Authentic Living with Joy


Take a look at what living with joy could look like.

Did you know the word “joy” is mentioned in the bible (KJV) 165 times and 63 are from the New Testament.  I thought those numbers were interesting, so I did another search. 

This inquiry was based on, “how often do people experience joy?”  The result was concerning, apparently the frequency for men is 36% and for women 34%.  Why is this number so low? I can think of multiple reasons; I imagine you could too.

Joy comes from a place of significant reaction, starting with how we respond to situations. When any form of negativity takes root, we often look over the good that is right in front of us and there is so much good that is being missed. 

I have found that having Joy is a big part in authentic living.  But joy doesn’t just happen, it’s a decision, an active thought process that must be nurtured in order to grow. Think of Joy as a more long- lasting state of being.  It’s about being content and satisfied with your life overall.

That's powerful, I mean very powerful because I know firsthand what it’s like to live without joy.  I have been there and it is not a friendly place to settle.  In fact, you should never settle there because you deserve an honest state of being that God has intended for us all.

So, I have a little exercise that might help bring joy into your life. Begin this today and possibly repeat it for the entire month to see if your list may stay the same or improve.  First, I want you to look at what brings you joy, whatever that might be.  Write down 3 things that bring you immediate joy.  Remember “joy” is about contentment and perspective for the long haul. 

I want you to take this exercise serious, so I have shared my list and y'all this is personal.  If someone would have asked me 20 or 30 years to do this, I know my list would look very different than it does today.

My "Joy List" with Explanations

    • I have authentic joy in my walk with Christ because it brings me closer to God. This involves daily prayer, daily bible devotion and ongoing reading in my bible.  The best part putting it all into practice for his glory. 
    • I have authentic joy in my marriage, Robert is my best friend and the one person I can always count on.  We have an abundance of memories from different periods; they all come from a place of growth which have made us who we are today.  Through the ups and downs the contentment we share is everlasting.
    • Finally, I have authentic joy with our kids and nature.  Why is that?  From the first day I looked in their eyes, I have watched them learn and grow in ways I do not have the words to describe. They both have beautiful souls and solid foundations; I know they will always continue to blossom with or without me and the same is true with nature. Everything in life changes from one season to the next and our perspective offers that sense of contentment.  Our kids are adults now, so when I'm outdoors watching the butterflies and dragonflies, I see my daughter perfectly clear.  When the deer or wild rabbits visit, I see our son rising above obstacles that would crush most people. They are both amazing just like nature.

If someone was to sum up my "joy" you would notice that it was born from decisions.  I decided to find joy in the simplest and yet best things that God has placed in my life. I want to encourage you to find your own authentic joy and start living it.  When we live this way, we are blessed...

See the Good,
Carole West

Joy Screen saver for the month of March.

Download and use this screensaver to remind you that Joy is very reachable.

In case you are new to this series the beginning starts here.