Joy

Joy, it is something we all long for, search for, and desire. But it seems so fleeting. When we are without joy in our hearts, depleted by life worries and busyness, it is easy to begin to feel as if we are losing hope.

Ann Voskamp says that our joy is related to the depth of the thankfulness in our hearts. I guess that seems like an obvious truth but I have never taken into consideration the reality of that correlation. It is too easy to dwell on the frustrating, the overwhelming, the worrisome, the painful; these seem to drown out our ability to know thanksgiving in our hearts. At other times we may be so focused and busy that we miss the blessings of life. The blessings come and go and we are oblivious to them. The sadder part of this is that we also lose sight of the Giver of those gifts and do not thank Him.

We get involved in the stuff of life and are blind to the goodness of God. I know for me that actually almost did happen about a week ago. We were blessed with some very warm-for-February-in-Wisconsin days and in my being busy inside, I almost didn’t stop long enough to go out. I finally decided that I needed to take advantage of the beautiful weather. The few moments I took, gave me so much joy, just taking that little break, breathing the fresh air, and writing in my journal a little restored my energy. It felt so nice to feel the warm breeze, hear the birds, and sip my frothy coffee. My heart was so thankful for all of that beauty it did overflow with joy.

Then, just the other night, I almost missed another blessing. I decided to clean my bunnies playpen, but I thought that I wouldn’t go in to sit with them. Instead, I ended up changing my mind. I felt such peace pour into my heart as I sat their on the floor petting them and playing with them. I felt myself slow and breathe deeply. The love I felt for little Lulu and Leila was wonderful and they, too, gave love in return. These few moments also gave me reason to be thankful and joyfilled. Furry babies can breathe relaxation into your soul.

Such simple pleasures bring so much thankfulness, leading to such great joy. It is true, when you recognize all that you have to be thankful for, you do feel joy in your heart. And the joy, that has bubbled up from your thank-filled heart, brings glory to our gracious, generous God. Joy somehow empowers you with new vigor. I know it does me. So, I ask you…

Are you a thank-filled person?

Are you a joy-filled person?

The yes or no answers you give to these question I would guess are the same for each. Give it some thought, can you see how having a thankful heart leads to joy in your life?

I want to recognize and be aware of the sweet blessings the Lord puts in my moments and my days. Oftentimes, I think we are apt to miss the little things, looking for something bigger and greater. I want to grow in awareness of His presence with me, seeing what He is doing and giving. I need to see the gift so I can thank the Giver. Our own desires can often blind us to the blessings. We are wishing for something specific that our heart is set on and in that yearning we miss all the other blessings. The simple sweet ordinary gifts might be overlooked.

I am guilty of this with my husband, for example, in my wanting to hear loving words of romance. I miss recognizing the love in his helping hand. I have to give credit to Ann Voskamp for helping me see the error in my thinking here too. My desire for one thing can keep me from seeing the beauty of another way of loving.

The same thing happens in our relationship with the Lord in prayer, we ask for something that we think is best and miss the goodness of the gift given that is in reality even better than we can imagine.

I want to see the Lord’s gifts, I want to allow them to fill my heart with thanksgiving so I may know the joy I have in Him, in His goodness to me. It is that beautiful joy that will give me strength in the hard and hurt-filled times.

I hope that your heart is encouraged as mine is to enjoy the Giver, to be aware of the love He shows us in His many blessings to us, to have hearts filled with thankfulness, and to know the amazing joy that is ours in Him.

May His sweet blessings to you fill your heart with joy and refresh your soul!

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Joy

  1. I love Ann Voskamp. She gets right to the heart of the matter. I read her book in thankfulness and that idea of being grateful for the little things has been the cornerstone of my mind shift in my relationship with God and my kids and my husband. Thanks for sharing this on the Sunday Thoughts Link Up!

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  2. I had never chosen a word for the year before a couple years ago. Joy was the first that I chose. I needed to feel Joy again. As you say, Joy is remarkable when you stop and just feel, smell, or experience Joy. It doesn’t even have to be with a large smile on our faces…it just tugs at the heart when we feel Joy. My reading the word in earnest since 2014 has made me so much more aware. I now see the many times that Jesus was there in moments that I didn’t even realize until years later. I too find Joy in my furbaby, Razzy. There are just moments when he gives such Joy and there is just a feeling of connect when I feel his Joy. Loved that you visited and linked up with me so that I could come find your blog. So enjoyed reading your post. Such wise words.

    Have a great week.

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

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  3. I read a little big of Ann’s One Thousand Gifts every morning while I eat breakfast. It is so important for us to reframe our days and really look for the little joys. Gratitude changes everything.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. Yes, reframing our days, looking for joys, is very important. It helps to have that devotional or book to prompt us in doing that, at least until we make it a heart-habit. May your soul be refreshed as you find joy in Jesus and all His blessings to you.

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  4. Cheryl – I would say YES, I am a joyful and a joyfilled person… and yes, a thankful heart does indeed lead to joy in your life I am still needing to read Anne’s latest book, The Broken Way…It’s funny,I gave it as gifts to people at Christmas, but didn’t think to get my own.

    I am so honored you linked-up with #TuneInThursday this week, and I look forward to have you do so in the future.

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    1. Hi, Thank you so much for stopping by again. I am glad that you have found the correlation of a thankful heart being important to feeling joy in your life. I am glad that you know joy in your life, so many people go through life missing out on the joy they can have. It is nice to connect with you again. May your soul be refreshed in the joy you find in the Lord as you thank Him for all His amazing blessings to you.

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