Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Joy is Contagious!
"Therefore my heart is glad and my glory [my inner self] rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety." -Psalm 16:9, Amplified Bible
I've noticed something over the last few months. My home has become a very, very joy-filled place. Since my outlook on life has changed and my attitude has changed, I've noticed a shift in the attitudes of those around me. My husband is happier and more involved in our relationship. My kids are loving every minute of their lives here at home; they're even happy to do their chores because they can see that when Mom's cleaning the house, she does it with JOY! (Yes, I am joyful when I clean my house. I'm finally taking pride in myself and my abilities as a wife and mother... and I'm loving every minute of taking care of business instead of sitting on the couch all day with a bucket of ice cream in my lap!) We even have more time to spend together as a family, because we are MAKING time for fun. Here's a picture of the kids hanging out with me on a Monday night. My oldest is popping corn in the microwave, and the youngest is helping us all choose a movie to watch. J-O-Y in action - right here:
I have come to a place in my life where I can truly - with one hundred percent honesty - say that I am happy. I love everything about my life. I even love the trials, because I've come to the realization that there are lessons to be learned from every adverse experience I have. I know. To some of you, this sounds like B.S. motivational speaking at its best. I promise you, this is now my reality. I no longer allow circumstances to control me. I go with the flow and remember that if I am capable of recovering from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and rape and every other horrible thing I've been through, I am capable of handling every bit of drama and trauma that comes my way.
You know, I could sit here for hours on end and tell you stories of the horrible things I have seen, heard, and done. Some of you would identify with my life, some of you would not. Some of you may think what I've been through is nothing compared to your own story - and you might be correct about that. But there's one thing I know for certain: dwelling on the past has gotten me nowhere. Moving forward is the only thing that has ever made a difference in my life. If you want to hear my story, I will gladly share it with you. But now when I share, I share with the knowledge that I have overcome the circumstances that were forced upon me. I share with the assurance and the peace of knowing that I am no longer living in defeat. I'm living in joy. And I hope that when I do share my story, you will see that joy after trauma is an attainable goal, and that you'll catch a glimpse of the strength and the beauty and the joyful heart of a survivor - a thriver - and that you'll want it for yourself.
I set out on a journey to be joyful, and it brought joy to the people around me. It renewed my faith, it restored relationships and it reminded me that (even though sometimes I may struggle to see it) there is always beauty in my life. What will living joyfully do for you? Take the journey and find out!