Character development is my main focus right now with Ruth as the main character. I’ve been spending a lot of time getting to know her and I’m really liking who she is becoming. Oddly, in getting acquainted with her, a surprise came. The focus has also included me! In a good way. Some fun stuff happened and I want to share some of that with you because it might help you too. I’ll include what happened as I’ve begun to discover more joy about me, which includes fun stuff like skin care and how I updated my wardrobe. I’m serious about writing a book too, so I’ll also talk about the latest development in my journey as an author-things like what book or video series I’m learning from, the struggle with commas, and the challenge of “just do it”. So, here we go!
Allow joy, even if you are an “irregular” character!
One of my grandsons calls his other grandma, “regular grandma”. Ha! I guess that makes me irregular! I’m unique, that’s for sure. I’ve definitely got some quirks and specific preferences. And the older I get, the worse it gets. But that’s a good thing. But, there was a problem.
Learning to give myself permission to enjoy life and to open my heart to joy doesn’t come naturally. How about you? Do you enjoy life? Here’s some good news that I hope will bring a smile of wonder about joy: did you know that Jesus brings you to the Father triumphantly with great joy? (James 1:24) One of the things I have been praying is asking the Lord to remind me “regularly” (as in throughout each day) to open my heart that I keep so carefully guarded. I want to be open to the fellowship of his joy about me as he brings me before the throne of God my Father.
It’s easier to think about Jesus’ triumph as one fell swoop over those who are His. But for me, an individual? And He does it with great joy? That’s not easy. It’s a bit scary. And, is that joy specific to the great hope of being with him for eternity? Or can it also be joy about me, right now, as an individual?
Perhaps, throughout the day, in those little times that He reminds me that He is near, holding me before the Father with joy, I can turn the thanks into an action. I’m also learning to give myself permission to truly enjoy the little things that are for me specifically and to not be so tied to so many “rules” about things like, my hair, my skin care, clothing, choice of food, even the order in which I get my chores done. Huh? I know. That’s weird.
Yes, I’m my own best parent. And that parent usually wants to deny me freedom of joy in these things. It comes this way:
You have to finish your chores in a logical sequence.
Lunch is a sandwich or soup or leftovers. And if you’re good, it’s a salad.
Decorate your home in colors that others would choose. Your choices are weird.
Find cheaper skin care. Don’t spend money on yourself.
Dress like everyone else. And don’t spend money on yourself.
You wore your hair curly ten years ago. It’s out of style now.
The list goes on and it’s ridiculous.
How did that happen? Why all the denial? It took a lifetime to learn! It’s a skill that’s actually gone rogue. Self-discipline has been confused with unnecessary self-denial. As in, denying myself of joy in the little things that are about me.
Join me in this series about little things that we can have a great privilege to enjoy. I’m learning that it’s not vanity if your joy about those things He gives is rooted in the joy of the Lord.