What brings joy into your life right now? Do you even know?

It’s a sad state when it’s only November first, and I’m already weary. In these first days of the eleventh month of the year, we’re living in the calm before the crazy. The crazy of preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones or/and friends. 

The crazy of Christmas shopping and doing all the things . . . children’s events, office parties, gift buying, Christmas card sending, house decorating . . . and the list goes on. 

I don’t know about you, but I tend to push hard and constant through the holiday season, doing, preparing, and going places. But then I get to those big days meant to savor, meant to experience joy, and I’m exhausted. Not joyful.

Where does joy come from?

First, we need to understand where joy comes from. The world tells us we can find joy in a lot of different ways. From the activities we do, to what we think about, to our attitude in every kind of situation, the way we respond can bring (or remove) joy from our lives. 

Those of us who believe in Jesus know joy is a gift given by God when we become Christians. Joy transcends emotions like happiness. But it also makes our happiness more complete. When we face trials, we rarely feel happy, but we can experience joy when our hearts and minds are focused in the right place. 

3 Ways to Think About What Brings Joy in Your Life—Those of us who believe in Jesus know joy is a gift given by God when we become Christians #tellhisstory #whatbringsjoy #busyseasons Click To Tweet

Our Mindset

Yes, I’m going here again. Where we set our thoughts will determine our joy levels as we walk through our days. What brings us joy begins with where our thoughts are. In Philippians 4:4, Paul tells us “Rejoice in the Lord always. And I’ll say it again: Rejoice!”

How do we do this? When we choose to trust God, no matter what He allows into our lives, this is where joy takes root. We will walk through difficult circumstances because we live in a fallen world. 

God is never taken by surprise when these happen in our lives. When he allows pain to impact us, it’s never because He’s capricious. He will always bring good through the pain . . . in time. When He allows trials, we must choose what we believe. Do we believe He walks with us? Do we believe in His good character? 

What brings joy is shaped by our beliefs about God and His character. 

When we go through struggles, we probably won’t feel happy. But we can experience joy, even in painful seasons. Joy doesn’t come from us; it comes from God. It’s when our thoughts and hearts are set on Him and seeking Him that we can live in joy.

This bridge is a symbol reminding us that we must choose what brings joy and walk into that joy

What brings joy to us as individuals

I love that God has uniquely created each human who has, does, or ever will walk this earth. No two people share the same DNA, exercise their God-given gifts and talents identically, or even make choices exactly the same way as someone else.

How do we figure out what brings joy to us?

I believe this begins with spending time with God daily. As we read His word, pray, and worship Him as only we can, this lays a foundation for experiencing joy. 

The world encourages people to follow their passions, to do what they enjoy (sipping a latté, anyone?). Experts encourage us to learn something new. Try something we haven’t yet tried. But how do we discover what brings joy to us in the middle of a crazy season?

A Few Thoughts:

  • Prioritize what’s most important. For me, no matter how busy my day is, I always spend some time in God’s word. I try to do this in the mornings, as this sets my heart for the day.
  • Determine the most important to-do’s for the day. If you’re like me, you may have a Super Woman complex and want to do everything on the day’s list. If we seek to complete, say, the top three most important items for that day, consider it a win. Most of those to-dos can wait another day. We must find the balance between check marking our lists and filling our hearts with things that bring us joy.
  • Give permission to do something enjoyed. When we know what brings us pleasure, we can make choices that allow us time to refresh our souls. For me, this would be taking a walk and snapping pictures of beauty in my world (click below to watch a short video from this fall). For someone else, it may be going for a run, baking treats to give away, or decluttering. 

Conclusion

If we don’t give ourselves permission to do something that brings joy to our spirits, we will become weary. Especially in a busy season, we must make room in our schedules for what brings joy to our hearts. 

As we head into the final two months of the year, let’s be intentional about figuring out what brings joy to us and making time to do those things. 

What about you? What brings joy to your heart? What helps you make room for joy in your busy days?

P.S. I’m so excited to share a 7-day devotional with you! Click Choosing a Thankful Heart to get started with it!

Come share your story at the Tell His Story linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! #tellhisstory #linkup Click To Tweet

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