One Great Tip: Choosing Joy (2)

Today’s guest is another in-real-life friend! In fact, Sarah and I grew up in the same little church in Massachusetts, where both of our parents still attend… and her Dad is a famous Ocean Spray cranberry harvester. Anyway, Sarah blogs over at Joy-Filled Days about choosing joy everyday. {Sound familiar?} I love her tip for today, and it’s so relevant for each of us, especially during the quickly-approaching holiday season.


Tis the season to think about the holidays.

And although I love the thoughts of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I love the actual time spent with family and the excitement of a holiday, all the extra work involved can leave me a little rattled.

In fact, it makes me cranky.

And I am faced with yet another choice: will I choose joy or choose to complain?

I keep little reminders to “thank God” around my house. I found these adorable notecards last week at Michael’s for $1.

My struggle can quickly morphs into joy-less-ness, because in my dream world, I envisioned something else. I envisioned a life without work, a life of ease — apple pies that bake themselves, kitchens that are self-cleaning, children that don’t make messes while I am trying to clean up the flour that is all over the floor from the apple pie in the kitchen that unfortunately does not clean itself. But I digress.

The root of joy-less-ness is so many ugly things — selfishness, discontentment, lack of trust, complaining, ungratefulness. All of which are a dishonor to our Lord.

This tendency in myself is why I have declared modern warfare on “complaining” in the Beals’ home.

Instead of complaining, grumbling or whining, we are learning to give thanks, even for the bad, the unexpected , the unwanted. Why? Because it is commanded.

Every time we “choose joy” over complaining we are siding with God and His word.

So in order to live a life that “walks worthy” of the Lord, seeks to please Him, and embraces and values joy and thanksgiving like the Lord teaches, I have learned that a certain mindset is necessary. And embracing that mindset usually comes with a battle, a battle in my mind.

So, here is my “Choosing Joy Checklist”:

1. Whether I like my situation or not, God is in control. Period.

2. When I complain about God’s plan for my life, I am committing cosmic treason. I am fighting against the King of heaven’s ordained plans for me and actually verbalizing my objection.

3. I have a choice. Embrace this situation for God’s glory, showing that my main concern is for Him, or descend into complaining and harm His name and my own spiritual state.

4. Since God’s glory is my ultimate goal and since I cannot enjoy Him when I am fighting against His will, I embrace the “gift” and trust the giver, whether I feel like it or not, knowing it is meant for my good.

5. Then I thank God for the “gift” and cling to the Giver all the more.

Do talk to yourself like I do? Do you have to rein in your thoughts and bring them captive to Christ as well?

My encouragement to you today is to not be weary in your well doing. Even if your worst enemy is yourself and your own flesh, God will give you the victory through Jesus Christ if you continue to sift all of your thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions through the sieve of God’s word.



Sarah Beals has been married to her high school sweetheart for 21 years, and is the mother of five children, ages 9-19. She enjoys watercolor painting, antiquing, chats with friends over coffee, good books, watching BBC drama and writing at

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4 thoughts on “One Great Tip: Choosing Joy (2)

  1. […] I am guest posting at my friend Elizabeth’s blog where I am sharing my 5 point simple checklist to rein in my thoughts during times of stress. Join […]

  2. Thanks for having me today, E. Hope you are doing well!

    1. Thank YOU for sharing, Sarah!

  3. “Cosmic treason….” ouch. Powerful point.

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