It’s Always Something, Am I Right?

It’s getting close to Christmas, you guys! Maybe you’re excited like me, and maybe not so much, but this holiday season is a season of joy in many ways.

I start decorating for Christmas as soon as my dear husband gives me the okay, and I listen to Christmas music in October. I fully participate in the festivities that abound in the month of December and I love it!

My handsome hubby on Christmas Tree Day!

But it can be a time of sadness for our family too. We remember the horrible passing of my mother-in-law, and when December 26th rolls around, my father-in-law is no longer here for his birthday to be celebrated. On top of that, I have a bit of anxiety and flashbacks to last year when my health wasn’t as good and my MS was giving me troubles.

Do you ever feel like life is just one long string of difficult events (with an occasional respite thrown in here and there so your sanity isn’t entirely lost)?

If so, I know the feeling. Between the death and sickness of family and friends, the horrific events on the news, and the stresses of life in general, sometimes life can feel very…dark.

I’m guessing I’m not alone here. And hopefully I’m not alone when I say I refuse to allow that outlook to rule my mind.

So how do we fight the darkness? How do we muster the strength to focus on the good, when sometimes the good moments feel so few and far between?

We fight darkness with light. The light of Jesus, specifically. And we remember our view of life is the result of thousands of daily choices that we may not even realize we’re making. Such as:

Will I complain? Will I dwell on the negative? Will I focus on the sadness of the world? Will I choose fear?


Will I choose to be grateful? Will I find the positive? Will I find joy in good news? Will I choose hope?

I’m no scientist, but I do know the more you think positively or negatively, the more your brain gets wired to continue down that path. To me, that’s pretty empowering.

Thankfully, the pressure isn’t all on us and our abilities. Not even close.

God desires to help us and give us the mental (and physical) rest we need to keep going strong.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”  –Matthew 11:28-30

If we take him at his word and give Jesus our burdens to carry, we find ourselves free to accept and be filled with joy from the Holy Spirit.

Even if sickness or uncertainty is staring you in the face today, your peace doesn’t have to suffer for it.

Consider this—we get to rest in the truth that we belong to Jesus, Heaven awaits us in the end, and nothing on earth can take those things away from us. And in the big, big picture… what else really compares?

And let’s not forget we don’t have to resign ourselves to the ups and downs of this life without a fight. We serve a God who answers prayer and performs miracles. Yes, even today God is still working miracles all around us. So let’s spend more time hunkered down in our prayer closet (or car, or bedroom, or whatever) and let’s be open to praying for and receiving the good things God wants to do in us and for us, instead of sitting back and letting life happen however the chips may fall.

What about when life is good?

Sometimes life is great. All the pieces of this crazy puzzle called life seem to fall together and we can inhale deeply and count our blessings. But if you’re like me, your peace is sometimes threatened even during times of otherwise smooth sailing. Why?

Because something always happens next. Am I right?

But instead of anxiously awaiting the next difficult thing, let’s be deliberate about choosing joy in the moment.

There are always blessings to count—let’s do just that. Let’s choose joy. Let’s open our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to rid us of anxiety and fear, and replace those things with peace, hope, and joy. In times of trial and times of plenty alike.

So even though this season in particular is a myriad of joy and sadness, I can choose. I can focus my energies on what “could have been” and give myself over to sadness and anxiety, or I can turn my eyes upon Jesus, count my blessings, (which truly do abound, as they do for most of us with running water and electricity) and receive the peace and joy that he so desperately wants to give.

Moment by moment, I’m doing my best to choose peace and joy to carry me through this upcoming Christmas season. How about you?

Let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!  

And for any of you who may be wondering, here’s a brief update on me: My middle grade Christian Fiction novel (currently titled “Power Up”) is in the editing phase. There is a lot of waiting and a lot of back-and-forth right now as my agent, publisher, editor, and I work together to get everything just right. It’s a time of excitement and soon it will be a time of teaching myself how to effectively market a book—yikes! Life is an adventure, that’s for sure. While I have a little down time in the middle of the waiting, I’ve been working on an adult Christian fiction novel. It’s a story that’s been on my heart for a while, and even if it comes to nothing, it’s SO much fun to write.

I truly do appreciate your support through this new writing adventure! Thanks for reading!

10 thoughts on “It’s Always Something, Am I Right?

  1. This is not only a beautiful post, but beautifully written. Thank you! I might add, too, that we can’t forget to see the entire passage you included from Matthew 11. In my opinion, part of the hope and redemption of those dark and trying times is that God wants to teach us something. It’s not because we’ve been bad or deserve punishment, but so that we will be better, stronger and more able to contribute to the lives around us on his behalf. We will also grow closer and closer to God our Savior as he lets us lean on him during these times. There is beauty in the pain, a sweetness in drawing near to him that is supernatural. And as you so wonderfully reminded us, there can be joy in the middle of these troubles whether they involve deep loss or temporary annoyances that keep us from doing what we want to do, but we’ll only find it if we can keep our eyes on Jesus Christ. And that is our choice. I join you in choosing JOY, Jessie, and in counting my blessings. I pray many others will join you too!
    Best wishes regarding your writing endeavors and Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you, Beach – I wholeheartedly agree!! Merry Christmas to you and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts! 🙂

  2. I am a big fan of Christmas also! This year has felt particularly blessed with smooth sailing so far. I’m trying to enjoy every moment, especially with the children. Have a very Merry Christmas!

    1. That’s wonderful, Nicole! Yes, enjoy the smooth sailing day by day, moment by moment, and have a great Christmas season! Thanks! 🙂

  3. I can relate to these thoughts for sure. Choosing joy over my memory of hardship is difficult though. No matter how much I grit my teeth I can’t forget the pain the holidays bring. I think this is why it’s about having a changed heart more than a changed mind. That change comes from setting my heart on Jesus. Thanks!

    1. I agree, Chip, that a heart change is necessary for sure, but I do think deliberately changing our thought patterns (along with our heart) is the only way to really let joy take over our minds. It’s a process for sure! Thanks for your thoughts!

  4. Great post! This reminded me of some stuff I’ve read by Dr. Leaf, do you follow her? May we choose joy in our circumstances knowing that our joy is not dependent on said circumstances but an amazing God who loves us 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for reading, Tamika! I haven’t read anything by Dr. Leaf – I’ll definitely have to check her out. And yes, thank goodness our joy isn’t dependent on our circumstances, right?? 🙂

  5. What a wonderful post! You really captured all of my feelings and experiences from the highest highs to the lowest lows. Somehow, for me the feelings are magnified during the holiday season.
    These words were so profound and soulfully helpful: “Even if sickness or uncertainty is staring you in the face today, your peace doesn’t have to suffer for it. Consider this—we get to rest in the truth that we belong to Jesus, Heaven awaits us in the end, and nothing on earth can take those things away from us. And in the big, big picture… what else really compares?”
    May I forever keep my eyes on the gift of Christ. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your encouraging words, Melissa! It’s such a blessing to hear when God uses my words to speak to others. Praying you have a Merry Christmas and can keep the peace of Christ in the forefront even with all the struggles and emotions the holidays can bring. 🙂

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