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When things may not be going as you had planned and you feel overwhelmed, lost and confused.

What do you do?

In those times in life when the bills are piling up and the pay cheque has been stretched just as far as you can stretch it, and your joy meter is probably empty.

What do you do?

In the moments in life where you feel that nothing can go right and everything you have worked so hard for has either fallen apart or been in vain….CHOOSE JOY!

Over the past few weeks, I have not been feeling well. I get over one thing and then I’m hit with another. I felt like I was starting to lose my joy and I was becoming sad. I then had to speak to myself and get my mind right.

Joy is a Choice

Phew that’s a relief, knowing I can choose … because sometimes I don’t consciously choose joy and then it’s all too easy for all the other stuff to crowd into my head and heart. You know what I mean, don’t you?

The doubts and fears and feelings of am-I-enough or am-I-too-much. The reminders of all the times I’ve said the wrong thing, done the wrong thing, the negative self talk, the mistakes and screw ups and NOs and naysayers. .

But it’s ok. Because life is a daring adventure, a rich tapestry, a journey… Right?!

I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s read all the personal development books and knows all the stuff about positive attitude yet sometimes has to really dig deep. I’m pretty sure to all the world I appear to do better than most at the Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) stuff … so if you have a tough day (I had a couple over the last few weeks!) … please know there is always, always something to be grateful for…

The Fruit of The Spirit

Jesus said the above to His disciples. That sounds almost too good to be true, right? How can we experience this fullness of joy?

I’ve been saying for months that “The World is on it’s head!”.

There is a woeful shortage of joy and a surplus of fear, worry, discouragement and depression. Even the “pursuit of happiness” and obsessive pleasure-seeking do not bring deep and lasting joy.

Let’s first understand the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is an emotion, and God never intended for people to be in that emotional state all the time. There is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

Biblical joy—the true joy—comes from filling the spiritual void with good relationships, primarily an intimate relationship with the One who is pure joy. Jesus put it this way: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit” (John 15:5). That fruit includes much joy!

The Bible speaks much more often of joy than of being happy. “Hap” means chance and is the root of several words— happen, happening, haphazard (dependent on mere chance), hapless, happenstance (a chance circumstance) and happy.

Happiness is a glad feeling that depends on something good happening. God wants you to experience happy times (as long as God approves of what is happening). But His greater desire is that you have unconditional joy. Jesus said His joy would “remain in you” and “your joy no one will take from you” (John 15:11; John 16:22, emphasis added throughout).

Think of joy as a strong foundation that supports a variety of healthy emotions, including happiness. The long-range evidence of joy is general gratitude, contentment, optimism, a sense of freedom and other positive attitudes.

The Golden Ticket

Gratitude is the golden ticket to find JOY… because when you start to count your blessings, your troubles seem much lighter.

Check out my June blog about Gratitude for more on this topic.

I start the day, every day, by praying through a mental list of things I’m grateful for. I write them down, I carry the list in my heart.

A Final Thought

Top Tip Start with gratitude and allow grace to infuse you.

I know how blessed I am. I LOVE:

🌱 who I love,

🌱 where I live,

🌱 what I do,

🌱 the people in my life

Plus, I have a deep faith that there’s a purpose and plan for me.

Choosing joy on a good day is easy, choosing joy on the not so good days is a gift to yourself and others. If you ever need a friendly voice … let me know, I’m here and will keep showing up for the joy because there’s so much of it out there when you choose to look.

Have a beautiful day!

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