In light of my latest "Bible Verse" posting about being joyful always (1 Thessalonians 5:16)...I began to ponder about what exactly IS being joyful and what makes ME "joyful"?
Do you ever have one of those days or moments when you just don't feel like putting on a "happy" face for those you encounter? You don't want to be cheerful, let alone being anyone's cheerleader.You know what I mean, you're just having a moment! We all have our little "moments" and some people I can say, more so than others! LOL
I know in ANY profession it is difficult to look and appear as if you are always happy-go-lucky. Me included...being an attorney, real estate agent, wife, mother, and now author...trying to appear as though nothing phases me is a daunting task. Lets look at some situations I have personally encountered in my life in the different roles I play...
As an attorney, trying to keep your cool while at the same time arguing on your client's behalf. Then prevailing on your client's case to only face your client arguing with you over the small amount of attorney fees that doesn't even cover the cost of the entire litigation process.
Or how about in my role as a real estate agent spending countless hours day-in and day-out (even working until the wee hours of the night and even on your much needed vacation) trying to get a property sold on a client's behalf, only to lose the property to foreclosure.
WIFE & MOTHER...
Or even as a wife and mom, spending several hours in the kitchen preparing a fabulous meal (or at least you think it's fabulous, LOL) and having your spouse NOT get second helpings (you see, I know when my spouse doesn't like what I've cooked--he doesn't go for seconds) and having your absolutely honest kids tell you "Mom, I don't like this...can I get a bowl of cereal?" Ugh!!! Really??!! When I have just spent hours in the kitchen and now will have to spend more time in the kitchen cleaning up ALL the evidence (from food left on their plates) of how much they didn't like the meal!! LOL
And what about my new role as an author? There are many ups and downs in the book world, especially if you're a new author. From not getting the support you thought you would receive from some of your family and friends...to selling a decent amount of books, however having one person "Return/refund" one of your books. Of course you don't know the reason why someone has returned a book, but your curiosity runs rapid and even though you've sold many books with great reviews...that ONE returned book will stay on your mind for the longest!!
So the point to all the above examples...it's difficult to always put on a happy face, but what about having joy. Yes J-O-Y as the Bible speaks of!!! Being joyful always...Is this even possible??? Obviously the Bible thinks so. So what is being joyful?
Well, the dictionary defines joyful as
1. full of joy, as a person or one's heart; glad, delighted.
2. showing or expressing joy, as looks, actions, or speech
3. causing or bringing joy, as an event, a sight, or news; delightful
Of course there are countless books on the subject of JOY and ALL the ways to obtain it. There are songs in almost every genre, perfume fragrances, even a society for "joyful beings" on the internet. But can you obtain joy by joining a Joyful Being society, hearing it sung in a song, spraying it on, or reading how to obtain it in a book?? Well maybe LOL, guess it depends on the book!
Personally, I believe my joy comes from the Holy Spirit within. Several verses in the Bible allude to this, but one in particular points out that one of the fruits of the spirit is JOY (Galatians 5:22).
Therefore, how do I define joy or being joyful? I would define being joyful as something that you have within that brings about a peace, a calmness, a solitude that helps you react a certain way to your surroundings. No matter what the day or circumstance may bring, you have an underlying joy that does not waiver. You may not be having the best day or moment, but that underlying peace, calmness, solitude, joy, makes you sit back and take a deep breath before reacting to a difficult situation.
Your underlying "joy" within could also make you think of things that bring you joy...such as a certain person or people (i.e. your spouse or children) when you're having a rough day at work. Or like a favorite quote from a good book when things aren't going your way. The song "Favorite Things" from the movie Sound of Music comes to mind. Your underlying joy makes you think of your favorite things in life!! SMILE.
Being "happy" in every circumstance and situation in life is probably not realistic. However, having that underlying joy...being joyful always...most certainly is!!! At least I think so...and so does your Heavenly Father! SMILE :-)
How would you define joy or being joyful and what brings you the MOST joy?
I like to DREAM big and HOPE even bigger!
I am an editor with Polished Paragraphs, former Executive Editor of The Zharmae Publishing Press, licensed attorney, writer, blogger, amateur artist, "wannabe" photographer, wife, and mother to three. I have independently published four (of seven) flash fiction Christian children's eBooks that are currently available on Amazon.com. I have always had a passion for writing short stories and poems, and equally love to read cleverly written, quirky children's books as well as non-fiction, inspirational, MG, YA, and some speculative fiction. I was born and raised in California, but now reside with my family in Richmond, Texas.