How to Wring the Joy Out of An Ordinary Day!
Dear Friend –
As you might remember, I love lists.
I am an expert list-maker.
Really … there are very few things that I am better at than making significant, life-changing and incredible lists.
I love the thrill of checking off even the smallest tasks on my perpetual “To-Do List”.
It’s been a while since I sent you a list … so here you go!
Here is your list entitled:
“How to Wring the Joy Out of An Ordinary Day!”
1 – Leave the past in the past!
Don’t bring the trauma … the disappointment … or the anger of yesterday into the joy that solely belongs to today!
I am not saying stuff the pain or ignore the pain … I am saying deal with the pain and then move beyond the pain.
If you need counseling … go for it!
Forgive the one who offended you and get on with it!
If you must have a loving but honest conversation … do it!
But please, my friend, do not allow the pain of yesterday to usurp the lovely joy of today.
“This is the day that the Lord has made – I will rejoice and be glad in it!” – Psalm 118:24
2 – Remember that it is the little things that build a big life.
Go for a walk at sunset.
Volunteer in the church nursery.
Visit a nursing home and listen to an older person’s heart.
Write a thank you note to a well-loved teacher … a long lost high school friend… to a pastor who spoke into your life … or to your neighbor who is going through a hard time.
Plan a picnic for some neighborhood children. Buy squirt guns and sidewalk chalk.
Smile at a stranger.
Pay for someone else’s coffee.
Call your mom.
I actually have written the following saying on a 3x5 card and have it taped to my bathroom mirror:
Little > Big.
The little things in life are so much greater than the great, big events.
3 – Fill Your Life With Music.
Play worship music while you are getting ready for the day.
When you are doing the dishes – play Broadway Show tunes and sing along!
While you are driving – listen to the great hymns of the faith.
When you are folding laundry – play the music of your youth.
When you are going for a walk – set your pace by upbeat praise music!
When you are cleaning your house – allow the beautiful strains of classical music to clear away the dust of your brain.
And when you are falling asleep at night – listen to sweet and soothing worship melodies as played by a grand orchestra.
“No matter what yesterday was like – the birds always start a new day with a song.”
4 – Forgive someone.
Maybe you need to forgive your spouse … or a sibling … or a parent.
Maybe you need to forgive a teacher who belittled you … a childhood friend who bullied you … or a boss who betrayed you.
The most powerful and joyful choice you can ever make is to forgive someone for the hurt that they caused you.
Let the pain go … walk into tomorrow with no offenses dragging along behind.
Forgiving someone else will be the very best gift that you ever give to yourself.
“The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.”
“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” – Mark 11:25
5. Just Be Grateful.
If there is just one secret to living a life of joy it is found in living a life of gratitude.
Gratitude turns not enough into more than enough.
Gratitude heals jealousy … it revives purpose … and it focuses on simplicity.
If you are dealing with depression and discouragement today … then make a list of your blessings.
Every hour on the hour remind yourself of one more thing for which you are grateful.
If you are struggling to find joy … then just be thankful because thankfulness and joy are not so very far apart.
It’s not joy that cultivates gratitude … but it is gratitude that miraculously produces joy.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15
Thanks for listening to my heart this week. As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me. And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!