Close your eyes and imagine that awesome feeling of the early, summer sun on your skin! It’s almost as if the warmth of the sunshine radiates all the way into your soul, isn’t it?
(I love this pic Elle took during a break between softball games near Lake Michigan last weekend! PURE JOY indeed!)
I’m not talking that late August, humidity-laden, burning sensation that makes you yearn for the return of the polar vortex we call winter around these parts. I’m talking about that first, beautiful, sunshine day when you KNOW summer has arrived, regardless of what the calendar says.
We just had one of those days here. Gorgeous, no humidity, blue sky as high and far as you can see. And that summer feeling of freedom and joy just soaked right on into my spirit.
Yep. Summer’s here. And I couldn’t be more excited!
And today, I’m GIGGLY excited to celebrate the first day of our summer together – Pure Joy 2014: The REMIX is HERE! Click here if you need a reminder of what I’m talking about!
We’re coasting through books, music, dinner parties, and scripture this summer that will fill us up with Truth and joy and friends – what could be better for this time of year?
For the month of June, we’ll be reading Everyday a Friday, by Joel Osteen! It’s an easy-breezy read that is full of fun sayings, great and silly anecdotes, and cool stories to remind us not to take ourselves so seriously. Because really, we should be taking God seriously, not ourselves! And sometimes, we need to be reminded that His way is honestly a better way than ours!
Listen to this:
“It’s good to have plans, but at the first part of every day submit those plans to God and just say, ‘God, this is what I would like to accomplish today. But I know You’re in control so I submit my plan to You. I’ve decided in advance that no matter what comes my way, I will stay in peace, knowing You are directing my steps and that all things will work together for my good.” Joel Osteen, Everyday a Friday, page 18.
I mean, c’mon! What a great prayer to begin the day – give it right back to God before you take it off course someplace He never intended us to go!
Let’s make that our morning prayer this summer! I challenge you to write that down, put it next to your bed, and before your feet hit the ground in the morning, think of what you intend for the day, then pray those words with sincerity.
If we do that, I think we might just find this summer goes a little more smoothly than ones before. We’ll check back in with that a couple times throughout our 13 weeks here to see how it’s going for you. I’ll let you know how it’s going for me too (because if there is anything you need to know about me, it’s that I’m a card carrying, founding member of Control Freaks Anonymous…and I’m still falling off that wagon!).
All this brings me to our scripture of the week. If you remember from our intro letter on Pure Joy 2014, we are committing to a “Say It and Pray It” level of scripture learning! Each week, I’ll tell you what our scripture of the week is, and write a little something about it here on the blog. Then, it’s up to you to find the scripture card from your goodie hat basket (or to print it up from here), put it up somewhere fabulous in your house, and say it and pray it all week long!
Here’s our powerful verse this week (and boy, what a great reminder of Who is really in control, not to mention a GREAT way to start our series):
I absolutely love that. YES. Everything is honestly, really, and truly going to be alright. We can relax in the TRUTH that Love really has it under control.
John 16:22 reminds us that “no one will take away our joy”.
Mind you, we can find ourselves giving our joy away if we are not careful. But no one can forcibly take it.
I don’t know about you, but I needed that reminder today. As we sit here about to begin what, for many of us, is the traditional “summer vacation” season of spending lots of “quality time” with our kids, neighbors, other family members and friends, it’s a great verse to keep in mind.
Don’t sweat that small stuff. Those little annoyances that we let get under our skin are different for all of us. But this week, regardless of what threatens our peace in the moment, let’s remember that we have a choice – give our joy away to those passing and temporary circumstances, or remember that God’s got it and has already given us what we need to remain in joy.
So there you have it. Week One of Pure Joy 2014 is underway! And your assignment, should you care to accept it, is:
- Say It and Pray It! Print up or locate, and display Jude 1:1 and make it your own!
- Write up that little prayer from Joel Osteen up there about your own personal, daily plans and say it in the mornings!
- Start reading Everyday a Friday! It’s a quickie read, doesn’t take a lot of brain power, and is full of fun sayings that will get you started thinking on a lighter, more joy-filled wavelength!
- Grab something cold to drink, sit back, and jam alongside the quintessential songster of peace, Bob Marley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qqDuEP4okw
Peace, love and JOY!
Up Next Week: Be the light you want to see in the world…