Joy! It has always been a favourite word of mine. Partly because it’s my middle name and I’ve made a collection over the years of quotes and anything really I can get my hands on that say Joy… including my daughter’s name “Joyanna”. But mostly because when you see and spend time with someone who is joyful it is like a breath of fresh air and you walk away feeling uplifted and encouraged.
How does one get this joyfulness? Webster's defines it as “the source or cause of delight” So where does your source of delight ultimately come from? There are little simple gifts that make us smile, a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning, watching your child finally comprehend something you have been teaching them, a hug, a walk, time with a friend, a good book, a beautiful song. There are so many things that bring us satisfaction. But what about when you’re having a crummy day and you’ve warmed up your coffee 3 times already and it’s sitting cold again, nothing goes right, dinner burns, and hubby is home late from work, or you have to cancel an evening out because your child just needs mommy when they’re sick. What about then? Where does your joy come from?
Psalm 16:11 says
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of Joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
So it is in the sweet presence of Jesus that we can find ultimate and true joy not just when the sun is shining and our day is going great, but even when we are overwhelmed and feel we have nowhere to turn.
But most of us are busy women with jobs, children, some have ministries, and the never ending to-do list, so how do we make this work? How can we make our day centre around the presence of the Lord?
1. Begin it with Him.
I don’t know what your day looks like or how much sleep you got last night; but taking time to spend with the Lord is so important. I get it you don’t have the luxury of taking an hour or two just to hide away (as much as we would like to). Maybe it will be waking up an extra half an hour before the children do so you can have some quiet time, or maybe it will be including your children in. Growing up my mom would have us all around the table with colouring pages as she would read the bible to us, I’ve started doing something similar with my children; two birds one stone! Your children are getting the word and so are you!
2. Make a conscious choice to be joyful.
The devil would like nothing better than to steal our joy. When we decide not to be respond in a joyful and Christ filled way we open the door to doubt, bitterness, fear, and frustration. So when something throws a wrench into your day, stop, and make a conscious choice that you will not let it steal your joy, you refuse to walk out of the presence of the Lord so you can entertain the enemy with your attitude which will result in your actions too.
3. Fill your mind with the Lord.
This could mean peaceful music playing. One of my favourites to put on when my children are out of sorts is the scriptures songs “Hide ‘em in Your Heart” by Steve Green. There are a slew of free apps that you can stream music for free! (Ask me and I’ll give you a few).
One practice I have picked up as I have time is writing out the scriptures. A few years ago we had a speaker at our church who encouraged us to begin writing out portions of scripture, which I started at the time and recently picked up again. I find I remember it better and it has time to soak in. Another way is to have scripture playing as you work around the home either on your phone or from CD or podcasts that are uplifting and encouraging (Revive Our Hearts are excellent).
4. Make Prayer a priority.
Is it your last resort or first priority? Do you talk to the Lord throughout your day? About problems you are having with your children, or a struggling friend, or a struggle of your own? So many things we do we don’t need to pay super close attention to so instead of allowing your mind to wander off into who-knows-where turn it to a conversation with the Lord and take the time to listen and see what he has to say about the different situations you bring before him.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4. to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5. who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7. so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9. obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
If that’s not reason enough I don’t know what is.
An absolutely fantastic sermon I heard on this subject is called “Incorrigibly Cheerful” by Eric Ludy. If you have the time have a listen! (click on title to listen/watch)
Lighthouse Gospel Church