Monday, September 14, 2009

Finding Joy

"I've got the Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart! Where?! Down in my heart!" A song from long ago that I sung so many times in Sunday school and at home as a little girl. Yet now as a grown woman, that joy is just not down in my heart. It is the thing I have been trying to rediscover. I have come to the realization that a lot of why I don't have joy is because of sin. That is the simplest explanation. It wasn't done on purpose. It just happened. I was not intentional or disciplined in making God a priority in my choices. I didn't maintain the relationship. All the wonderful ministry I do just doesn't build or strengthen a relationship with God. He doesn't want my emails, my flyers, my plans or my organization. He wants me and my heart. My desire to seek Him and follow hard after Him in obedience. So lost in the years of going it all on my own is the joy I have lost out of my heart.
I was challenged by an amazingly wise lady, Holley Gerth, to look for joy in the next 40 days. I have become more intentional and aware of the things that bring me joy. What I realize is that the joy I cherish and long for comes from the relationships with my family and with my Savior. When those relationships are neglected or considered to be secondary to my own agenda and to do lists, that is when the joy leaves my heart. There is nothing that squashes joy like sin. Sin and putting relationships second, third, fourth or sixteenth on the list are often synoymnous. So as I search for the joy each day, I focus more on maintaining relationships with the people I have been blessed with and with the Savior and Creator of my life. With this daily intentional search I know that the joy will be "down in my heart to stay!"

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