“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” ~ Psalms 5:11
Just waiting for joy and happiness to show up in your life isn’t likely to get much results.
[tbpquotable]Joy is the serious business of Heaven ~ C. S. Lewis[/tbpquotable]
Like so many things in life, finding joy is a proactive thing… YOU’VE got to make it happen!
Now, realize the difference between joy and temporary happiness…
Receiving a gift might temporarily make you “feel happy”.
When your hubby gets a raise at work, that might also make you temporarily “feel happy“.
True joy; as a state of being internally enriched with peace and happiness, is something that truly can be ours as Christians.
Joy for Christians starts with walking in the steps of the Lord.
I don’t think any Christian can really have any ongoing joy when they’re living in sin.
Lack of faith can rob us of true joy when worry and doubt creeps into our life.
Joy in everyday living really isn’t about fulfilling your own needs and wants.
Our state of mind needs a turnabout…
It’s about serving others.
It’s a choice to make the most out of life each day.
It’s an everyday renewing of our minds through Christ when we abide in Him.
Here’s some fun things to do for everyday joy…
1. Put It on Your List
Seriously. On your to-do list, refrigerator, dry erase board, or even a dry erase marker on your bathroom mirror, make a note to find joy. Start your day with Bible reading and prayer. Confess sin; get rid of sin. Sin robs you of joy!
2. Give yourself permission to be joyful
Believe it or not, many of us feel guilt or embarrassment at being joyful. Maybe we think “now isn’t the time” or “how can I be joyful when there’s so much pain in the world?” Just because others aren’t happy doesn’t mean you have to join them. Pray for them! Don’t let yourself feel guilty about being happy – give yourself permission to be joyful anyway! You might find that it “spreads.”
3. Enjoy a Silly Moment
Did you just have a ridiculous experience or funny thought? Share it! It might make someone else laugh… which brightens up other people’s day.
4. Laugh at Yourself – Often
Uh-oh! Did you mess up or something embarrassing happen? Laugh at yourself and let others laugh with you. Don’t rehash things over and over. The continual thoughts, “I should have, could have, would have” doesn’t let you retain a joyful spirit.
5. Play! Take time to Have Fun
If you have children or any nearby, go outside and play with them, or find a way to play indoors if you can’t go out. It doesn’t have to be a sport – all the better if it isn’t. Free play like imaginative role-playing, exploring the woods, rolling down a grassy hill, or playing tag are all fun ways to get back to your playful side.
6. Smile – Smile Some More
Just smile at people and animals – a dog in the park, a child in a stroller, an older couple holding hands. Smile at the things you see around you and experience the joy they offer.
Celebrate Each Day…
Why let thankfulness and celebration only come at holidays and special occasions?
Why not make every day a celebration by being thankful?
Here’s some ideas on how to do that…
1. Say “Thank You” Often – Gratitude Affects Your Attitude
Thank someone each day (or regularly at least) for how they make you feel, what they’ve done for you, or how they have made your life better. This will help you both feel more joy!
2. Set the Right State of Mind
For starters, you need to relieve tension and anxiety. It’s really hard to feel grateful when you’re upset, nervous, or otherwise tense. First, always pray and ask God for an extra measure of grace and calmness. Do some activities to relieve stress: exercise, relaxing, a short nap, or reading a book for a short while might really help.
3. Celebrate the Moment
When you think about it, right now is the time to act! Don’t wallow in the past or worry about the future. Stop and think about where you are, right now, and be grateful and thank God for what you see and feel.
3. Show Gratitude to Your Family
Your family is with you every day, which makes it easy to overlook and take them for granted. Take a moment to celebrate your family and be grateful for them. Show your appreciation each day by acknowledging a family member’s individual contribution and personality. Each day, you can think of which family member you’re going to thank, and how.
4. Remember Your Friends
Friends are also easy to take for granted, especially in this day and age with hundreds of online friends on Facebook or other social networks. Instead of amassing more and more, take a moment and celebrate something special about a friend today. Maybe a note, phone call, text, or some other personal communication would make her day. Share a memory! Go out for lunch! Have your friend over for tea! Find a way to show your gratitude for those people who are your friends.
5. Go Outdoors
Getting outdoors and appreciating the fresh air, fields, woods, rocks, wildlife, or whatever you have available is a wonderful way to experience nature’s joy. Isn’t God”s creation beautiful! It can be on the beach or in the mountains, or anywhere in between…just get outside for a bit each day if you can, or at least weekly. You don’t have to “do” anything – just be outside and take it all in.
Even if it’s cool and rainy, there are some lovely things you can experience outdoors. Put on rain boots and just go for a walk – be thankful it’s raining, which is so good for the plants and streams.
The real key to celebrating each day by being thankful is to look for ways to do so.
[tbpquotable]Being grateful is a “frame of mind” we create on purpose.[/tbpquotable]
Giving Back: Six Ways You Can Help Others
It’s very fulfilling to reach out and find a way to help other people. And, in our modern culture that promotes isolation, reaching out is getting more rare…and more necessary.
Here’s 6 ways to give back and reach out to others…
1. Pay a Compliment
Does that seem too small? You’d be surprised. Paying someone a compliment can absolutely lift their spirits and make their day. There’s almost always something you can compliment about a person – fingernail design/color, a piece of jewelry, an article of clothing, or a hairstyle.
Take this a bit further and pay a compliment to someone that is not superficial. Compliment their good attitude, for example, or point out their calmness under pressure. Just a simple compliment can mean so much!
While it may not seem personal at first, volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to your community while making individual people feel supported and cared about.
Here’s some ideas of where you can volunteer…
* Your church is a good place to start. There’s almost always something that’s needed in the area of service. If you can’t offer your time on a continual basis, there’s often other needs such as groceries or food preparation, etc.
* Homeless shelters and soup kitchens always need a helping hand. You’ll help the hard-working coordinators who run the shelter or kitchen, and you’ll also help those in need who come there.
* Nursing homes are another great possibility for volunteering. Residents may appreciate a visit, and the staff might have you help decorate or clean up for an event.
3. Be Friendly
Just being nice and smiling at people can give them a lift for the day. Just say “hello” and give folks a smile — you may be a more positive influence than you realize!
Whether you give your used stuff to someone personally or to your local second-hand shop, the effects are positive: you get to give something to someone that might otherwise not be able to afford it. You can also donate money to a charity that you believe in and want to see flourish. I personally have a great vision for missions at my church. Give to your missionaries on the field so that they can stay on the field to spread the gospel where they are!
5. Show Someone How to Do Something
Does your mother not understand the computer? Does your dad have technical problems with recording his favorite sport on TV? Maybe your child is struggling with math or some other subject at school, or your niece needs someone to show her how to play soccer. It may not be a relative; but most of us know someone who needs help learning a skill. Step up and teach!
6. Do a Chore for Someone
Whether it’s taking out the garbage for an elderly person down the road or mowing someone’s lawn, stepping up to do a much-needed chore can be a tremendous help.
There’s so many ways you can help others. Just use a little creativity and willingness to help wherever it’s needed.
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