Hungering for Joy

The idea that we’re “not enough” permeates our lives whether we’re aware of it or not.

Think about our typical day. We wake up and think, “I didn’t get enough sleep.” or “I don’t have enough time.” We spend so much of our time complaining or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… We don’t have enough money. We don’t have enough work to do. We don’t have enough weekends. We’re not talented enough. We’re not driven enough. We’re not smart enough.

Before we even sit up in our beds each morning, we’re already inadequate in our own eyes. What begins as a simple expression of the hurried life, grows into the great justification for an unfulfilled life.

It makes complete sense why we have become a nation hungry for joy…because we’re starving from lack of gratitude.

I am enough.

Why Independence is Over Valued in Our Culture

Our culture puts too much value on independence. The truth is, to be truly independent, is to be alone.

Some call this strength, but really it’s often laziness. As humans, we’re designed to need other people. To believe that you can go at this world alone is like setting your soul down on a couch, never allowing it to exercise.

See, if you spend enough time alone, it soon becomes very hard to be around other people. You begin to think that the world belongs to you- that all space is your space and all time is your time.

You become so used to being able to daydream and keep yourself company, that other people are merely an intrusion. And this is terribly unhealthy.

God doesn’t want us floating through life alone, or sitting in front of our computers. He doesn’t want our lives to play out like a movie called Independence. He wants us interacting- laughing together, praying together, eating together…

If loving other people is a bit of heaven, then surely isolation is a bit of hell. While we’re on Earth, we get to decide in which state we would like to live.

Stillness

I think I know why people are uncomfortable with stillness; being alone with the quiet of their mind.

What will my thoughts be? Will I be sad? Judgmental? Angry? Hateful? What if I am tormented by my racing mind? The inevitable underlying fear behind it all remains: Who am I?

But you are not your thoughts. Nor are you your feelings. If you can grasp this truth, you can learn to separate your self from your mind. The freedom that arises from this sort of separation will change your life. You will find that your thoughts are nothing to fear afterall. And more importantly, you will learn the healing power of stillness and the truth about how amazing you are, and have been all along.

Life Cycle

“Whatever has happened before will happen again. What ever has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

Have you ever noticed how cyclical your life is? I sure have.

As unpredictable as life can be, it’s cyclical nature is just as predictable.

For everything that dies, something else is born.

For everything that ends, something else begins.

For every door that closes, another one opens.

After every high, comes a low.

After every storm, comes the sun.

After every loss, comes a gain.

In fact, the cycles are so predictable, it’s a wonder that we worry or doubt at all. Perhaps this is why we’re told to give thanks in ALL things, because another change is always just around the corner.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Waiting to Live

Some people spend their whole life waiting to live.

Waiting to love.
Waiting to create.
Waiting to move.
Waiting to apply for that job they always dream of.
Waiting to start that business they envision.

Waiting until they’re ready.

It’s not uncommon for people to spend their lives in this way; waiting to live.

The Many Faces of Christmas (A Poem)

Cold streets, winter nights

Warm windows, wrapped with lights

Loneliness and hands that freeze

Mistletoes and sparkling trees

Santa Clause finds some, not all

Some are at the Christmas Ball

While some are huddled close together

Under bridges, facing weather

Some are warm, by a fire

Some at stores, the constant buyer

Some in Church, singing praise

Some are gone, been so for days

As you join family and friends

Think of all the faces that Christmas lends

And don’t complain, whatever you do

There’s always someone who has it worse than you.

The Good Thing About Pain

The good thing about pain is that it breaks down the walls of your ego, tones back relentless ambitions, and forces you into the present – enhancing your awareness of and appreciation for all of the people in your life. As it is through and with these people, that you can once again experience moments of joy.

Is Freedom Really What We Want? (A Personal Reflection)

When my boyfriend died, the life I knew died along with him. Shortly thereafter, I packed up all of my belongings, everything I had acquired in California, and drove across the country to be back home again in North Carolina. Because, of course, when the world fails you, the only place you have to go is home.

Within one year, I had a monumental career change, my parents divorced, my childhood home was sold, and I was living on my own in an apartment for the first time in my life. All this change in only one year! Even writing about it now, it seems surreal. How has my life become so crazy, so chaotic? How have I been able to push through, to survive?

Well, God is good. And that is where I am now. Completely lost, approaching the second birthday that I will spend without my boyfriend and the only thing that I know for certain is God’s goodness and grace. Other than that, I feel adrift. Floating in a world that I have no control over, a world that is constantly shifting, one without ground.

I guess on the bright side, I have nothing holding me back. I have no attachments that hold me down, hold me steady. I’m free to fly like a bird, as I have always yearned to do.

This also means I have little security, no sense of stability, a feeling of total loss of control. Does a baby bird feel this way before it leaves its nest for the first time? I wonder. And how many nests will I have to leave? Is flying free really all it’s cracked up to be?

bird