Joy is a Choice of My Behavior- Choose Joy Week 4

By August 26, 2012Choose Joy

So many things are out of reach as well as out of our ability to control, but our behavior, that’s not one of those things.

When we are choosing joy, we need to realize that what we say, think, do as well as how we treat ourselves matters.

If it matters to you, then it matters to God.  He cares. 

Kay tells us that “Unresolved emotional pain and brokenness can make choosing joy on a daily basis challenging” and that we need to take care of ourselves.

Choosing joy is not always easy and sometimes can be most difficult, but it is possible to do so and to choose joy daily.

She gives us some practical things that will help us in our desire to choose joy:

  • Look for a Joy Mentor – find someone who is more than just a happy personality, but rather a sister that will find joy in the tears, God in the ordinary and is thankful for the perfect will of God even though it is painful.  Release the little girl in you to experience unbridled joy.  I love that she calls children “joy factories,” as they truly do just soak up the precious moments surrounding them.
  • Avoid Small Potatoes – I often remind people that it’s the little things that make life big.  While completely true, it’s also the little things that steal your joy.  Traffic, spat with family, flat tires, things not going the way as planned, etc.  Joy thieves are waiting in each instance of your day for one purpose…to steal your joy.  You get to choose if you hand it over willingly or not.  Choose wisely.
  • Rediscover Pleasure – I often talk about ordinary joy and the hidden treasures in our day to day life.  I tease my boss sometimes by saying “I want it all and I want it wrapped” but truth is, we do want the best of the best and often miss the greatest joys in the most ordinary of things.   The feeling of stomping through puddles, the giggles of joy when romping through grass, the cheesy look of the full moon as he lights up the darkest night.  When you open your eyes to see the treasures in the ordinary, they quickly become priceless treasures.
  • Express Affection Extravagantly – I’m a hugger.  When you meet me, you’ll likely get a hug, huge smile and hearty hello.  Many people can barely make eye contact, much less express affection in this manner.  I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone when in public this week and smile bigger, greet others with a warm handshake or if circumstances allow it a warm hug.  You’ll be amazed at what it does for YOUR heart.
  • See the Humor – I love laughing. Often when I’m laughing, I don’t realize it but I carry a lot of volume, and sometimes my children don’t see the humor in that.  Making the best of the worst situations sometimes requires seeing the humor.  Sometimes you are the one that can point it out, when no one else even sees it.  Recently we had our family vacation.  Whirlwind, lots of driving but lots of fun.  On the way home we had a plan to just drive straight through (12 hours) and take one day to rest before finishing up our final trip home, another 13 hours.  Four hours into the trip our tire blows.  We don’t have a special tool we need to change it, so what went from normal 30 minute inconvenience was now an almost 5 hour ordeal.  We “picnicked” on the side of the interstate, laughed and had a good time while basking in the morning/afternoon sun.  We get another 3 hours under our belt and another tire “sounded funny.”  We pull over and sure enough the tread is ripped and the tire needed to be replaced.  We immediately find a Wal-Mart Tire Center, take it in while they are changing the 2nd tire, we shop.  We are laughing at the craziness of it all when my son hugged me and said “Mom, I’m glad you are my mom, because with anyone else, this would have really been bad.” I reminded him we can’t change the situation so we needed to simply enjoy it and reminded him that we may never know what God protected us from.  Find the humor!  Kay reminds us that “when you recognize both the pain and the humor around you, you take another step toward knowing true joy.”
  • Practice Gratitude – Even if we are never blessed with another “great thing” we can always be grateful for our home in heaven, the amazing grace of God and His never ending mercy. There is always something to be thankful for.  Question is, will you see it during the storm that rages?  Will you see it in the ordinary?  Will you be looking for it?  When you are thinking about all the great things that surround you, you will be thankful.
  • Live in the Moment – I love those precious moments where joy just bursts into your heart from the most unexpected places!  Trouble is, we want to live there all the time.  If we were to never experience pain or sorrow, we could never truly experience great joy.  Stop looking at the trouble you are enduring and focus on the priceless moments of joy and blessings.  If your sorrows are so great, grief so heavy and burdens are so deep, then take time each day to focus on the blessings of heaven, amazing grace and God’s great mercy by way of the gift of the cross. Live in that, even when the storm is raging.
  • Find the Blessing in the Mess – Have you ever watched a child play in the rain, mud or even finger paint? Have you just quietly observed their smile and laughter or do you see just the mess they are making?  Inside of every mess we get ourselves into, or the ones that seem to sneak up on us, there IS a blessing.  I have no clue what it could be, but seek it out! Look for it! If you never find the blessing in the mess, then trust God to work it out for your good.
  • Passing the JOY on – Our tag line at Spreading Joy Corporation is “There’s no joy like spreading joy.” There simply isn’t.  If you want joy to be at your very core, then “give.”  If you want to have joy flooding your heart each day, then “do.” If you want joy to be a way of life, then “serve.” Don’t think about how you’ll be thanked, who will see, how much value your act of joy is worth, just do it.

JOY is a choice!

Prayer Requests

When you visit our Prayer Wall and post a prayer request, know that we have a team of women who are praying for you. In order to receive the blessing of these prayer warriors, you need to submit your prayer request. If you have a private prayer and don’t want to post it on the website, please email wbcprayers@gmail.com

Assignment For This Week

  • Join a LIVE CHAT via Facebook at 9PM EDT/ 6PM PDT– with Christine on Monday and Traci on Tuesday
  • Register for the next online Bible study- click here

Discussion – choose to answer any or all of the following:

  1. Looking at the list above, what one thing will you choose to do this week to add JOY to your life?
  2. Has your attitude towards JOY changed since reading the book Choose Joy and completing this study? How?
  3. Which session on Joy has had the most impact for you: Jesus, Man of Joy, Joy is a Conviction of My Mind, Joy is a Condition of my heart, or Joy is a Choice of My Behavior?
  4. Find one Bible verse on JOY from this study or one you discover on your own, write the verse on a card and carry it with you until you memorize it. Share your verse with us if you want.
  5. Would you recommend the book Choose Joy to a friend? Why or why not?

