I woke up this morning with a song in my head.
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy….down in my heart.
Where? Down in my heart…
Where? Down in my heart…
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy…down in my heart.
Where? Down in my heart to stay.
I sang that song a lot as a little girl. I sang it with my children when they were little. It was always a fan favorite when I taught children’s church.
I’ve had a disappointing week. When I woke up to this song playing in my head, I made me think about my joy.
Where is my joy?
When things aren’t going well, it’s harder to find your joy. The irony is that when you find your joy, things always get better. Knowing where your joy is, what your joy is, can lift your mood faster and easier.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
What makes you smile?
I have a picture of Sweetness hanging in my office. I took it, paparazzi-style, while she was getting ready for her first prom. It’s a great picture. Her eyes are sparkling, her nose is crinkled, and her tongue is sticking out. In a click, it captured her personality.
I took over 300 pictures that day. Most of them posed in typical prom picture fashion. This candid shot is my favorite. Looking at it makes me smile, no matter how badly my day is going.
What makes you smile? Is there a picture of your children, or your dog, doing something silly that always makes you grin? A picture of you on vacation or with someone special? Did a picture come to mind when you read that sentence?
Find that picture, blow it up nice and big, and hang it where you can see it every day. Then look at it when you need to find your joy again.
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
Laughter is a great way to find your joy again. Laughter creates physiological changes in the body. It relieves stress, releases endorphins and relaxes your entire body.
When you’re feeling blue, it’s tempting to watch a tearjerker. I always watch a comedy instead. I have a few movies that always make me laugh, and I keep the DVDs handy so I can pop them in when I need to find my joy again.
The Genius is great at making me laugh. He knows where to find my funny bone, and takes pleasure in tickling it. He shares my quirky, sly sense of humor. Probably because he’s my child!
I surround myself with people who can make me laugh. If you find a friend who can always make you laugh, you’ve found a treasure worth its weight in gold.
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
Does artwork speak to you? How about a beautiful garden? Or a tangle of honeysuckle in full bloom?
The smell of honeysuckle evokes some of my happiest childhood memories. We moved a lot because Daddy was in the Navy. My favorite house had a big yard with shady nooks perfect for this little introvert to hide with her books. No matter which nook I picked, I could smell honeysuckle.
One of the first things I did when I moved to my current house was to strategically plant honeysuckle. When I step out onto my back porch, the smell takes me back to those happy, summer days.
When you’re really struggling to find your joy, try sprinkling joy on someone else.
I have two therapy dogs. I take them to visit residents at a local assisted living facility. We have friends in the regular ward and the memory ward. The residents’ joy at seeing us is contagious.
Our favorite friend is Charlie. Charlie had a stroke. He has limited use of his right hand. He whips around on a motorized wheelchair. If you drive by the facility, you may see him perched at the end of the driveway. He looks like he’s going to make a break for it.
Charlie doesn’t speak very clearly anymore. That doesn’t stop him from talking to the dogs. We can’t understand most of his words. We have no problem understanding his joy!
Once I remembered where my joy is, it got a lot easier to get over my disappointing week.
My children are my joy walking around outside my heart. They are my joy personified.
Looking at my favorite picture of Sweetness reminds me where my joy is.
Giggling with the Genius while we watch King of the Hill chases away my blues.
The honeysuckle is blooming. I’m going to sit on my back patio with the dogs now. Maybe I’ll even bring some of the blooms in with me.
Question: Where is your joy? What helps lift your mood?