Tag Archives: joy

psalm 30

psalm 30

I don’t think I’ll ever stop fist-bumping David for the way he approaches God and sings prayers to the Lord.

As I’ve mentioned at least 29 times before, I just have to give a huge YES & AMEN to all that is said in this book of psalms.

I’m consistently reminded that God doesn’t desire empty words or phrases that seem pious and super-Christian. He just desires our heart. He desire to hear from His children, no matter how choppy, or dramatic, or full of feelings and heartache and joy and weirdness our words may be.

And here I am again, saying YES & AMEN to David and what he writes in the 30th psalm:

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

No matter how many times I read the psalms, I’m always freshly encouraged by the pattern and themes found inside the words – that God’s people cry out (don’t just causally have a conversation with Him), that God hears His people and draws near to them, that He is their Helper and pulls them up from whatever pit they are in, that He brings joy, that weeping & mourning are okay.

Weeping may tarry, the valley may be deep, but the Lord your God hears His people – hears you – and will turn your mourning in to dancing. He will bring joy with the dawn.

I need that today. I need that everyday. I need to be reminded of and encouraged by the truth that my God is a God of goodness & redemption & healing for those that love Him and trust Him.

I need to know that He is merciful to me & will help me all the days of my life.

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psalm 8

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I’ve had the awesome opportunity the past 5 days to watch the best college softball in the country.

When I look at the field, perfectly manicured and lined with chalk, when I see the athletes warming up and competing with such ferociousness, when I hear the pop of the ball sweetly hitting the catchers mitt or soaring off of a bat, I see the Creator God.

As David mentions in this psalm, I look at the heavens, the work of His fingers – I see the sun setting over a softball diamond in the middle of Oklahoma and I can’t help but think, “Who am I that You, God, are mindful of me? Who am I that You care for me?”

I see a God Who has made all things, yet loves me so deeply He sent His Son Jesus to pay the ultimate price for the debt of my sin.

I see a God that loves His people so much, He gives us pleasure in the strangest things – things like the smell of dirt and grass and sweat all mixed together. Things like fierce competition and the drive in an athlete’s eyes to not give up until the last out is called.

I see a God Who has made all things – again, all. things. – yet cares about my little heart feeling so full watching a softball game.

That’s a cool God, y’all. A way cool God.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heaves, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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psalm 5

I often doubt that God cares enough to hear my groaning. I often think that the heinous sin I’ve committed against a perfect and holy God is too great for Him to hear my voice. And when I say “often” I mean, I literally had this conversation 4 hours ago…

I forget Jesus.

Then, I read this psalm.

I read that, through the abundance of HIS steadfast love, I will enter His house.
I don’t enter through the abundance of my righteous acts.
I’m not left out because of my sin.
I enter through Him.
Through His love.
Through Jesus.

Oh Lord that I may be drawn into Your love even greater in this moment!
May the Truth of who You are – that You care about the tiniest sound of the cry from my heart – saturate my entire being!

Father, give me a new song of joy and spread your protection over me, that I may exult in You!

Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.

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psalm 2

psalm 2

Day 2.
Psalm 2.

Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”

But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.”

The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.'”

Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities – for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!

The One who rules in heaven laughs.

It amazes me that the nations and rulers (read: humans) felt like they needed to free themselves of slavery to God.

And He laughs at them.

When I think about the way God laughs here, I definitely think it’s an “Oh little one. I do not think you know what you think you know.”

I get that way so often. I think I know better than God. I shake my fists at Him and say things like, “Just give me what I want! Let me out from under this slavery! Break my chains, why dontcha?!”

And I think God laughs.

But with me, I think it’s a compassionate laugh. I think it’s a Fatherly laugh that He extends as He puts His arm around me.

Not a pompous, prideful snicker.

I want that to be my reaction. Compassion first. Grace first. Mercy first. And as I extend my arm around someone and bring them in, we can revel in the deep joy that exists for all of us that take refuge in Him.

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we just need each other

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Sometimes life is tough. I’ve experienced (what I think are) a lot of tough times thus far in my short life (no comments on my height, please).

However, life has been a lot less tough in the past few years, mainly because I know what community looks like. I know what life with people should be like. I’m learning what it means to bear with one another, to live life with others that actually means something.

