We all need to practice JOY on a daily basis, regardless of what is going on, how things might look and how we might feel and sometimes, that is difficult for me (It probably is for you to but I am going to throw myself under the bus so you do not feel like the spotlight is just on you.)
So, how does one practice joy??? First, I need to CONSTANTLY remind myself that JOY is NOT feeling (even though it is very easy to forget that)
Joy is a choice and a gift.
Often times, we look for joy in other people in our lives, in the places we go, the possessions we have, yadda yadda yadda..when really, and you knew this was coming...the only true source of Joy is GOD...yep, only God. Joy is not based on outward circumstance but on inward certainty and I personally anchor myself to that thought..because it is FAITH...yay!
okay, so let me interrupt myself by giving you a personal example:
Right now, I am training and on Sunday mornings, a group of girls & I get up EARLY and hit a trail called Dreaded. Hello...with a name like that, you know it cannot be good...and regardless of how many miles I may be able to run on a flat surface, getting up this hill just WALKING is HARD. Personally, I pray, I focus and listen to music the ENTIRE way up, struggling at times to breathe, stopping for seconds to pick up heart shaped rocks and continuing to push myself...because I KNOW what is at the top.
For me, GOD meets me there (after HE pushes me the last 1/4 mile of the hill) and it is worth every single step because the beauty I see (after wiping the sweat out of my eyes) is amazing.
That is JOY. It is not that I "feel" JOY because I made it to the top, but because I chose to do it based on the fact that I KNOW GOD will meet me there (even if it is socked in with fog like it was on Sunday and we could not see anything)
Now because I am 99.9% visual and need to have a image to sometimes "get it" I doodled an example!
You can choose to look at life like this, feel like you are a weed among the flowers and let your "outward circumstances" overshadow your decision to choose joy....
or you can choose to look at things differently...choose joy regardless of what is around you and know that YOU were created for a specific reason. You may feel like you are a weed, but YOU are a weed with a purpose by-golly!