Monday, November 9, 2015

The Joy Journal

While we were packing up some books and finding a new home for a few this summer, I lost track of my Joy Journal.  I searched the bookcases, closets, packed tubs, and then went through things room by room. No bright red Joy Journal to be found!

I really needed this journal.  Somewhere along this long journey I started losing my joy and I know that I know that I great way to find it again is to write down what I am grateful for.  It became a practice for me after reading Ann Voscamp's book, "One Thousand Gifts".

Last Saturday I was not in a good place, which was evident in my blogging.  I was thinking about closing down my blog or at least scrapping it and starting something new.  I thought that people must get tired of hearing what I have to say, it gets old.  Of course a few caring friends were kind enough to leave me some encouraging comments.  It was not my intention, but it was nice to hear in my current state of mind at the time.

The radiation treatments that were to take 15 minutes were taking 30-60 minutes with extra x-rays, doctor checks, shifting, re-arranging, etc.  I was weary of being in an awkward position for extended periods of time, causing pain and stiffness.  One area of my breast started to hurt quite a bit Friday night.  Ugh.  Come on.....3 days in and skin issues already?  Friday was also my appointment with the eye specialist. I did not score so well on a visual field test.  When the doctor came in the room I said, I don't want any bad news today Dr. I.  It has been a tough couple of months and I am weary.  Come to find out, the visual field test had showed a change last June, but for now it was stable and so were my eyes. Thank you Jesus.

So, what I am getting at is that I was losing my joy fast, and I needed to take quick action to change the situation.  Besides, praying, praising, and distracting myself, I needed to focus on my many blessings.

I gave up the hunt for my old Joy Journal, and today we went out and found a new one.  This was no easy feat either as we ended up going to three stores before coming home with something.  After the radiation treatment, which was only 20 minutes today (yay).........I came home to a card and cute little stuffed "thing" from my sister-in=law that made me smile and tear up.  I do that a lot lately, laughing and crying in the moment.

So, when I settled. in to my new recliner, I began to write down what I was grateful for.  ASAP.  There.  That feels better already, cuz I've got a lot to be thankful for.   Starting with how God wove His love and protection into this whole journey.  Grateful for my amazing husband.  Grateful for an encouraging phone call today from my sister Kay who took this same journey last year, with even the same doctors.  Grateful for the card that came today and other days.  Grateful for still being able to walk outside in November and having energy to walk....and oh yeah, being able to play with the neighbor's cute little dog.  The dog's name is B.D. because she has bat ears.  Bat Dog.  B.D.  She makes us laugh and helps fill our "miss having a dog" feelings.

It is a good thing, this "counting it all joy".  It lifts the spirits, brightens the day, and keeps my focus where it needs to be.  On Jesus.  Counting it all joy.


NanaNor's said...

Dear Renee, I didn't see your post on Saturday, but I understand how discouraging life can be, but I know that keeping a joy journal will help keep your eyes looking up. You are such a blessing to me and all others; I hope in the future you don't stop blogging. Blessings and hugs to you.

Debbie Huffaker said...

First of all, I'm sorry I haven't stopped by like I should. PLEASE don't shut down your blog....starting a new one would be okay, as long as you let me know your new "address". I HOPE your joy is being restored, day by day....even minute by minute! I appreciate your honesty with how you feel about things going on in your life. Hang in there, Ms. Renee....God has a PLAN and it's a good one full of HOPE!

Renee said...

Thank you Noreen very much.

Renee said...

Thanks Debbie. I was in a dark place for a few days, listening to the enemy's lies instead of living from a place of victory. Your words are comfort and encouraging.