All too often we give in to the temptation of that that is… the Facebook or the Instagram or whatever social media platform that tickles your fancy.
There we are, sitting on the couch- double chins exposed, in our sweat pants looking a hot mess- because today has been quite the episode of “I Should Have Died”. Heck, maybe that’s you reading this blog right now! Don’t worry- I’m not judging.
No. In fact- I’m giving you a high five. You do you Boo-Boo. If you had a rough day and sitting on the darn couch is the break you need- gurl, go ahead.
Here’s the thing however I would like for you to remember as you scroll through social media. No matter how many pictures of gloriousness you scroll by and wish to yourself:
“Aww, I wish I was that skinny!”
“Oh man, what would it be like to live like that?”
“Oh wow, (she/he/insert identity here) really has their sh*t together!”
and lastly “How do they do that? I suck.”
YOU ARE BREATHING. YOU ARE ALIVE. YOU DID IT. YOU ARE BLESSED.
There is so much more to life and peoples stories than what is portrayed on social media. Don’t make the comparison. You never know… the girl that is skinny, just might be struggling with an eating disorder- OR maybe she really busts her butt at the gym every chance she can get. Maybe that guy with the big house, fancy cars, and fresh clothing is knee deep in debt- OR maybe he invested his time wisely and worked hard to earn a degree or skill and utilizes it to the best of his ability, therefore, having the bling. Just maybe, that girl that has her sh*t together is in a deep depression and posting how great life is on social media is her escape from reality… or maybe she really just has her sh*t together and is just sharing her happiness. You grasp what I’m trying to say here. Everyone has ups and downs. Don’t compare yourself to someone else.
Take a look around you. Count your blessings.
Did you just work a long 8+ hour day? Thank God that you have a job!
Did you just put your kid to bed… and they are finally asleep an hour later? Thank God you have a child (or children).
Did you just clean your house and now you’re exhausted? Thank God you have a roof over your head.
I could go on and on. You get my point. Be grateful.
I firmly believe if we get so hyper focused on what others have- we lose sight of what we have. It gets engrained into our head that this is what I should be, or have, or what my spouse should act like… whatever. Society today is weird. Instead of sitting back and saying- “Ok. What makes me happy?” We consistently search for the “I’ll have what she’s having”.
Well… I’m calling it on that one. None for me thanks, I’m finding my own “happy”. I will discover what makes me… me. Sure- I will have my ups and downs… and sometimes more than the other- but that’s the beauty of what LIFE is.
Coming out of a pretty deep depression- where I hid it very well to outsiders (most certainly not to the hubs)- I realize that we truly do not know what others are battling on the inside- or behind the screens. So rather than scrolling- do something about what you are wishing for! You want that skinny body? Lay off the “Fall Snack Cakes” ahem… KIMMY. You want that nice house? Work- and probably work some more- and maybe hustle some more too. You have to go out and get want you want in life- but never lose focus that you are BLESSED in more ways than you can imagine. Know what you want- get that goal in your head- and dive in friend… the water is fine.
Bring a flashlight, machete, and bug spray- venture out in to the jungle of the world and… find your “Happy”.
But wait there’s more!
I wrote this blog in late October. I felt like there was something big coming in my life- and sure enough- I was (am) pregnant. I was feeling the best I had felt in a LONG time. I had energy, I was laughing more, I was rejoicing in the Gospel- as I had started reading the bible more and attending church more frequently.
As I said above- I was in a pretty deep depression- and I’m sure I’m still pulling myself out. I know I’ll have my days. But something said to me- this blog isn’t finished. Something is missing and it was.
The past two months have been miserable. I pulled through for the holidays- but the morning (all day) sickness has been simply awful. I thought it was easing up then it came back at me harder. I hadn’t been able to go to church be I didn’t start feeling better until about a week ago. I was able to go to church. The first Sunday of the year. Praise God.
