Every year I try to buy myself something for Christmas, I treat myself quite well throughout the year, so this year I decided to give myself a little something different, and guess what it didn’t cost me anything (How awesome is that!)


1. Me Time– I am EXTREMELY busy nowadays. I seem to only have time for work and school. So this Christmas I am giving myself one of God’s most precious gifts…Time. I need to find balance to do things that make me happy and that help build my relationships. I know because of my schedule I don’t have lots of time, but at least once a week I will focus on me whether it’s a pampering session, reading a book,  or just spending quality time with family and friends.

2. Proper Nutrition and Exercise- Remember my Workout Wednesday posts? Yeah I know that it has been FOREVER and that’s because I have fallen off significantly. My eating habits have become terrible. All I do is snack…I have put on a little bit of weight that I am not too pleased about because of how my clothes fit and my overall appearance so I plan on fixing that ASAP. I need to be healthy, not just for my physical appearance, but just to live a longer life. I don’t want to worry about diabetes, high blood pressure, or anything else that could happen as a result of my diet.

3. Spiritual Renewal– For the last few months my spiritual life has been suffering. I thank God for his grace and mercy everyday, because if it was up to me to maintain his unconditional love and unmerited favor I would be in trouble. I don’t have an excuse or reason for why this has happened, but I have been experiencing great blessings, but also many spiritual convictions that have been weighing on my spirit, because of my lack of discipline and obedience to God’s word. I know what I need to do to get back on track spiritually and that will happen immediately.

4. Joy and Happiness- I wrote a post about joy and happiness back and February and I needed a reminder of what I wrote. Joy is internal and happiness is external. I need to do the things that bring long lasting joy, but also happiness in the moment. I feel like this is something that I am missing.

5. Love– I love me some me and I need to really walk in that mindset. I have to stop rejecting the love of others because I am afraid. I have to truly accept God’s unconditional love and appreciate the people that He brought into my life. I have to truly love my neighbor as myself, no matter the circumstances. I have to give my time, talents, and abilities that God has blessed me with because of his love for me.

So there you have my Christmas list. What’s on yours?


Psalm 30: 5 says “For his anger endures but for a moment’ in his favor is life’ weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”

As this verse came to me I thought of Israel Houghton’s song “Trading My Sorrows.”

I’m trading my sorrows,
I’m trading my shame,
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord.

I’m trading my sickness,
I’m trading my pain,
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord.


I am pressed but not crushed,
persecuted not abandoned,
struck down but not destroyed.
I am blessed beyond the curse,
for His promise will endure,
that His joy is gonna be my strength.

Though the sorrow may last for the night,
His joy comes with the morning.

How true are these words! Joy is deeper than happiness.

Meaning: Happiness is an emotion in which one experiences feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure.
Causes: External sources: Events, feelings, people, places,
Emotion: Pleases a person
Time Frame: Momentary

Meaning: Joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
Causes: Internal sources: Contenment
Emotion: None instead inward peace
Time Frame: Long lasting

We often say we want happiness, but what we should really strive for is joy. Joy is an inner peace that cannot be taken away by external sources. Our happiness is sometimes dependent on our circumstance. Yes it is pleasing, but only for a moment. Joy is long lasting. No matter what we go through we should have this peace within us letting us know that no matter the outcome, we can rejoice because we know that God is on our side. We may experience heart break, failure, loss of a loved one, or we may just experience disappointment and rejection, we know that in the end all things will work out in our favor. It may not be in the time frame we have set and it may not happen as we have planned, but God’s will always prevails.

Happiness is connected deals with what’s to come in the future, while joy is a spiritual quality that comes from within when you are at peace in the present. “Joy comes when you make peace with who you are, where you are, why you are, and who you are not with. When you need nothing more than your truth and the love of a good God to bring peace, then you have settled into the abiding joy” (Source). Psalm 118:24 says “This is the day that the Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Rejoice means to be glad; take delight; to make joyful and this is all a choice that you have to make.

No one can give you joy. It has to come from you being content and at peace with the person that God has created you to be. If you do not think that you are living up to your full potential the way God intended, then it is time to talk to God to find answers. Be alert paying attention to His voice for he will direct you.

Know that it is ok to be upset, it is ok to cry, it is ok feel angry, but we must not dwell in negativity. We cannot stay in a place of hurt, discontentment, chaos, pain, shame, or sorrow. This may mean walking away from someone you care deeply about. It could be temporary, but you cannot dwell in a place that interrupts your peace. You cannot allow people, places, things, or circumstances to cause you to enter a state of distress. Distress means you are not in a state of ease and when you are in a state of dis-ease that leads to disease (teaching from my pastor) and in the words of Sweet Brown “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

So trade in your sorrows, sickness, pain, and shame. Lay it down for the joy of the lord.