baby smile

I have been working a lot lately, so when I come home, I just kind of zonk out and recently have not been writing too much. But I had to share this one that came to me the other day while I was at work (of course ~ since I’m always there!)

Have you ever been in a funk and totally zoned out? Perhaps standing in a line at a register waiting to be checked out, and a baby catches your eye and smiles at you? In a split second, you are transported to a place of innocent joy between you and that smiling baby. You smile back only to receive an even bigger smile. At that moment, nothing else matters, not bills, being late for an important date, or even what has you really worried. It is as if God Himself, reached down to hug you. The innocent exchange reminds you of bigger things. Maybe even a glimpse of a speck of what heaven will be like. Nothing but innocent joy.

0413011039 hot tubrohss

The other day I was ouside at work. Even though I work in a beautiful piece of God’s country where squirrels scamper just inches away and birds sing to me as I do my job, I feel a bit like Cinderella having to clean out the chimney, (in my case tubs) waiting for my Prince to rescue me.

river oaks hot springs spa20121207_125633 hot tubs

cinderella mopping

(after all of my work… they look like this…)

hot tub

hot tub2

I have to climb up and down hills all day long, and under hot tubs that might have snakes and spiders where I have to go. And I have to admit that I don’t always stop to smell the flowers as I head under each tub.

tired maid

snake20130315_154425 hot tubsspider web

I asked God to give me something profound as I walked around the other day in a particular funk. And I amost heard His voice as He gave me:

“The joy of the Lord is my strength”. 

Wow!! It was such an intense and fast answer that it brought quick tears to my eyes. I asked for more and was given the vision of how I love to make people laugh. Particularly  people who I respect, like my dad or a person that I place a little above myself. And I realized that laughter translates into joy and giving joy is empowering. Hence; maybe the same goes for the meaning of  strength in the verse God gave to me? I pondered a bit more. (Funny how if you stay focused, God will talk to you as long as you talk back and sometimes even when you don’t!)  I realized that desiring to give God JOY is my strength. When I know that I know that I know that my heart is only wanting to make God “laugh” or make Him proud or happy, I am as strong as Samson!

I have been feeling blue lately and disappointed by people. From the time I was young I’ve had a habit of looking up to people; Teachers, Politicians,  men and women of God. And ultimately have discovered that they are all human. And unfortunately, all eventually succumb to pride and prejudice in their own ways. And maybe that is a good thing. Because when I start to admire someone too much, I usually am disappointed. I have just begun to learn that it is not fair to them. No one is ever going to not disappoint me. No one but God that is. And so my focus should be finding my strength in His joy!

A black cloud followed me

as I walked out my  front door.

Grumbling, I got in my car

 thinking I couldn’t take much more!

The day seemed to move slowly

and it lasted way too long,

counting the hours, I wondered

what else could possibly go wrong?

Suddenly I realized

I hadn’t started out in prayer.

Nor invited YOU my Lord

to follow me anywhere…

And so I stopped everything

as I bowed my head to pray,

finally inviting You

into what was left of my long day.

Funny how the traffic didn’t seem

to bother me anymore,

and when I stopped to pick up groceries

a stanger held my door.

And  I knew you’d heard my prayer

after standing in line a while,

when  that baby caught my eye

and gave me the biggest smile!

happy baby in grocery cart

That’s when I knew YOU gave to me,

a sample of YOUR grace,

and showed me that the Joy of the Lord

truly is my strength!

Diane Reed

2013

The Joy of The Lord

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46 thoughts on “My Strength

    1. I keep missing some of my older comments but I love when someone takes the time to go back into my archives and read some of my older posts! Thank you!
      xoxo

  1. The joy of The Lord is MY strength.
    And
    This is the day the Lord has made and I WILL rejoice and be GLAD in it.

    Those two verses got me through what you read about on my blog. I clung to them with fists held tight and heart abandoned to Him.

    I love your application too – returning that joy by desiring to make God happy.
    LUUUUUV that, Sister!

  2. Diane, this is beautiful, wonderful, awesome! Sorry I haven’t been by more often. Life just got in the way but prayer has lifted me up with my husband progressing slowly but surely! Absolutely LOVE this post 🙂 ❤

    1. I am so glad to hear from you! Been trying to find news on your hubby! Praising The Lord for your miracle! I know He is hearing! We will keep bombarding heaven!
      xoxo
      Thanks for reading! I’ve been enjoying yours too! I am not sure why I am not getting notified! I feel I am missing a lot of posts! I surely am not getting notifed by all I follow when they post… oh well love what I found today!
      xoxo

  3. Oh Diane I LOVE THIS! I’m getting ready to head to bed, and I’m doing so with a smile on my face. A smile because I know the joy of the Lord is my strength. A smile because I want to give my joy to Him. A smile because He knew I needed this reminder. And a HUGE smile as I picture Alexandra winking at you! I feel so special to think that her face came to your mind as you write this, and in the future I’ll gladly share her with you. Good night my sweet friend! God bless you!

  4. That photo is priceless … how can’t be effected by a child’s smile. You are a brilliant writer, you know how to handle and use the word. A very enjoyable post.

  5. Really a lovely article.

    This makes me think of so very many things that I could write thousands and thousands of words. I’ve had a number of nasty jobs, some of which I enjoyed and some which I hated. One incident that I was not involved in comes to mind.

    At the plant in this one department there was a very nasty job that was rotated on a daily basis so no one was stuck with it regularly. There was one female in that department. The second time she was suiting up to do this job — it involved being exposed to an oil mist all day long — all the men in the department lined up between her and the foreman. One man spoke, “You are not going to make her do this job, I will take her place.” They had all seen the before and after the first time she did this job, how she appeared at the beginning as compared to the end of the day. Ultimately the men demanded she be taken out of the “rotation”. Odd, since our general union culture was wary of people being favored or disadvantaged because of race or sex. The union was never called, labor relations was never contacted, but ordinary people didn’t like something and they forced a change.

    The baby’s smile really hit home as well. We all lose perspective on what is really important from time to time. That brings it home nicely.

    1. I KNOW!!!! Huh? There is this guy who does our property’s maintenance and once upon a time the tubs. So all us women that have ended up inheriting this tub cleaning job have kind of wondered what the heck?!!! I liked that you guys rescued that woman! Regardless of the employment politics!
      May a baby smile at you today!

  6. I just love this Diane and the picture is perfect. It’s wonderful how you cut to the chase and brought. everything right into perspective

    1. Ahhh Bill you made me laugh out loud (literally) 😉
      Yep. As a matter of fact, I just got back from the Ronald Reagan Museum and you can’t walk through that place without being on the verge of tears the whole time. In my mind he was the last of the good ones!
      But then that was a rhetorical question now wasn’t it? lol.

  7. There’s always a way to find peace in this world, Di. And most times it’s not just automatic…, you have to reach out for it. You did! Reallly like this post. It’s relevant.
    Paul

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