Unpretentious Joy

A few years ago I invested in ornaments that said one word: Joy. This year I yet again strategically placed them not only on our tree, but on our hearth, on the wreath on our front door and I even placed one over the walkway leading up to our house.

Joy.

Because when the short days of winter arrive, when the season’s skies are mostly cloudy, the days feel dark and it’s easy to forget…

Joy.

Because as holidays arrive in their frenzy, it’s easy to get frustrated with the demands of partaking in the season. It’s easy to forget…

Joy.

Because as Christmas nears, it’s easy to feel the pangs of loss, realizing that loved ones won’t be with us this year. It’s easy to forget…

Joy.

But it’s there.

Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper to find it. Sometimes it takes sitting in silence to embrace it. Sometimes we have to cognitively realize that joy isn’t happiness. Happiness tends to be fleeting, based on circumstances, lasting for moments.

Joy is something deeper. It’s a comfort, a satisfaction that sits deeper within our being. It’s something we feel at our very core.

There is joy in knowing we are loved. There is joy in knowing we have a purpose. There is joy in knowing we can give of ourselves, give of our love.

There is joy in knowing this season, all seasons in fact, are about something far greater than any of us could ever begin to fathom. This season is about celebrating the gift of life we’ve all been given, and the Creator who gave it.

Honestly, it’s hard to not get caught up in the have’s and the have-not’s of the season. It’s easy to get lost in the commercialistic ideals we’re constantly inundated with. It’s easy to forget…

Joy.

In a world that is so seemingly tumultuous, unsettled and at times, terrifying, in a world where we are constantly bombarded with news of more bombings, more crimes, more crises, it’s easy to forget…

Joy.

But joy is here. It arrived, having been born humbly, then laid in a manger unpretentiously. Joy offers us grace, mercy and love. And with joy comes hope, a hope that is eternal.

My hope and prayer for all of you that in this season you know and experience joy.

 

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Photo by Jaklyn Larsen

Photo by Jaklyn Larsen

How will you embrace joy this Christmas?

 

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