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Monday, March 12, 2012

Little Bit of Life

So, I'm a little nervous to write about this today (well, the first part, anyway).

My plan was to share something that struck me yesterday in church.

(It's good, I promise ... just give me a minute and I'll get to it!)

But the subject of church, in general, brings up another "story" that I haven't shared here yet -- mostly because I don't think most of you probably care too much about where I go to church (or maybe you do!?) -- but also because I know there are some of you who attended church with us that DO read this blog .....

However, in staying true to myself and the nature of this blog ... might as well spill my guts.
Again.

After approximately a decade at our church, we decided a few months ago to switch churches.

(I'm tempted to cover my head and duck right now so the rotten tomatoes don't hit me....?)

I know this subject is probably pretty touchy for some -- and is certainly frowned upon by many.

But just let me defend myself for a minute before you judge, okay?  (please!?)

I acknowledge that there are many churchgoers out there who change churches like they change their socks (or so it seems).  They seem to carry drama -- or problems -- with them to whatever church they attend.... and they usually leave in a huff, while pointing out all of the church's faults and shortcomings on their way out.

I assure you, that is not us.

We had been attending our church for almost all of our married life.
We LOVE our pastor (and his wife) so so so much.
And we admire and respect them so very much that that, alone, made our decision VERY difficult.

There was nothing wrong with our church.
Nothing at all.
(Well .... except for maybe the logistics of the services.  The late services was too late ... and the early service was SO early (not to mention we live about 30 minutes away) -- so turning off the alarm at 6:00 a.m. and going back to sleep was more and more often the scenario on a Sunday morning.)

Overall, we gradually began to feel that this church was not the right church for us -- at least not right now.

Going backward ..... 
Scott and I were both raised in very traditional, religious (Christian) families.  (Different religions.)  
When we got married, we decided together that a "religion" was not what we were looking for .... so we decided to try a non-denominational (Christian) church .... and that first church we tried is where we stayed.  

10+ years later .... we were feeling the need for a change (for whatever reason), but we truly felt it was the Lord leading us to make this change.
We let our pastor and his wife know -- and not only were they not angry, but I believe they were genuinely HAPPY for us -- and the prospect of a new adventure and new spiritual growth in our lives.

What a blessing they continued to be -- even as we moved on to another place of worship.
It means the world to us to know that they are praying for us ... and us, for them!

A few months later, all THREE of us are loving our new church -- and we are feeling renewed, encouraged, and inspired in ways we didn't even expect.

Good things are happening.  

And speaking of good things .... that brings me to the original subject of my post today.

In the middle of our worship time today, the pastor said something that stuck with me all day:

Don't let JOY be the result of your circumstances.  
Wow.  Just think about that for a second.

Don't let JOY be the result of your circumstances.  

In other words -- don't just be joyful when things are GOOD.
You know?  ....Like when you have enough money to pay the bills, when there's no traffic jam on your way to work, when the kids let you sleep through the night, or when you're winning the game.

But also be joyful when things are NOT so good.  .... Like when you can't pay the bills, when you get a flat tire on the way to work, or when your prayers are seemingly unanswered.


In Galations, Paul tells us about the Fruits of the Spirit:
And yep, sure enough .... there's Joy.

So, as a Christian, JOY has already been planted in my heart .... it is ALWAYS there.
Satan has been defeated and I AM on the winning team!  ALL THE TIME!

So, today and EVERY day, I'm gonna ....

Okay, I'm gonna TRY.  :)~

Wishing you all a JOYFUL week!

14 comments:

  1. Lovely post! We left our old church too and are in the process of finding a new church home...bouncing from one church to another. I am so happy for you and your family that you found a church that fills you with joy!

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  2. Bec, I absolutely enjoy your refreshing honesty on your blog! Knowing that you are following where the Lord is leading you and your family to grow in Him is the most wonderful blessing!! Wishing you Joy, today and always!! ~Missy

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  3. There's definitely joy in everyday, sometimes we just need to look hard to find it:). Here's to finding the joy! thanks, Bec!

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  4. I think there's such a negative stigma associated to switching churches, like you're too good for the old church. It so rarely has anything to do with that! I think that there may be the "right" church for different seasons of life. How do I know that the church my husband I go to now (and have for the past 6 years) is the best church for a our children in 5 or 10 years?

    I'm excited for you!

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  5. Thanks for this. We recently left our church as well after attending and being involved for over 20 years! It felt horrible but we honestly felt that God's leading was more important than being viewed as "bad guys" for leaving. Thanks again for sharing your perspective. God always has different and better plans :)

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  6. What a fantastic post. I can totally relate to the church thing - and your hesitancy to talk about it. You just have to stick with what you know is best for your family and where you think God wanted to be! {which obviously you are :P.} And thank you so much for sharing that message. It stopped me dead in my tracks reading through this! I can so often get caught up thinking about how I'll be happy when {fill in the blank} that I miss being joyful for all the amazing blessings that I have now :)

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  7. Love this post! It's so true that we fail to find joy in all the little things in life we overlook. Sometimes I think of this as always asking God for things rather than praising and thanking him for all the blessings he's already given us.

    Sherry

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  8. I have been thinking about this a lot as we are going through some difficult things right now. Somehow God has given me so much peace in this storm (either that, or I am in denial ;)) But it definitely is a lot harder to have JOY when life is not going the way you need/want it to. Yet Jeremiah 29:11 is my reminder that HE has a plan and I can still have JOY because He is in control, not me. Great post, and I'm going to steal that Kay Warren quote for facebook :)

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  9. I was just browsing through your blog and stumbled upon this post! It's so honest and beautifully written. I love the JOY quote, its a really great reminder that just because life isn't easy doesn't mean you can't have joy. Sometimes I needs to remind myself this!Thanks Bec :)

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  10. Thank you for sharing this and your heart with us! My husband and I are currently searching for a home church. There are a lot of different churches in our town and we think we have found the one for us. We have crazy work schedules and I find it a little intimidating to go by myself, even though everyone is welcoming.

    Thank you for reminding us to find the joy in everything, as it is there and we have SO much to be joyful about!

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  11. I love that saying of joy! So many people determine their happiness upon their circumstance aka "happenstance". But it is a good reminder that we should be joyful ALWAYS, no matter what is happening. I am glad that you and your family decided to make that leap of faith in finding a new church. Our church just finished up a series on the Fruits of the Spirit at their Wednesday night service, it was great. :)

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Thank you for your comments!
I love EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. :-)