I think all too often we are afraid of being real with one another. We hold back our struggles, sins, insecurities, and doubts. We may even hold back our joys, wins, and celebrations of things going well in our lives.

We are afraid of being known, yet that’s all we really desire. We are made to be in community with one another.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2)

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)

“I don’t like going this long without being with you guys in the same room. I feel like the devil knows we’ve been apart, and he chooses those periods of time to just give us all the junk he can throw at us.”

I got this text message last night from one of my dearest. I’d been having a rough week – and by week, I mean multiple weeks, maybe months – and, after a long conversation about life, she sent this. It’s so right.

We need each other. And I’m not just saying I need my friends and they need me.

I’m saying you need your friends. They need you.

We need to create a safe place for one another to just be – the be able to weep, to rejoice, to celebrate, to hold one another up.

May we all be willing to admit that we need one another – that life is better with people.

Let’s keep showing up.

*if you want to giggle a little & feel some feels, click here to watch Kristen’s last go-round as a SNL cast member!

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when being a competitor doesn’t make sense

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I love competition. I love the thrill of having a specific time frame to complete a specific task. Whether it’s needing 3 more runs in the last inning or getting my teammate to guess the word and pass the round-thingy before the Catch Phrase! buzzer goes off, I want to be the one fighting for the win. Being a competitor is simply engrained in who I am.

However, I’m a little tired of competing right now. I’m tired of continually battling in my own strength. I’m tired of thinking that singleness is just another hurdle to jump over.

As an athlete, I can do things to make myself better: shoot more baskets, take more reps in the batting cage, run a little farther for a little longer.

But when it comes to contentment and joy, I can’t do anything. I cannot earn my starting spot in the line-up. This is one game I can’t win. I can’t muscle my way into God’s grace, mainly because He’s already extended it to me. He’s already invited me freely into Himself.

I’m reminded of the people of Israel fleeing Egypt in the book of Exodus. They get to the Red Sea and basically throw an intense mean mug Moses’ way. “Dude, you know Pharaoh is getting closer and we have this impassable body of water in front of us, right?! Did you realize you were taking us this way? I told you we should have stopped for directions 1000 paces ago!”
And Moses busts out some timeless truth,

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. (14:14)

Yet, I act just like Israel. “Hey, God, you know I’m still single over here? You realize this isn’t the plan I had thought of, don’t you? You do know what you’re doing, right?”

Dear Kayla,
The Lord will fight for you. You just need to be still and trust in Him. Rely on Jesus, not yourself. Stop competing for something that’s already been won. Rest in Him.

In the fight for joy, contentment, peace, etc., being a competitor doesn’t make a lot of sense. Letting Jesus be Jesus makes sense.

*to see Amy’s monologue featuring some sweet K. Wiig dance moves, click here!

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the illusion of happiness

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I like to think I’m a fairly happy person.
I also know I can fake happiness pretty easily when I need to.
I ALSO know that I rely on my emotions (specifically the happy emotion) to dictate my reality WAY too often.

I think we all just want to be happy in life. When you talk to people (myself included) about their future, the response is usually, “I want to get married, have kids, a good job, and be happy.”

According to the internets, the definition of happy is: feeling pleasure or enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.

That’s great and all, but what happens when your life, situation, etc. doesn’t shake out the way you thought it would?

What happens when you’re a newlywed and you find out you can’t have children?
When you’re 47 and your dreams of being a wife and mother seem unreachable?
When you’re a widow at the age of 25?

Where is your happiness then?

I think we trick ourselves in to thinking that happiness is sustainable. That if we can just “be happy” everything else will fall in to place. But that’s an illusion. That’s not real life. Happiness is fickle and can change in an instant.

I need joy, not happiness. Joy (again, defined by the internets) is: a settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope.

I really love that. Because my settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope can be on Jesus and He doesn’t change!!

My emotions are famous for changing at the drop of a hat. Literally. Dropping a hat could make me cry.
But praise God my heart can be settled on Jesus and He is my source of joy.

Sure, happiness comes out of joy, but the Lord sustains my joy regardless of my circumstance.

When you’re a newlywed and find out you can’t have children, God is still God.
When you’re 47 and your dreams of being a wife and mother seem unreachable, God is still God.
When you’re a widow at the age of 25, God is still God.

And He is still good.

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