Monday, July 13, 2009

negative nellies.

Print found on Etsy.

When I was younger and girls were mean, I would often count the hours until I could sit on our front porch swing and vent to my mother. We would sit out there for however long it took; sometimes just a few minutes, other nights until dinner was ready. My mom would listen carefully, interjecting with her opinions on the situation. It didn’t take long for my mom to coin a phrase for the people in my life—and hers—who were ruining our days.

Joy robbers.

That’s what she called them. I don’t know where she heard it, or if she came up with it all on her very own, but wherever the phrase originated, it’s stuck with me.

Especially since there always seems to be quite an abundance of joy robbers everywhere I turn.

As I grow older, though, I’m learning that just as we often set our own boundaries, we frequently allow people to rob our joy. Before we know it, the smile on our face, the pleasant memories or feelings of accomplishment floating in our brains and in our hearts have disappeared. Someone took them.

And maybe, just maybe, we let them get away with it. Every day, every minute, every hour our joy is taken, we’ve allowed someone else to control our thoughts. To ruin our days. To get under our skin. To rob us of our joy.

I wonder if we don’t value our joy enough. Maybe we lump it together with happiness. Something that is defined by what we have, what we do, where we are, instead of defining joy as a perpetual gift. A state of being. A gift from the Father. A way of life.

It’s praise instead of pain.

It’s rejoicing over rejection.

It’s finding the rainbow after the storm.

Joy runs deeper. And if we allow it to be taken from us, we’re letting the bad guys win. We’re giving others permission to get inside our heads, to tamper with our testimony.

Perhaps it’s time to stop listening to the noise. To become joy givers, even to those who continually seek to take ours away.


Melissa said...

Amen, sister! Gotta stop allowing any negative nellies & Satan, of course, to enter our joyous place and attempt to rob us. Think I'll make a sign that reads, "No robbers allowed"...might be a conversation starter, huh?! :) Love you!

Nikki said...

My Daddy always said that no one wakes up in a bad choose to either be in a good mood or a bad mood. So sometimes we rob ourselves of our own joy. Enjoyed your always :)