“And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. ~Proverbs 8: 32-35
Listening more than acting is not natural for me. If you know me, you appreciate I’m someone with opinions-especially if I care about you. (Just ask my children.) It’s who I am. But then I read these verses about wisdom and how joyful are those who listen, and it convicts me.
Often, I sense I’m not always listened to or heard. It’s probably a mom thing. But this must also be how God feels. He gives direction, but I do not hear Him through the noise of my busyness. God must think why doesn’t she just listen to me?
Abide with me, rings the chorus of a favorite song. I was recently reminded that finding joy comes from abiding in Him. So this is what I’ve tried to do for the last month. Find joy in abiding and listening. Abiding begins with listening and obeying. It’s been a busy month. I’m digging out and navigating new issues, but attempting to listen first then obey. And looking for joy along the journey.
Following His footprints at times requires more faith than I think I have. So I lose my way.
His path may lead to a place I don’t want to go. So I don’t.
His direction may lead me opposite of my desires. So I procrastinate.
But a lesson I continue to relearn is God leads me where He knows I need to go. It may not be for now, but for my future. What can I learn in these moments, right now, even on this path I may not want or understand?
When I follow and obey in faith, His direction becomes clearer.
God cleans the lens of His will when I obey and follow.
Some days the walk is easier than others. But there’s joy in it all when I pay attention. Here’s how I’ve been following and #FindingJoy this last month:
- Abiding in His Word, worship & prayer with more focused attention. His Word is more powerful and impactful the more I seek Him in these moments.
- Sharing thoughts & Biblical truths with moms on our mission. God gave us our children for His reasons, let’s make sure they know Him.
- Helping loved ones navigate health issues. As a nurse, it’s my privilege to help others, especially those I love.
- Getting organized & catching up on my life. This was badly needed and I’m beginning to breathe again.
- Relaxing in a warm pool and the ocean with my family in January. Beach breezes and pool fun was so needed.
- Cheering for my kids and their accomplishments. I’m always inspired by mine and all the other kids who push past what others may consider an obstacle and accomplish the amazing.
- Three straight days of sunny warmth to walk outside again! The treadmill and I have a love/hate relationship. It was soul food to feel the warmth and hear the birds again!
- Awareness of simple blessings in the midst of life’s messes. Being thankful in the midst of a mess is a gift.
- Unexpected grace when I mess up. This occurs often and I’m so thankful for the grace of others and most especially of our God.
Each day is a gift. I’m trying to lift my eyes to see more of life than my to-do list. I’m finding joy in the beauty of the world and the people around me. I’m sharing my heart and the gifts God gives me in small ways. And I’m becoming more comfortable in the small things of life.
Where are you finding joy as you abide in Him today? Let’s stop and listen to God long enough to hear His voice, direction and be joyful in all the moments He gives us.