joy, God's goodness, good deeds

Joy: Impacting Others with Our Deeds, Showing God’s Goodness

As believers, God’s goodness is the driving force behind our joy. We have the ability to impact others with the joy we hold inside.



Joy is contagious, even if it’s for a moment. We have the power to influence others with our countenance. So, what if we all chose to use our power in positive ways? What if we chose to share the love of God through smiles and joy? We would definitely stand out. What would the impact be on our world around us?

A Rare Smile

I’m not one to wear a smile. It’s not that I’m unhappy, it’s that my face just doesn’t rest on joy. My husband’s goal every day is to get me to smile. Genuinely smile. I just don’t think about it. My resting face is typically blank. That being said, a quick moment made me realize how important a smile can be…

I stopped for a pedestrian. It’s not uncommon, as my usual driving route takes me through a college campus. This day was different, though. It was raining. I saw her yellow rain coat coming down the stairs, her arms full of books and coffee, and no umbrella to shield her. I didn’t receive the awkward wave that usually ends pedestrian/driver interactions. Like I said, her hands were full. So, all she could do was smile at me. It wasn’t a quick glance, smile, and walk on. She smiled and kept smiling to make sure I saw her. We locked eyes and I couldn’t help but smile too. I acknowledged her, she acknowledged me, and for a brief moment two strangers brightened each other’s day.

I know that there is nothing better for people, than to be happy and to do good while they live.

Ecclesiastes 3:12, NIV

Joyful Deeds

On a gray, rainy day, I needed some light. One thing that usually makes me happy is helping others. In fact, acts of service is how I show love. Yeah, obeying traffic laws isn’t much for “acts of service”, but I’ve seen other drivers speed through this campus, paying no mind to people trying to get from one point to another on foot. So, I serve my fellow humans by slowing down and pausing my day for them.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16, NIV

Now, I don’t know if “Yellow Raincoat” actually needed her day brightened, but having good done to her, made her happy. I could tell her smile was genuine, not forced. She didn’t know I needed to see her smile, but God used her to uplift my spirit. It’s goodness this world needs, and for a moment we helped each other.

As believers, God's goodness is the driving force behind our joy. We have the ability to impact others with the joy we hold inside.

Provision Through A Smile

You could say “Yellow Raincoat” not only brightened my dreary day, but she inspired me to write about joy. God is so good. He heard my heart, and provided sustenance to multiple needs through one small action. I needed inspiration and to be uplifted. I needed to be reminded that there is still goodness in this dark world.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2, NIV

Our interaction reminds me that I have an impact, even if it’s small. Humans are silly. We all walk around, acting like we don’t need one another. The truth is, we all need each other. We are in this world together. Each one of us has an effect on the other. Whether it be our day, our mood, our whole life, the effect a stranger can have is undeniable.

Whether it be our day, our mood, our whole life, the effect a stranger can have is undeniable. Click To Tweet

Joy in God

So, which way does the can go? Does the stranger have a positive or negative effect? Unfortunately, the latter happens more often. There is an underlying heaviness in us all. We feel the darkness in the world. We carry it around, knowingly or unknowingly. It shows all over our faces, postures, beings. Because we are human, we are prone to negativity. It’s easier to be sad and depressed, than to push through with joy.

Our joy rests in the goodness of God. He is so, so good. We have a merciful, generous Father. He bestows undeserving redemption on us every day. His goodness and love breaks through any darkness, heaviness, or tragedy. We can find happiness and joy in this life, because He is our God.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90:14, NIV

Don’t hide your powerful smile. Be intentional about showing joy. Allow your joy to reach strangers and don’t pass up opportunities to allow your joy to testify of God’s goodness.


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As believers, God's goodness is the driving force behind our joy. We have the ability to impact others with the joy we hold inside.

 

Living Vulnerable

Learning to be vulnerable can be scary, but the reward of living this way is great. Being open allows God to redeem us and be an encouragement to others.



This is one of the hardest posts I’ll have to write. It’s all about me. I’m not particularly fond of talking about myself, but I am an expert on the matter (sometimes). Simply put, I’m Katie! This is the most “to the point” I can ever achieve. “But who IS this Katie?” So far, I have attained the titles of wife, mother, daughter, friend. Most specifically, I am an Executive of Household Management. Majoring in the Studies of Efficiency, with a minor in Cooking Sciences and Day Planning. Seriously, I’m a homemaker. I make our home run while chasing three handsome boys (one of which is my husband).

I get through the day on coffee, wine, and my sweet friend Jesus. I adore science fiction movies and fantastical stories. I love creating and imagining. I gain most inspiration after conversations with my husband (he’s the “talker” of the relationship) and trips to the beach. Being a mom… Wow! Two of the greatest moments happened when my two boys took form (biased)! They are difficult, and confusing, and make me say the strangest phrases sometimes (I’ll let you imagine what two boys can accomplish). But they bring a beautiful level of love and energy to our home that I would never want to replace.

Now, to the nitty bits… GERONIMO…

It’s difficult for me to pinpoint one or two specific instances that started me along my journey. Most moments in my mind are not compartmentalized. It’s gray in there. However, I can say, starting at a fairly young age, I allowed insecurity to guide my thoughts. I allowed people, loved ones or otherwise, to heavily influence decisions I made and, ultimately, the way I thought of myself. I allowed negativity, of all shapes and sizes, to make their homes in my mind. Instead of a flourishing confidence, a dangerous spirit took hold of my heart. I found it easier to listen to whispers than the booming voice of God.

As you can imagine, if a trend like this continues into teen years, the outcome in early adulthood is crippling. There was, and still is, a constant battle of overcoming negativity and insecurity. Outcomes of this mindset are not shining moments in my life. I entered toxic relationships, cut off friends, passed up opportunities, ignored family, caused myself physical harm, made unhealthy decisions. I don’t look back fondly on these choices. They are ugly, and raw, and very difficult to discuss. These are the bits that are the dingiest and can push people right out the door.

...to make something beautiful, there is a level of vulnerability required. Click To Tweet

However, when you turn your darkest parts over to the Lord and ask Him to make something beautiful, there is a level of vulnerability required. The gritty, nasty pieces need to be on the table to make your testimony valuable. That’s my prayer. That my continued lessons, my pain, my journey bring hope through the saving grace of Jesus. That this life will glorify God, and all that I do and say be in obedience to His commandments.

 

God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.  

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (The Message)

 

I may not always write about new and exciting things. At times, we may get heavy and raw, but I hope the words you read will, ultimately, uplift, encourage, and wrap you with a warm blanket. Don’t like warm blankets? I have ice water. Let’s laugh and cry together. Let’s learn some hard lessons together! Let’s “do faith” together.

 

 

Julia Caesar