anyway… I had a well meaning (I think) person ask me about my new year’s resolutions.  I told her I didn’t have any.  She looked at me like I had three heads.  “Bbbbut you have to have new year’s resolutions.”

Um.  No.  I don’t.

But the conversation continued until I said fine….my new year’s resolution is to learn the actual lyrics to Bennie and the Jets by Elton John.

I believe there was eye rolling involved by one or both parties…but it was a year ago so I can’t be completely sure.

So did I in fact learn the lyrics to Bennie and the Jets?  Well….let me type them out and see how I do.  This is without listening to the song in a few weeks.  And without it on now.  Just memory.

Hey kids, shake it loose and listen.  The spotlight’s hitting something that’s been known to change the weather.  We’ll kill the spotted calf tonight so stick around.  You’re gonna hear electric walls of souuuuund.

Oh Candy and Ronnie have you seen them yet?  Ooh but their so spaced out.  Bbbbennie and the Jets.  Oh their weird and their wonderful.  Oh Bennie she’s really keen.  She’s got electric boots, a mohair suit.  You know I read it in a magazine, oh ohhh.  Bbbbennie and the Jets

Hey kids….. something something something…

hmmm.  There’s another part here la la la la la 

We’ll fight our parents out in the streets to see who’s right and who’s wrong.

Oh Candy and Ronnie have you seen them yet?  Oh but their so spaced out.  Bbbbennie and the Jets.  Oh their weird and their wonderful.  Oh Bennie she’s really keen.  She’s got electric boots, a mohair suit.  You know I read it in a magazine, oh ohhh.  Bbbbennie and the Jets

Okay… I’d give myself a C+ if these lyrics are correct because I can only remember the first and last lines of the 2nd verse.

Now I’m gonna listen to it and see if I can get them all….hold briefly.  Or maybe you listen too. (The video is classic 70’s Elton…my personal favorite Elton).

Ok…so I missed a few words. electric music solid walls of sound. In my first attempt.  Fatted calf.  Not spotted.

Chorus.  Yes. Yes.  Pretty Solid.

2nd verse with the music…not perfect but close.  This is what I sang… Hey kids welcome to the faithless uh uh blinded  but Bennie makes them ageless.  We shall survive let us bring ourselves along.  We’ll fight our parents out in the streets to see who’s right and who’s wrong.

Full Lyrics to Bennie and the Jets by Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Hey kids, shake it loose together
The spotlight’s hitting something
That’s been known to change the weather
We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight
So stick around
You’re gonna hear electric music
Solid walls of sound

Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Uh but they’re so spaced out, B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine
B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets

Hey kids, plug into the faithless
Maybe they’re blinded
But Bennie makes them ageless
We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
Where we fight our parents out in the streets
To find who’s right and who’s wrong

Oh Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Oh but they’re so spaced out, Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine, oh
B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets

Oh Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Oh but they’re so spaced out, Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine, oh
B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Jets, Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie
Bennie, Bennie and the Jets

So I did pretty well, not perfectly…but pretty well.  I listened to three times in a row and got it about 99% right, so I am checking the box to 2016 New Year’s Resolution Complete.  If you’re looking for a new year’s resolution or need one to get someone off your back.  Give this one a try.  It was a fun one for me over the year.  I tried to get other people to learn them with me.  My 12, now 13, year old nephew.  My roommate.  You know.  Share the fun.

Point to Ponder While You Wander… Don’t let people pressure you about your goals.  You determine where you’re headed. So you should set your own goals that lead you in the direction YOU want to go.  Don’t be pressured into being or doing something that just isn’t you.  You be you.

Also…not all goals have to be life or death serious, people.  Jesus came to give us abundant lives…that includes joy and laughter.  And this NY’s Resolution thing has been really funny to me all year long.

PS…Do you sing “Hold me closer Tony Danza” instead of “Hold me closer Tiny Dancer” too?  Or is that just me? Ha ha

God’s Will For You

For all of you struggling with what God’s will is for your life…here you go:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

Wait. What?

Will here is the Greek word thelēma.  It means what one wishes or has determined shall be done, will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure, commands or precepts (per Strong’s Concordance).

So what does God wish for you? Desire for you?

He wants you to have joy and continually rejoice.  Not just when times are fun and everything’s easy breezy.  All the time.  Even on Manic Mondays, Hump Day, and days full of suck.  Why?  Joy is strength.

He wants you to continually be in prayer.  Why?  Because God needs you to invite Him into your situation, and the situations of those around you.  He cannot move without being asked.  He is not invasive.  Also, He wants to have open communication with you.  He wants you to talk to Him, and listen to Him in return.  Consistent prayer leads to partnership with Him.  And we all need Him.

He wants you to have an attitude of gratitude.  To verbally express thankfulness. Why? Thankfulness is a testimony of God’s goodness.  It creates an atmosphere of worship.  It creates an atmosphere of belief.  It reminds you that God is good.  It reminds you God is for you.

This is what God wants for you.

Point to ponder while you wander…I Thessalonians 5:16-18 is not about faking anything or pretending to be okay. Strong people know how to cultivate and maintain joy, prayer & an attitude of gratitude, it’s how they stay strong.