Typically, when I envision joy I think of a little kid running in a field with abandon. Or the face on a parent who sees their kids after a long absence. I see someone who is ‘completely lit up’ with the happiest emotion out there. You too?
And then I got to thinking (as I tend to do)….where does that joy come from or what does it even mean to be joyful. Does joy really come from a person, a circumstance, a vacation, the birth of a baby, seeing your family, or having money saved in the bank? What if none of that happened? What if you lost it? What if someone took it? Then what….
Have you ever wondered why some people always seem so joyful all the time? Why they seem to Choose Joy everyday?
Have you ever wondered how they can smile and laugh and just move on… regardless of their own circumstances or what is going on around them?
You know who I mean…the ones that smile, laugh, skip, hop, and embrace everything with their arms wide open and ready for adventure. The ones that shrug it off and say…bring it on ‘I got this!’ The ones that never seem to get tripped up – no matter what happens! Do you know anyone like that?
Personally, I think I am, for the most part, one of those joyful people. And I always have been. That does NOT mean that my life has been one amazing moment after another and that I have skated through life with no heartaches or difficult circumstances. I have had my fair share. But, I seem to have always chose to live life BIG and positive.
But, what happens when things don’t go my way? When things get hard? When disappointment comes my way? Do I rise above ALL the time? I would love to say yes…but that would not be the truth. Sometimes I succumb to the anger, irritation and frustration. But I will say this…when this happens to me, I take the time to recognize all of that in myself, analyze it and figure out the ‘why’s and ‘what for’s’ and then….I rise above because….
I CHOOSE joy. I CHOOSE to rise above. I CHOOSE to not live in the valley.
And because I love the view from the mountain top so much better I choose joy. How about you? Wouldn’t you rather live on the top of the mountain too? Wouldn’t you love to rise above and feel joy….from within. The kind of joy that is NOT based on circumstance or other people or what is going on around you. The kind of joy that is always there.
Did you know that joy does not come naturally?
Did you know that most people think that joy comes from their circumstances? From those moments in life that are just plain amazing. They think, and believe, that joy is an indication of what is happening around them…and if all is great they are joyful. If all is not so great….they are not. What about you? How do you interpret joy? Do you think this way too?
So, let me ask….what happens when those amazing moments don’t happen. The vacation is cancelled, you can’t see your kids, your savings account got depleted or you have a fight with your husband. What then? Do you choose to live in the valley? Or, do you use the valley as a place to learn….and then climb back up to the mountain top with all of that new self-knowledge?
I have learned that happiness is what happens TO me. Joy is what is IN me.
I have learned that JOY does not come from my circumstances or people or what happens around me. Joy comes when you change your focus – you change the lens you are looking through. If you are looking through the lens of your circumstances….you will be disappointed, frustrated and upset. If you are looking through the lens who God is….your hope will change. Because you understand that above ALL else God will take care of you. My joy comes from God…not people or anything that is happening around me.
James said ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.’ Consider it pure joy…..sigh.
I would like to encourage you to CHOOSE joy….everyday.
I would like to encourage you to choose to rise above your circumstances and all that is happening around you. I would like to encourage you, while you are living in the valley, to figure out how you got there, make some mental changes….and climb back up.
Do you think you can do that? And if you need someone to help you let me know…I will see what I can do.
Here are a few ‘Choosing Joy’ quotes:
- We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy'.’ Joseph Campbell
- ‘The joy we feel has little to do with our circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.’ Russell M Nelson
- ‘Choose Joy…..everyday. ‘ Jane Shine
- ‘Joy is not in things – it is in us.’ Richard Wagner
- These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.’ Jesus
I Choose Joy!