Can I Truly have joy in 2020?

So, this about sums it up.

I knew we shouldn’t have raided Area 51! 😳

Here I was all excited about the new year and all the things we had planned…I don’t even need to elaborate. You get it. You totally get it. I mean, just imagine trying to explain to someone that just woke up from a coma what’s been going on for the last 8 months. I think I’d tell them to go back to sleep!

Seriously though, it’s been one for the history books. With that being said, how do we maintain peace and joy in a year when so many things have completely changed our way of life, when the world is so unsettled, and when everything is out of our control? We are quarantined without others to lift us up and help us out of our darkest days. I mean, COME ON! I haven’t even been to Target in 6 months!!! That’s how I know there’s a major problem.

Simply put, how do we maintain control when that said control eludes us? We get so caught up in our life plans that we forget to do the most important thing!

Ask God what His plans are and how He wants to use me!

Now, look… I’m just as guilty! I often wonder what is going on! It just seems like it’s all too much. The truth is that we do not wage wars of flesh and blood, but of the unseen. Social politics are at an all time emotional high and we are quarantined and unable to gather and pray together. We’ve been cut off at the knees!

The thing is, we get so caught up in our own troubles that we forget to look at the bigger picture. It’s not about us. Nothing revolves around us. That’s a hard truth. You’re welcome.

Instead, what are we supposed to do? Consider it an opportunity for joy? According to James, that’s exactly what we are supposed to do. Remember, it’s not about us. What’s happening here is so much bigger. How is God wanting to use us through this?

Look, it sounds unattainable and ridiculous. I know. But joy is a choice. It’s a choice to look up at the Light, hold His hand, and journey together. It’s a choice to hope. It’s a choice to be willing to let God use you in whatever way He will get the most glory! If my heart is all about that plan, I can’t help but chuckle and just say, “I’m glad You’ve got this because I sure don’t!”

The weight is gone. It’s not my problem. I can trust that I serve a God that delights in me!

The best part is that He gives us a simple formula. We don’t even have to figure it out on our own! He’s that awesome!!

There are so many verses that can encourage you! I can’t possibly even scratch the surface. All I know is that God is amazing. He delights in me. I want Him to have all the glory. I can rest in Him and give Him control (which I don’t have anyway!). My job? Rest in that, be full of joy, tell God what I need and thank Him for all He’s done and is doing in the madness. I will choose to focus my thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable — things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

If this is where my mind is, I am not spun up by the news and the chaos around me. I’m focused. I’m at peace. I’m full of joy!

Halo Found Hope — A Memoir

by Helo Matzelle

In January 2011, Helo (pronounced Halo)and her doctors found a tumor the size of a golf ball deep down inside the brain. A week later, she was having surgery to remove it. While it was a successful surgery, her body was traumatized and her brain started swelling up. It was a scary time for the family as she fought for her life during the weeks that followed.

What I REALLY LOVED about this book is that the focus isn’t on her illness. This whole book is a big worship song to God. As Helo fights her worldly reactions of depression, worry, fear, anger, etc…, we see her fighting back with God’s help. Instead of focusing on her fight to take step after step at the grocery store, she is offering to pay the bill for the person behind her. She is helping others that are struggling.

That’s really all life is about. Helo understands this. She knows that our purpose is to bring God glory. Nothing else. In doing that, we are brought joy and happiness because that’s what we were created to do. As she struggled with insurance companies, she just focused on bringing God glory. In Exodus 14:14, we are told, “The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still”. She gets it and He did fight for her. He fought the battles that she chose not to get worked up over. She just loved others and opens up with a transparent heart showing us how to do the same.

5 Solid Stars. Thank you so much, litfuse, for this wonderful book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

— If you would like a chance to win this book, TODAY IS THE LAST DAY. You can go to my “Giveaways” section (on the top of the page) and click on it. You’ll find plenty of them there, including a copy of Helo’s new book: Halo Found Hope and a chance for a Kindle Fire!!

Here’s the link for ya!!

Booked – literature in the soul of me

by Karen Swallow Prior

From the very first story to the powerful and final statement , I was enraptured. In Karen’s book, cleverly titled “Booked”, we see her life intertwined with literature and God. What a task to bring them all together. I assure you, she was up for the challenge!!

Each chapter is dedicated to some form of literature that made a huge impact on her life. It may surprise you that I did not grow up reading books like Karen did. In fact, books are a relatively new thing for me! Seeing how she was able to pull truths out of these books, that are so quickly overlooked, completely blew my mind. I honestly wish I could spend about a week absorbing each chapter. They are so rich in content and full of truths.

I believe that every person could learn and grow from this book. I don’t care what stage you are at, there is something here for you. She tackles the tough issues without reserve. There is no holding back. It’s so beautifully offered up, you almost miss the depth of what is there!

Thank you so much, Karen, for this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. I would ask that everyone reading this check out Booked! There’s a link in the pic above.

Also, don’t forget to check out NAME IT!! and see if you can do better than I did!!

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