Seeking forever joy…

Written by: Ms. O

As I write this, I know my contribution will be coming out on April Fool’s Day…hmmm. Not that I am not a fond lover of playing practical jokes…I’m not the best at being on the receiving end, though.

I feel like the pranks we play to celebrate this strange date on our calendar is usually laughter at someone else’s expense. What I want to focus on is joy…pure joy…the kind that lasts. That kind of joy is most likely caused by something or someone else…but it is not the kind you have to worry about being the butt of.

There are certain things that bring an instant….lasting…smile to my face.

This past week I had the honor of meeting my two new great nephews…boy does that make me feel old. What is it about a baby that causes us to smile…on cue…and then go in for the smell? If you don’t know what I am talking about, you are missing out. There is this scent that new babies carry….I promise it is like “heavenly cologne”…as I lean in to inhale…it takes me back to when I was holding my own for the first time. My smile goes deep…from within the reserve of my soul…and then returns to be stored up…once again.

Changing of the seasons…brings this new breath…a new page….to daily living. I don’t care if it is the new buds of spring…the warmth of summer…the crispness of fall…or the starkness of winter….I am reminded that God is in control…and presents these gifts as a token of His love…for me…so I take joy in them….you can too…I’m a giver…I’ll share.

There are certain smells that bring that welling up…from deep…that comes out as euphoria on my face. Fresh baked bread…hello…manna from Heaven in loaf form.

Coffee brewing in the morning totally turns any bad ju-ju around.

Popcorn…from the movie theater…..oh my…there is no such thing as too full for popcorn…there is always room.

I love the smell of a clean house…it makes me feel like I have accomplished something…said with a self-satisfied grin.

And my all-time scent driven smile is…chocolate…in any form…as long as it is not fake…hello, who does that?!

Phone calls and visits from my kids…smiles that never fade.

Time with my family…a fount of joy that overflows.

Having breakfast…lunch…dinner…whatever…out with loved ones…is a source of an unexplainable expanding of my heart….so much so that I can’t help but be happy….and it has little to do with food.

The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 51:11

Living in this world we have plenty of reasons…all very real…to be sorrowful.

I don’t have to look far to see heartache…we live in a broken world….but this I know. God has ransomed me for joy to encircle my head like a crown. He has fought the battle for me and will help me in those rough times…what I need to do is find joy wherever I can find it.

It is there…I promise…it takes looking through God’s lens…filtering out what keeps us from seeing it. Each day He presents dozens of reason to smile…smirk…even laugh out loud…you just have to be ready for it.

I see you Lord…pointing out the sources of Your blessings…waiting for me to catch on…catch a glimpse…catch the joy that is being thrown in my direction…and I thank You for your patience…please keep it coming my way…laughing is good for the soul.

Finding joy in this day…and every day…

Ms. O