Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Finding Joy when Joy does not find you...

Can JOY be bought?

Sadly I received a message from an old friend who shared with me that she has a hard time "keeping up" with me.  She shared that she is irritated that I am able to "find" joy in life.  She told me that she has no clue how to find joy in her life and is rather jealous that I can.

I called her and talked at great length.  She has a beautiful home, but does not find joy in that.  She has 3 wonderful cars, but does not find joy in them.  She has 2 great kids, but they wear her out.  Her husband earns six figures and she does not work, no joy there.  She lives in a warm climate in a great small town.  No joy.

It made me really ponder what joy is and how you find it when it does not find you.

So here is my take on JOY.

In this world that we live in there are plenty of "joy busters".  The economic downturn, the H1N1 scare, people becoming jobless and homeless - so on and so on.  If you spend any amount of time pondering these things - yes, your joy can be depleted.  When you are hurt through one experience and then another you close your heart and want to protect it.  

I know.  I have been there. 

After being hurt you are fearful that it will happen again.  When you let your guard down and allow JOY to seep in, you are caught off guard and want to close up in an effort to protect yourself.  You see JOY can only enter an open heart.  If you go though life with the door to your heart slammed shut - JOY will never be allowed in.

We often get caught in the trap of what we THINK brings us joy.  Most often we attach a price tag to these things.  If I only had a bigger home, a nicer car, more money my bank account, these things would bring me less stress and then I could "find" joy. 

Not so.

Joy is a fruit of the SPIRIT. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

So, back to the question - "How do you find joy if it does not find you?"

Joy is a RESULT of opening your heart, taking care of your inner self and allowing your heart to seek JOY.

Knowing that I am loved by God and that each new day I am afforded HIS Grace brings me joy.  I am joyful when my kids tell me they love me.  I feel joy when I hear birds singing outside.  I feel joy when the sun shines on my face.  Joy is what makes me feel like living.

JOY does not come from things that money can buy.  JOY is a feeling. 

It is amazing once you feel it.  Once you allow JOY in you can't get enough of it!

Music can bring you joy.  Nature can bring you joy.  Loving people can bring you joy.  Simply smiling can bring you joy.  Millions of things that are right in front of you can bring you JOY!  You just have to let it in!

It is simple.

JOY is all around.  OPEN your heart and let some JOY in this Holiday Season!
I wish you all the JOY your heart can hold!