Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Journey To Joy Through Disicpline ~

One cannot travel the Journey God sets us on without it!

 Read JOB 23: 10-14 ~ Vs 14 especially spoke to me this week.

One never knows what a day might bring, but there are those of us with chronic disease(s) that KNOW the JOURNEY isn’t always straight and/or smooth.

This year I set goals with God as I did last year – edits of so many pages during the months of March, April, May and writing so many words during the months of April, May and June. Since I’m also a freelance critiquer, I had to set some hefty goals to include the numerous crit jobs I have ahead of me and the hours and hours added to my other tasks in the desk chair.

That was only a very small part of my annual goal-setting but it’s a significant amount of the pressure I face to get writing-related things accomplished.

As I set those goals with God He reminded me how often I tend to slack off on my personal, alone time with Him and how it was beginning to affect my communication with Him and adversely change how well I managed the goals WE had set. OUCH!

Therefore I set a personal spiritual goal to get involved in a Bible study with a friend. God worked that out immediately, connecting me with a dear friend from my past (not the first time he’s done something like that), and He gave us an older study that Charles Swindoll did on his radio ministry years ago. INTIMACY WITH THE ALMIGHTY – Oh boy – We had a dozen studies to choose from, but that’s the one my dear friend said would help her the most, and I had to admit it was tugging at me as well.

We had our first meeting and the introduction discussed the topics we’d be faced with. The first one would be SIMPLICITY – ok – I’ve simplified my life to be able to devote lots of time to writing and its related activities. I’d included the time alone with God I knew would be needed.

But, a week ago yesterday, I met with my rheumatologist,and he informed me it was time to CHANGE my habits. SAY WHAT?

He blasted me with the fact I was manifesting symptoms of the chronic diseases this body carries and doing so in such a way that it’d only be a matter of time, and I’d be back to sleeping more days away than experiencing them, that I’d be using my cane again, and the pain would once more be excruciating and unmanageable. SAY IT AIN’T SO, DOC.

I’d done so well since the early Spring of 2008. I’ve been able to live a near-normal and exciting lifestyle since God’s intervention and connections He gave me that year. BUT here I’m faced with the probability that it’s all going to crash around me. I knew the fatigue had reared its ugly head and caused me to take naps like I did as a child – only – more willingly. I’d noted the increase in pain and brain fog. I’d recognized changes in my stamina. I just pushed it off and away. I didn’t have time to deal with it again. I was NOT going backward. God had a plan for my writing. After all, He’s the ONE who called me to do it and gave me a story I argued with Him about writing. I’d surrendered to that story and His will. He’d given me words that flowed and even added two other stories to make it a trilogy. He had a plan and that meant I had work to do.

The doctor told me I would have to go back to the MEAL-PLAN the wellness consultant had given me 2008 AND I’d no longer be able to sit for HOURS at my computer. You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me ~  but for every two hours in the chair I’d have to get up and walk – either the treadmill or outside and he preferred I do it outside – for a full fifteen minutes. YIKES!

I nodded my head in the doctor’s office while kicking and screaming in defiance inside.

After all, I’d not kept up with all I’d wanted to accomplish as it was. How on earth would I be able to go back to weighing and measuring foods that had to be purchased separately from that for my husband? How would I manage to take the time to fix his meals and mine (he won’t eat the way I’ve been told to eat) and have time to do the writing, editing, critiquing, teaching, and I haven’t even mentioned the housecleaning and other homemaking jobs. I had all kinds of excuses to dish out to God about the changes crashing down on me. He gently reminded me He would NOT allow me to ignore the issues any longer.

I did the study last week for my Friday meeting with my wonderful, praying friend. You can guess what the main theme was ~ DISCIPLINE. ~ That’s right. Bringing my body, soul, heart, and mind under submission in EVERY WAY to please the LORD to obey His desire to keep me productive for HIM.

Peace flooded me, overwhelmed me, saturated my soul when it struck me how He’d AGAIN connected my JOURNEY DOTS.

None of this has taken Him by surprise. He knew my stubborn streak and contrary thoughts.

1. -He brought my dear Pat back into my life for just such a time as this, and when I just thought I wanted to do a Bible study to be held accountable for truly delving into His Word and spending time with Him.

2. -He knew what study He’d be prompting us to do.

3. –He knew what my body most needs and what to tell my doctor to ORDER me to do.

It’s difficult to swallow the idea that my life will always be DISCIPLINED in such specific and tough ways.

Whether I FEEL like it or not; Whether I like it or not; Whether my prayers are answered YES or NO.

I must be controlled by the Spirit and to do so I must be subject to the DISCIPLINES He sets for me.

