Tag Archives | joy

jealousy, ugliness, and other such thoughts

oh hello jealousy. i thought we were done with you.

now that we have everything we’ve ever wanted. now that we have a house. now that i have an amazing daughter. that my husband has an amazing job and a church family that we just adore. we have each other and really, what more do we need? oh yes, i thought we were done with you. we have everything. we ARE SO BLESSED.

but then, i slip and  check facebook. {when i’m not even supposed to be on it for lent gosh darn it!}

i see friends who can afford to get GORGEOUS pictures of their newborn baby.

i see friends who can afford to buy a nicer/newer houses when ours is rebelling…{STILL} or  a fancier car when we are borrowing one, or those friends were able to meet up and get together {and why wasn’t i invited?}

yeieieie.

jealousy is ugly isn’t it? i mean UGLY. really UGLY.

if i lived in my own little bubble and couldn’t compare myself to others, i’d be just fine. you know what i mean? comparison is the worst way i could spend my day. seriously.

but we all do it, don’t we?

i know that God is trying to share something with me when i hear little bits and pieces about a certain topic over and over. that’s how it’s been the past couple of weeks on this subject… on the radio i randomly hear someone talking about envy. at mops last friday a girl talked about comparison sucking the life right out of you, random conversations with friends wishing that we didn’t wish for more… LETS JUST SAY, the conviction of jealousy and envy has been rolling around in my head.

you know what i’ve been thinking about? that God doesn’t want me to be jealous. {um, duh…but maybe i just have a thick skull.}

He has created me just the way i am and HE has given me everything as gifts. the very air i breathe is a gift but more than that…

the flowers in our front planters that need to be weeded are a gift…

this roof over my head is a HUGE gift…

that man in the other room that loves me is a gift…

and of course that little girl who needs every part of me to love and care for her is such an amazing gift!

how spoiled and ugly is it when we i look over at what gifts He’s given someone else and i wish i had that instead of the things in my own hands? yikes…{!!}

HE commands me not to be jealous in Exodus 20:17

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

it’s a command. not because my life is perfect. but because HE knows exactly what i need and desire and HE is taking care of me better than i can myself.

to covet anything that my neighbor has steals joy. it steals peace.  and really, as far as i can tell, that’s why God commanded us not to envy. because HE KNEW that if we did it would steal the gifts of joy and peace and contentment from us! we can not be joyful when we keep looking to our left and right and wishing for something else. we can not be peaceful when we start counting all the things that we don’t have.

He says in Proverbs 14:30:

“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”

Peace is my word of the year. when i think of peace, i think of a “tranquil heart” like the verse above…that tranquil heart brings life. and that life, that tranquility , HIS tranquility, filling every part of me, is the REAL desire of my heart!

then in Galations 5:19-26:

” Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

you guys! envy and jealousy are listed right there next to sexual immorality, drunkenness and sorcery and the rest. it is SIN just like the rest. there is no “level” of worse sins…they are all sin. therefore, my comparing myself to others is a sin. it is a part of the flesh that i long to be rid of!

that other list, the fruit, that is what i desire.

Apostle Paul, the author of these verses, is reminding us that those of us who claim Christ as our Savior have crucified the flesh, the desires of the flesh. HE went to the cross, this Good Friday, because of my jealousy and my selfish envy. because i sat there wasting my day comparing myself to my friends.

man. i am such a sinful creature. i do not deserve the gifts He has given me, let alone the ultimate Gift of His love and life!

friends, i pray that you are better than i am with the comparison game. hopefully it’s not a struggle for you like it is for me. but i pray that this week we remember that Christ went to the Cross FOR US. He gives of Himself so that we have want for nothing!! we need nothing else than His saving grace.

i know i’ll be thinking about that this week and i hope you will too!

xoxo-kimberly renee

***

ps-why do i share this with you? it’s a little personal isn’t it? i share it because i promised myself i’d be real on here. when i feel like i’m learning something, it brings God glory for me to share what i’m learning instead of hiding it away to myself. i long to give Glory to God by sharing what is real and true in my life. if i hide behind the screen and seem perfect in any way, that is a lie. so that’s why.

pps- these pretty pictures are japanese cherry blossoms from when we lived in Princeton. things are barely starting to bloom here, hoping to find some of these trees in Lancaster too because they’re my favorite!

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i make soup and bake bread…

“I make soup and I bake bread and I know my supreme need is joy in God and I know I can’t experience deep joy in God until I deep trust in God…if I deep trusted God in all facets of my life, wouldn’t that deep heal my anxiety, my self-condemnation, my soul holes?”

-Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts pg. 149

IMG_2655_sunflower

oh man, that quote makes me think…

my supreme need is JOY. {that’s my word for the year. to read more about it click here.} it only comes from TRUST in a God who is big enough to handle everything that comes my way.

i hope today’s quote speaks to you too, my friends.

xoxo-kimberly renee
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a quote for {joy}

“joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand. in an open and humble palm, released and surrendered to receive, light dances, flickers happy. the moment the hand is clenched tight, fingers all pointing toward self and rights and demands, joy is snuffed out.”

Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts pg. 177

my word for 2013 is Joy. {you can read more about why i picked that word hereso, i’ve been  noticing little comments or discussions about joy as i’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book for the second time. {as if you couldn’t tell from all my joy quotes recently!}

but this one has struck and nerve. i find myself wondering if i am holding my flame of joy tightly- like a hand held open or if i am trying to protect the flame by closing my hand over it.

look at it another way, am i holding onto things in this life too tightly?

am i too focused on my time- trying to protect and plan it to the minute every day? but even so is time slipping through my fingers like sand? {um, yes, everyday!}

am i holding my family and relationships so tightly in an effort to protect them that i’m not trusting God to take care of them?

am i so focused on trying to do things MY way that i’m missing out on HIS way?

i remember once as a little girl talking to my mom about this. she had just told me that she loved God more than she did Daddy. i could hardly believe her. really, more than Daddy? that blew my mind. then i wondered if she loved God more than me. and she said yes, she loved God first, then Daddy, then her children. then, i’m not sure how we actually got there, but then she talked about how she had to trust God with Daddy and her children. she had to “hold them with an open hand” and trust that God would take care of us because she couldn’t always be there to take care of us herself. again… a little girl could hardly understand such things but i’ve remembered that discussion in multiple situations in my life.

i’ve just never connected that idea with the JOY that comes from God. joy is a gift, so isn’t it mine to hold on to? but, as the quote above says, the moment we grasp it tightly- in an effort to control it how we want- is the moment that light of joy flickers out like a flame without enough oxygen.

joy is a gift that only comes when we are surrendered to God’s will in our life… in the thankful moments… in the humble moments.

joy is a gift but we should always be seeking it.

that is how Paul can say in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

“Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”

**

so what do you think about this concept? do you like this quote too? do you think it makes sense to compare joy to a flame, flickering in the palm of your open hand?

**

may the flame of joy flicker bright for you today, my friends.

xo-kimberly renee
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the thief of joy

IMG_2471_view from window

“stress isn’t only a joy stealer. the way we respond to it can be sin…stress stands in direct opposition to what He directly and tenderly commands: “do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.” (John 14:1)”

Ann Voscamp One Thousand Gifts pg. 146

am i allowing stress to steal my joy?! are you??

“if authentic, saving belief is the act of trusting, then to choose stress is an act of disbelief…atheism.”

One Thousand Gifts pg.148

just a few thoughts for your day today. may the joy thief be gone, my friends. may trust in the One fill you with joy.

xoxo – kimberly renee
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quote for today {joy}

IMG_2316_at beach2

 

 

joy is the realest reality,

the fullest life,

and joy is always given,

never grasped.

God gives gifts and i give thanks and i unwrap the gift given: joy.

***

Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts

IMG_2325_beach date

 

{again, still soaking up Ann Voskamp! May you unwrap the gift of joy today, unwrap it with thanksgiving, my friends! the photos are from a recent trip to a “beach” on the Chesapeake Bay.} 

 

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remembering to be thankful

yesterday i was running around frantic and breathless all day. it was like time was just slipping through my fingers and i had so much i “HAD” to do. i was stressed through the roof!

do you ever have those days? at one point i was driving on my way to one of the many errands and i was thinking of why i feel so overwhelmed. seriously?! i mean, i’m doing a little contract work and i’m trying to study but overall i should have plenty of time. how is life still overwhelming me? how do i still feel like i can’t catch up?!

then a little whisper, ” I’ve missed you. Do you have time for Me?”

yikes. how is it that when we get busy we put aside our quiet times with the Lord? shouldn’t this be EVEN MORE important when i’m busy? don’t i claim that HE is my main purpose in life?

then i started thinking about how my “word of the year” is JOY and i started to wonder where my joy is? how have i lost focus on my pursuit of God’s joy? how is it that life is seems to be just sweeping over me and taking over every little thought and moment?

sigh.

i’ve really missed Him too. i’ve realized that since i’ve been so overwhelmed with little things of this moment my heart just isn’t at peace. i’m not feeling “right” if you know what i mean. so this morning i picked up Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts again. {seriously, have you all read this? if not, go get it RIGHT NOW. just two chapters in and i’m convicted and inspired. it’s beautiful}

this morning i was quickly reminded that for true joy in this life comes from real thanksgiving.

“Satan’s sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave.  Isn’t that the catalyst of all my sins?” (pg.15)

um yes. more days than not it’s hard to be grateful. i mean, maybe i’ll say i’m thankful for something but in my head i’ve usually made a list of everything else that could be better…

“As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning -now; wherever, meaning-here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience…The only place we need to see before we die is this place of seeing God here and now.” (pg 33)

what i’m reminded of this morning is that thanksgiving is the beginning of the joy that i’m seeking. of that seeking feeling that my life is so overwhelming but i’m missing something! of the peace that surpasses all understanding. my focus is wrong. and it all starts with thanksgiving.

“the one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.”

Psalm 50:23

thanksgiving =  glorifying God = real joy

joy4x5

may we all find moments today to notice God and to be thankful.  i’ll sure be thinking about this a lot today. i’m thankful for so much but i forget to think about it, ya know?!  to actually thank God for each little thing. really, i DO want to glorify God with my life! with my every day. even the crazy days i’ve had lately! to start that, i need to remember to be thankful.

have any of you had those kinds of days? have you noticed that your Joy is missing when you’re ungrateful or there’s a lack of gratefulness too? how do you remember to be thankful?

xo-kimberly renee

ps- in my “free printables” you can print off your own copy of my Joy painting above. tape it to the mirror or hang it by the front door to remind yourself to seek His joy! 

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a quote for sunday

IMG_1317_tondabayashi flowers

“The interesting thing about a heart which concentrates on honoring and thanking God is that it becomes a naturally joyful heart. It becomes resistant to discouragement, negative thinking and cynicism. Nothing is dull or routine to such a heart, everything has value”

Gail MacDonald,

High Call, High Priveledge. pg.181

 

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