Capacity for Joy

23 05 2009

365 Days of JoyI have a calendar called “365 Days of Joy” which my good friend, Heidi, gave me several years ago. It is one of those calendars that can be used over and over again year after year. It has encouraged me for several years.


This morning I saw the calendar hadn’t been flipped in almost a week, and I knew God was up to something. So as I turned it to the correct date with anticipation and found a profound statement by an anonymous author: “The secret to enjoying life is to be thankful for what each day brings.” In other words, joy is being thankful in the moment.


As I thought about this, I realized that we have can choose to be thankful and enjoy life or we can look at life through a heart of anger or pain and never enjoy the day. As a woman who has survived a childhood of severe trauma at the hands of my parents and other adults, I have struggled to have joy. I knew joy was mine if I wanted it, but I would have to get some of those pesky feelings out of the way. I was looking at life, not through rose-colored glasses, but through glasses tinted with pain and past trauma.


Today I look through glasses that are neither rose-tinted with denial nor colored by the pain and trauma I endured; rather, I have on the glasses of truth, knowing that I have a choice about how I respond to every life experience. I have chosen to be thankful because I want to walk into joy, literally walk in the “peace that passes all understanding that guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:7. Because I have chosen to walk this way I find my capacity for joy is greater than it would be if I walked in anger or pain. Believe me, I have had to struggle to learn to walk in thankfulness.


Just yesterday, I had to choose to walk in thankfulness as my pastor asked me to handle a situation with a handicapped individual who was becoming more and more vocal about wanting to get the pastor’s attention, knowing I might be over my head trying to control this situation I moved forward in thankfulness for the opportunity to serve the church. I wish I could say I did a spectacular job, having done my best, my pastor still had to come over a final time.


I knew I had blown it, so still walking in thankfulness I spoke with my pastor asking him how I could have handled the situation better. Now I rejoice because I have another skill to help the church. I know in the future I will be called to help out with others who don’t know how to act in church, and as with this man, some may have physical and mental issues, and  I will have more skills and experience in handling the next situation. Beyond that I know that training our greeters, the team I lead, to handle such situations will be invaluable to our church.


I had a choice about how I looked at this situation, and I chose to be thankful and return to joy. It wasn’t a crime that I didn’t know how to handle this situation, there was no harm done, and in fact several of the people sitting around this man thanked me for my efforts. I knew it was my choice to walk back into joy after being in a situation I didn’t know how to handle, and I chose to look at things honestly and return to joy.


Our capacity for joy is in our hands; we control our joy, and I hope that we will all take this truth and run with it!



Blessings and Complete Joy,



New on our Release page, read a submission by Betty Denney from the Jackson County Prayer Task Force called “HAVE FAITH IN GOD.” It is a very special piece selected to encourage your faith!
Check out our monthly memory verse on the Equip page as well as a copy of SOAP a Bible study method you can copy and print out for yourself.
 Intercessors Heart; replaces the often visited Secrets from My Prayer Closet,  where you can read a personal prayer blog, find helpful prayer tips and current prayer opportunities and post your prayer requests to be shared with my intercession team.
This blog is part of the ministry of Complete Joy and is published each Tuesday and Saturday, usually by noon Pacific Time.



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