What are some things you can look at and see joy? I mean, there are so many times as a mom, I look around my house and feel discouraged (I don't know if that is the right word, maybe shrieking "WHAT NOW?" would be better, lol) because there are so many things to do. I have gnats in my kitchen that will NOT go away. I have no idea where they came from and I have tried EVERYTHING to get rid of the little f-ers but they won't go away. I even used a bottle of my wine and tried to put glasses out to attract them (this is the best trick to get rid of them normally)... but they keep coming back. ARGH. So I get wrapped up in a gnat killing mission every morning versus enjoying my life as it progresses. Right there in the moment.
So, do you think we can find joy even in while going through the hardest times in our lives? Do you think joy exists through sadness? I mean, we all have felt joy and happiness during the good times and the even gooder times (haha), but what about the bad times. I honestly think yes. I think that even through tragedy we can find something to rejoice and be joyful about.
Maybe it is my faithfulness, but I always believe that in any situation we can find joy.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
So, maybe I am joyful through the tough times because even at my advance age, I still have hope and patience and I am faithful. I don't know, but whoever wrote the book of Romans in the Bible sure had it right (lol).
"Joy- a feeling of great pleasure that comes from success, good fortune, or a sense of well being" as defined by http://www.merriam-webster.com.
So maybe my hypothesis is right. We can find joy in even the hardest times, but how do we do that.
Some finding joy ideas:
1) Look at your family... spouse, mother, children, sisters, brothers, etc and reflect on happy times.
2) Be the creator of joy for others. Do something SILLY and REDONLULOUS just to make someone else have joy when they are down, or nasty. LOL I say nasty because Maddy has not been feeling well, and yes she is constipated AGAIN and just nasty... like when she gets the tummy pains from her poop issue she hits, pinches, kicks and cries. So this morning, she was just really sad and in pain (FYI, we are FINALLY referred to a pediatric gastro doctor in Iowa City to see what is really going on with her)--- I didn't want her to go to preschool in such a mood so I started making silly faces and noises, turned on some music and started dancing funny. She started dancing with me and we laughed, then I just held her and told her how much I love her and that I was sorry her booty was hurting. And we sat there in complete joy during this though time for her. Here is the thing, by ME creating the joy for HER, I also found joy in myself. We both started laughing and smiling.
3) Let your kids do something silly and borderline stupid. I mean, sometimes we get so caught up in them being "good" we forget they are kids and are just plain weird. LOL So, on my search for joy, I caught my son playing with his cereal this morning. And instead of saying, "Kennith, eat your cereal, stop playing with it" I said, "I wonder how hard you can build a cereal chain on your nose." And he did it (see picture) and it was silly and we both laughed. When he left for school he was in the happiest mood ever, and here is the thing... by filling his joy bucket, I filled mine as well.
4) See friendship- acts of love post. Doing for friends can make you feel extreme joy, I just put some letters in the mail to friends as a random friendship act of love, and I smiled as I did it.
5) Smile. Even when you don't want to, smile. Have you noticed just by smiling your voice even picks up and you even sound happier? I went to Hy-Vee the other day, and well I smiled at everyone. The Hy-Vee employees were actually VERY nice and I was like, I love this place. I found JOY in spending money for food. LOL
6) Remember what you have and be thankful for it versus what you DON'T have. Living well during this life is not about THINGS it is about people and living a full, blessed life for as long as you are here.
7) Have dinner together as a family and each take a turn to talk about what they like best about everyone at the table and take turns. Fill each other's joy bucket.
8) I recently lost a friend to a long and courageous battle with cancer. Although she is gone, her story and her children live on. I take joy in the fact that I had the opportunity to know her and know that she had such a wonderful impact on so many people based on how publicly, and strongly she battled. Even though my heart is saddened, I also find comfort and joy knowing that she helped so many, including myself.
9) When you get frustrated at work, or even at home, or really anything... take a time and write out the best things about what you are doing. I start writing out what I love about my job and my spirit lightens, I start smiling, my heart feels lighter, and the joy bucket is re-filled.
10) When you cannot find joy on your own, and you are overburden by worry, fear, loneliness, reach out to a friend and talk with them. We don't have to seek out joy on our own.
11) When your child messes up their room right before company, instead of getting frustrated and angry, calmly tell them to pick it up and find joy that they have the toys to play with.
12) Make a happy collage. Make a collage about what makes you joyful, so when you can't see the joy in a situation, you can see the joy in your collage.
13) Delete the joy-stealers out of your life. I call these vampire friends, the ones who just SUCK the joy from you. You are worth more than that, you need, wait deserve someone who will fill your joy bucket.
14) Dance in the kitchen with a wooden spoon.
15) Laugh. From your gut... it is contagious.
Challenge: ask yourself, is your joy bucket filled?
If not, put a cork in that bucket and start filling it up! :)
Have a wonderful Wednesday!