During recent a terrible, horrible, no good very bad, day, I had a secret panic attack when I realized I’d left my residence permit at my daughter’s skating center. I kept it quiet because I was desperately hoping to retrieve it before my dear husband found out. Praying and holding my breath all the way, I raced back to the center with my two kids.
I must have been uptight because as we walked into the building, I accidentally dropped my sun glasses right in my daughter’s path.
I let out an involuntary scream, “Don’t walk on my glasses!” She pretended not to know me.
Fortunately an employee had found my residence permit. After I picked it up, I went out to the parking lot and tried to get into someone else’s car.
“Uh, Mom,” my son said. “That’s not our car.” That had been why my key wasn’t working.
Next we drove to the pet shop. After making my purchase I walked out of the store.
The shop keeper came out running. “Ma’am, don’t forget your credit card!”
I thought, “Hmm, am I seeing a pattern here?” That’s when I started laughing. All the way back home, I turned up the music, and my kids and I laughed about my mishaps.
I want to be a joyful person even when life’s glitches come up.
Sometimes it helps just to stop and laugh at myself. On challenging days I try to take a deep breath and tell myself, “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
For me joy is not just extra frosting on the cake of life. It’s crucial. Joy gives me strength. Joy gives me a new lens on life, but it’s not just something that happens to me when all of my problems are solved and everything works out okay.
Joy is something I can cultivate. Here are ways I seek to do that:
- Enjoy God
One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 16: “In your presence there is fullness of joy.” This reminds me that no matter what happens, I can take joy in God’s presence with me and in his love for me.
- Enjoy Life
Let’s face it. A lot of life is pretty ho-hum. Sometimes it’s difficult. I pray often, “God, help me to enjoy the life you’re giving me today. Help me to embrace the tasks you have for me.” I want to savor simple pleasures like conversation around the dinner table.
- Laugh and smile
It’s amazing how smiling can change my attitude on a bad day.
- Make time for things I enjoy
Here’s my list of practical things that increase the level of joy in my life.
- Walk in the park.
- Call a friend.
- Plant flowers on my balcony.
- Reach out to someone who needs encouragement.
- Make time to get together with friends.
- Have an interesting conversation with my husband or my kids.
- Cook some slow food.
- Read a good book.
What do you enjoy doing? How do you seek to keep a positive attitude?