Living in Joy

Dear Reader:

I remember that benchmark moment in my life, when I realized intuitively, that anything said about me and/or my life should include the word JOY after I am gone. Over the years sometimes I have even made a note to myself to remember a particular line of scripture about joy from a sermon or talk.

I don’t feel that I am being an unrealistic “Pollyanna” or naive in doing so. I have certainly had my fair share of loss concerning loved ones, physical, mental, and emotional obstacles, moments of sadness and despair…but none of these components of life to date have changed who I am internally…and it is because of one essential truth revealed to me.

That eternal understanding unveiled itself before my first breast cancer surgery… I should hold God’s Hand and use His strength to see me through my health challenges…and that strength was JOY. I should never lose my joy.

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10

In Daily Devotionals‘special Mother’s Day message Sunday…several lines of scripture dealing with joy was the theme. So many of us have been blessed with mothers who sacrificed so much to ‘make us happy’ but even more importantly teach us how to live in joy…no matter the circumstance.

Gin-g has talked about the difference in the two words several times to me when we have been together and we both agree that happiness is a short-term circumstance, whereas joy is imbedded in us and is long-term…a joy that lasts a life time.

Daily Devotionals added this insight between the two words:

Joy is more than happiness. The word happiness comes from the root hap, which means “chance.” Where happiness is circumstantial, joy is not.

Joy is an unshakeable confidence in the truths of God despite circumstances.

When our children see absolute certainty in the life of one who knows God personally, they are impressed and drawn to know Him themselves.

If we want folks,like our children,to believe in God we’ll need more than a pasted-on smile of chance happiness. We’ll need to model the life of a person living in joy.

So until tomorrow…I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. — 3 John 4. 

We hear parents, including ourselves, saying popular refrains like “We only want our children to be happy.” I think what we want is for our children to feel a peace, a joy that God is leading their lives and they only have to keep the faith to follow.

Yesterday was the perfect time to plant the lavender plant the Turners gave me…just in time for a predicted lengthy week of showers. Now that weather prediction does fill me with joy!

Rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. — Joel 2:23

Jay and Walsh surprised their wives with breakfast under the cabana Sunday morning for Mother’s Day! It was also Walsh and Mollie’s sixth anniversary…they got married on a Sunday, May 13 on Mother’s Day. Both Marcia and I couldn’t think of a better present for that occasion! We were filled with joy!

 

Mollie sent some more shots from Fripp Island / Mother’s Day/anniversary

There’s a shingdig going on this Thursday and our gal Anne will be one of the fiddlers ‘shingdigging’ along. So if you live in the Summerville area…come on out and have some fun.

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Living in Joy

  1. ambikasur says:

    Belated happy Mother’s day, Becky! May God give us mothers the strength to spread Joy in every part of our children’s lives… Loads of luv..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Beautifully stated my Ambika and soon to be mother of two. I hope you continue feeling well…two definitely up’s the challenges of motherhood, but also the joy! Happy belated Mother’s Day Ambika!

      Liked by 1 person

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