Blog – 9-7-18
We all make hundreds of choices each and every day. Some of them are small, like will I get out of bed the first time my alarm rings or hit the snooze button. Others are major choices, like will I tell the truth even when it’s really hard.
We make so many choices on unimportant things, like what kind of drink to order at Starbucks, that we lose sight of the important, silent choices we make every day. Things like will I choose to believe what the world says about me or what God says about me? Will I choose to try to please others or please God? Will I choose to take a stand for the Gospel or stay silent? Will I choose to remain bitter and angry or will I choose to forgive?
Our ability to choose is a gift from God. He did not create us as robots but chose instead to give us the beautiful gift of free will. It’s also a dangerous gift because so often we make the wrong choice. And way too many times we forget that we even have the ability to choose. We get caught up in a victim mindset and choose to stay stuck there, feeling sorry for ourselves and feeling like we can’t do anything about our circumstances. Sometimes we get trapped into thinking the thoughts that race through our heads are true and we become slaves to the negativity that invades our minds. The enemy loves it when we choose to believe the lies he whispers about us.
I have joined forces with a friend of mine, Laura Pedersen, who is the president of the Choose Joy Foundation. Laura is continuing the legacy begun by her sister, Sara, who died at 38 from a very painful, debilitating illness. During her long battle, Sara started a blog that had followers worldwide. Through her writing, she transformed the lives of thousands of people by teaching and showing them how, with God, you can choose joy in any circumstance. Here is a picture of Sara.
This sweet disciple of Christ, who wasn’t even able to leave her home because she was allergic to the air, wrote about how even in the midst of her impossible situation, she still had choices. She could still choose to be faithful. She could still choose to be used by Christ from the confines of her home. She could still Choose Joy. Sara always said that the most important word in the phrase “Choose Joy” was the word choose.
After Sara’s death, Laura listened to her inspiration and spearheaded a project that would tell Sara’s amazing story and get her blogs in book form. Laura navigated her way through the publishing world, something she knew absolutely nothing about, and released a book called “Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.” Laura has also written a Choose Joy study guide and DVD series to go along with the book. She and her family formed the Choose Joy Foundation in honor of Sara in 2011. God has called Laura to continue Sara’s legacy, and she is doing that by speaking and blogging herself. Laura is also sharing her own journey with divorce, cancer and loss.
Laura and I have teamed up together for something we call the Choose Conference where we lead retreats that focus on how we can be intentional about making Godly choices that can transform our lives. We also do a weekly Choose Chat on social media. You can find it on my Facebook page.
In the next weeks, I want to focus on different choices we can make. Choices like forgiveness, kindness, love, gratitude, patience. The list goes on and on.
I hope to challenge you, inspire you, encourage and empower you to be more conscious of the choices you are making each and every day.
I’m very passionate about this because this is something I myself am working really hard on right now. I am trying to be more and more intentional about the things I choose to believe about myself and others. I am trying to be more and more aware of positive choices I can make to be more like Jesus.
I have included a link to the Choose Joy Foundation below. I hope you will check it out. And I urge you with all my heart, read the book! It is amazing! I was moved to tears over and over again by the faith Sara exhibited in the midst of such incredible circumstances. If her story doesn’t inspire you, I honestly don’t know what will.
And join me these next few weeks as we explore our ability to choose together!
Hugs and love,