Guess what the new sermon series is called: The Pursuit of Happiness. My pastor, Josh Miller, is simply fantastic. I will be putting some of his sermons on my blog to share the Gospel with you. Below, you’ll find my notes on the sermon as well as the sermon itself! I encourage (I implore) you to listen to it. If you are in the Charlottesville area- I highly encourage you to visit Center Church!
When you’re young you think happiness is inevitable- but as you grow older you start to wonder if happiness is unattainable.-Pastor Tim Keller
So which is it? Here is where Psalms in the bible helps us out. They are what God has to say about happiness.
Happiness is possible, but it must be sought in the right way.
Why are you pursuing happiness? Have you asked yourself that?
Psalm chapter 1: The way of the righteous or the way of the wicked. This sets the tone for the book of Psalms.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2) But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3) He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4) Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5) Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6) For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.Psalm 1
The first word is Blessed. The Hebrew word for Blessed is ashray which means: happy. A deep happiness. Blessed comes up 26 times in the book of Psalms.
There are 2500 passages that speak about joy, happiness, gladness, delight, and celebration! Wow. God wants you to be happy. He wants you to be deeply and profoundly happy. So let Him lead you there.
So what does the “Blessed man” NOT do? He doesn’t walk with the wicked- or stand with the sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. He’s not aligning himself with the wicked. He’s easily blown away like the chaff- he can be swayed all over the place.
The way of the righteous.
The righteous pursues happiness with God’s people. A happy person will not believe like, behave like, or belong with the wicked. Instead he will believe like, behave like, and belong with those that are with God.
Your friends are the future you.
My mom used to say, if you lay with dogs you will more than likely get fleas. It’s so true. I look back on my life- and when I was doing my worst- I was associating myself with people that were also lost and not doing things to better themselves. Why would they better me? This for me was huge. It really struck a cord. For 2020- I will surround myself with people I want to be more like- which means- more people from my church- and more folks that want to walk the path God has paved for us all.
Walk with the wise and become wise,Proverbs 13:20
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Prioritizing deep involvement in your church. Surround yourself with those that serve God. Invest in God. You and I were created for community and created to serve. “We were created in the image of God! We are not God but there are aspects in us that are like God. God is communal by nature- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.“
The righteous pursues happiness in the Gospel. A righteous person delights in God’s law= be fruitful in life and be confident in death.
Follow the law of the Lord- but also the overarching message of the Bible. You have to take it all in- you have to zoom out and understand the context of the over all message.
“A blessed person delights in the rules of the Bible because he has been changed by the message of the Bible.“
So what is the message of the Bible?? Gospel.
God is holy, He is righteous. We have to live his law- live the way that he calls us to live. We all fail at this- we are deserving of condemnation. HOWEVER- he sent his only son to the world- to live the perfect life that we are supposed to live. God loves us. Jesus paid the penalty on the cross that you and I deserve. He came back to life- to prove who He was. Through faith, YOU can get the blessing that He deserves.
Got that? The rules are tutoring you to become who God wants you to be. It shapes you.
“Your attitude towards God’s law is a pretty good indicator of your heart posture before him.
Do you see God’s law as a delight or as a burden?“
Do you want to be like the tree? Do you want to be fruitful? Do you want to have deep roots? Do you want to make a difference?
Do you want to be chaff that is just blown around and not make a difference in anyones life?
If your life is going awesome… it’s not just because you’re an awesome tree- NOPE, it’s because you have been planted by a river (the Gospel). You are fruitful because your roots got you through the rough spots in your life. The Gospel teaches you endurance. It will make you generous with your blessings and steadfast in your sufferings.
“The most important things in your life cannot be affected by your circumstances if you are in Christ.“
Which way are you on?
The way of the righteous leads to eternal life, but the way of the wicked leads to eternal death.
God wants you on the path of life.
But YOU have to choose the path of the righteous.
This is why I am going to be using my blog to spread the good news- the Gospel. While most of these words are not mine, they are of my Pastor Josh Miller- I will spread the words far and wide. Please stick with me through this journey! Jesus is certainly calling me to share this with you.
What will you change in your life so that you are living the way of the righteous?