You may ask yourself, ” What can I do for my country?” Well, for starters you can pray for it.
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
The second thing you can do for your country is to be kind to your fellow citizens no matter their race, gender, or political beliefs. I know being kind to someone even though their political views are opposite yours is hard and is going to be even more challenging this year.
God equips those He calls and He has called us.
So pray for this country and be kind to one another. By doing these we will be the living, breathing embodiment of former President Kennedy’s quote and become a country the world sees living the gospel
Author’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles on what I believe are keys to living a joyful life. A new post will be published every Wednesday.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1st Corinthians 6:19 -20 ESV English Standard Version
I know you are reading this stunned that the first article in the series is about exercise. After much thought, I decided this was the foundation for living a joyful life. Hopefully exercising will lead you to the next step, especially if you are grieving or going through another nasty life event.
Now I am the last person who needs to be writing about exercise since the most I do is up and down the basement steps when doing laundry.
But maybe if I write about exercise I will do it more. Maybe this spring I need to bring back Tour de Parks where I walk a different park every week and then blog about it.
Exercise and Mental Health
It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.
You need exercise to keep the endorphins and other chemicals giving you a natural high. They help boost your mood so you feel like working through tough situations such as grief or career transition.
It is the number one thing I would tell a person to do to get through grief and I mean start the day after the funeral.
Even if it is walking around the block, just do it and keep doing it. You will slowly but surely feel like doing more things to move forward with your new life.
Speaking of walking…
How I Make Walking Less Of A Chore
My favorite thing to do when I go for walks in area parks is to take my camera. Practicing my photography takes my mind off how many laps I’ve yet to do around the pond…
or how far I still need to walk.
The desire of activity is designed by nature to promote our physical well-being. Physical activity is the law of physical health.
Edward Brooks, 1882 Quote courtesy of QuoteGarden.com
Get some cool tennis shoes and some cool Hollywood starlet shades and you are off and walking.
Not into walking? Then do chores as they count as exercise – both indoor and outdoor. They are another form of activity that adds up.
So run up and down the basement steps while waiting for the dryer to stop, pick up your speed when vacuuming or dance while you are dusting. Hmmm…we may have a new sport – ballroom dusting.
For your outdoor exercise may I recommend raking a gully as part of your plan to meet the 150 minutes per week requirement.
The gully in my backyard is known as The River Kearns and every couple years, it makes an appearance when we get a lot of rain. I then rake the drain area to make sure leaves, twigs and grass clipping are not clogging the drain. Fun, fun, fun.
A Wise Old Saying
You’ve heard it said that in order to never work a day in your life, find a job you enjoy doing.
The same is true for exercise, find some type you enjoy doing and you will never exercise a day in your life.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go strip the sheets off the bed with the force of an F5 tornado, run down the steps and dunk them in the washing machine. Then it will be time to get out of the house as it is my day off and I must spend most of it away from home. Looks like I will be walking the mall due to the cold, gloomy weather.
Remember – Exercise and you will experience joyful life thanks to the endorphins and other hormones. Plus you will give people something to talk about when you tell them you did ballroom dusting before coming to work.
Reflect first upon that great law of our nature, that exercise is the chief source of improvement in all our faculties.
Hugh Blair (1718–1800) Quote courtesy of QuoteGarden.com
We will rejoice and be glad that our Holy, Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father blessed us with another day filled with His new mercies.
We will rejoice and be glad during the hardest of days that friends show up with pans of lasagna, boxes of Kleenex, and are willing to just sit and let us cry, vent and beat the couch pillows as we grieve.
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 30:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
Now go tell your friends and family that you love them. Put down the phone, turn off the television, take off the headphones and spend time together rejoicing, being glad and enjoying each others company as you celebrate life.
Today’s quote comes from a new book I am reading – The Conservative Heart by Arthur C. Brooks.
It is an absolutely wonderful quote and the truth. In order for poor people to rise about their circumstances, the rest of us need to invest time and energy into helping them. There are numerous ways you can help poor folks and I will leave it to you to use your imagination and figure out how to invest in the poor.
Then I hit the shower and went to an evening seminar. I was excited to hand out business cards that included something other than my name, phone number, LinkedIn profile and areas of expertise. I had an accomplishment, something tangible to prove I was doing more besides job searching and volunteer work.
When I started JoyReturns, so many websites were 3D – dark, dreary and depressing. Those sites keep a person stuck in grief, stuck in a “woe is me” attitude. I wanted to inspire, encourage, motivate widows to move forward through grief and build a new life because life is too short and precious to spend it stuck in grief’s muck.
I believed JoyReturns would not only help widows but would educate society about grief and life after a spouse’s passing. The best way to accomplish my goals was to share the story of my life after Joe, including the good, the bad, and the ugly as well as the joyful.
About two years ago, I lost the desire to blog when putting together the “10 Years A Widow” series. It felt like someone stuck a straw in me and sucked all the life out. That is when I started publishing only a few times a year.
Then a few months ago two things happened to reignite my blogging. First I noticed I would finish this year a few posts shy of 1,550 and knew I could not let that happen. Secondly, either in November/December of last year Rush Limbaugh was talking about how he does not do social media as his radio show is what he does best. I told myself to listen and learn from Rush. Focus on what you do best – blogging.
God whispered “widow’s website” in my ear in mid to late 2010 so He called me to blog. He will equip me to do it and since this blog has been read in 161 countries according to WordPress’s map, He’s spread my words far and wide.
What type of posts and how often will I publish now that I am back? Starting this weekend you will find the return of Weekend Wisdom which will be uplifting poems, quotes, and scripture. There are about 6 weeks worth of wisdom already put to bed.
On Wednesdays, there will be a blog post about various topics. The general theme of the Wednesday posts was 52 ways to have a joy-filled life. I do have topics for the first quarter written, but not the blog posts.
I am working on a series that will hopefully provide joy and encouragement to get you through the election season. This series would start after the Democrat convention (losing party gets to have their convention first). Not sure how this series will work out if it will work out.
Finally, there will be spontaneous posts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and/or Friday. These posts will be topics that unexpectedly pop into my brain and would make a good blog post. While I will be writing them in advance, you probably will not see them until April.
The first 9 years would not have been possible without continued support for you my dear readers. So I humbly and gratefully say thank you. You are a blessing to me.
A Blessing To All
And so the journey begins through the next 9 adventurous years with a renewed interest in blogging and the desire to make JoyReturns the best it can be so that it is the salt of the earth and a blessing to all. (reading of the prayer “Regeneration” read below.)