I was able to attend this years’ annual CWL Wine, Women and the Word event. The theme was joy and everyone needs a bit more joy in their lives, so I decided to go. Besides the beautiful décor, food, prizes, the room was filled with lovely people willing to share their own joy with each other. The overall theme was “The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). There was a presentation with a few key points. One of these was that joy is a way of being, a choice. Happiness is a feeling that is fleeting, but joy is differentiated in a way that it is more indicative of how one chooses to face life. It was described as an inner gladness, a deep-seated pleasure, a cheerful heart that leads to ‘rejoicing behavior’.
I began to think of my own life: the ups, the downs and the in between times. How easy is it to get caught up in the problems of my own day, week, or life? How easy is it to grumble and complain about the big and small problems I face? It takes a conscious choice to face my day with joy. One strategy is to keep a journal of gratitude by adding two or three things to an ongoing list each day. Another way is by serving others: to give meaning, fulfillment, perspective – find the joy in what you have and know that you are giving back by helping others. Today, I choose joy, but only with the Lords’ strength.
Lord, I want to have a joyful heart no matter what is going on in my life. Amen.