Monday, August 10, 2009

Joy, Joy, Joy!

The word joy means “a state of happiness or felicity.” We usually think of that state as being caused by some outside source. When we succeed at what we are doing, we feel joy. When we love and are loved back, we feel joy. When we receive good news, we feel joy. But joy is out there waiting for us at any time, because while joy can be a consequence it is also a choice.

Even if we are doing the most mundane of tasks (washing dishes, weeding, or cleaning bathrooms) we can feel joy if we want it. Even when in miserable circumstances (stuck in traffic, waiting in a long line, or sitting through a class we don’t like) we can feel joy. The secret is to be aware of the present moment and all that it holds.

Instead of letting your mind fill with the worries and problems of life, feel the warmth of the water on your hands while doing dishes, smell the dish detergent, watch how the bubbles float and pop, swish your hands around and feel the water stroke and caress you. When weeding, smell the sweet, wet soil. Compare the many shades of green. Listen to the insects. While waiting in a long line of people, listen to the music of many human voices blending into one sound. Watch the kaleidoscope of colors from everyone’s clothing. Seek to discover something good about each person.

Lehi told his son that “Men are that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). That doesn’t mean good things are always supposed to happen to us. It means that we are to learn how to find joy in any situation we are in.

Picture by Rebecca Waring
www.rebecca-waring.com/PaintingImage11.aspx

8 comments:

Amy said...

Have you read "Wanting More" by Mark Chamberlain? Because you might love it--it talks about this.
Also, your title reminded me of the song, "Joy in the Morning," which you will also love, although you've probably already heard it.

Laresa said...

What great topic. When I looked at the picture it looked so much like your kitchen sink I thought somebody had painted for you.
I love to find joy in my everyday life!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Amy, Thank you! I always love hearing about good books!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Laresa, That isn't anything like the sink I have now--it's the sink we had when you were growing up! I hadn't noticed that before. Keep finding the joy!

Wendi said...

What a great post. Your blog helps me to feel joy. Thanks! :)

Heather said...

Thanks for this post today. It was a mothering day when I needed to search for the JOY. I know it's there and this was a great reminder to look beyond the frustrating moments and see the good. Also a quote I found that I thought you'd like.

"No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock, it is opened.'" C.S. Lewis (in The Great Divorce)

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, Thank you--that's the kindest thing you could say! It makes me happy, too!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Heather, thanks for stopping by and I love that quote. C.S. Lewis is one of my heroes, but I don't remember this quote. Thanks for adding it here.