Book Club Introduction Journal Thoughts

Hey hey, sweet friends! How's the week going? What did you think about the Introduction reading and video for our very first Becoming Book Club?!Yesterday morning I hopped over on Instagram LIVE to chat for a bit on where this book club adventure started for me. When I woke up yesterday my heart just felt a little slow to the whole "be filled with Great Joy" theme. Mundane normal was calling my name and I just wasn't feeling the flow there. Plus there are a couple of prayers my tribe has been circling around for the last several months and waking up with the majority of them still clipping at our heels has me spiritually and emotionally dragging. Joy has seemed a slow go, sweet friends. Some of that has to do with being just straight up worn out from the end of school. Like, May was a brain blitz. It's true that "fatigue makes cowards of us all" and so for my tribe pressing into a deep soul satisfying summer of rest is going to be so important in us reclaiming our spiritual territory of Joy beyond circumstances.And just so we are clear I'm not talking about "happy go lucky not a care in the world nothing bothers me" kinda joy. I'm talking about "deep soul satisfied contentment in all circumstances" Real Joy. Joy that makes the world sit up and take notice because we have joy THROUGH our circumstances. Joy THROUGH our prayers awaiting answers. Joy THROUGH our suffering places. Joy THROUGH our any disappointments. Joy THROUGH our sleepless nights and restless dreams. Joy THROUGH our wrestlings and wanderings. Joy even THROUGH all we find to celebrate. Because we have found our Joy IN the Lord.This book has been a game changer for motivating and activating my Joy in Jesus, friends. Doesn't make it easy, but it does give me an excellent tool to leverage as a morning pep talk to get my spirit settled back into a posture of Real Joy. So I revisited our very first discussion question and journal prompt yesterday morning....

"What do you do when you know you love God, but have a hard time desiring God when life just seems so excruciating?"

Here are the thoughts I jotted down in my own journal....1. Get honest in prayer  - It does your heart or relationship with God no good to fake it or try to say lofty emotionless prayers. Get real in prayer like you would with a best friend. Let your emotions to all you are going through go to the Father's listening ear.2. Let it hurt sometimes  - because sometimes it just hurts. Life doesn't hand out manuals for tough times and there will be seasons so excruciating denying its pain only makes it worse. Honesty is the best policy for growing your relationship with God and His all-satisfying Joy.3. Allow the Holy Spirit to reach into places you've been tempted to guard based on fear or disappointment. In a season where I am struggling to see and savor Christ because the earth feels too heavy on me it's time to swing all the doors wide open and give passage to the King of Glory to move and work WHERE He wants and HOW He wants. It's not a time for self-preservation. It's time to grant the kindness of the Spirit access to my heart and blow through every cavern with Truth. The enemy would love nothing more than to get me in a place of paralyzed isolation {be it physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually}. Fight through those temptations by being open ended with the Holy Spirit. I simply pray, "Holy Spirit have your way and reveal all hidden things to help heal my heart." And I mean it heart and soul when I pray it.4. Remind yourself of the Promises of God. Pull out your scripture hit list!Here's a few of my favorites:Psalm 23Psalm 37Psalm 118Ephesians 3:20Habakkuk 2:2-3Nahum 1:15Ezekiel 37:1-14Hebrews 10:19-25Romans 8:28Ephesians 5:14Psalm 119Psalm 139And sometimes I pull up my favorite stories out of the Word. Many times God has saved my heart through story.John 4 - Woman at the Well.Luke 1-2 - Blessed is she who BELIEVED.Mark 5 - Woman who reached for Jesus in the crowd.Acts 27 - Paul gets to Rome come hell or high water.Luke 5 - Jesus heals the paralytic.I know we've ALL found ourselves in seasons, circumstances or moments when we are staring at the base of a life mountain that seem too daunting to overcome. Let's get real, let's get honest, and let's allow faithfulness to take hold of the promises of God to authorize GREAT JOY for the journey!Would love to hear below what YOUR scripture hit list is? What are some of your go to stories out of God's Word that boost your faith towards Joy? Love you all so! Next Monday {6/12} I upload Chapters 1 & 2 video + discussion questions & journal prompts!