Jan 24, 2014

Faith Chat Fridays #1

Note: From this point on, expect to see some regularly scheduled programming here on The Sweet Wonder. On Mondays, I'll bring you a new post dealing with home DIYs or food. Wednesdays will be for more personal, girly things like beauty and clothes (again, maybe some DIYs). But Fridays are reserved for some chit chat regarding faith.

Let me get this out of the way: I know being open about one's religious beliefs online is kind of looked down upon. It's not "politically correct" to discuss these things -- especially with people you don't even know personally. But I thought long and hard about what I wanted this blog, this expression of my own self, to be like and one thing I just can't leave out is faith. As a Catholic, I am a young Christian woman who believes in Jesus and strives to follow his teachings. I can tell you right now these faith chats won't always be explicitly "Catholic" in nature. I don't think I'll be quoting the Catechism or spelling out Church doctrine on here...I'll let some more reputable websites take care of that. But this is my foundation and where I will be coming from.

Okay! On to Faith Chat Fridays #1!

{Etsy Print from here}

Oh how hard this can be! Choosing to find the joy in life is hard work. But that's where having free will comes into play-- something I forget about all too often. I won't always wake up in a good mood. It's just so much easier to throw a straight line on your face than a smile, because finding things to smile about in your average day-to-day life takes work. It won't always be hard but it also won't always be easy. Material objects and even experiences will never offer me everlasting joy. I could be thrilled about going to see one of my favorite bands (Arcade Fire in a few months, yayyyyy!) but that experience will end. Sure, I'll wake up the next day with memories, but those will only have a lasting impression in my heart for so long. 

Joy is about a personal relationship with God. 

Gasp! You might be thinking something along the lines of "but God doesn't have time to help me feel joy, he's too busy" and you'd be wrong. God wants us to turn to him, to read our Bibles, to pray our prayers, to let him enter our hearts. Letting God in = joy. Maybe not initially, especially if you're just starting your faith journey or you've hit a pothole in the road. But it will come. I promise.

Joy is something that lives inside of people that others can feel. It's more than just putting a smile on or calling an old friend to catch up. Joy is contagious and is something I strive for so that I can be the light for others. Joy is remembering all that you are grateful for, and using those gifts to serve others with both words and actions. 

When you meet someone who has a heart filled with joy, you know it. You can just feel it. They are a positive person, but that doesn't mean they are annoyingly chipper. You enjoy talking to them and want to know what kind of juice they've been drinking because you want some, too. Joy is a beautiful feeling that we can choose to feel just by tweaking our thoughts and letting God in.

Do you have a friend or family member that just radiates joy? Tell us about them!