Choose Joy

Choose Joy

Joy is not a feeling, it is a decision.
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Discovering the difference between joy and most every other emotion is an amazing thing. I believe that joy occurs when people get appreciative and thankful, for all types of things. Joy is so powerful in our lives, and it can either make or break us, completely in our control.

I can honestly say that it has taken probably way to long for me to realize that as humans, we control our joy. And that is exactly how it should be. Life and joy go together, but most importantly, Jesus and joy really go together. Joy is of course a good feeling but there are always things the enemy will throw our way just to get in the way of our joy, like joy jammers. I can sit here and name a ton of joy jammers, but there are a few that really stick out in my mind. Fear is a complete joy jammer, and does nothing but build up walls. Selfishness can also sneak into us humans extremely easily, and isolate us. I think that the enemy wants us completely isolated, obviously from everything good and lovely. But I am here to tell you that no one needs to dance alone. Bitterness can tear us apart, so don't be bitter! Be happy for everyone around you, and sincerely want them to succeed just like you want yourself to. Sin and guilt are also a huge factor when it comes to our joy. Life is too short to live in sin and guilt. Why lose joy when it is under your control to change it? It is okay to admit that you have lost some joy if you have. That is kind of like the first step to choosing to get it back. The second step will be to simply spend some personal time with God. Joy won't occur in our bodies, it occurs in our souls.

Once you CHOOSE to fill yourself with joy, your relationship with time will change. Nothing will be more satisfying than being able to say to yourself that you are exactly where you want to be. Joy is not a feeling, it is a decision. Choose joy!

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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I’m Glad I Waited Until I Was An Adult Before Learning To Drive

I really had no need for my driver’s license when I was sixteen.

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I recently started learning how to drive and so far, it's been okay. I mean, I think it's been okay, but my mom may or may not have a different opinion.

Anyway, I decided not to get my license when I was 16. That was completely my decision. I live someplace where every place I needed to go was in walking distance. Literally, the old school was right down the street and I can see the new school from my house. And since that was the only place I was going to was high school, I was perfectly content with using my two God-given legs to get there. I also go to college where I get access to public transportation (which is awesome, I love public transportation).

But now that I'm older, not driving is getting more inconvenient. I mean, I can't just go home and visit my mom and sister whenever I feel like it during the school year because my hometown is a two and a half hour drive from Cleveland and public transport to the middle of nowhere isn't a thing. I'm also planning on moving into an apartment next year, so I'm going to have to be able to drive to get to school, go to work, get groceries, and other things like that.

That being said, I'm perfectly content with my decision to wait to drive.

For one, I don't have to pay for gas or insurance or car maintenance. I also don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a parking pass for school (which saves me money on tuition) and I don't have to worry about parking in Downtown Cleveland (if you've ever been to Cleveland, you'd know parking is horrendous).

Some people tell me about all the “freedom" I would have had if I had gotten my license in high school, but in all honesty, it's not like I would've gone wherever I wanted to whenever I wanted to. After all, my mom, my sister, and I have had the conversation about, “Just because you can drive, doesn't mean you're taking the car whenever you want."

Besides, it's not like I'm suddenly going to galavant all over Hell and Creation just because I'm an adult. I have school and I'll have a job in the fall. I'll have responsibilities. I'm also living on-campus again and not planning on taking a car with me because I don't want to buy a parking pass and worry about someone breaking into the car (because it's Downtown Cleveland and that's always a possibility, even though I know better than to keep anything valuable just sitting in plain sight - I'm still a very paranoid person when it comes to things like that).

I mean, I plan on having my license before winter (ideally before I even start fall semester, but I know that might be pushing it). But I don't really feel like I missed out on anything by not getting my license the second I turned 16. In fact, I feel that it's better that I waited because I am way more mature now than I was at sixteen.

The fact that I'm more mature — which means I have a better understanding of the responsibility of driving — and have saved money is why I'm glad I waited until I was an adult to start learning how to drive.

Cover Image Credit:

Pexels

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