For the past few days I’ve felt a bit off. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it is like a cloud seems to be hanging over me. Nothing has happened – there have been no tragedies and there has been nothing to blame my grey mood on. I’m just feeling out of sorts. Each day begins as the one before. I wake up, go downstairs and make coffee. Then, I sit in my favorite chair and open up God’s Word, drinking in its richness. But then, as I go about my day, old memories and worries seem to push away the encouragement in the truths that I have just read. The temptation is to focus on things long since resolved and dwell on things that might have been. I know the folly in my recent thought process and each day I agree more and more with the saying, “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.” That pretty much says it - I have been feeling sapped of emotional strength.

Then, while reading a blogging friend’s post Opportunities to Trust”, three of her words struck a deep chord within me. My friend, Debbie, said to “make the choice” how to respond to circumstances around us. She was writing about making the choice to trust God in all things, but her words reminded me that our joy is also a choice. I realized that even though I was feeling melancholy, I still knew the Lord was my joy. The problem was, however, that I was not choosing to embrace that joy. The result of that left me feeling tired and drained.

Several months ago, I wrote a post about no one being able to steal my joy, but obviously, I needed a refresher course! God’s Word promises to revive tired and troubled souls, but we have to not only read those words, we need to choose to accept them. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mathew 11:28-29).

So today, I am changing my attitude and am deciding to look at the blessings in my life! I am consciously going to take the focus off of myself and place it where it should be…on God. I am choosing the Lord…I am choosing joy! Thank you, Debbie, for your wonderful reminder that it is a choice!  I am already feeling stronger!  "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).


  1. Oh Joan, I was so surprised to see my name as I continued reading your post!

    I often write about the things the Lord is teaching me. And believe me, I need lots of reminding about making choices. That's why my blog is named Heart Choices.

    It reminds me that I may not be able to choose all my circumstances but ...I can choose my response.

    I'm so glad you were able to be reminded of something I know you already knew. Isn't it wonderful how we can each encourage one another and pray for one another?

    I know that the Lord is bringing many of us together. I'm so glad that you're blogging Joan and one day I hope to meet you in person.

    Love you,

  2. Hi Joan:

    I often do the same thing - letting life's circumstances dictate my attitude rather than feasting upon the truth in God's word. Thank you for this post - it certainly encouraged me today.

    (the other) Joan

  3. Yes, and I understand, more than you realize. There seems to be a pervading "mood" in blogland right now (perhaps mood isn't the right word), but I find it interesting that so many of us are struggling with the dailyness of our faith. I, for one, have been in a constant battle of choosing faith over feeling. I wish I could say I am always triumphant along these lines, but I'm not.

    But I'm aware, and God and I are working on it.

    Keep to it, sweet sister. Keep choosing the holy life over the regular one. I'll do the same.


  4. I need this reminder. Thank you. I've been out of sorts lately. God bless you today and all of your tomorrows.

  5. Joan, I just wanted to say thanks for coming by Extravagant Grace and letting me know you were encouraged. To God be the glory! Blessings on you richly today!

  6. Amen...I am choosing joy, too!

  7. Amen to that, Joan. Yes, we do have the choice of choosing joy, but sometimes I do not. Nehemiah has the right words...Thank you for the reminder, Debbie and Joan.


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