The Millennial Homemaker

The musings of a Stay at Home Mom

Nine Fruits: Part Two – Joy

sunshineWhat does the sun, a rose, and even a certain brand of dish-washing soap have in common?

Hint: it’s a color that I often think of when there is joy!  ~YELLOW~

Joy is the second “fruit” of the Spirit. It is more than happiness, because happiness is a temporary emotion. Joy is the culmination of everlasting happiness. Joy can be present at all times, even in sorrow, because it is part of the Spirit.

I am in the midst of pursuing a life of joy. I know that when joy is received, contentment abounds. The Bible talks about having complete joy in the book of Philippians. It says in Chapter 2, verse 2, “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” (NIV)

A smile and a song.

I find myself smiling a lot when I sing! The smile is an outward expression of an inward response to joy. Smiling is also contagious, so if you don’t want to sing, then smile. I love the movie Sleepless in Seattle because of the music that is played throughout the story. Some of the words in the songs just make me smile, as I know that the movie has a happy ending to a sad beginning!

Joy should be pursued.

Joy is caught more than taught, so it should be pursued. When I choose joy, I am pursuing the opportunity to have all of the other fruits of the Spirit like love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Joy is the bow on a package of love. Love is given as a gift, and it’s difficult to give someone love without also giving them joy.

Joy gives strength to the soul.

In Nehemiah 8:10, it says, “The Joy of the Lord is my strength.” When I embrace my faith in the Lord, I also embrace His joy, which strengthens my soul. Joy gives reassurance to the weary soul, by fortifying the bones and nourishing the muscles with inner strength that can only come on a spiritual level. This is why joy is different than happiness. One is spiritual while the other is merely emotional. The two virtues seem similar, but they vary greatly based on their origin.

Joy in the trials.

James says, “Count it all joy when you encounters various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” It’s difficult to find joy in the trials of life. Some trials are so big, while other trials seem trivial. Either way they exist, trials are not fun. Yet, the apostle James says to count your trials as joy. Why? Because trials produce strength! We all know the saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” (Equation: Not dead = trial and stronger = joy. Therefore, trial = joy.) It’s a great reminder that trials produce strength, and the end product of strength is Joy.

I’m good with that. I just need that daily reminder… KEEP CALM AND JOY ON!

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Woman Up!

ImageYes, we can do it! We are women, mothers, daughters, girls on the grow!

Rosie the Riveter is one of my favorite icons of the 1940s. She emulates all that women wanted to be in that time (at least I hope so). She is still feminine and beautiful, but she has muscle and determination. It’s a win-win picture in my opinion. I wasn’t born in that era, but I know how hard it must have been to have lived during that time. The men were off at war, and the women had to stay home and take care of business. They had to become single mothers and entrepreneurs and instant career women. They had no choice but to be strong.

“My mom says that being “boss” and “bossy” are two very different things.” ~ Andi from Space Camp

Recently, a new slogan has been popping up in the media about teaching girls to be leaders, and to slam the word “bossy.” As much as I subscribe to the anti-bossy understanding, there may be some who could take this slogan to the extreme. I admit that I have called my own child “bossy” when I believed she was out of line and disrespectful. But I also know that I explained to her why I used that term to describe her actions. It was her actions that made her bossy, but she herself is not bossy. She is just strong in mind and speech!

No apologies! There is absolutely nothing wrong with being strong and speaking one’s mind. I am ALL IN when it comes to standing up for oneself.

This is the best time in history to be a woman by far. We have rights that rival our male counterparts. We are recognized for our strengths, our intelligence, our maturity, and our leadership abilities. I think we should speak our mind when necessary. I believe that we should exert our strengths as needed.

In a former post I had written about the difference between being feminist and having feminism. (I’ll put the link here).

Woman Up!

I believe there is such a thing as being biblically feminine. Here we go again, bringing up the Bible. Yes, those ancients text still utter truth in daily living. Some women take it to the extreme by not wearing makeup, covering up their heads, and not ordaining themselves with jewelry. Honestly, I am a little bit of a rebel. I don’t wear a covering, but I do respect those women who do. I do wear a little makeup and the occasional jewelry, but I don’t judge the women who don’t wear makeup or jewelry. By abiding by biblical standards I want to still show respect for myself, my husband, my children, and my faith by my actions and my beliefs. I have adopted the modern-day style of clothing, but on the inside I am still very much old-fashioned in my core values and beliefs.

MDW

Our American culture is so vastly different from what it used to be. The message can remain the same although the methods may change. The message, I believe, is to continue to embrace self-respect through the values by which you were raised. The key is self-respect: believe in yourself and your God-given strengths, skills, and standards. Go ahead, be a Modern Day Woman. Embrace yourself in the current culture, but be careful to not let the current culture dictate how you should live. You are the only one who can choose your methods for being the best woman you can be.

Well I hope that I made one person think about this topic. I am not anti-feminist, but rather, I am pro-feminism. I embrace my femininity, and I am thankful for all that I have been given as a woman. I hope that you’ll be thankful, too, if you are female.

 

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Flip Flops and Boxing Gloves

flipflopsboxinggloves

Gotta love flip flops!

And, there’s something about boxing gloves.

Two extreme accessories. One purpose. True? You bet!

Flip flops are the epitome of summer, of relaxation. It’s a visual reminder to keep your feet protected near water while you quickly dip your toes into the nearest pool or ocean.

On the other hand (no pun intended), boxing gloves epitomize a fight. They are the glorious reminder of fighting against something.

An opponent. A disease. A cause. A fear. A dream.

To be in a fighting mood, your body must be tense. You must reserve all regular energy for that surge of adrenalin that wants to invade every cell in your body. So, how is it possible to wear boxing gloves and flip flops at the same time?

The battle that most of us face on a daily basis is made of unseen forces. They are the thoughts in our heads that cause to worry. At least that’s my battle. I admit it. I am a latent worrier.

That type of mental and emotional anguish was never my goal. A child is not a worrier until someone or something teaches her to worry. The adult has had years, however, to perfect that unseen force.

This force comes in like an earthquake:  It is an instantaneous eruption that shows its ugly head as an untimely death of a loved one, an unexpected job loss, or a terminal diagnosis.

Although it’s easier said than done, this is where the flip flops come in handy. When a crisis hits, take off your shoes and slip into some flip flops. That’s right. Take a stroll outside and breathe in some fresh air, albeit icy cold or blazing hot. Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate against anyone needing a fresh breath of air. She only discriminates based on geography.

I am learning that my battle must be fought with two items. One, I use boxing gloves metaphorically to combat my fears, my tension, my anguish. Two, I use my flip flops metaphorically to ease my fears, my tension, and my anguish. Either method isn’t easy at first, because it requires strength that comes from both outside and inside the body. It truly is mind over matter.

Next time you think about what may hurt you, think of the flip flops and boxing gloves. Picture them, buy them, wear them. Do whatever you need to do to build up your strength from within, to fight that unseen battle.

I am on your side. I am fighting right there with you.

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