I painted this picture “Choose Joy” as my theme for this 2018 year. It’s ironic, however that I chose the topic “choosing joy during the good times and the hard times” months ago when today- I am finding joy difficult to find. Oh, everything is fine at our house- really nothing to be alarmed about. Truthfully, life has a wonderful roller coaster of emotions and it feels that when you are pregnant one is especially prone to feeling the high-highs and low-lows of life. One can get bogged down with the never ending list of to-dos and wish list of dreams that seem too far out of reach…. sigh it’s life. So how does one choose joy- during the good times and hard times? The answer is simple: self reflection, gratitude and service.
Focusing on the things you have instead of the things you don’t. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get dragged down by social media and the gradur of everyone’s life. Everyone on-line seems to have it all together. Nicely dressed kids, amazing vacations, dream homes and fabulous decorations, gourmet meals… the list goes on. When I find myself comparing the “picture perfect” lifestyle people are showcasing on social media I remind myself… they are showcasing their life.
People on social media aren’t showing the nasty dark bags under their eyes from sick kids crying in the middle of the night- that’s what photo filters are for! People only show you the gorgeous meal they prepared, but aren’t showing the disaster their kitchen looks like during and after that meal was made. Take a step back and reflect on the true message of the picture. Focus your attention on something more productive… gratitude.
So much easier said then done. Choosing joy means choosing to focus your attention on gratitude for the things you have in your possession right now. People in your life- who have good health. Gratitude for a roof over your head and a heater that works in the winter. Focus your attention on the little things, for those little things matter! As I mentioned, I am having a hard time in this moment choosing joy. I’m currently on bedrest- ugh. My little man thinks he can come early and it’s not safe for him to come just yet. Therefore, this busy mom is stuck in bed, writing a post about choosing joy. I’d rather be playing with my little people at the park. Or at least walking around the block!
Now, let’s flip the focus to gratitude. I am sooooo thankful that I’m thirty-six weeks and this is light bedrest. Which means, I only need to keep this little guy in for a couple of days and then he can come. There are other women who are put on bedrest much sooner in their pregnancy. How grateful am I that this “rest” is only for a few days! Yes, my plans for the week are totally ruined, but things could be soo much worse and I’m grateful they aren’t.
Service is another opportunity to self reflect and express gratitude for what we have. When we are called to serve, we are usually put in a situation to help someone who may have it worse in a different way. At this moment, my serving capabilities are limited inside my bedroom and home. However, I have the opportunity to reach out to someone on the phone. Perhaps I could be a listening ear for someone else. Or, turning the service around and allowing someone else to serve me by watching the kids when they get home from school. The list is endless on how serving can put perspective into your own life and lift your eyes to gratitude instead of despair.
Choosing joy in the good times is easy. When life seems to be on a roll of wonderfullness- finding joy is simple. Basking in the sunshine on a beach in Hawaii is a hard job, but someone needs to do it! Choosing joy during the hard times is more challenging, but I believe with a little self-reflection, gratitude and finding opportunities to serve, choosing joy in life will be obtained.
How can you choose to find joy today? Leave your thoughts below we’d love to hear them- especially me!
Hugely pregnant Morgan