Joy. Is it something we feel despite our circumstances? Are we joyful even though we’re not in the most desirable situation? Are we experiencing joy when we remain happy while everything around us is dark?
Maybe. I don’t know. I haven’t done any in-depth studies of the word.
But what if joy is a state we’re in because of something, not despite something. That thought hit me this week as I was walking to school. (Sidenote: I used to have all my ephipanies in the shower or while washing dishes. Lately, I do my thinking on my walks to and from school… #TheMoreYouKnow)
Anyway, if my theory’s right, on a hectic day at school, I feel joy. Not despite the many little things that went wrong, but because of God’s faithfulness to me. Because of his love. Because of the many things that went well. Because of the beauty of nature. Because of God’s promises. Because of a friend’s encouraging text.
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. -Marianne Williamson
There’s a million reasons to be joyful. Sure, we can list all of ‘despites’, but it’s way easier to be joyful if we focus on all the ‘becauses’. (Excuse all my newly invented words in that sentence. Spellcheck ain’t happy.)
Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you are going to respond to life. -Anon.
This month I listed some of my ‘becauses’. I meant to jot down one thing every day that gave me a reason to be joyful. Some of the reasons may make you raise a skeptical eyebrow, but hey, they made me smile, so I listed them. I’ll share a few of them with you in no particular order:
- Friends. They make everything funner. (Again, sorry, Spellcheck!)
- Geese. Flying in their V-formation and honking all the while.
- This photogenic little creature 🙂
- Flowers on the side of a hiking trail (top picture of this post)
- A little girl’s hug
- Manitoban sunsets *Insert swoon here
- My students. Over and over, they make my day 🙂 They’re my favourites.
- The reminder that God wants faithfulness, not perfection
- Autumn leaves in all the shades of copper, gold, bronze, and scarlet.
- Also the friend in the cute boots below 😉
- Northern lights. Need I say more???? In fact, I need to go see if they’re up and around again. Be blessed.