How do you experience God’s joy in the everyday?
As we focused on the topic of joy this month, I have been challenged to uncover joy in everyday life. Reading about Jesus’ invitation to “full joy” is one thing. Actually daring to look for it and move out of “safe” joy is where the rubber meets the road.
In wrapping up our series on joy, I’d like to share a photo journal on everyday moments of joy this month.
As I focused on finding more joy, I became more sensitive to two joy busters: worry and distractions. It’s the same two words Jesus used to describe Martha, when He was actually in her home, at her invitation. I realized that in the same way, I can ask for joy from Jesus, but if I don’t take an active part in joy, I can miss out on what’s right under my nose.
I saw it play out this month. Whenever I got an idea to do something joyful or tweak a small change for joy, my mind would magnetize some worry or distraction. After a few times, it got so expected, I found it humorous.
Instead of feeling guilty I was worried or distracted, I just saw them for what they were: annoying joy busters to ignore. I went ahead and chose “full” joy, if only to just prove my joy busters wrong.
It’s working. Another person might look at our joy photo journals and think them ordinary, nothing special. That’s okay. Our hearts are full of joy. That is a quality that you can’t quite snap a picture of, but those around you will be blessed by it. Because they see glimpses of the true you. And so will you too.
Next time, you run into the two joy busters of worry and distraction, just take a sharp turn to the right. Joy is waiting to be uncovered.
“Parenting” is a nice way of saying, “Repeat the same instruction 10 times an hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.” Then, something like this happens. Agape. I bow my head in thanksgiving for God’s faithful work, behind the scenes.
I had been working on a creative writing project that has been filling up the waste basket. I decided to take my Heavenly Daddy’s perspective. He enjoys my creativity. So, I ordered up a creamed coffee with hazelnut and imagined God saying, “Enjoy. This one’s on me!” — and went back to writing.
Friendships are God’s special gifts. One of my close friends, Carol, is getting married after being a single parent for over 20 years. God is faithful. Her joyful spirit has always been a blessing to everyone around her all these years.
I made a dash to Target to get some plastic and chocolate eggs. The boys and I went to surprise Hubby at work and passed them out to his co-workers, a simple way to share love we have in Jesus. It was the first time I tried it. I told my preschool Easter Ambassadors we are happy Jesus gave us the best gift, so we can share some yummy treats. 5 yr old TJ asks, “What if they don’t believe in Jesus?” I answered, “We just want to share the joy in our hearts. Maybe they’ll wonder why we are so happy!”. Some took and smiled, while others politely declined. A great adventure!
Memories were created when I didn’t expect them. Trying new joys definitely takes more effort, but nurturing relationships is a lot like baking. Joy takestime and practice. While making Easter cookies with my boys, I thought of inviting some new friends over for brunch.
I love breakfast and hanging out with friends. Having both combined is the best. Everyone loves waffles, especially with whipped cream, bananas and strawberries for topping. Time always flies when a meal is shared. I keep in mind hospitality is really the love language of spending time together. So, I may not be Martha Stewart, but what matters is I’m present. Giving attention gives joy.
One joy I’m learning more of is asking for help. I know I can do it alone, but I know I don’t have to. Sharing my heart with others encourages me because I feel a peaceful joy knowing I’m prayed for and understood.
Uncovering God’s joy is an addictive journey. I started out joy as an experiment, and I’m finding it’s very creative and it’s also daring. The best part of everyday joy is finding Jesus there every step of the way. Jesus’ gentle words continue to guide me. Full joy.
“…These things I speak in the world
so that they (disciples) may have My joy made full in themselves.”
~ Jesus, John 17:13
What are your everyday joys?
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*Today’s post closes out our April series — Discovering New Joy. Check out our topic for today and next week’s new topic!
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Let’s encourage each other. Add your voice. Swap our stories.
Today’s Topic 4/28:
Share a “photo journal” of what brings you joy. I would love to see some of your photos! What brings you joy?
Please share a minimum of 4 photos (you can share more), with your notes/reflection for each.
Share your post by clicking on the blue button below “Add Your Link” or just comment directly.
Next Thursday’s Topic 5/5:
Share how you experience God in one of the following areas: Mother’s Day, motherhood or a mom relationship.
Approach it any way you feel inspired! Only required ingredient: keep it real. Thanks for serving your personal brews!
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I love how food features in your joy journal — I forgot to include it in mine! I love breakfast, fresh-picked veggies and fruits from a garden, and sharing a meal with friends. Such joy in such a simple thing — I’m so thankful that God made taste and pleasure in eating. 🙂
Bonnie this is awesome. I have been looking forward to this all week, but I had a bad night at church and called my mother. I made her come pick me up and take me to my grandmothers house. I ran from pain and hurt at church to my family. My sister, nieces and nephew are visiting so I’ll spend the rest of the week and weekend collecting joy and healing my heart. Thank you for this month of joy.
Okay now I am hungry! I love when you said “Instead of feeling guilty I was worried or distracted, I just saw them for what they were: annoying joy busters to ignore. I went ahead and chose “full” joy, if only to just prove my joy busters wrong.” It is embarrassing sometimes what actually steals our spiritual joy. You are right thought, if we are away of the joy killers we can usually overcome! Beautiful pictures of your kiddos!!:)
I haven’t participated in the faith jams lately, but I knew I had to participate in this one! I didn’t have time to put my post together until last night, and I’m so glad it worked that way. I had a really rough evening and thinking about joy, and focusing on joy helped sweep away the yuckies! Which is basically what you wrote here. By choosing to embrace joy and let its goodness fill you, there’s no room for the other stuff.
Thank you for this prompt – what fun I had finding expressions of joy! Blessed to see what joy your family brings to your heart!
[…] me the first day after Holy Week), seeking the little ways God shows himself good in the every day. Today, Bonnie (who blogs at The Faith Barista) asked us to share a photo journal of the things that bring us joy. I enjoyed putting together a few pictures of these little […]
I LOVED IT ALL! SO COOL! What a great idea. A reminder to me that JOY is mostly found in the everyday little things;)
Don’t rush by it-Take a Double Look-Pause-& En-JOY!
[…] I look all around me – I am challenged today to see things from God’s perspective as I Jam today with Bonnie Gray – the Faith […]
Joy = Starbucks
Joy = Spending time at home with hubby.
Joy = Ignoring guilt and eating ICE CREAM.
Joy = A cup of tea in the evening to wash away the day.
Joy = Faith Barista’s bright encouragement to all of us.
This was the funnest jam ever! And I loved SEEING your joys, Bonnie. What a gift. Your words always speak new into me, but to SEE them! Just fun. Much joy to you, friend.
I wasn’t able to partcipate this time… but oh I love your joy pictures…. thank you so much for sharing.
Those boys. Just precious.
And now I want some waffles.
I love this, Bonnie. And you.
I believe God is pleased when we spin, dance, sing, shout, wave our hands, in praise and joy to him, even if we do have our PJ bottoms under our gown!
I just love that photo of your boys reading together like that. It brings back so many memories. That one is my absolute fave. It’s so delicious.
I love this idea! Capturing everyday joys in photo form and making a blog post out of it!
I love your creativity, Bonnie!
You inspired me.
I joined this a little late, but decided to throw up some of my phone pics for a journal of my own.