Calling number one. A joyful post about joy!

Friday, 23 August 2013

'I just want to celebrate
Another day of living.
I just want to celebrate
Another day of

This is a song that we have discovered in our house. It's become one of those songs that belong to us now without us having to decide on it, an extra track on a very long playlist of our relationship so far. Chris sings it a lot as he potters around, and if it comes on in the car we'll both sing along to it. Sometimes I'll make myself sing it in the mornings when I'm drying my hair or something just to perk things up. The only rule of singing it aloud is that you kind of have to bellow the last word*, no matter how quietly you're singing the first bit. 'LIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!'

*Or you at least have to do one of those whisper-shouts. You know, when you're trying to shout something but you're in circumstances where you have to whisper so you get a kind of cross between the two? Like an old man rasping for breath. Or Lord Voldemort. You know what I mean, don't you?

It's just a nice song. Nice words to start your day to, to celebrate another day. Of LIIIIIFE!

Did you know that celebrating life is something we are commanded to do?

Check it*:

* I promise never to say or type that again.

All those references to joy in the Bible. They nearly take up a whole page in my concordance. (Actually they do, pretty much, because they’re followed by the words ‘Joyful, Joyous, Jubilant and Jubilee’ which are pretty much on the same wavelength). Three of those ‘joy’ references are:

‘The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.’ – Psalm 28:7

‘So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith, and overflowing with thankfulness.’ – Col 2:6-7

And this, my favourite passage of the moment:

‘Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ 1 Thess 5:16

Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. It’s everywhere. It’s God’s will for me. Give thanks in all circumstances. Be joyful always.

For me there right now I can think of three types of joy:

1)      Joy in the little things. This is, for me, what the first part of the year really taught me – and a huge part of that came from reading Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts (I’ve mentioned it in previous posts – it’s a good book). In fact, to quote it:

‘I am a hunter of beauty and I move slow and I keep the eyes wide, every fiber of every muscle sensing all wonder and this is the thrill of the hunt and I could be an expert on the life full, the beauty meat that lurks in every moment.’
            It’s finding joy and beauty in the midst of the ordinary. It’s generally appreciating life. Noticing the small things and being thankful for them. I could list a thousand things that I’m thankful for, but I won’t now, because I know you all know what I mean by it. It can be anything. Things and people and moments you love.

2)      Joy at my salvation, and in the grand scheme of things. When I first became a Christian … when that first defining moment happened when I realised that something (or Someone) else was at play other than me … I was a mess. Externally, all was well, but internally – sheesh. I was emotionally torn down and it would take a long, long time to build back up again (Maybe one day I’ll tell that story on this blog).

When I think back now to the girl I was, I want to cry with thankfulness. Not just the radical change in circumstances (because now, things are pretty cushty – lovely husband, nice house, baby on the way, financially stable). But the internal change – the change in my heart and my mind and spirit – wow. I can confidently say I am a completely different person now than I was back then, and that journey of healing and discovery has been immense. I look back (not too often – every now and then) and I remember how I felt then and how I feel now and I thank God for all that He has done.

The third type of joy will be explored in the next post … in which you can expect me to be a little less crazily upbeat and a little more cynical ;)

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