I just had an amazing morning! I was asked to stop in at the After the Boxes class at my church to share “my story” of coming full circle after a move. This was so special to me for a few reasons. Having attended the same class 4 years ago really helped me understand that I was not alone and set me on the path I’m still on today. Clearly I have a heart for ladies who are in the middle of a move or have just moved. These are my people and the reason Kim and I started this blog. And sometimes we need to be reminded why we start projects and sometimes we need to be reminded of a struggle that we overcame. Both of these reminders came to me this morning. I heard ladies share their hearts, their struggles and their triumphs this morning. These ladies were not friends a few months ago. But they are now. They are on the same journey of surviving a move. But they aren’t just surviving, they are learning to flourish.
So what did I share? I shared a lot. I shared things that I planned to share but I also shared some details that God just lead me to share. I’m so thankful that I did. I need to remember that I too, am a Work In Progress. Here is the gist of what I said…
I have moved a lot. I have moved under great circumstances and not so great circumstances. I have moved to small cities and large cities. I have moved into bigger houses and smaller houses. I have moved willingly and not so willingly. But with each move, I must choose my attitude. Sure, I panic and get mad. I may even dig my heels in at first. However, I always make the decision that I’m going to be “all in” because my family deserves it. My marriage needs it. My God is honored by it.
I can now look back at each place and I see God’s hand at work. As a planner, I always want things to go my way. However there is no way I could ever imagine what God had in store for me or my family from place to place. But his ways are indeed better that our ways. Each place we have lived, regardless of how long, has been a gift. New friends and new adventures.
Are you struggling with a move? A difficult transition? I know its tough but you need to choose Joy. You may not be able to change the circumstances, buy you can change how to respond and how you move forward. If you are a mom, you better believe your children are watching you and waiting to see how you respond. Go ahead and choose Joy. There is a difference between being happy about something and choosing joy. You are happy as a result of something. But Joy goes deeper.
Author Susan Miller covers this point beautifully in chapter 16 of her book, After The Boxes Are Unpacked which is what I spoke about in today’s class based on the book. In fact, Susan has an updated version of her book coming out later this week and is totally worth checking out. We were laughing in class today about how worn down my book looks so I will definitely be buying the updated copy.
Susan reminds us that Joy comes from deep and from having a relationship with God.
“Joy…occurs in spite of difficult situations. It is not a feeling; it is a choice. It is not based upon circumstances; it is based upon attitude” (from You Gotta Keep Dancin’ by Tim Hansel).
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” John 15:11.
I’m praying that you can choose joy today regardless of your circumstances!