Friday, May 15, 2015

Joy Comes in the Journey

  


I've been thinking a lot about joy lately, simply because it is an emotion that is often associated with a momentous event, an exciting occasion, or a cause for celebration, and rightly so!

However, the more I read about joy in the Scriptures, the more I understand that it is something we can possess moment by moment.  Instead of waiting for one "big" moment to feel joy... instead it is something we are promised we can have abiding in us.

John 15:11 
These things have I spoken unto you, 
that my joy might remain in you
and that your joy might be full.

John 16:24  
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name; 
ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full

John 16:22  
And ye now therefore have sorrow, 
but I will see you again, 
and your heart shall rejoice, 
and your joy no man taketh from you. 

Romans 14:7 
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, 
but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost

It seems that I have been learning a lesson in how to remain with a joyful heart despite my circumstances.  And since I've been in this place of learning and teaching, I've begun to understand that I cannot hope to find joy, or peace or happiness or any of those things in the far and distant future.  If they are to be found at all, I must find and know them today - right now.

I know that many times I have thought - when we finally pay that bill, or when we finally can get to take that vacation, or when I finally get past that deadline... there will be a feeling of relief, and troubles will be no more... and joy will come.

Of course, I've been learning that this idea is all nonsense really.

Life is just a big bowl of cherries after all!

Image result for bowl of cherries

If you are going to enjoy the cherry, you have to deal with the pit.  They come in a package deal.

Life is not going to be perfect, and it is not going to be without its problems that seem insurmountable, at least in the moment they first arrive.

When I learn to recognize the little thoughts that pop up in my heart with that mighty big question "why"... why this trial, this problem, this circumstance... why me?... then I know I have to immediately squash that thought with the knowledge in my heart that it is okay for me to face difficulties.  It is my pit that is part of the cherry.  There is no "all good with no bad".  It just doesn't work that way.

Learning this has brought me into a place of great peace and joy, far greater than any place I've ever been before.  My life is about to turn into an upheaval with an imminent move, a significant downsizing on a shoestring budget.  So.... can I find peace and joy in the midst of all this?  That is the question I want to answer with a resounding "YES"!

My peace and my joy does not come in my circumstances, but it comes IN SPITE of my circumstances, and I am learning to find and look for that joy moment by moment, in the very little and insignificant things that may have gone unnoticed to the busy heart.


I am learning to stop and enjoy the little wildflowers bursting forth in all their glory hidden in a dark corner of the forest,  a piece of joy just for me to enjoy.


Joy comes from watching the lovely pansy bloom despite cool frosty nights, and hot windy days.


I am stopping to watch the small but mighty hummingbird dine on life giving sugar water.



Joy comes when beholding a hummingbird still enough to photograph!


Joy is holding a newborn baby chick in your hands that came from the egg your hens spent 21 days sitting on, and being amazed at the circle of life from which it just arrived.


Joy comes by learning to stop and absorb the love my two precious dogs so willingly give.


Joy is watching the smiles play across Annie's face while lying in the warm sunshine.


Joy comes as I enjoy the cool breeze that blows from the mountaintops, creating gentle music in the treetops as I walk through our forest.


JOY is able to love life in spite of - and with all - 
of its imperfections, sorrows, trials and triumphs. 

Joy comes in unannounced forms,
 quietly, softly, tenderly, 
and then your soul rests
 and sighs contentedly in that moment.  

I am learning that joy is not in the big things.  
It is not the vacation, 
the hope of debt free living, 
it is not the party or gathering, 
or a remarkable circumstance where it will be found. 

No... my joy comes from within, from the Spirit of the Lord that resides in me, and provides that contentedness that comes from spending time communing with Him, trusting Him, and loving Him.  It is the joy from HIM that completes me, and causes me to sigh in contentment, even when my circumstances may look otherwise.  My joy comes in the morning, after sorrow has spent its night, because I have hope in my Savior and HIS JOY comes to me in sweet precious moments throughout the day.

Do you have this joy?  I pray that if you have found yourself without it... as I know only too well how the storms of life can sometimes sap every bit of joy from your heart.... still yet it can be found... just look for that small moment where the joy of the Lord in a small way works its way into the deepest corners of your heart and fills it with that joy unspeakable... and full of glory.

It can be found... and had... today!  You don't have to wait until tomorrow, or next month, or next year. You can have it now.

