Posts Tagged ‘Joy Lessons’

Joy Lessons Week 12


Happy First Day of Spring, everyone!

Although it is rainy and foggy here today (what a combination), I’m so excited it is finally spring. This weekend, I even saw a robin playing in the cat’s water bowl, splashing and shaking its tail feathers, having a marvelous time.

And this morning, I feel a little bit like that robin, excited and full of joy (even if I have no plans of shaking my tail feathers around) because it is officially spring.

Spring is such a beautiful, glorious time for so many reasons. It means winter is behind us (something I cheer about every year). It means new life is springing up all around us as the grass begins to turn green, flowers begin to bloom, temperatures warm, and the sky seems bluer. To me, spring is also about renewal and hope and faith.

It’s about filling our hearts with joy brought on by the possibilities and wonder that await us.

Today, I wish you all a heart full of joy as we welcome in the arrival of spring.

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This is the time of year when I like to sort through cupboards, closets and drawers, purging things I no longer use, need, or want.

Every year, I find myself hanging on to stuff I don’t really like for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was a gift (but isn’t my taste or style). Maybe it’s something “too nice” to get rid of. It could even be something I bought on sale and never used. (Yes, that does happen).

Have you ever walked into a room in your house and looked at something and experienced an instantaneous thought of “I don’t like that” followed by “but, (fill in the blank with a name of a relative who gives hideous gifts) gave it to me so I have to keep it.”

You don’t. You really, really don’t. If the item makes you frown instead of smile, time to put it in a box and donate it or add it to things you’re saving for your next yard sale.

When I find myself staring at an item and realizing it’s just taking up useless space, I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does it bring me joy?
  2. Does it have a sentimental value?
  3. Is it useful?

If it doesn’t meet at least one of those criteria, out it goes. Last year, I took fourteen boxes of stuff to our local Goodwill center. And although I haven’t really done much sorting yet this year, I already have half a dozen boxes of assorted stuff ready to donate.

My point of all this rambling today is that when we give ourselves permission to let go of things that don’t bring us joy, we make more room in our lives (hearts, minds, and souls) for the things that do.

One of the hardest areas for me to purge is my closet. (Anyone else have that trouble. Let’s see a show of hands!)

Here’s a super helpful chart I’ve used before (and will again) to keep my closet from overflowing.


Happy sorting and purging. May it bring you joy to clear out some of the clutter (I know I’ll be working on that this week!)

Oh, and when you ask yourself those three questions, they do not apply to immediate family members! šŸ˜‰


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Joy Lessons Week 6


In the midst of a rather unpleasant situation this past week, I had a bit of an epiphany. The person who has being so rude and unkind andĀ just downright ornery had nothing to do with me.


It was all on them. That nastiness began somewhere long before they interacted with me. I just happened to be the one around when they decided to let it spill out.

Mindful of this fact and with a purposeful intent of digging into my well of joy, I gave that person a hug and a smile and went on with my day. And surprisingly, the joy I’d been scrambling to find in the midst of that person’s bad behavior went right along with me.

My lesson was that even in the midst of something hard, unpleasant, unwarranted or unwanted, we can still tap into our joy.

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Something rather unpleasant, extremely frustrating, and more than a little unsettling happened last week.

And, being me, it’s hard not to mull over what happened, to think about ways I may have handled things differently ā€” better.

The following day, Captain Cavedweller and I had plans to go do something fun we’d been looking forward to for a while.

He knew what had happened and that I was still upset, but assured me in his calm, upbeat way that everything would be fine.

So rather than ruin a perfectly lovely outing with my guy, I decided to choose joy. To let it flow through me and fill up those spaces formerly occupied with worry and anxiety. After I did, we both had a great time.

There are days when choosing joy seems like such an easy thing to do. And there are other days, when we might feel beaten down or unsettled or unhappy, when choosing joy is really hard.

But it sure is worth it.


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Joy Lessons Week 4


I saw this quote and immediately loved it – because it is so true!

Joy isn’t something that is only found in a fixed location. It’s inside us.

So wherever we go, we can take it along for the ride. Even when we are facing something hard or challenging, we can still bring along our joy to help us through.

I’m making it a goal today to take joy with me through each step. And isn’t that all any of us can do – open our hearts and minds to joy, one step at a time.

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Joy Lessons Week 3


I’ve been mulling over the difference in joy and happiness.

Are they the same emotion? Completely different? Similiar?

Here’s how my dictionary defines them:



After reading those definitions and still feeling uncertain, I started doing some searching. It appears there is a great debate going on if these two words – emotions – are in fact the same.

From what I found, what I feel, and what I know, I think they are similar, but also have differences.

To me, happinessĀ seems more external while joy is internal.

What I mean by that is that happiness is often driven by something we’ve experienced. It often stems fromĀ an object, or a person, or a circumstance.Example: you received an unexpected bonus, word of praise, or tasted something decadent – and those things make you feel happy. Happiness is not a constant, but comes and goes.

I think joy is driven by what’s happening in our heart and soul. When we reach out to help someone and we experience a warm, fuzzy feeling – that’s joy. Joy is connected to gratitude and compassion, gratefulness and magnanimity. Joy bubbles up from an internal well and can be present even in times of grief and pain.

For lack of a better way to describe it, I seeĀ happiness Ā tied to our heads while joy is tied to our hearts.

These are just my thoughts and opinions. I’d love to hear how you view joy and happiness.

As we go through this year’s journey of joy, maybe we’ll all learn some new ideas in defining these two emotions.

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Joy Lessons Week 2


During the holiday season, I read this verse from Luke several times. And each time I did it resonated with me in a whole new way.

I’ve lingered over the notion that it’s hard to be full of fear and full of joy at the same time.

As I go forward in this new year, I know which one I’m going to strive to focus on – being filled with great joy.



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