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Pick yourself up by your own bootstraps? Is that even scientifically possible?
Ok, so I really do understand the gist of what is meant by the familiar phrase. Usually it’s referring to someone working really hard to get somewhere in life… They were in a place where things were tough, and with determination and a lot of effort, they pulled themselves up and had a breakthrough.
Yes, I do understand… We all need to put forth the effort, with God’s help, to get out of hard times, financial slumps, or whatever challenges we’re facing, and purpose within ourselves that we’re going to reach our goals and achieve our dreams…Nothing will stand in our way.
However, what happens when you find yourself in an “emotional” slump, and it seems that no amount of self-effort can help you boost your mood? Um…Let’s say your “arms” just don’t have the energy to pull on the bootstraps.
Perhaps, you’ve received some startling or disappointing news that knocked you over… Maybe you’re missing someone you had in your life, and you just find it hard to smile because of the pain from their loss.
Or perhaps it’s something else.
Maybe you’re still in the process of striving to attain a goal that just seems to be taking forever to reach… Or maybe on a day like today, your eyes fall on what you lack rather than what you have.
Whatever the case, it’s times like these that you simply find it difficult to pull yourself up by your own efforts. You just don’t have the energy or the desire to switch gears and sing a happy tune.
The “bootstraps” just aren’t working on a day like this…And so you think. Ok, I’ll just go to bed and wake up tomorrow with a new attitude.
Sleep will be my “refresh” button and everything will be different in the morning.
But…when morning comes and as the new day progresses, you find much hasn’t changed. Your mind wanders back to those same concerns and the pep just isn’t in your step the way it normally is.
What is a woman to do?
Well, dear ladies, I was there the other day. And it just seemed for some odd reason that, although I have everything in the world to be thankful for- I have God, my health, a wonderful husband, a beautiful family, a nice home, food, clothes, etc- I just flat out lost my joy.
And when you lose your joy…you lose your momentum.
I hate feeling that way. That’s just not how I like to be.
I’m the kind of person who loves having a smile and something good to say. I don’t like feeling “bummed”…and what’s more… for no good reason at all.
And to be perfectly honest, I really didn’t have the “want to” to pick myself up.
It started pretty much on Thursday afternoon and went on into the next day. It was a feeling I didn’t like. And I definitely needed a boost…But it wasn’t going to come from me pulling on my own bootstraps.
So, I decided to ask God for help. I didn’t know how long it would take before my feelings changed, but shortly after as I sat on the floor with my toddler who was playing with Playdoh, God gave me the answer. And it was simple: Put on one of my favorite songs by Jesus Culture called “In the River”. And so, I did…
And you know what… Shortly into the song, my mood began to change. Although I wasn’t actually singing along, it was like the atmosphere of worship and praise hit the refresh button on my spirit, returning my joy and my thankfulness.
And I’m not making this up…Trust me, I’m the last person that really likes sharing about when my mood isn’t the perkiest. I like to always be full of joy and love… Let’s just say, I prefer to share my “happier” days with others rather than these kinds…
And yet, at the same time, I thought it was equally important to share this kind too… because I know I’m not the only one who experiences days like this from time to time.
The wonderful sense of joy and renewal returning was just too good not to share.
Yes, it’s true… “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 Hence, why I’m sharing.
Yes, friends, God inhabits our praise. (Psalm 22:3) And Jesus gives us “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:3
As followers of Jesus, I’m here to testify that we don’t have to wallow in those yucky feelings that try to steal our joy and our momentum in life. We can simply turn to our loving Heavenly Father for the help and strength we need and allow Him to give us the strategy that will shift our atmosphere and return us to a spirit of praise and joy.
Trust me, I know. And it was such a tremendous feeling of relief in having my joy return that day that I thought it was worthy of writing about this week.
So, the next time, you feel in a funky mood…Just remember.. God’s got your answer. And it can all change in a moment.