Then I have to stop and think about it. Where am I really finding my happiness and contentment? Is it in the ability to keep my world spinning at the pace I’ve set for it and having everything on my list checked off? Is it when I can do each one of my tasks and still find some “alone” time? Is it when everything goes according to my plan?
Because I don’t think any of those things constitute true joy.
I am striving to find joy in all situations, not just when life goes my way. I want to be able to smile in the face of my dreams disappearing and to be kind and gentle even when the little kids in my life throw me off routine. I want to be able to laugh when my plans change and to be gracious even when I’m out of my element. I want to dance in my stress and love in my frustration. I want my underlying feelings, emotions and my actions to transcend what I am experiencing at the moment and speak of a deep character.
My middle name is Joy and when I was a little girl (ok, ok, maybe I wasn’t so little…) and I was being grumpy my parents would tell me “Oh no, you can’t be grumpy, your middle name is Joy and you need to live up to it. We named you Joy on purpose because we wanted you to spread joy to the people who around you.” I spent a couple of years not liking my middle name. I didn’t want to be full of joy and it felt unfair that my parents were allowed to chose something like a character trait as part of my name.
I’m not sure how long it took me, but eventually I began to really enjoy my middle name. They named me Joy for a reason. It was within my power to bring joy to people and that is an amazing thought. I have the ability to change people’s outlook on life. I have the ability to change frowns into smiles. I have the ability to turn someone’s off-day into an on-day. Of course everyone has this power, not just those with the middle name of Joy, but the name is a good reminder.
And so today I am striving to live with joy. Not only for myself, but also for those around me. I want to greet each situation with a smile and give the world a metaphorical hug. I want to rejoice even when things don’t go my way. I want to bring God glory and those around me joy. And on that note I’d better go before I’m late for my non-writing job. I hope y’all have a wonderful day!
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I am delightedly interested in middle names and would find it quite fun if you care to share yours in the comments.