Thursday, August 14, 2014


I'm so grateful for this opportunity to write and reflect and share my spiritual journey. Thank you, Holly! Today our focus is JOY.

For me joy is deeply rooted in my cannot exist without the other. I've been reminded of that so many times this week. To begin, what is joy? It's not happiness, although there are similar elements. Happiness is a state of being me it's more of a surface and temporary feeling. Joy is deeper. I was doing a little research and found this definition & chart.

I also discovered that the Bible uses the word happy about thirty times and joy (or rejoice) over three hundred times! Another website (and I can't remember where I read this, I'm sorry) said that joy is something you can search for, but you can't force and that's where faith enters the picture. I believe the sun will rise every morning. I believe something good will happen in the worst of days. I believe that God will provide and I do my best to follow His will. I love this part of Under the Tuscan Sun which illustrates what I mean about faith...

Joy and faith are not fleeting and they are certainly not easy! Both need to work, love and protection. They need to be cherished. This week I've witnessed examples of hurt, pain, cruelty in the the point of wondering how people can be so mean, so cruel. I cry. I question. I get angry. And then I pray. I hold more deeply onto my faith and my joy. This doesn't mean I walk around with a big smile on my face all the time. I don't. It does mean I work to find meaning where I can, I believe in God when I can't find meaning and I hold onto to the little things that bring me joy. 

Be joy-FULL...

Here's a list, in no particular order, of things that help me hold onto joy. What's on your list?

1. Be grateful
2. Look people in the eye...connect
3. Be in the moment
4. Find something kind to say
5. Laugh
6. Spend time doing something you love
7. Create something
8. Spend time outside
9. Reach out to a friend
10. Hug someone
11. Pray
12. Sing loudly to inspirational music
13. Appreciate the little things
14. Listen. Really listen to someone's story.
15. Serve others.
16. Be kind. Always.
17. Choose LOVE over FEAR...I love what Jim Carrey says about that.

Here are some examples of JOY...

Share your joy today!

Thank you Holly! I enjoyed writing this post today!


  1. Michelle, This is a brilliant and beautiful post. I'm going to reread it many times, I know. I love that you made a chart that compares and contrasts happiness with joy. I love that joy is mentioned way more than happiness in the Bible. I love the video clips. I love everything about this post. Thank you for your wise and wonderful words this morning!!!

  2. There is so much to think about in this post. I love the thought of joy being the song of our hearts. And you are so right about joy being much deeper than happiness. It said in the one chart that joy is a stronger but less common then the feeling of happiness. I think that is sad. Why do you think it is so hard for people to find joy? Something to think about. Thanks for sharing and also you kind words on my post.

  3. Really thoughtful. I keep my joy by making sure to look in my husband's and daughter's eyes in the morning. I love the lightness and love I see in them. Then I pray and thank God for all my blessings of peace and love so deep. Thanks again for sharing.

  4. Michelle, love the chart!!!! I am the un-dog lover, but that video of the baby and dog is priceless! So much truth and joy in your post! I think it is divine joy that three of us have used the same verse of joy today!


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