Definition: A feeling of great pleasure and happiness – Rejoice
Synonyms: beatitudes, blessedness, bliss, felicity, gladness, happiness, warm fuzzies
As I have expressed in my first blog, I am at the halftime of life. Through this remaining journey I want to live, breathe, and enjoy life to the fullest while sharing these experiences with you. This week I will illustrate a wonderful discovery in choosing a word for the year…
It has been approximately seven years ago my precious neighbor and friend invited me to attend a seminar at a local church. “Takin’ Time Out” has always been important so what better way to feed my soul with fellowship of women, listening to God’s word and learning from his teachings. The conference was led by an outstanding Christian author and speaker, Catherine Martin who founded “Quiet Time Ministries”. She taught on the “Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time”. During her talk she stated through her prayer life, she picks a WORD for the Year. This word was something she either wanted to work on or see more prevalent in her day to day living.
During the workshop I absorbed several impactful tidbits through her teachings but the Word of the Year just kept playing over and over in my mind. A few weeks later I read a book written by Debbie Macomber and she too chose a word for the year. Wow, what is it Lord? What are you trying to tell me…”Why not try it”? Ok, ok I get it…now what word should it be? A few days later it finally came to me I wanted “JOY”. You may be asking why this simple three letter word. For the most part I am a happy go lucky person but I really wanted to find the deep seeded feeling that wells up inside and just waiting to burst out through a special glow in your face, the gleam in your eye the expression of true “JOY”! I wanted to find it and live it daily…
Hmmm, I couldn’t wait to see what that year would reveal. I must say it was an amazing Year! That word just kept popping up in the simple day to day living. I noticed it on a coffee mug while shopping, it would pop out in paragraphs I was reading, someone would comment on the “JOY” they found in this or that. I was standing in the check-out counter at the grocery store and right at eye level there it was, an “Almond Joy” staring me in the face, tempting me to buy and indulge in the savoring delicious coconut, almond chocolate bar. Mmmmm…. I also noticed I had the cookbook on my shelf, “Joy of Cooking” which has over 4500 recipes, it is an excellent cook book and I absolutely love to cook which ultimately brings “JOY” to me and my family! Christmas rolled around and yes “JOY” was everywhere not just the word but the true meaning of the holiday season! We also took a few joy rides throughout that year.
I did a Beth Moore study that summer, “Living Beyond Yourself”. It was exploring the fruit of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” These are special gifts from God. True “JOY” comes from walking close with him. It is a journey of discovery…you have to patient, look for it, feel… it is deep inside. Sometimes it comes as a surprise when you least expect it.
How many of you have experienced “JOY”? Maybe it was the day you got your driver’s license, graduated from High School or College, got married or was blessed with your first born, second or third child or grandchild? That intense ecstatic feeling of true happiness. It feels so good…
Wow, that year I found the word “JOY”, it taught me so much about myself I quickly realized I had it all along. I was truly blessed, it just somehow got buried beneath some junk in my trunk and everyday life was consuming, interfering and stealing my “JOY”! No more, after that year I decided…life is too short and I will commit to find “JOY” in every situation whether it is good or bad. With God’s wonderful grace you can too!
It’s time to pour a cup of hot chamomile tea before going to bed… while “Takin’ Time Out” this week may you consider choosing a word of the year and I am in hopes you will discover “JOY” until next time!
“Sometimes your JOY is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your JOY.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“There are random moments – tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children’s rooms – when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.”