I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy….

…down in my heart….where?

I look over and see Elijah’s breakfast of cereal and rice chex get bumped over and slowly watch as the milk drips down to the floor covering everything in it’s sticky path.

…down in my heart…where?

The stack of papers and mail for me to go through has now filled the “to do” box. I see the bills peeking out, along with invites to respond to, and memos. It feels like too much.

…down in my heart…where?

Not again. It feels like I’ve been dealing with bad attitudes all day. Defiance and crankiness seem to be reigning. I’m tired. Why can’t it go smooth? Just one day. Is that too much?

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…down in my heart today.

It’s challenging isn’t it? That song from my youth seems so simple. Easy. As if the joy is just right there in my heart. Accessible, at all times. But life seems to creep in, attempting to rob hearts of joy. Finances, parenting, health, and the daily schedule move  lives at such a pace that joy could easily be snuffed out.

And then what? Then what do we sing? That we’re burnt out? That we’re tired?

I’ve sung that song. I don’t want to go back to that lament. So I began to seek joy, to find joy, in life. Daily life. In that spilled milk. And pile of bills. And defiance. I began to ask the Lord to teach me, and use me, and mold me in all circumstances. Including the ones that I would define as less than joyful.

Gradually, through surrendering, those moments began to become an area that was given back to the Lord. Joy began to seep into the everyday. The spilled milk became a time of practicing grace. The bills became faith. And the parenting challenges? Well, you guessed it, patience.

But how? How did these everyday moments become joy  moments?

It is through Jesus.

It became a practice and discipline for me. I had to be aware in those moments of life, and to be redirected to the truth. So I began to write verses on simple 3×5 notecards. I’d put them on my fridge — trust in the Lord with all your heart — and on my table — I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me — and above the sink — create in me a clean heart O Lord — and by my bed — be still and know that I am God — and so on. Through constant reminders, through His Word, I began to rest in those trying times. To look for him for strength, for a calm heart, for forgiveness, and for joy.

I need those reminders around me.

Otherwise I forget.

And I don’t want to forget.

Because I’ve got the joy, His joy,  in my heart today.

How about you? What do you do in your daily life to bring joy in the everyday? What are ways you remind your self to look to Jesus in all times?

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

8 Responses to I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy….
  1. Barbie
    March 21, 2011 | 1:02 am

    It’s so easy to allow the stresses of every day live to steal my joy. But I have to remind myself that He came to give me abundant life…and JOY! Thank you for another beautiful reminder of the joy all around me.

  2. Carissa
    March 21, 2011 | 7:51 am

    I needed to read this. I’m sick and weary this morning, but joy can still be my song!

  3. Deb
    March 21, 2011 | 9:12 am

    Great reminder Rachel, I now have that little tune rattling around in my head. Just need to use it to remember to remain joy-filled! Thanks!

  4. Rachel
    March 21, 2011 | 2:13 pm

    I’ve got that song in my head as well today. It’s probably a good song to have running through your head soundtrack. 😉 Thanks for the encouraging comments as well!

  5. Jamie
    March 22, 2011 | 1:32 pm

    WOW. The Lord really used you today, Rachel. I am struggling with ALL of the above today and by lunch time I was ready to throw in the towel….So thank you for Psalm 28:7 today. I really needed it! 🙂

  6. Courtney
    March 23, 2011 | 5:31 am

    Now I’ve got that song in my head too, and it is a very good thing! I need the reminder to pull out the joy that is “down in my heart” when life gets trying. Thank you for that. As far as how do I remind myself to look for Jesus – I also do notecards around my house and I’ve got to have my morning quiet time. I forget so easily! So constant reminders are key.

  7. Rachel
    March 23, 2011 | 7:36 am

    @Jamie — Blessings to you and I am so thankful that these words were a blessing. I know all too well about that towel that we just can’t throw in!

    @Courtney — I’ve had that song running since I wrote the post. It’s neat to hear how you do notecards as well. Do you have a favorite verse?

  8. Tara
    March 24, 2011 | 11:47 am

    Rachel, thanks so much for this (needed) reminder. Off to write some verses on notecards – seeking joy by seeking Him.