What makes you happy? I mean, REALLY happy. Spending time with family, listening to your favorite music, reading a good book?
The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
All of these things make me happy. And there are so many others. Joy comes in many different forms and I suppose it’s different for everyone.
I recently accepted a 28 day challenge to “find my joy”. I enjoyed this challenge because it was easy, much easier than I had expected. With all that we have going on in our lives, it’s hard to be joyful about anything. We’re always in a hurry. It seems like running late is the norm for most folks and becoming that way for even more. Bills pile up high and we are forced to work more hours than normal. Our kids have so many activities going on, how do we ever manage to get all them where they need to be? Then there’s doctor appointments, dentist visits, grocery store runs and all the other necessary errands of life. And church, that’s a very important one for me. There’s never enough time in the day for all this. God’s word speaks of joy in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Don’t you want your joy to be full? I certainly do. It’s much more pleasant than all the stresses I used to endure.
If something is truly important to us, we will find a way to do it. Through the challenge I realized that my joy is found in much simpler ways than years ago. I remember all the hustle and bustle of life as mentioned above. I choose not to live that way anymore. That’s my joy. To slow down and enjoy every minute of every day, that’s my joy. To love my family and the precious time we have to spend together, that’s my joy. To enjoy God’s word before I begin each day, that’s my joy.
I was prompted a couple times each week during the four week challenge to slow down and think of all the things that make me joyful, then focus on one or two of those at a time. It’s easy to make something a habit if you do it long enough. Just like making bad habits, we can form good habits too. I wrote down my goals and worked on them a little at a time. They were small goals at first, but I needed something I could accomplish. Taking a walk, spending daily quiet time with God, sitting on my back porch listening to the birds and watching the squirrels, listening intently as my grandchildren tell me stories. All these things bring me great joy.
If you have joy in your life, share it with others. If not, then look for your joy. Search out the happiest moments or maybe just the quiet and calm moments that make you feel better. It’s healthy to be joyful and to share that joy will multiply it over and over. Find your joy!
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