Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Source of Joy

I have the opportunity this week to hear Sarah Ban Breathnach speak.  I bought her book Simple Abundance a few months ago but I must admit that I really haven't done anything with it beyond opening and scanning.  I also admit that I'm a sceptic. 

I like the idea of being more joyful but I have a difficult time with finding my joy within.  I suppose that it has to do with my religious upbringing.  One of the first verses I memorized in church was, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10.  If that is the truth (and I believe it is) then how can I be the source of joy.  It's a sticky wicket for me.  It's also a conundrum that some would say is merely semantics.  I disagree.  I believe it gets to the heart of the separation of God and self.

In my experience, these kind of authors/speakers tend to blur the line between God and self and they do it in a way that is so benign and logical that it may not be noticed until after the damage is done.  Their message is about finding self, creating joy and sharing the best with others.  How can one argue with such a lovely message?

I've got my copy of Simple Abundance packed in my bag.  I'm going to try to take a closer look at it before I hear S.B. Breathnach give her speech.  I'm intending to listen with an open mind but I don't intend to turn off my brain while I listen.  There is a difference between listening with an open mind and listening with no mind at all.  I am hoping that I find something of value in my weekend and in the words of S.B. Breathnach. 

The most lovely part of my trip will be spending time with my beautiful sister and her husband.  This will be the first time I've gotten to spend a period of time with her, in her home, without my husband or children to distract me.  I am so excited about the opportunity to get to know her better.  No matter what happens during my conference or during the keynote speaker's address I will have joy in the presence of my sister because she is a gift from God to me.

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