We are all different and I realize there is a vast array of answers to this question depending on who is answering. But I think it is a question worth you answering for yourself and one that may surprise you.
What gives me joy?
…a bouquet of bright flowers or a beautiful flower garden
…fresh bursting berries
…seeing my kids grow up
…watching my dogs chase squirrels or each other
…a beautiful spring day sitting on my back porch
…walking on the beach
…cuddling up with a good book on a rainy day
…a sunday afternoon nap
…brilliant colors arranged on a canvas
…a blank canvas
…hearing a story of how God worked in someone’s life
…a perfect cup of coffee and the aroma of fresh brewed coffee
… a glass of wine while I am cooking
…losing myself in praise and worship in the pew on Sunday morning
I sat here for 5 minutes and made the above list.
I realize our joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It comes from God, just like anything else. And, just like anything else, I sometimes have the tendency to be a control freak and want to create joy myself. It is short-lived because by it’s nature, joy is something that comes from within, a gift of the Holy Spirit residing in us. We just need to take the time to recognize it.
Yesterday we went to Anthropologie, we have a store here locally. I walked in and had an immediate emotional response. I felt it resonate in my heart. It felt like joy. Not to go buy a bunch of stuff. I just love the physical design of the store and their merchandise. It is an eclectic mix of clothes, furniture, stuff for the home, books, and things to write on. It’s a farmhouse feel with bursts of color here and there, and interesting things to explore. I am fascinated how items that by themselves seem outdated, and possibly even gaudy, work together for this upscale environment that feels fun, whimsical and peaceful all at the same time.
That feeling I had when I walked in to Anthropologie, is the same feeling I get when I walk out to sit on my sun splashed patio on a cool Spring day. You know the time of year when apparently overnight all of the barren trees of winter become fully clothed in a spectrum of brilliant greens. The sun beats through the cool air providing a perfect contrast …. a freshness to bask in.
I get the same feeling when I walk into a book store or library. It feels like wisdom, adventure, and stories. It is that “where do I start because there is an abundance here of what I love”.
Capture this feeling I am describing.
For you it may be much different settings or experiences. Once you can imagine it…..
…..make your list. Make your list of the moments or things that elicit this feeling.
Don’t over think it once you start writing. What comes to mind?
Now review your list.
Do you notice something about it?
Nothing on my list really costs much money.
Nothing on my list is complicated or hurried. (not even the dogs chasing squirrels…they never catch them!)
Most of the list is readily available.
So how can we have more simple joy in our lives? Take your list and sprinkle it throughout your week or day.
Be purposeful to plan the simple joys of life. If you make time for these things a few things automatically happen:
- you avoid joyless activities during these moments
- you realize what is really important and reduce the unimportant things in your life
- you become more at peace and filled with joy which attracts others
- you become more motivated to simplify your life
….you have more
of the Holy Spirit
….you have more