Everyone wants happiness, right, but where does that joy come from? There are several things in life that bring me joy: my family (most of the time, wink, wink), pickleball, serving in my local church and God’s mercies that are new every morning.
Having a family is often stressful – being a taxi for your kids, disagreements with family members, the list goes on and on. Your family can also bring tremendous joy to your life, and for me, it’s an intentional choice. I choose to put down my phone when the kids want to talk, even if it’s inconvenient for me. I choose to play a video game with them even though I have NO idea what I’m doing. I choose to listen even if I’m tired. It seems like when I have time to talk, they are silent, but when I’m busy that’s when they want me to listen. It seems like my 16yr old only wants to chat when I’m tired! My 13yr old only needs me when he’s sick, but I soak it up while I can because I know one day, they will leave my care and I will want them to interrupt me. Are you being intentional about your family time.
If you know me, you know that pickleball usually comes up in every conversation. It’s a sport that I discovered when I moved to Cochrane 4 years ago. From the first time I played, I was hooked. Pickleball made me healthier in more ways than just helping me lose a few pounds. I gained a new love for personal time, something I didn’t know I needed. Almost daily, I took time away from my family, whom I love, to focus a little bit on me. What happened? I became a happier person, a better mom, and best of all it helped me de-stress when my heart was heavy and my spirit was broken. I’m grateful for my daughter one day saying to me, “Mom, you’re grouchy, go play pickleball.” That’s when I realized I didn’t just want to play, I needed to play! It helped me to refocus on the things that made me happy and take my mind off the things that were weighing me down. How do you de-stress?
But it’s not about what I do for myself, in reality, most of my happiness comes from serving in my local church. I serve in a few different ministries and each one brings a sense of joy. Mentoring youth is a privilege and I love sharing all the many things God has taught me over the years.
The Bible says in Titus 2:3-5
“3 In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behaviour, not slanderers, not slaves to excessive drinking. They are to teach what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, workers at home, kind, and in submission to their husbands, so that God’s word will not be slandered.”
Am I all of the things mentioned above, NO, but I strive to be!
Leading worship is by far my favourite thing to do at church. It is a sacrifice, but every time I sing on a Sunday morning, I know it is well worth every hour I put into planning the set, practicing the songs, and listening to what God has to tell me. Knowing that God is using me to bring people closer to Him is humbling and truly an honour. How do you take care of your community?
My ultimate joy comes from the Lord. There is a song that my choir sang a couple of years ago that says,
“The joy of the Lord is my strength
In the darkness, I’ll dance
In the shadows, I’ll sing
The joy of the Lord is my strength
When I cannot see You with my eyes
Let faith arise to You
When I cannot feel Your hand in mine
Let faith arise to You
God of mercy and love
I will praise You, Lord”
Through the ups and downs of life, and I have had many in my 41 years and my 18 years of marriage, life isn’t always easy. God knows how hard these last 1.5 years have been for so many of us and yet when our eyes are fixed on the Creator of all things, He can give us a joy that we cannot understand. When we are in the depths of our despair and when we think we can’t do anything right, isn’t it great to know that His mercies are new every morning! Yes and Amen!
Where does your joy come from?