22 In My 5 Minute Fridays

Choose Joy!

Today I am linking up with Lisa Jo for the Five Minute Friday.  This is where I get to write freely, without any concern for perfection.  No editing, just words freely flowing from my heart to yours.

Today’s Prompt:  JOY

Ready, Set, Go!

Joy.  It’s more than a feeling.  It’s what you find when you look deep inside, beyond what the eye can see.  Far beyond disappointment and despair.  Farther still, past crushed hopes and dreams.  It’s not happiness, for that is only momentary.  This Joy, it’s everlasting.  It is only found in one place — in the presence of the Lord, in the arms of the Everlasting Father.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  (Psalm 16:11)

And He promises to give to us “joy overflowing”, when we put our faith and trust in Him.

Joy. It’s a choice.  So many struggle with the most debilitating of circumstances in life, yet they choose joy.  And their lives point directly to the Father, from whence their help comes from.  Such is the case for my dear blog friend Sara.  Honestly, I am not sure Sara even knows who I am.  But I know who she is.  I found her blog a couple of years ago and after visting the page where she shared about her disease, this is what she had to say.  Her words struck me to the core:

Bottom line, people, I am filled with joy. I’m exhausted, I’m in pain, I’m just getting by. But I am so incredibly blessed. I have a lovely home, an adorable pup, family and friends who care and people who love me, not despite my disease but because of who I am. I am blessed because I take nothing for granted. I love what I have instead of yearning for what I lack. I choose to be happy, and I am. It really is that simple, people. Start every day by being thankful and celebrate your life instead of devaluing it. I am so very grateful for each of you who lift me up and celebrate my life with me, and you should know I am celebrating each one of you every day.

Sara has been very sick for many years, home bound, struggling just to breathe at times.  Yet her words which grace the pages of her blog are filled with the Joy of the Lord.  Her life reflects His glory in everything that she shares.  I followed her blog because in her choosing to life her life filled with purpose, despite her struggles, she pointed me to the Father.

Sara is preparing for the ultimate homecoming, and will soon be held in the arms of her Father, no longer bound by the limitations of this word, but free to dance on streets of gold.

Will you say a pray for Sara tonight and for her family?  She will be greatly missed, but I know that Heaven is preparing to welcome one of its brightest and shining stars.  Shine on Sara!  You have left a mark in my heart.  I am eternally grateful that the Lord directed me to your blog.  Thank you for the constant reminder to “choose joy” in the midst of my circumstances.

Stop.

*     *     *

*This post went longer than five minutes, but it was for Sara.  I didn’t think you would mind.

 

Stop on over to the Five Minute Friday to see what others are saying about JOY.  Would you like to play along?  Here’s how:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 16, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Goosebumps. I have been thinking about her a lot this week. What a beautiful homecoming she will have. Amazing. Thank you for this Barbie, such a heartfelt tribute… bless you, friend.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 23, 2011 at 1:05 am

      Thank you Kris.  I am a little behind in moderating comments on this post.  Thank you for yours words of encouragement.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

    This was a beautiful post- thank you !  I hope you find so many things to count in your joy search today.

  • Reply
    Beck Gambill
    September 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Joy is complete in it’s victory of life over death, I hold my breath when I catch a glimpse of it. I’ve only recently become aware of Sara’s blog and I’m sorry for that. But I’m blessed by her testimony of choosing joy!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 23, 2011 at 1:06 am

      Thank you for stopping by Beth.  Somehow, I forgot to reply to the comments on this post 🙂  You will continue to be encouraged by Sara’s blog.  Her heart of joy will live on forever!

  • Reply
    Lisa Tucker
    September 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    CHOOSING joy has been my theme for a while now … I love it!  THanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Child of God
    September 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Beautifully written! 🙂
    I know a lady just like this, Lisa. She too has poor quality life yet she is full of joy!

    Thanks for sharing her site, I will be praying.
    <

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 23, 2011 at 1:06 am

      Those who are so close to the Lord because their physical bodies are ailing, are the ones who seem to be overflowing with JOY!  Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Eva
    September 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Many thoughts and prayers, all over the globe, is with Sara and her family … Amazing what the internet does … connecting people …

    Your post is beautiful!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2011 at 12:47 am

      Thank you for visiting ladies!

  • Reply
    SuzaLuza
    September 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I am sitting here in Sara’s condo with her family and friends and we all just read your post… we are weeping tears of joy and continue to be amazed by the number of people Sara has touched.  Thank you for writing these beautiful words about her…  if it’s ok we’d like to read your post at her visitation or funeral.  Blessings to you friend.  Sara would be honored.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2011 at 12:46 am

      Oh wow, absolutely you may share.  I am honored.  Praying for all of her friends and family during this time.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    September 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Barbie, wow, I love rereading Sara’s words framed within your words.  So powerful and beautiful.  Yes, this choice I claim!  Thank you!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2011 at 12:47 am

      Thanks for stopping over Jennifer!

  • Reply
    Kerri Smith
    September 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    beautiful post….thank you for introducing me to such and inspiring woman! Sara is truly beautiful…her joy radiates in everything I have read on her blog!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2011 at 12:48 am

      Her words will live on forever and continue to bring people joy.  Thanks for stopping by and for visiting Sara’s blog!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    September 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    the posts about sarah (including this one) have been so beautiful. it is obvious her mission to ‘choose joy’ and encourage others to do the same was fulfilled. you truly captured her faith here. love this.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I just discovered Sara’s blog today through Lisa-Jo.  Her story is deeply moving and inspiring.  What a beautiful testimony of God’s love, mercy, grace, and Joy!  Many blessings!

  • Reply
    Jacque Watkins
    September 17, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Such a beautiful post, Barbie! I am praying for Sara and her family…thank you for your moving words. I too am choosing joy!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2011 at 12:48 am

      Thank you ladies!

  • Reply
    Angela Nazworth
    September 18, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    “It’s not happiness, for that is only momentary.  This Joy, it’s
    everlasting.  It is only found in one place — in the presence of the
    Lord, in the arms of the Everlasting Father.” You NAILED it Barbie. I want to write more but am too teary to do so. Your sweet tribute has greatly touched my heart. Thank you for that … and for such a blessing you are to the blog community at large. I do not get over here nearly as often as I’d like to, but when I do, I am always richly blessed, and the sweet comments you leave for me are blessings as well. Hugs to you.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 19, 2011 at 12:40 am

      Thank you Angela! I love visiting your blog. I am blessed by you as well!

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