“Do you look for joy, or $#%*?”

The Pour:

This is not necessary for everyone or maybe, not necessary for everyday, but, it’s sometimes helpful to start by praying and clearing your brain of all the clutter. We’re going to pour out all the random thoughts that just won’t stop – All the stuff floating around in your head at this moment, “pour it out,” at God’s feet. This could include everything from the grocery list to those deep needs and prayers in your heart.

Simply say:

Dear God,

This has been on my mind and heart, please take it: (and then list it all out)

Now, with a clear mind finish the prayer with:

And now help me to hear Your message for my heart today.

Amen

The Beans:

The Background:

Last week our series looked at Jesus’ example of prayer. Today’s verse actually comes from this same lesson. After Jesus teaches the disciples the Lord’s Prayer, He shares the advice that we are looking at today.

The Verse:

Luke 11:9-10

“9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

The Fill:

What’s the point for YOU?:

  • What word or phrase from this verse popped out to you?

Read the verse a second time and answer:

  • What could this word or phrase be speaking to in your life? (What situation, struggle, relationship, or decision)

The Steam:

What does all of this mean to me/how can I apply that to my life today?

Have you ever had one of those days – you know, the coffee spills, the car won’t start, you run out of milk, and drop your bag on the way out the door?

I couldn’t help but laugh at how many country songs this reminded me of!

Anyways … we all have *those* days.

But there’s something I want you to consider. On the days where it all seems to go wrong, what’s your attitude like?

What is it that you’re looking for, expectantly?

If we’re honest, we have to say, “Well, today’s been a you-know-what storm, so I’m expecting to look and find more you-know-what.”

And girlfriend, I hate to tell ya, but that’s exactly what you’ll find.

When we look for the negative … trust me, you’ll find it.

BUT …

When we look for the positive, when we look for the joy … trust me, you’ll find THAT, too.

I’m sorta participating in this #last90 challenge with Rachel Hollis. Essentially we’re challenged to end the last 90 days of 2019 with the same intentionality and purpose as we typically start the first 30 days of any given year.

And one of the daily challenges is … practicing gratitude. Something that I actually challenged all of us with quite a while ago, but honestly had forgotten about.

In fact, it was actually our oldest son, JB, who reminded Jimmy and me of this challenge I started with y’all a while back.

At dinner one night he said, “Mommy, we haven’t told each other what our greatest blessing from our days are in  a while

And he was right … I hadn’t been looking for my blessings, and I really missed doing that. So now, each night at dinner, we go around the table and share whatever our favorite or greatest blessing from that day was with one another.

Which is why I’m going to challenge you to do this as a part of your quiet time every day from now on. (And if you’re like me and live with other people that you’d like to join you, I encourage you to share this together over dinner or whatever other time you’re all together every day.)

Simply list out a thing (or few) from the past 24 hours that you’re thankful for.

I say “within the last 24 hours,” because … as my girl, Rach, pointed out, if you only list the big things, like your family or health, or job … then you’re not looking for the little things.

So … look for the little things, like:

  • The barista spelled my name correctly at starbucks
  • The kids put their plates in the sink without asking
  • My husband came over and hugged me out of the blue

When you intentionally look for the “small” joys, you’ll see that JOY actually exists around you, constantly, it’s just a matter of what you’re focused on finding.

We’ll give it a shot together from today, on.

To help us transition from quiet time, back into “real life,” taking both what we’ve learned, and the peace we just received, throughout the rest of our day …

We’re going to list out our small blessings from the past 24 hours, and an affirmation about yourself, life, or day.

Here we go:

My Blessings:

List “small” blessings from the past 24 hours.

*Noticing the small blessings, really opens our eyes to just how blessed we are, AND to the fact that God is always with us.

Pause the audio to list out your small blessings now.

My Affirmations:

List positive affirmations about yourself/life:

Here, I want you to list things such as, “I will be present or happy or joyful.”    “I AM worth it.”       “I am IN CONTROL of ___ situation.”

OR, if you’ve got BIG goals list those with determination. “I WILL run today, to train for that 5K.” “I WILL finish that project.” etc.

 

**List those out now, and then go on with your day affirmed, and determined.