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October 12, 2007


I loved this chapter because of it's emphasis on joy.
Joy is such an important thing to have as a part of our everyday life.
Without joy we feel hopelessness and despair.
Without joy little hinderances seem like huge obstacles.
Without joy little disappointments seem depressing.
Without joy offenses turn into bitterness.
Without joy aches seem like unbearable pain.
Joy is so much more than a feeling.
So many people think that if they just had a bigger house, more material possessions, better behaved kids, nicer car, better clothes, new appliances, new electronics.....they would be happy.
But the problem is, these things are so temporal, and they only produce a want for more, bigger and better.

But joy isn't that way, joy is joy all the time, despite our circumstances and possessions.
It is a deep inner peace that sustains through the tough times, the ugly times, the sad times, the provoking times, the annoying times. Joy is ETERNAL.
How to be a joyful wife? WOW!
This is not an easy one for me.
It is so easy to focus on being happy. Happiness needs to be recognized, happiness needs to be paid back, happiness needs to be served, happiness needs to be pampered. But joy doesn't need these things. Because it's deep, it's deeper than circumstances.

In this chapter Debi asked if our husbands were still married to that 'sweet little thing' that he first married. I have to honestly say that most of the time 'no'! I could make excuses that life is so much more stressful and hectic now, but that shouldn't affect my joy.
When I read this chapter it was a conformation for me of what the Lord has already been speaking to me about. I have been learning not to let the happenings of the day negatively affect my attitude. This is not joy, this is not life for my husband and our children.

The old saying goes, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". This is a true statement, maybe not in the way it was written to be. But I believe that as a wife and a mom, I can positively or negatively affect the atmosphere of our home. This doesn't mean that you will never be disappointed or sad but it means that those things will not bring you to the depths of despair, they will not take your joy.

Debi said to do a research on the word joy.
(By the way, a research tool online is Bible Gateway).
What verse is your favorite?

Mine is Habakkuk 3:17-18 17
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.

That sums it all up for me!


Stacey said...

Psalm 33:1
Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

I love this verse because I tend to sing a lot when I'm happy. It is hard to view joy as something that we need to have at all times, yet I know this is definately something I would like to strive towards. It's easy to just think of the good times as joyful.

I can't imagine being the woman who wrote the letter about her husbands affair. The advice that Debi gives is very tough, but I believe that it is much more effective than beggging and pleading with your husband to stay with you.

I have to confess that I just skimmed over this chapter really quick today, as a refresher, and I don't have a lot of time to sit and think right now. Update on last weeks goal though: I got up with Keith all but one morning, when the kids had me up many times at night. It was fun to have a few moments together, and I even surprised him by making his lunch.

The Pauls' said...

I agree, there is something about praise and singing! I think it even puts those around you in a good mood! Like this morning a male in our hoosehold (I'll let you guess who) was singing 'I'll fly away' in a rather high voice, it pushed away the morning blahs pretty quickly.

Yes, Debi did give hard advice for this lady, but I have found too, that love is the best way to overcome seemingly impossible situations. And prayer. So many times I have chosen just to not say a word to Mark and just pray that if this was God's way, He would show it to Him. And so many times He has!
I liked the comment her husband made, "No man has ever crawled out from under his wife's criticism to be a better man-no matter how justified her condemnation." I think criticism just digs a deeper hole, puts up the defenses a little more and really doesn't accomplish anything. There are ways to approach conlict but nagging and criticism are not one of them.

I am glad to hear you were able to get up with Keith. I went with Mark on the tractor last night after the kids were in bed and Mark thought I wanted to had something important to discuss. He was suprised that I didn't have any other reason to come along except just to be with him:) It was fun to think about and plan that all day. It also made the older kids realize how important spending time with their dad was for me. I can't wait to plan the next 'surprise'!