From Thankfulness to Joy by Nancy J. Farrier

joy-01

 

Here we are starting a whole new year. A year full or expectation and hope. A time when some choose to make resolutions and often break them before the end of the first week. That used to be me. I was not at all good at resolutions so I started off the year with discouragement.

 

Some of you may remember from last year that I mentioned I don’t do resolutions. Instead, I pray about choosing a word for the year, a word that will change my life for the better and make me a better person.

 

Last year, my word was Thankfulness. With the changes I faced in the coming year – changes I didn’t want – I had no idea how to be thankful, but I learned. Sometimes being thankful proved almost impossible. Still, with God’s help, I learned to give thanks no matter what. A great lesson to learn.

 

This year, I wanted an easier word. Something that came more naturally to me. A word that didn’t require work or change. Ha! That didn’t happen.

 

When I prayed, I kept coming back to the word joy. Joy. Did you know you can give thanks without feeling joy? Well, I could. I may have learned to give thanks, but that is as far as it went. Now I felt the nudge that I needed to add joy to my thankfulness.

 

Thus began a search of scriptures to see what the Bible has to say about joy. Many times joy is associated with music and worship. I began to put on music while cooking or doing dishes. Not rap or heavy metal for me. I put on a playlist of my favorite worship music and sing along, harmonizing and enjoying the chance to praise God.

 

I am also reminded of the acrostic my daughters learned in Sunday School. As I ponder the acrostic, I realize the perfect truth of it. I will apply this to my life this year and see how God changes my heart.

 

J – Jesus – Always put Jesus first. When I find myself without joy, I can stop and consider what Jesus would want me to do. How would He react to the situation? How would He see this and how can I do likewise? Seeing through His eyes get my focus off self and in an outward healthy direction.

 

O – Others – Looking to Jesus also helps me focus on others before myself. Is there someone I can help in some way? Maybe by a prayer, an encouraging note or some more visible need that I can meet. There is no greater joy than doing something for Jesus by helping someone He brings to mind.

 

Y – Yourself – Because I am human I will make sure my needs are met. What I need to avoid is making self the focus before anything else. By keeping this acrostic in order – J – O – Y – I will find balance and bring joy to my life.

 

Will this be an easy task? I think not. That’s why I have all year to practice. This is better than a resolution, which once broken, is usually tossed by the wayside. If I get out of step with JOY I can simply start again when I realize my mistake.

 

I wish you all a year of Thankfulness and Joy.

 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Ps. 51:12

About Nancy J. Farrier

Nancy J Farrier is an award-winning author who lives in Southern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. When Nancy isn't writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website: nancyjfarrier.com.
This entry was posted in Nancy J. Farrier and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to From Thankfulness to Joy by Nancy J. Farrier

  1. graylisam says:

    When I said “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:18-19

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love hearing what word other people have chosen. This year my word is seek because I want to Seek the Lord more. Joy is a great word as well, and something we all could use more of.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.