Getting Intentional with Joy

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Have you ever found yourself longing for something more? Something new and fresh? No longer satisfied with going through the motions. This is where I found myself this past Christmas. I desired simplicity, yet beauty and meaning -in my décor, in the gifts I chose, in the millions of little moments leading up to that special day. I found myself in search of joy.

Joy. You know, the blissful, cheery gladness everyone expects to come by easily this time of year. Except with a bit more substance, a tad more meaning. The kind of joy that holds up even when my circumstances don’t -that shows up even when all is not perfect.  That’s the joy I searched for this Christmas. Chances are you hungered for it too, maybe knowingly, maybe not, but the desire for joy was there just the same.

Perhaps like me, you misplaced your Christmas joy a few years back and you’ve had a hard time finding it. You laid it down for a brief moment, only to have a tough situation, a heartache, or overwhelming grief rush over, quickly hiding it from view. So, you’ve continued on without it. Day in and day out. Holiday after holiday. Wishing for its return, but having no idea how to bring it back.

Eventually, you began to see glimpses of it shimmering beneath the rubble. You allowed yourself to crave its presence. To hope again. To look for beauty in the midst of the busy. To search for joy once more.

If this is where you’ve been, I pray you found and embraced a little joy this Christmas. I pray you uncovered bits of it with each ornament hung and every gift exchanged. I pray peace made its way into your heart as you sat through that candlelight service. I pray the meals you shared with family and friends brought you warmth. Yes, I pray joy was part of your celebration this year.

But if it wasn’t, dear friend, don’t lose hope. Joy is attainable. Even in the middle of imperfection, disappointment, and frayed nerves. It may require some effort on your part. It may mean dropping to your knees, asking God to fill your lonely, empty spaces. It may involve you choosing to notice the hints of goodness around you -even though they may appear tiny and insignificant.

As you take notice of the blessings sprinkled about your hardships, may your perspective begin to shift.  May thankfulness help you discover your joy once again, experiencing more of it with each new day.

My Challenge To You ~ 

  • Set aside a few moments today to think, really think
  • Jot down five things you are thankful for today
  • Thank God for those five blessings
  • Repeat tomorrow

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