In my conversation with my friend over lunch yesterday, she reminded me that I need to set boundaries. She suggested that if there is too much drama, conflict or stress in my life, it is because I have not set my own boundaries. I have allowed those elements to invade my peace.
Do you have drama, conflict, or stress in your life? Is there a way to eliminate those negatives and invite only positives in my life? What choices do I have?
Sometimes the stress and drama come from family, dearly beloved family. Does setting boundaries mean I should eliminate them from my life? Would that make me happier? Does having a cozy home, good food, and limiting my contacts to only “Happy People” mean I would have a better life?
No, my choice is to love those family members unconditionally – and invite them into my “cozy home” and share with them my “good food” and if they are not “happy people,” then pray that my patience, generosity, and love offered unconditionally can bring them some joy.
Sharing what we have is what the “Christmas Spirit” is all about. You may not be able to eliminate the drama, conflict, and stress in your life. Not unless you want to alienate those people God has placed in your life … those people who create troublesome circumstances in their own lives as well as yours.
Is that what Jesus teaches? Only deal with happy people? Is that what He did? Think about it.
Happy Second Sunday of Advent, my friends! It’s the Sunday devoted to the subject of JOY.
Last year at this time, as I looked forward to Christmas and New Years, I was thinking about what to give for presents. I also gave thought to what I was wishing for… what I was expecting for Christmas and for the year to come. I posted this wish for 2019:
Joyfully, I can report that we have been blessed with good health and a wealth of friends and loving family, and blissful days. Not EVERY day was perfect, of course, – we all face challenges from time to time – but I am eternally thankful – daily for the JOY and peace and the love that are mine.
And now we are back in that holiday season again – looking forward to Christmas and the new year. As a congregation of worshipers, we all were drawn into that expectant mood today.
Here are my sermon notes. (If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes poetically as I listen to the sermon each Sunday.)
Today in church, Pastor Steve Hundley’s message was titled, “What Are You Expecting?”
What are you expecting for Christmas? Reindeer on your rooftop or Santa Claus Coming down your chimney? Better reset your sights because…
Clyde came dressed up as Santa. He was a crusty old guy, And he looked like Ghandi. But the problem was, he was high.
Clyde was high on Moonshine. He was a jolly old soul, But I was not impressed. Clyde was far from my expected goal.
I was expecting the real Santa, And I knew Clyde wasn’t he. Like expectations of Santa, The world is waiting expectantly…
For the birth of a Savior King, And instead here comes a baby, Born in a lowly stable. He’s not the King He’s s’posed to be!
John the Baptist predeicted The coming of this Royal King. He spoke of confession and judgement. He told the world about everything…
God’s prophets of old had proclaimed, “A Savior of Priestly stock would come.” John was so convincing, folks thought He might in fact be God’s promised Son.
But John assured them Jesus was The Savior King they’d waited for. Even though Jesus was loving and kind, Not the Leader with sword. They wanted more…
More of what they had expected. “Are you really the One?” they inquired. “Don’t look elsewhere; just see what I’ve done – Go,” Jesus said. “Go and be inspired.”
Jesus reminded them that He was Indeed doing what Isaiah said: “The blind will see; the deaf shall hear; The lame will walk. Believe I AM Christ. GOD IS NOT DEAD!”
Have a Wonderful Sunday! I hope you are expecting the Risen Christ! He’s coming again, you know.
Dr. Perry, posted a blog titled, It’s OK to Have a Bad Day. It caused me to internalize this inward journey for peace and think about the habits I have worked to develop in order to be my own best friend.
He quoted Emerson, who wrote: ““Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ten Habits of Peaceful Living
Traveling inward, looking for contentment, I have found that I need to consciously adopt habits that foster inner peace:
Recognition of Limitations
Confrontation of Temptations
Elimination of Blame
Hope in the Face of Despair
Celebration of Where my Hope Lies
In the process of traveling the Road to Inner Peace, it is important to stop every now and then to look back. Consider your progress or regression. Have you every noticed when you’re traveling up a hill that you don’t realize how steep it is until you look back at the incline you have just traversed?
Likewise, when the road is on a decline, you may not realize how drastic the angle until you stop and look back up to the place you began. Reflecting on where you started and seeing how far you have improved or deteriorated can be very helpful.
Dr. Perry, in the post I referenced above says it this way, “After a period of time, reflect on what you have learned and gained from the negative event or interaction in your life. More often than not you will find that you have learned something. Perhaps you will discover an inner strength that you were not aware of or a higher purpose for your existence.”
In her September 27th, The Godly Chic Diaries posted a WordPress guest writer. She introduced Matik Nicholls by saying, “I’m a firm believer that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. I say this with my whole heart, Everyone needs a blessing. And if you have the ability to bless others, be a blessing. And when you are a blessing to others, you will find ‘joy unspeakable’ in the process….”
Guest Blogger: Matik Nicholls wrote: “Every gift, ability and blessing we have is for the service of others. We are blessers not blessees! We carry the presence of God wherever we go for a greater purpose than just for us to be happy. It is our privilege and purpose to transfer the blessings of God to others!”
Take Joy in the Journey
Traveling life’s road, I take joy in the journey. Spreading it’s my goal.
With The Godly Chic’s help, I discovered this new website, and decided to subscribe to it. The author, Matik Amilcar Nicholls, has created an inspirational web blog at http://www.Authenticjoy.org. This handsome, positive-thinking young man resides in the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
On his site, he shared, “I am an engineer by training, having graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.Sc. Computer and Electrical Engineering (with honours). More recently, I completed an M.B.A. with the Heriot-Watt University. I also have a certificate in Applied Theology (class valedictorian) from the Millennium Bible Institute and currently I am pursuing an online programme with the International Coaching Academy to become a Certified Coach.”
Naturally, reading about him, I am inspired to want to learn more. My Road to Inner Peace is made more successful when I can join hands on the journey with people like Matik. People in other parts of the world. People whose life stories are far different from mine, but who share the common purpose of wanting to “Be a Blessing.” I encourage you to let Matik’s JOY infect you as I found it to be quite “catching” indeed!
Like me, spreading joy – and the source of his joy (his FAITH) – is what Matik says he is all about. He wrote, “I love Jesus. I love spending time with Him. I love His mercy that keeps flowing endlessly in my life. I love what He stands for: love, grace, mercy, peace, truth, freedom, humility and transformation. I am committed to these values. I’m committed to doing my part to preach the gospel, heal the sick, feed the poor, comfort the hurting and free the oppressed… I enjoy seeing people walk in the fullness of all that God has for them to be and do.“
Walk in the fullness Of all that God has for you Find that Inner Peace.