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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cultivating Joy

I discovered that happiness and joy are not the same thing.  How are they different?  Happiness is the physical reaction to events surrounding us, a state of well-being, whereas joy is the inner emotion, spiritual effect that is accompanied by truth and peace.  We can have joy and not feel happy.  For a long time, I did not understand this.  I thought my joy was a reflection of my happiness and that if I didn't feel happy then how could I be joyous. 

I had a fabulous weekend visiting my two girls.  This joy-thing seems to be following me wherever I go.  While we were shopping, I glanced over at a stack of watches and the one that caught my eye was jeweled with the word, guess...JOY!  Then, I attended my daughter's church for the first time and, would you believe, they are teaching on how to have joy unspeakable.  It's amazing to me the timing.  I made a conscious choice to seek out this joy a few months ago after reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts

There are a number of ways that we can have this unspeakable joy.  One of these ways, I found out this weekend, is that we cultivate joy in the waiting.  God planted the seed of joy in's a fruit and we have to cultivate it. 

I find myself in a time of waiting and I didn't even realize that that was exactly what I was doing.  I've been cultivating joy and have discovered that no matter how bad I feel, I can be joyous! 

When times are hard, we look to God.  When we look to Him, we find hope.  He is our JOY.  While some may say this just isn't true...they have not experienced true joy.  They have not experienced what faith and confidence in Christ can give them.  I know that through hard life, I am not alone...
...there is One that walks beside me always.


3 Gifts Opened Up
167.  Eyes to see all the blessings
168.  God's word
169.  A heart open to love God and others

170.  A bright day to enjoy outdoors
171.  All the bright colors at the gardens
172.  Petals blowing in the wind

173.  Trickling water
174.  A mom's day
175.  A mad daddy goose and a momma on her nest
176.  Beautiful pathways
177.  A message that speaks to exactly where you are at

3 Gifts Reflecting
178.  Geese on water
179.  Spring trees around a water's edge
180.  A daughter's happy smile

184.  Kitty head butts
185.  Unexpected call from a long-distance friend

3 Gifts Fragile
181.  A mother's heart
182.  Our very lives are fragile...each breathe a gift
183. New dreams

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.          Galations 5:22-23


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