Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Joy - Spiritual Journey Thursday

Holly Mueller blog,  Reading, Teaching, Learning is a place where readers can share their spiritual journeys.  I have been reading these posts for the past several weeks, but was hesitant about participating.  The main reason is that I wanted my blog to be an educational blog where I share my life as a teacher, a reader, and a writer.  I did not feel like my spiritual journey belonged here.  

Then I thought, writing is writing.  It doesn't have to belong in the educational setting.  It can belong in my heart and come from my heart.  I read Christian and spiritual books, but I have never shared those on my blog, only kid lit.  I hope that I am a teacher not only in a school setting, but in life or in my spiritual journey as well.  I am still considering another blog with maybe a spiritual focus because I think it would help me REACH in ways that I need and desire.

The other reason is that I didn't feel like I belonged there.  I didn't feel like I had a strong enough  Christian life to write about it.  I did not want to be compared to other Christian writers, because I knew I would fail.

Then I remembered seeing this quote on Michelle Haseltine's blog, One Grateful Teacher.

"Comparison is the thief of joy."  ~ Theodore Roosevelt 

There was my answer and here is my post.

When I saw that the topic was JOY, I knew I wanted to go back and reread my favorite section in Joel Osteen's book, Every Day A Friday.  

"No one will take away your joy" (John 16:22)

The first section of the book is about joy and the power that we have over our own joy.

This past year I let someone take away my joy.  I let the comments made about me affect me in negative, emotional ways.  I let her take away my joy.  When we allow someone and what they say to upset us, we are giving that person control.  What I learned was what people say about us does not define who we are.  I am me, and no one can change that.  I am in control of me.  I will not let someone take away my joy.

God tells us that "joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5.)  Each day we wake up and God gives us the gift of joy.  We get to decide if today we will accept joy, or will we let someone take it away.  

Today when you woke up, I hope you heard God's knock at the door and accepted his gift of joy.

"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118: 24)


  1. Leigh Anne, I love the thought processes you share about writing. I, too, struggled a little when I had the idea of Spiritual Journey Thursday. I didn't know if I wanted to share spiritual thoughts on what was a mostly education-oriented blog. I also hesitated because I knew students and students' parents read my blog. I, too, hesitated because I'm no expert on a Christian life. However, I came to the exact conclusion you did. I thought about Slice of Life and how that writing was open to anything. I thought about the fact that my spiritual life was something I wanted to explore, think about, and celebrate. It seemed strangely missing on my blog since it was such a large part of my life. I loved that fellow educational bloggers and online friends jumped in, also needing to express things spiritual. I'm so happy you're jumping in, too, and I love your message. That verse runs through my mind MOST days - I need to work on making it run through my mind EVERY day. :-)

  2. Oh Leigh Anne, as always I love everything about this post!! I'm honored to have helped you share your writing with this link-up. Your story about someone taking away your joy...boy, I can relate. I'm printing out your post, so I can return to it this year and read it when I need a reminder. THANK YOU for your honesty & your beautiful writing. Thank you for posting!!! I'm so glad you're here!!!

  3. Leigh Anne, I am so glad that you decided to write today! Joy thieves are unfortunately common is a school settings. Your post is a great reminder to watch out for these joy thieves and fill our lives instead with Him who freely brings and gives us JOY! Joy definitely comes every morning!

  4. I so enjoyed this post! Joy is definetly a decision, as well as protecting our joy from outside influences. Thank you for your authentic sharing. What an inspiration!

  5. Thank you for this important reminder to begin each day feeling the gift of joy and I like the idea of making this our decision to keep it or allow someone or something take it away. We are definitely in control of our own joy! Loved the Thoreau quote too! Have a joyful day, Leigh Anne!

  6. "No one will take away your joy" (John 16:22)
    ...So helpful to read and remember that verse.

    Thank you for writing about your journey with the Lord.