On Monday mornings around here for a few weeks, I will be having chats with friends about joy. Grab a cup of coffee and join in the conversation!
For the first blog in this series, I asked Rachel from Balance and Blueberries to participate. Rachel (who was one of my bridesmaids) has the most exuberant spirit. She has more energy than almost anyone I know! Even when she’s stressed or overwhelmed or sad, Rachel still has such a passion for life, maybe even especially the little things that fill normal days. So here is Rachel’s take on joy:
Are you naturally joyful?
I’m totally a glass half full kind of person. I tend toward the positive, and naturally look for the silver lining.
What brings you the most joy?
The people in my life, hands down—my husband, my family, my friends. Without relationship, this life would be a joyless existence.
What is a little thing that regularly brings you joy?
Connection—I am so grateful for the close relationships I have, and connecting with those people brings me a lot of joy. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming—a text, a phone chat , lunch, a coffee date, a newsy email.
When do you struggle to find joy?
When I’m too busy and my calendar has a thing designated for every waking hour of every day for days on end, I find even the things I once enjoyed become a burden. Bob Goff says, “The battle for joy is usually fought on the pages of our calendars.” What truth! When I’m rigidly scheduled, I do this, do that, do the next thing, and fall into bed exhausted when I get home. I don’t have time to spend with my husband. I don’t have time to stop by my mom’s house for lunch. I don’t have time to meet a friend for coffee. So what do I think I accomplish with all the hustling? I’m not sure, but I’m definitely not adding to my joy!
How are you pursuing joy right now?
I’m simplifying. I’ve dropped a couple of my freelance gigs, which has done wonders in the calendar department, and thus the joy department! I’m also becoming much more selective when it comes to projects or gigs I accept. I’m working hard to put my people-pleasing ways behind me and to keep my priorities in line.
What is the key to a joy-filled day for you?
“This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Ultimately, it’s a choice. Spend your days looking for the things which bring you joy and you’ll find them—they’re there. Even in the mess and the busyness, they’re there.