April 25, 2012

Becoming More Joyful

"Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus."
- Phillipians 2:5

The post I wrote yesterday about being joyful during hard times got me thinking more about joy.  When I think of joy, I automatically think of my grandpa.  He was definitely the most peaceful, joyful man I have ever met, and I'm sure everyone in my family would say the same thing.  He was always smiling and always joking with family and strangers to make them smile.  Sometimes it seemed like that was all he ever wanted to do in life - make other people happy.  I'll never forget at his wake when people who my grandma had never met came up to her to give her their regards.  For example, he regularly ate breakfast with several other men, and his waitress from the restaurant came to the wake and told my grandma that he was her favorite customer.

The quote on his memorial card perfectly describes how he'd want my family to feel after his death: "I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one, I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.  I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, of happy times, and laughing times and bright and sunny days.  I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun. Of happy memories that I leave when life is done." 

He had joy in his heart and so much love for his family even in his last years on earth fighting cancer.  He was still the same joyful man trying to get all of us to smile.  We would have never known if he was feeling down or defeated, or even in pain, because he let his joy be shown throughout his entire trial. 

Isn't this pretty? I bought it from a thrift store and love it and the quote!

My hard time right now is so small in comparison to what others are going through or have been through. I have exams coming up, and over the weekend I started to get really overwhelmed and stressed thinking about them.  It is hard to feel joyful about exams, and I don't think I've ever woken up feeling like wahoo, I have exams today! I have noticed myself in a rut recently complaining a lot about the amount of work this semester, and I need to stop if I want to have a more joyful attitude.  My goal for this week is to not complain at all about exams, about the amount of material to study or anything about them at all.  I know that's not yet a joyful attitude towards them, but it's at least a step in the right direction. 

I will also try to keep things in perspective. The preparation I do for these exams will help me in the future when I take my board exams, when I will have even more information to study from.  Also, I truly believe God has led me to OT, so what I go through now in school will help prepare me to be the best occupational therapist I can be so that I can do his work and have a positive impact on the lives of many people. 

Finally, Thomas and I read a little bit of Proverbs recently for an assignment for our Bible study and came across this verse:

"Be not friendly with a hotheaded man, nor the companion of a wrathful man, Lest you learn his ways, and get yourself into a snare.
Proverbs 22: 24-25

I do not want to be the type of person who is negative all the time, causing others around me to be negative.  So if you hear me complain about exams or schoolwork this week, please do stop me! (specifically anyone from school who is reading this and mom and Thomas - really, stop me!) 


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