Jumping for Joy

is for joy1.

It had to be because that’s the name of my blog…and I love it! Joy is sometimes treated like a noun–something we seek for. But I think it’s more like a verb. We choose to experience Joy by being aware of all the blessings around us…or we can choose the other option of staying ignorant and believing that Joy is something that comes to us only at certain times when conditions are perfect.

Some of the most Joyful people I’ve ever met had rough–even terrible–circumstances they were suffering through. So if Joy is something you achieve or gain when things are honky-dory, then by that definition those people wouldn’t have Joy.

But they did somehow.

I wrote about Paula who had Multiple Sclerosis and couldn’t even move her head for the last couple years of her life. Yet she was the happiest, most joyful person I ever met. She taught me that Joy is something that comes from within…an action.

Being aware–opening our eyes and heart–help that action called Joy work in our lives. Being aware of others (starting with your own family and branching out); being aware of nature (have you ever noticed the growth of a new seedling, or a few new branches on an old tree you’ve long ago taken for granted?); being aware of yourself (your talents are limitless) and your Creator (our ultimate Joy refueling station). Being aware allows Joy to flow through our veins, wash through our thoughts, and guide our actions.

Tiffany Skelton PhotographySide effects of Joy include: gratitude, satisfaction, peace, happiness, contentment, and love (that’s a whole lot better than the side effects of Prescription drugs, which may include: dizziness, nausea, chest pains, heart failure, and other symptoms that aren’t fit to be written because they embarrass me every time I hear them on TV).

In honor of letter J, let us remember that Joy is like Jumping or Juggling, something you must work to DO. Riches, fame, and power don’t bring Joy. We already have Joy inside us. Maybe it’s gone dormant in the storms of life, but we have the power to fan it to life again. Definitely there will be times that seem more Joyful than others (Disneyland comes to mind–if it’s not the middle of summer and the lines are 2 hours long). But we have the power within us to always feel Joy–even when the lines are 2 hours long, or a family member dies, or we suffer from a chronic illness. I’ve seen it done.

Char Signature

27 thoughts on “Jumping for Joy

    • No, you can definitely have joy in that! I think the more things we find joy in, the more joy becomes just a part of who we always are.

  1. Even the sound of the word “joy” has a happy ring to it, doesn’t it?

    I am joyful this morning because the weather has the perfect feeling of spring, and the birds singing act like my snooze button. I can hit the snooze, but those birds just keep singing away!

    Have a beautiful joyful day!

    Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living

    • Yes! Joy does sound l like a tinkling bell that warms you with its resonant sound. Weather’s nice here too. Yea! Hopefully it will stay that way through the afternoon so I don’t have to deal with rain or wind at my daughter’s track meet.

    • Me too. Joy is contagious. You start thinking about all that you have, or hang around with someone with lots of it…and it seems to seep inside your veins.

  2. An awesome reminder that joy is an action and a mindset! “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 is one of my favorite verses.
    Thanks for a great post today!

  3. Your positive outlook is contagious, so it’s always a joy to stop by your blog. And I’m not even doing it for the gift card (though I can’t stop now–I’ve come too far). My family will be standing in Disney World lines this summer, but despite the heat, I know we’ll find joy. Mostly because my kids don’t care about the Magic Kingdom anymore, and that’s where some of the longest lines are…

    • We love Disney so much that we could brave the crowds in the summer too and find joy…although we usually just opt to pull the kids out of school for a few days and go in the off season. It’s gotten harder since we’ve dealt with high schoolers though…so we do think about doing summer in the future. And thanks for always stopping by even though I know you’re super busy. I’m quite excited about your new book you have all detailed out (90,000 words). That would definitely prevent a lot of the rewriting plot I’ve been struggling with in my 3rd book. Is your new book along the lines of Seneca Scourge…or is it completely different?

  4. Love those joy side effects – much better than the drug ones! That’s a great point about trying to find joy everywhere. It’s easy to forget but if we look for joy, it can be found.

    • Yeah, when I was writing this, all I could think of in my head was that fast voice from the commercials that goes through all the horrendous things that can happen if you take the drug they just made look so good. It always makes me laugh.

  5. Joy is definitely a choice! There really is so much beauty in the world, even in dark days it’s hard to not feel over-joyed with the gift of life.

    • Definitely a choice. The world is full of examples of people who dwell on the negative and others who only focus on the good (no matter how hard their life might be). Take care, Christy!

  6. Joy is the best! I’m going to think of your post today while I’m sanding my doors, Char!

    Repeat – Joy – Joy – Joy – it’s working! 😉

    • I’ll be joining you as we redo all the trim and doors in our house…going for a new lighter look after 7 years. I want the change, but the work sounds daunting. I will do the Joy chant as well to try to stay in a good mood.

  7. Love this post! “let us remember that Joy is like Jumping or Juggling, something you must work to DO.” Such a great reminder Char, Thanks! And I have to say I much prefer the side effects of Joy than the ones we hear on TV too 🙂

    • When hard time comes, I always have to remind myself of this over and over. I love seeing others exemplify Joy; it motivates me to be more positive.

  8. Those joyous side effects are so beneficial, too. So much better than the prescription drugs. For some of them, the side effects sound as if they’re worse than the condition being treated!

    • I know, right? Probably being joyful helps your health as well. I’m sure someone has done a study on it (but I’m too tired to look right now. 4 hours at a track meet will do that to you)

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