This month I am thrilled to introduce you to my friend, Betsy de Cruz. Betsy has been a mentor and a wealth of wisdom to me for several months now, and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at the She Speaks conference in July. Her writing is always filled with godly advice and truth from his Word, and I am blessed to have her in my life as a fellow writer, encourager and sister in Christ. I know that you will be blessed by the word she has for us today.
Betsy loves dark roast coffee and reading her Bible. She’s passionate about enjoying God and the one life He’s given her. She wants her faith to spill over into everyday life, even during the bumpy moments, like when she has a family blow-up with fireworks during breakfast.
Betsy lives with her husband and two fun teenagers in the Middle East. Most days she feels blessed and privileged to live overseas; other days she wants to pull out her hair and catch the next plane home. She writes about everyday faith at Faith Spilling Over.
When my kids were little, the daily routine of diapers, fixing meals, and getting up nights to feed the baby or settle my toddler made me feel like I was on a treadmill. Worn out and weary, I’d wonder what happened to the abundant, joyful life I read about in the Bible.
Paul’s word to “Rejoice in the Lord always” sounded irrelevant. What was joy anyway? Was that like pie in the sky by and by? Maybe joy was for heaven? Half the time I was just trying to survive now without losing my mind!
Today my kids are older, but the challenge remains: how to move beyond survival into a more joyful life? We women carpool kids, hold down jobs, cook, clean, make sure the kids to do their homework, and teach Sunday school. How do we get off the treadmill?
God’s Gift: The Joy of His Presence
I don’t know about you, but I want to do more than just survive. This verse gives us a hint of what God has for us:
“You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)
The key to joy is God’s presence with us as we live our ordinary lives. But most of the time, we’re too busy to notice. We’re too busy for rejoicing. To find joy in the ordinary, we have to slow down.
Here’s my 5 step plan to slow down and enjoy life more:
- Slow down to connect with God
Spending time with the Joy Giver renews my outlook on life more than anything. Twenty minutes of quiet time in the morning, or prayers lifted later in the day, help me to remember that I’m loved by a Great King who’s blessed me with countless gifts.
- Slow down to take care of yourself
Looking on the bright side of life is easier when I’m rested. To be ready for challenges, I need adequate sleep at night, healthy meals, and some small pockets of time in my week for things I enjoy.
- Slow down to recognize your blessings
Life becomes a more joyful experience when we slow down to notice the gifts God gives us every day: the goodness of a home cooked meal, the smell of freshly laundered clothes, or the scurrying of your pet guinea pig on the back porch.
- Slow down to enjoy what you’re doing
Instead of rushing through our work to get as much done as possible, what if we slowed down and got intentional about enjoying each activity? What if we lifted up each task as an offering to God?
- Slow down to enjoy your relationships.
Take time to kiss your husband goodbye in the morning and again when you see him at night. Take a moment to look your child straight in the eye and smile while you listen.
The peace of God’s presence, His blessings, our work, and our loved ones all bring us joy when we slow down enough to notice. Will you join me this week in my quest to enjoy life and God?
What is something that brings you joy?