Restoring My Joy

Last weekend I was privileged to drive a very good friend of mine to a Ladies Retreat in Springdale Arkansas. "Prison with a Purpose" hosted the event and we had a tremendous time. It was wonderful to hear of how God is working in the lives of women even in prison. One of the main speakers had served 12 years in prison and had been "out" 5. She was incredibly well-learned in the Scriptures. She quoted the Bible frequently and told stories of how the 12 years she spent in prison were the best years of her life because that is where she found Jesus. She wrote to the Judge who sentenced her to prison every year thanking him for sending her there. After she left prison, she had him and his wife over for dinner.

We also got to see some footage of some other women who will be in prison for life that are living victorious lives because of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. These women will never live like you and I, but they can serve the same Jesus we do and still have the victory. I was impressed by their dedication and joy.

What did I gain from the experience of the Retreat? I think that I have purposed in my heart to be more positive and joyful at home. I tend to use negative reinforcement to produce right behavior and I want to change that. Positive reinforcement has its place, too. Creating a balance is the hard part.

Do you ever feel less than joyful in your life? I think it is the devil's business to zapp the joy from us mammas! When I feel less joyful, I am not as productive and have less patience with the children. My husband will return home from work to a messy house, fussy kids and a gripy mommy. I know some of you have felt this way, too. It always helps me to be able to enter in to the worship service at church and just let the tears flow as I praise God for who He is and what He is to me. It is so cleansing and refreshing. What helps you to return to a more joyful person? I'd love to hear from you.

No comments: