How to Choose Joy

HOW TO CHOOSE JOY

You mean I have to choose joy? Isn’t it an automatic response like feeling happy or sad?  It’s easy and FUN to be joyful when I am happy. But, it is tough to create when I’m not!

 

HOW TO CHOOSE JOY WHEN IT IS TOUGH

Ok, I admit…lately I have struggled with finding and expressing joy. My health has driven me bananas and tried to suck out my joy. I have struggled to combat my illnesses and brokenness with joy and positivity.

My Story

In November of 2017, I learned through a routine exam, mammogram, and ultrasounds I had breast cancer. As a result, double mastectomies followed. Then, during the recovery process of diet, nutrition, and lifestyle changes, I visited my daughter and grandchildren in May.

As a result of trying to be helpful, (she has four kids ages 13, 11, 9, and 7) I fell watering her outside hanging baskets and broke a bone in the top of my right foot. After exams and an MRI, the doctor put me in a boot, and we rented a knee scooter. The good news…my grandkids loved riding it through the house, and it worked well since I was still sore from surgery and could not use crutches.

After that, my husband picked me up at the airport with a different knee scooter he had rented in town. Little did we know that it was missing a necessary part…the stop on the front which kept the steering from turning to the point the wheels formed a parallel line. When that happened, one minute I was up, and the next I was sprawled on the floor. That happened two times, causing me to fall onto the hard floor in a puddle of pain.

The next morning we drove to emergency where we learned that I had two broken ribs, a sprained ankle, and a swollen kneecap. Now I couldn’t use a knee scooter or crutches for my broken body, so I traveled everywhere by wheelchair for two and a half months.

You would think I would be finished with injuries, but NO! In March of 2019, an MRI revealed a torn rotator cuff tendon in my shoulder! I am happy to say I survived the surgery, and am now healing and recovering nicely.

WHEW! I tell you my story only to reassure you I do empathize with trying to find joy in ALL circumstances.

I have practiced the tips I am sharing and found them to be a big part of my recovery!

HOW TO FIND JOY TIPS:

It helps and inspires me to remember:

  • WHERE JOY COMES FROM
  • WHY I HAVE JOY
  • HOW TO ACCESS JOY

 

TIP #1:  WHERE JOY COMES FROM

Joy is in my heart and in my life. IT IS THERE WHETHER I AM HAPPY OR SAD. I need to dig deep enough into my heart to find joy, thankfulness, peace, and comfort.

In times of hardship, illness, or trauma, I must remember: 

Choosing joy is a daily practice that incorporates our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Think of your whole being…body, mind, and spirit.

Questions To Ask Yourself

 

  • Who do I have in my life that I love and loves me? What character traits do they have that I can be joyful about?
  • Who is in control of my heart and life? Am I in control, or do I love and trust my Creator? What is His character, and how can I express my gratitude?
  • What am I healthy enough to do and enjoy?
  • What am I interested in learning and doing?
  • What talents has God built into me that I can share with others?

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.  –Psalm 139:14

Write out these questions in a journal or spiral. Free write. Set a timer and write anything down that enters your mind for 2-3 minutes (or more). Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation…

***Answer one question a day. At the end of the week reread what you have written.

***Read one set of answers daily and pray to express your gratitude.

TIP #2:  WHY I HAVE JOY

I have joy because my Creator made me in His image, and through faith in His Son, Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives in me and gives me these joyful fruits.

 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22–23 (NKJV) 

 

I have joy because of my hope in spending eternity with those I love and miss!

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 (NKJV)

TIP #3: HOW TO ACCESS MORE JOY

  • Accept that I can’t always be happy, but I can find and express joy.
  • Say, “I choose joy” each morning when you wake.
  • Spend quality time building your relationship with Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith.
  • PRAY and PRACTICE using the fruits of the Spirit with yourself and others.

Write out these questions in a journal or spiral.

 

  • Who do I have in my life that I love and loves me? What character traits do they have that I can be joyful about?
  • Who is in control of my heart and life? Am I in control, or do I love and trust my Creator? What is His character, and how can I express my gratitude?
  • What am I healthy enough to do and enjoy?
  • What am I interested in learning and doing?
  • What talents has God built into me that I can share with others

Free write your answers. Set a timer and write anything down that enters your mind for 2-3 minutes (or more). Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation…

***Answer one question a day. At the end of the week reread what you have written.

***Read one set of answers daily and pray to express your gratitude.

Please comment below and tell me if these tips helped you. Does it help to say, “I Choose Joy”? Did the calendar cause you to smile? Please let me know how I can help you in making each day count!

 

 

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