This morning, as I woke up, my husband declared, “Happy Anniversary! One year ago today, your Dad got all his questions answered.” I smiled. What a wonderful way to view today, and I truly believe my Daddy wouldn’t want it any other way! He wasn’t one to “wallow in the mullygrubs” rather to move past the pain and difficulties and enjoy life to the fullest!
Today, I choose to focus on the good and the blessings!
Today, I choose joy!
Not a single day has passed without me thinking of my Daddy and remembering him with great pride and joy. He was my truth teller, one of my best teachers, one of the people I trusted most to give me solid, Godly advice, and always, always there for me when I needed him most. While he is no longer here on earth, he is such a huge part of who I am that I feel him with me every single day.
I’ve embraced his love of butterflies and incorporated them into my yard decor. When I work with my plants I feel closer to him. I remember his smile, his contagious laugh and his immensely strong hugs.
When I take a stand for something I believe in, or am passionate about, I think of him and how he instilled that strength in me by teaching me to know what I believe and to stand up for it!
When I face adversity, I face it head on-refusing to buckle beneath the burden and crumble-because my daddy taught me to be a fighter for the right reasons! He taught me to press on, because we gain nothing by quitting!
When all I want to do is succumb to the looming depression of loss, I reach out to someone I trust for support, and carry on, because my Daddy taught me to ask for help, to embrace it and to push past the pain and focus on the good in my life.
When I’m feeling lost, alone, and like I don’t belong, I remember my Daddy’s words as He shared how he too never felt like he belonged; how he felt like the odd man out and how lonely that felt at times. I find solace in knowing I’m not alone in feeling this way and that if he could make it, so can I.
When I lack understanding or direction and long to hear my Daddy imparting wisdom as my truth teller, I recall his words telling me “I’ve given you everything I can give you. I’ve taught you all I know to teach you. You have all you need, inside of you. Stay close to the Lord and He will be all you need.” For that reason, I continue praying and asking God for wisdom and understanding, direction and guidance.
When I wonder how God could give me a promise that He would always provide, yet isn’t doing so yet, I remember how my Daddy taught me to question everything-even God. To ask the hard questions, but also to be prepared for the hard answers. So I ask those hard questions, and then God answers with, “I have provided-it’s just not in the ways you expected.” I can’t help but smile, because that is a lesson my Daddy would have loved to watch me grow through and one he and my mom could truly relate to, being business owners themselves.
When someone trusts me enough to come to me for advice, I remember my dad’s own struggle with being a truth teller and how it often ostracized him from those he loved for a season, because people struggle with truth, even when they ask for it. Like him though, I refuse to hang back in fear just to preserve a relationship-so I speak truth at all cost, because I love the person enough to risk their anger, in hopes of protecting them from experiencing deep pain later.
When life rains times of trouble, pain and heartache, I Choose Joy because the joy of the Lord truly is my strength. It’s not a cliche verse, the joy God gives me is deeper than a smile on my face-it’s embedded in my heart, because amidst all the pain, one thing remains true: I am truly blessed and that alone is enough to bring joy to my aching heart.
Today, Choose Joy… you’ll be amazed at just how much it will change your life!