1 Timothy 4: 7b -8 says;

            Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of

            little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the

            present life and also for the life to come. (nasb)

There can be NO detour in my personal JOURNEY TO JOY when it comes to DISCIPLINE. It’s going to be a constant, in order to produce the peace and joy I so crave in Jesus. To accomplish the call He’s placed on my life, I no longer choose to ignore the difficulty but embrace it as all a part of the WORK toward BLESSING IN THE JOURNEY.

Praying, God will bless each of you in your own personal Journey To Joy ~

Please share something about your Journey and I'll place your name and email address in the drawing for a book written by an ACFW author.



connie cortright.com said...

My journey has gotten me to my completed second novel. I've learned so much during all these years to improve my writing, but now I have to take the next step of finding an agent and submitting my work to a publisher. Don't know where my next journey will take me.

journeystojoy.net said...

Connie- thanks for stopping by today.

Will pray GOD directs you to query the right agents/editors and your dream will come to pass as your journey continues - GOOD FOR YOU FOR PERSEVERING!

I NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDY, Girl - if you win - you don't want to lose out on a book. ';D

Jaime Wright said...

Discipline? Ugh. I was just thinking about that word last night. Must. Work. on. This. In. So. Many. Areas. :)

journeystojoy.net said...

Just think, Jaime, there's more joy than you can comprehend when you reach the journey's end of what He's nudging you to work on with discipline. Peace and Joy and all HE has to offer.
If I'd just remember that with each discipline I face - *sigh*

Your name is now in the drawing, sweet friend - thanks for stopping by!

Books by Joi Copeland said...

I struggle with anxiety. I think I always have, but I started having anxiety attacks, really bad actually, in California. We moved to CO, and for a year and a half, no anxiety! :) Then, one day, it hit, and my joy was taken. It was a tough journey. I was frustrated, scared, and depressed. Then my friend wrote a bible study and asked me to do it and give her feedback. It was amazing! I was so blessed by this study! It helped me a lot, and joy came once again! Then a year later, I was hit with anxiety again, this time, I couldn't really do anything. It last for a few months, and my doctor decided it was time for medication. I cried! But now that I'm on the medicine, I can think more clearly, and have the joy God wanted me to have. I thank the Lord for modern day healing through medicine! :)

journeystojoy.net said...

I want to encourage you dig into Scripture and to look up all those verses that speak to PEACE. I'm glad you've found help for the anxiety, but I truly have found THE WORD OF GOD to be my SHIELD and BUCKLER (Psalm)
and also in Psalm> 56:3 We're told WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID I WILL TRUST IN THEE.

The best place to be is under HIS ALMIGHTY WING and IN HIS MOST CAPABLE HANDS.

I will be praying for you, Joi!

journeystojoy.net said...


Will have to find out which of my man PRIZE BOOKS you most like to have!

Books by Joi Copeland said...

First, thank you for your prayers! I have done a lot of studies on peace and am so thankful for it! Even when it seems impossible, God fills me with His peace! Love it!
And yay! So excited to win! :)

Jackie Layton said...

I'm up 30 minutes earlier this morning. I'm not sure how productive it was, but I obeyed.

Also, last week I started the Shred diet. I've got to loose weight, and I'd been blaming it on turning 50. So I'm trying to lose the weight and feel better and more energetic. I've now been on it 8 days. I'm exercising more also.

Joy, I hope you follow your Dr.'s directions and feel better soon!

Jackie L.
joyfuljelat gmaildotcom

journeystojoy.net said...

Welcome aboard gal - this is all about the JOURNEYS TO JOY we embark on and the perseverance it takes to get to that JOY UNSPEAKABLE AND FULL OF GLORY -
Thanks for sharing!
I look forward to hearing more about your journeys and I'll be praying you succeed with all GOD wants you to do!


Leah Hinkle said...

My Journey has led me through 15 years of living without my daughter Andrea who died when she was just 6 months old. I've gone from not knowing God to beginning to know God. I'm sad to admit that I haven't been His faithful follower as much as I should have been all of these years especially after all He's done for me. But I'm trying. Discipline? I struggle with it every day but I keep trying. Someday maybe I will be more disciplined. I appreciated reading about your struggles, Joy. It reminds me how blessed I am to have good health. Keep your chin up. Leah

journeystojoy.net said...

Thank you for stopping by, Leah.
You're an encourager and might not even realize it.
I'm so very sorry for the loss of your daughter - how painful that must have been and I'm sure will always be in many ways.
Thank you for sharing your heart with me here and know I'm praying for you in your daily walk with the LORD - He uses those tough times to remind us just how CLOSE He is and how willing He is to shoulder our burdens.
Blessings on your writing, Leah. Keep me posted on that.