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4 Ways to CHOOSE JOY!

Sometimes we need to be reminded to choose joy*.

You know…”when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when we’re feeling saaad….”

For most, the moments of sheer bliss are out-weighed by the mundane, the ordinary, the pain and suffering of everyday life-- you know--the stuff where “joyful” does not describe our disposition. And this cloud of gray can cast a dark shadow over everything—including our family life, leaving us feeling frustrated and at odds with each other, the world and even God.

But, for better or for worse, feelings come and they go, and if we believe that God is the source and author of joy, we have found our Artesian Well of lasting Happiness!

God created the world in order to share His joy, all that is Himself, with us. We serve a joyful God.

Thanks be to Him, we can choose to fan into flame His joy within ourselves and our families by practicing these four things:

1. Choose Reconciliation: Say, “I AM SORRY” to God and to others when we have not been the best version of ourselves. This will open the flood gates of grace and restore right relationships and joy in our home.

2. Choose Service: Are you sad? Do something for someone else. St. Mother Theresa said service is the sure cure for depression. Go as a family on a mission trip, feed the homeless, rake a neighbor’s yard, bake cookies for a sick friend. Serve God and look to help others. Get OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF.

3. Choose to bring your suffering to God as a family. Don’t go it alone. If you are having tough times, don’t close yourself in and have a pity party. Take whatever you may be going through to GOD-- TOGETHER. Pray the rosary, invite friends over for prayer, engage others to help. Don’t shut down. There is strength and JOY in community.

4. Choose to enjoy each other’s company. Don’t be in such a rush that you forget to DAILY ENJOY EACH OTHER. Sit, have a cup of coffee together, a glass of wine, or an ice cream cone and just TALK. JOY COMES in the moments of true connection. Life passes quickly, be present and ENJOY.

Pastor Rick Warren states that in every life there will be times of great suffering and great joy, like train tracks running side by side. We have to choose which rail to ride.

Choose to choose the practice of joy and then you... “won’t feeeel soooo baaaad!”

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15:11

Dear Lord,

I want to be joyful! I want to be happy! And I want my family to be joyful, loving and unified. Please help me first to be sure things are right between You and me. Then help me to see if I need to apologize to anyone I may have hurt among my family or friends. Lord, if I have, please give me the grace and humility to ask for forgiveness. I want to be You and others focused. Help me to get outside of myself by serving You through connecting with others—that can’t help but bring me joy. Thank You that You are a joyful and loving God. I choose to choose You. By Your grace, I choose to practice joy.

I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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