Count on joy!
One thing God is teaching me about is dealing with disappointments in the right way. I historically don't do so well with them. My heart gets set on something and then if it doesn't materialize I tend to take it hard. Whether it be the fact that my first car gets wrecked, or that the Hampton Inn and Suites does not have biscuits and gravy when their weekend sign clearly states that they always have them - I get disappointed. I like to be alone when I get disappointed. When I feel that way, I don't want anyone within 10 miles of me. I just want to be alone and process it.
The word disappointment is made up of DIS and APPOINTMENT. DIS means separate, apart, or asunder. So, disappointment describes a feeling of dissatisfaction or anguish, which is experienced when we are torn apart from our expected appointment with whatever it is we thought was happening or was going to happen.
All of us have hopes and dreams big and small. I believe that's a God-thing. His Word reflects that He has designed us to be people of vision (Proverbs 29:18). Well let me tell you, I have visions. I have a vision of writing books that will change people's lives. I have a vision of what a great women's ministries looks like. I have a vision of Cold Stone Creamery's birthday cake ice cream. And I have visions of what I want to do with my "special day." There are things we all ponder about and take the time to dream. Some may seem insignificant but what's important to us is important to God.
So what takes place when we are disappointed and the book we want doesn't get published, at least fast enough? What happens when a women's ministries event has a ton of things that fall through the cracks? What happens when you get to the front of the line at Cold Stone and the girl behind the counter tells you they just got to the bottom of the pan of Birthday Cake and it will be three hours before the next pan is ready? What happens when what you planned on doing on your birthday, which is actually very simple, becomes the impossible? I'll tell you exactly what happens - it's in the Bible. Proverbs 13 tells us that "hope deferred makes the heart sick."
I have found that stuff happens on a regular basis that disappoints. It's that way in everybody's life - none of us are exempt. Into everyone's life a little rain must fall. Or as the Bible says, "it rains on the just and the unjust." It doesn't matter how spiritual you are, the Hampton Inn will occasionally run of biscuits and gravy. And at that point, you will have to have a coping mechanism in place. (I'm only half kidding! LOL)
Since we can count on disappointments coming, we need to count on joy coming too. So, since I'm a little down tonight that what I longed for just isn't going to happen, I'm going to preach to myself a little bit tonight (remember the Bible says that David encouraged himself...) and list some ways to not just count it all joy, but to count on joy. Disappointments happen without you scheduling them, but I've found you absolutely CAN schedule joy. Joy is an attitude, a fruit, it is also found in choosing to do other things that bring you joy. If you plan for it, it will come.
Les Brown once said, "If life doesn't give you the circumstances you want, create them." Alright, so here I go. I'm creating joy.
1) I'm going to rest (PJ day) for one whole day at my very next opportunity. No guilt attached.
2) I'm going to call a friend in the middle of the day and stay on the phone at least an hour. We're going to laugh about things and not keep track of the time.
3) I'm going to read something fun all by myself in total silence for at least 30 minutes.
4) I'm going to take a long bath.
5) I'm going to turn my cell phone OFF. Not down. Not on vibrate. OFF.
6) I'm going to meet a friend for breakfast.
7) I'm going to turn on disco music very loudly in my room and dance.
8) I'm going to let the dishes pile up one night this week and act like they don't exist.
9) I'm going to go back and watch the last episode of Last Comic Standing that we Tivo'd.
10) I'm taking charge of joy in my life. Disappointments can momentarily slow us down, but we can determine to press forward with and take advantage of a "pop" of joy at the very next opportunity. I'm starting tonight with a long bath...while I drink vanilla tea and listen to a Fernando Ortega CD.
p.s. After I posted this, I was reading something by Dallas Willard that said this: ""First we must accept the circustances we constantly find ourselves in as the place of God's kingdom and blessing. God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are, and if we faithlessly discard situation after situation, moment after moment as not being 'right' we will simply have no place to receive his kingdom into our life. for those situations and moments are our life." Help me Lord, not to discard any moment, but to find joy in every second of every day no matter whether it's the exact spot I long to be in or not. You are there. And in You, I find joy.