Discovering My Daily Joys
Do you remember the movie Stand by Me? I think of it as a total summer flick. I remember learning what a leech was when I saw the movie. I was pretty disgusted!
How often do we let the little annoyances of the day become leeches in our lives?
These last few days have been filled with what I call joy suckers.
You know, the little things that just steal focus away from God in the day.
My website decided to have issues, I had to get new tires (I hate spending money on stuff like that), and I found out a trip I was heading out on was going to cause me to miss something for my kids.
So how do I stop the bleeding in the joy department when it feels like it is getting sucked out of me?
1. Compare my reality with my perception.
Often when my mind begins to stray away from Jesus being my joy, I sit down and make a reality vs. perception list. I fold an 8×11 sheet of paper in half lengthwise. At the top, I write reality on one side and perception on the other.
Here is an example:
My perception of my website being down is that my world is ending, I am unprofessional, and my income will be lost.
My reality is that God is bigger than any website. I can offer sincere apologies to my clients and even a perk for the inconvenience. It also serves as a great reminder that I am not in control.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again — rejoice!” Philippians 4:2
Whatever is sucking your joy right now, stop and think about the reality and perception in that specific circumstance and see if it doesn’t reset you.
2. Reflect on childhood joys.
When everything is feeling like a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I stop and reflect on how I delighted in God as a child. I do this because it brings me back to a time when less of the world infiltrated my day-to-day worries. I read a poem from “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” I get out coloring books and colored pencils, and I have been known to just stop and watch “Sesame Street” or “Mister Rogers.” They pull me out of whatever is consuming my thoughts and remind me to appreciate what God has provided me.
“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” Philippians 4:6
How can you choose a childhood happy place today to bring you back to the reminder of who God created you to be?
Let’s remember joy is not about our day going perfectly perfect, but it is drawing upon God and the strength He can provide for the parts of our day that are life-sucking. So, call a friend, grab your Bible and a journal, and pull yourself out of those murky lake waters and shake off those leeches you are allowing to steal your daily joy.
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