May the Lord fill your heart with HIS JOY today... 
in a special unexpected, and beautiful way, 
and may you continue to look for joy in your journey NOW... 
because it is ours to have.  
It is a promise!


John 15:11 
These things have I spoken unto you, 
that my joy might remain in you
and that your joy might be full.


34 comments:

  1. Well said and just what I needed. This week a little bird came to my window and just looked at me. It then came to the closest place on the ledge and continued to watch me. I was reminded of the Gospel hymn, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” and spite of life’s challenges, “I know He watches me.”
    Thank you for sharing, dear friend.
    rh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is such a beautiful song! Thank you for sharing how the Lord brought that special joy into your heart, yes indeed, His eye is on the sparrow, and He is watching over you too! I appreciate your visit, your comment, and your friendship so very much! May the joy of the Lord be yours today!

      Delete
  2. This is a wonderful post. I think you are right about joy coming in spite of the sorrows and tribulations that we experience. God bless you- have a wonderful Sunday- xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Diana for your words, and truly, I am learning, moment by moment, to look for my joy both in Him, and in the small pieces of beauty around me. I pray your day is filled with sweet places of JOY in Him as well. Blessings and hugs to you today :)

      Delete
  3. Joy unspeakable and full of glory!
    Your post filled my heart with song. I was led here today, so I could read your post, and be blessed.
    Why do we waste the present, looking to the future for our joy? If we open our eyes to the tiniest details....like you said....there is our joy. Each day is a miracle....we shouldn't have to face a tragedy to realize that...but we often do.
    Thank you for sharing what the Lord put on your heart.
    In Christ.
    Debbie
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I'm so thankful that the Lord touched your heart today, and I pray that His joy will come to you today in waves of unspeakable glory, it is ours to have, promised indeed! Thanks for your visit, and for sharing your thoughts with me, they are most appreciated! Blessings and hugs to you today!

      Delete
  4. This is Soo Spot On. My Joy today has been in rereading your thoughts. The Lord has turned you into quite the Exhorter and for that I am thankful. g

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is teaching, and I am learning to listen, and to lean. I have much to learn myself, but I am finding it easier to cast the worry that comes to me, right on to Him, and what a joy life becomes when I am careful to do that. Thank you for your visit and sweet words today - they always mean so much, and are appreciated! Blessings and hugs!

      Delete
  5. Very nice thoughts! I also see you are able to put your blogspot address on your photos which is a nice touch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I finally figured out how to do that, and it also helps because it reduces the size of the picture, so they don't take so long to load. If you want to know how to do it, let me know. It is quite easy. I appreciate your visit today :)

      Delete
  6. We do spend way too much time searching for joy somewhere out there when it really is always right in front of us ALL day EVERY day. Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and it is marvelous to know that all day every day we can have that joy in spite of our circumstances! Thank you for your visit and sharing of your thoughts today, it is always much appreciated :)

      Delete
  7. Joy is one of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) and they come when we remain in Him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, so very true! The more we turn to Him, trust in Him, and allow his Spirit to flow through us, the more those fruits will be fruitful in our lives. Thank you Ronda! Appreciate your visit today :)

      Delete
  8. Good post! I am also learning that joy is just there---it's not what I'll get once I get over whatever hump I am about ready to climb over. The deep, abiding joy of the Lord is always there. One practical thing that I have learned on my journey (in my relationship with God, and from suffering with anxiety) is to acknowledge my thoughts---meaning, rather than freaking out with panic when and anxious thought pops up in my mind, instead, I acknowledge it by saying, "Oh, that's an anxious thought," and then dismiss it. It's not that whatever it is doesn't have to be dealt with (but it doesn't always), it's just that I'm not allowing myself to "go there" (to an anxious place). Your comment about it being okay to face difficulties reminded me of that. It's okay to have thoughts that are anxious, it's what we do with them. :)

    P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog, Stone Family Farmstead, and commenting on my Homemade Chicken Feed post. Stay tuned for up and coming tweaks to the recipe to up the protein content. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, and what special thoughts you shared about joy - I appreciate it so much! I am glad that it helped you too to understand that having those thoughts run through our mind doesn't mean that we give in to them, but it is important what we do with them. That has helped me so many times to move on. I appreciate your visit, and getting to know you better, and I certainly will be following your progress with your chickens, as I am raising little ones myself, and what an exciting time it has been! Have a wonderful weekend :)

