Saturday, July 8, 2017

Beginner's Guide to Joyful Living -- Day 8

I began a 31-Day challenge on July 1st, and a week later, I still haven't offered step-by-step ways to infuse joy into our lives. It's tempting to create a punch list, drawn from cliches. You have probably seen them on social media, offering an alluring title and the promise of a quick fix. 

I'm sure an advertisement like this really exists.
But I have to wonder. . . if joy is so easily obtained, why does it elude so many people?

Joy is like the tide, sweeping in and out of our lives, except it doesn't have a time-table. We can't predict when it will come or leave.

True joy can only be achieved after we've found grace. Of course, grace isn't the same thing as joy. And there are many, many definitions. To me, grace is a grown up version of joy, with a steady hand and a quiet mind. 

We learn grace by how we handle stress, upheavals, tragedy. 
Perhaps we earn it, too.

Inner grace has a shield: Imperturbability.

A certain sang-froid provides a more irreverent shield, but it's still strong.

The state of grace isn't achieved by a quick fix. It's a life-long quest.
One step forward. Ten steps backward. Another step ahead. 

Tides wash in and reshape us. But we won't break. 

With grace, we'll stand strong.

Today I will be impervious to trouble. When problems are hurled in my direction, I will let them move through me.

Today I will chose grace.
And in choosing grace, I choose joy.


  1. Very complex, do you feel grace is the ultimate management of emotion? The people I would describe as having grace seem to be totally at peace with themselves, which allows things to not up end them...

  2. The older I get, the more I realize that a negative reaction to a situation can truly pull the joy right out of you....and in the end it doesn't change things, so yes, handling facing life's situations with grace will yield as you say, joy. Beautiful post!

  3. "The older I get..." That says it all, Shirley. Age can be such a blessing. It's the era when we start to put it all together.

  4. Yes, I think age is a blessing. Over time, I think living with gratitude is what brings me the most joy. I admit that I have a very comfortable life with little stress, but all the same, it's knowing and appreciating what we have in life that makes a huge difference in how one comes to know joy.
    I like Jenna's comment is a good example. Again, thank you for this series!

  5. When I was younger I took waking up every morning for granted. I took health and routine and work and play and love and freedom and all those other things we assume will always be for granted. Like someone else said, the older I get the more I realize just waking up this morning was a miracle. It always was a miracle. I just started noticing. This series is so great. Thank you!

  6. I was away in Colorado, and I'm just catching up, Michael Lee, but wanted to say that I love your definition of grace. I pray each and every day that God will give me grace (and peace and mercy).