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It’s been a busy week for me in the “rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn” life. One of my critique partners terminated her contract with her publisher and decided to self-publish her book after it had been released for a day. She found a cover designer and re-released her book very quickly. I’m so proud of how she handled the situation and acted so promptly to get it turned around. My other critique partner got an agent AND sold her book to Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense through their Killer Voices competition. Three books have been bought through the competition in two days! We’ve all been celebrating these writers and their achievements. The last piece of my writing circle, my beta reader, has been on vacation all week long relaxing in the sun with her love and his family. All around me, there are wonderful things happening.

In my soon to be published book for single women, I have what I’m calling an “in the meantime” section on being happy for others while dealing with discontentment. The bible tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn, but what does that really mean? How can you be happy for someone when you aren’t happy with where you are in life? How can you mourn with someone when things are going great in your life? Why is this important?

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of experience in this area. I’ve survived many waves of engagements, weddings, and baby showers. I’ve seen several friends lose their mothers, fathers, or close family and friends. I’ve seen friends receive “the call” in publishing as well as many receiving rejections or getting burned by publishing deals that have gone bad. None of these things happened in a vacuum when NOTHING was going on in my life. I had to decide to be there for them while going through my own things.

The call to rejoice or mourn with others wasn’t written to punish us, to rub salt in wounds, or to make us feel superior to anyone else. It was to teach us empathy and to get outside of ourselves. In order to celebrate with others, I have to put aside my disappointments, which I was supposed to roll onto the Lord anyway. When you mourn with people, you begin to be grateful for what you have and stop coveting or being greedy to obtain. Both of these are things that WE need. It also shows us our hearts. When we are truly close to people, we want the best for them and we want to be there for them when things aren’t the best.

Two pieces of advice I give in the book is to truly get to know the people you fellowship with and to pray for others in positions you would like to be in one day. Getting to know people outside of their social media or the image they project, getting to see the hard work and dedication that they put into achieving will help you to be happy for them when they finally achieve their goals. It’s called investment. If you believe someone got a promotion they aren’t qualified for, instead of being upset, pray that they can acquire the skills to do the job. These two principles really shifted my perspective on getting engaged and getting married. I was able to get beyond what I wanted and truly see others. I was able to get the focus off of myself and my selfish wants and use my life to impact others.

You’ll have to wait for the book to get the other eight points. 😀

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride this week. I’ve been swamped at work because people are out, a tropical storm is threatening, all the work is hitting my desk at once, and the side hustle has picked up. Things are getting to be hurry up and wait with the book (got the cover artist–hurry up!; book is out with people to beta read–waiting!). My critique partners are kicking butt. Harlequin online community friends ALL seemed to have a book out this week (and my wallet is screaming at me to stop. Buying. Books). I am struggling to get words on the page. There aren’t enough hours in the day and at the same time there are too many hours in the working day. It’s been a week, people! But I’m so happy that I got to celebrate with my sweet friends, to focus on something other than this dragging, sagging, “I could have sworn it was Tuesday twice this week” week.

So stop being a wet blanket, a hater, a backbiter, complainer, covetous or envious fuddy duddy, or an arrogant, conceited, condescending showoff and take on someone else’s joys and hurts. Let’s grow together.