Finding Joy in the Everyday

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I used to think the only way to have fun was to be at a theme park or on vacation. I believed joy and fun had to be big and loud. And then real life happened.

I experienced tragedy, grief, and loss. And, in the last two years, although I’ve been free from most of those pains of the past, busyness and everyday routine have caught up with me.

My husband, Tyler, and I got married almost two years ago. Within the first few weeks of marriage my life got busier than it had ever been before; clean the house, go to work, go grocery shopping, fill the car with gas, stick to the budget, make time for my man, go to church, study like crazy, and the list goes on and on.

You know exactly what I’m talking about. 

About six months into our marriage, I found myself overcome with loneliness and craving fun. I was so happy to be married to Tyler and cultivating our life together, but I was so overcome with worry that I could hardly think of anything joyful. Tyler and I have always had fun together and laughed with each other, that’s one of the biggest things that started our relationship, but marriage brought on the worries of finances, career decisions, where to live, and one hundred other things for which I hadn’t really prepared myself that left me feeling incapable of really feeling happy and joyful.

As a recovering worrier, I know better than to let myself walk down a road of ‘what ifs’ and ‘somedays.’ But alas, walk I did. And it led to a very dark season for me.

I started spending my days wallowing in self-pity and sadness, wishing for friendship, wishing for laughter, and believing that those things could only happen if Tyler and I packed up and moved somewhere new. That wasn’t immediately possible because, you know, we have jobs and lives and family where we are. So that too made me feel stuck and hopeless.

This difficult season set me on an incredible journey with God, learning the power of contentment and trusting His timing and placement in my life. God has and is teaching me so many incredible lessons about being content where He has me and watching Him show me why. That includes learning to enjoy the current season and location of my life, and learning how to laugh and find joy in the everyday moments.

Contentment simply means a state of satisfaction and happiness. And I’ve found that the more content I am with my life, the more easily I can have fun and enjoy the routine moments of my day.

I’ve always enjoyed cleaning (I know that’s strange and obnoxious). I love the feeling of watching something transform under my hands and I’ve always had fun while cleaning. I love to crank up some music and dance my way through the house with a mop and broom as my partners. I love to listen to podcasts while I do dishes and pretend I’m on a timer to dust every surface as quickly as possible. Sounds crazy, I know. And when I’m discontent with my life, those things don’t work. But when I’m learning to love my life exactly as it is, I will gladly clean the house from top to bottom, smiling all the time.

The same goes for reading, working out, watching a movie, spending time with Tyler, or hanging out with friends. These are all things I enjoy, but if I’m not seeking God first and letting Him fill me with joy, I find that it’s extremely difficult to find that joy anywhere else.

As is always the case, my life is so much better when I am seeking God first and letting Him fill me with His Spirit, then everything else throughout the day that brings me joy, happiness and peace, is an overflow of His goodness.

When God is first, joy and fun can be found in the smallest of tasks, like folding laundry, and it can lead to bigger blessings of joy, like having the best friends you have ever had dropped into your life without your even realizing it is happening.

When you’re content and joyful because of God, everything looks brighter, feels lighter, and brings you an overflow of joy that can’t be explained.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:33, Christian Study Bible)

Anything you need, anything you desire, will be added to your life when you first dedicate yourself to God and learn that He is enough. When you find contentment in God and let Him lead your life, you will find yourself happier than you ever knew possible in a life that looks nothing like you planned.

“You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.” (Psalm 16:11, CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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