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Choosing Joy

Joy.

One definition goes like this: “to experience great pleasure and delight.”

But, what about times when you’re struggling or when things don’t seem to be going great? How do you experience great pleasure and delight during those times?

Brian, here. It can be a challenge, right?

Not sure about you, but too often I let what happens in life dictate how I feel – good, bad and in between. My joy depends on my circumstances more than I’d care to admit.

But, when I think of how much joy can be found in every single day, my perspective changes. I mean, really, there’s always something to savor in this life. For me, it’s choosing to see it that way that challenges me on a regular basis.

The cold, harsh winter has had me down recently. I really like to be outside and can’t wait to get my canoe back in the water.

Today, I cut some wood for a motor that I bought for it. That’s right, first thing in the morning, just sawing a board in my living room. It brought me a lot of joy, because I know that eventually it’s going to warm up and I’ll be able to install this homemade motor mount on there, and out on the water, I will go.

Choosing joy. Yes, it’s a challenge, but I think I’m up for it!

I’m totally challenged in this area! Hey, it’s Janine, and I relate to Brian – maybe you do, too. More often than not, I let what’s going on in my life determine my joy. But many times, those circumstances are a lot like cotton candy – eye catching at first, sweet tasting for minute, then they just melt away leaving me feeling empty.

I want more out of life than melt-away moments.

Like you, I’m totally grateful for the joy I get in the simple things of life – like when I have coffee with a friend, hear my daughter dreaming about her wedding day, or feel the sunshine on my skin.

But also like you, I crave joy that will last.

I’m learning that kind of joy only comes when I fix my eyes and thoughts on Jesus. Paul talks about this in Philippians chapter 4. He tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord, always!” And he must really mean it, because he actually says it twice – “I will say it again, rejoice!” Maybe we need to hear it twice because it’s so hard to do.

Hard to do, but not impossible. It is a choice and a challenge. I’m up for it, too! How about you?

Brian & Janine