      Delete
  9. I so enjoyed all that you have shared on JOY. I find JOY in the simple throughout my day, not waiting for the big things to bring JOY. JOY comes from deep within. If I will just look, it is almost always right in front of me. I hope that your day is filled with PEACE and JOY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, JOY is best found right at home, right where we are at right now. Isn't it wonderful to know that we can have that joy in spite of our circumstances! It blesses me to think about that. I hope your weekend is filled with precious memories, and beautiful moments of joy :)

      Delete
  10. I love your analogy about having the cherry and the pit too! You're so right about joy, I've been trying to teach the kids about how a Christian is to handle trials. My first instinct as a Mother is to take all their hardships away and I'm realizing that isn't so much my job as it should be helping them to find joy amidst it all. Thanks for your encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm so glad to have encouraged you Jeannie! I know with all your little ones, and the next little one on its way soon, that indeed, it will have to be those small but precious moments of joy that gets you through the day! Have a blessed weekend filled with His joy :)

      Delete
  11. First of all I want to thank you for leaving the beautiful comment on my post.So glad you did because now I found yours.I love your post...our life changed in a drastic way after my husband had a severe car accident.This was almost five ago and today I get so much joy out of the little things I never paid too much attention before.Now I´m thankful for that experience,it changed our outlook on life and I believe we have so much more quality now.
    You have a new follower.Thank you so much for sharing.
    Hugs
    Caroline

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How awesome! Thank you Caroline for your wonderful words, and I certainly will be follow you as well - just love to find like minded women of faith! This is what makes blogging such a powerful thing! I appreciate your sharing of your difficult time and how in the midst of it, you were able to find great things to be thankful for. Isn't the Lord wonderful like that! Once we get past the pit, the cherry tastes better than we could have imagined it! Our Lord is so good to us, and I am certainly glad to have met you! Have a wonderful and blessed weekend :)

      Delete
  12. Joy is something fluttering and we sometimes miss by looking for something complcated like a perfect day. I make a point every evening before falling asleep to remember the joyful moments of the day... It's very rare when I can't find any, even if the day wasn't a perfect one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that a wonderful thought - thank you for sharing it with me! It is much better to count our blessings, and then somehow the difficult things don't seem to matter so much. I appreciate your thoughts and insight, and am so thankful for your visit today! I pray the Lord blesses your weekend, and that it may be full of His joy :)

      Delete
  13. What a great post! I am thankful for your reminder that we do not have to wait for one "big" event to have joy. I often pray for joy - but I am glad you mentioned that it is found in the littles. And that God has already given it to us that "our joy may be full". Thank you so much for this post!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BTW: Thanks for sharing with us at the Home Matters Linky party. We hope you join us again!

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for your visit, and the opportunity to share with others at your blog. I am so glad that you are learning too to find joy in the little things... and it indeed will add up to be a full heart of joy. May the joy of the Lord fill your heart today :)

      Delete
  14. Oh sweet friend, this was just what I needed right now :) Isn't God's timing perfect! There is precious JOY found in our Heavenly Father and I am so thankful for that joy.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with Roses of Inspiration. I will be featuring this post at tomorrow's party. Love and hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so thankful that the JOY of the Lord can be constant, even in the midst of our darkest times, and so thankful that this lesson blessed you too! Thank you for featuring my post, and I pray that many others will be blessed to know that joy can be for today! Much love and hugs to you my friend!

      Delete
  15. Absolutely lovely.

    I wish you abundant joy always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Michele, indeed I am learning to find joy in unexpected places, and it is quite an adventure! May the joy of the Lord be yours today too! Appreciate your visit, and will return the favor soon :)

      Delete
  16. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I will be coming over to visit you shortly. Have a wonderful day!

      Delete
  17. Awesome!! 'Joy' was on my heart the month of May, too. (I think I told you I've had 'joy' on my mind for the May tea party, but I didn't know exactly where to go with it.) I didn't know it was on your heart, too-- I would have asked you to share!! Let me think about June, but I may go back to joy.

    ~Raquel
    Www.atthenewlyweds.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one, they are precious to me! I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog... this is what makes blogging worthwhile! Have a blessed day!