Create JOY, Cause JOY and Spread JOY while you are choosing JOY!

Thank you for allowing me the honor of leading this Bible Study.  Thank you for the desire to be women of joy!

If you’d like more help and/or ideas about Spreading Joy, you can check out our book here, Spreading Joy Daily as well as our most popular articles encouraging you in JOY listed here.  http://www.spreading-joy.org/site/quick-links/

 

Spreading JOY,

Marie Wikle

 

Author WBC

Find online bible studies for women at the Womens Bible Cafe. It's also a place where you can meet other Christian women from around the world and fellowship together. If you're unable to a attend a church small group bible study then the Bible Study Cafe is just right for you! Look under "Current Studies" to see what we're reading. Bring your book and let's study the Word together.

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Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Allison M says:

    1. Looking at the list above, what one thing will you choose to do this week to add JOY to your life?

    I hope to rediscover the hidden treasures in my day to day life…I don’t work outside the home, my children are grown and gone…in fact each day is just like yesterday and tomorrow will likely be the same. I like Marie’s reminder: “There is always something to be thankful for.” I have to ask myself “Will I see it in the ordinary?”

    2. Has your attitude towards JOY changed since reading the book Choose Joy and completing this study? How?

    I learned that joy is within our reach; that it’s not just for a few people. It is not just for the great Christians of the Bible or the leaders of our churches and Bible studies. God intends it as our birthright. The Holy Spirit has given us joy, it’s part of our birthright, we can claim it. I really enjoyed Kay’s definition of joy.: “The settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life; the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright and the determined choice to praise him in all things.”

    3. Which session on Joy has had the most impact for you: Jesus, Man of Joy, Joy is a Conviction of My Mind, Joy is a Condition of my heart, or Joy is a Choice of My Behavior?

    Joy is a Choice of My Behavior: The best take away for me: I can’t always control what’s happening to me on the outside, but I can most definitely control my response. How I react to challenges and how other people see me respond to difficulties is directly related to what I believe about God and what God is doing in my life. When I realize I can’t control external circumstances, but do have control over my reactions, joy actually becomes something I can attain.

    4. Find one Bible verse on JOY from this study or one you discover on your own, write the verse on a card and carry it with you until you memorize it. Share your verse with us if you want.

    Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

    5. Would you recommend the book Choose Joy to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book is an easy read, that I found very uplifting and inspirational. As I participated in this study, I kept thinking of different people that would love this book. I will be giving this book as gifts because I feel Kay Warren’s message is meant to be shared with many. On a side note, Christine, I have always enjoyed your guidance and leadership on these online Bible Studies. Bringing in talented women of faith such as Marie Wikle, shows your true heart for the Lord. Your insight in finding women who share your vision for this Ministry is such a blessing. Thank you Christine and Marie and may God continue to bless your ministries.

  • Tina says:

    Loved the book—– just loved it!
    * Looking at the list above, what one thing will you choose to do this week to add JOY to your life?
    I will remember that there is truth to the adage “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. That is, my joy gets put on first thing each day and in doing so I can extend joy to others! We can then rewrite, “When mama ain’t joyful, ain’t nobody joyful!!!!”

    *Has your attitude towards JOY changed since reading the book Choose Joy and completing this study? How?
    YES! Or perhaps what it has done is to SETTLE in the reminder to DAILY choose joy.

    * Which session on Joy has had the most impact for you: Jesus, Man of Joy, Joy is a Conviction of My Mind, Joy is a Condition of my heart, or Joy is a Choice of My Behavior?
    Really, I can’t choose. They are all interchanegeable and build to the same purpose for me.

    * Find one Bible verse on JOY from this study or one you discover on your own, write the verse on a card and carry it with you until you memorize it. Share your verse with us if you want.
    Psalm 30:11 You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. (GNB)
    Psalm 46:4 There is a river that brings joy to the city of God, to the sacred house of the Most High. (GNB)

    * Would you recommend the book Choose Joy to a friend? Why or why not?
    I would indeed! It’s a must read no matter where you are on the Road to Joy!

    Thanks Marie for facilitating and thanks WBC for being the umbrella!

  • Sharon Lewis says:

    1. Looking at the list above, what one thing will you choose to do this week to add JOY to your life?

    I wish I could say that I will incorporate everything in the list in my life this week. Just check that baby off! However, in reality, to see genuine change, it takes some focus on one or a few things at a time. One area I will take more notice of is to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Just making it a point to enjoy the pleasures that God has given us creates more joy in our lives and takes the heaviness out of life’s stressers. Just today I found joy in the breeze on my face while sitting on the back deck doing my Bible study; savoring the sweet creamy goodness of my cup of coffee, and snuggling next to four of the most precious and affectionate dogs in the world. I had some beautiful acoustic guitar playing in the background that reinforced the tranquility. That was joy!

    2. Has your attitude towards JOY changed since reading the book Choose Joy and completing this study? How?

    I placed a lot of post it notes throughout the book to reread areas that really spoke to me. However, one area that really stands out to me as transforming is that the way I react to life’s difficulties makes a statement to the world around me. When I choose joy, that is a strong witness to others of God’s goodness. I want God’s light to shine through my life more than anything. Therefore, I don’t have the luxury of just letting my emotions dictate my life, but it is actually a responsibility to enjoy my life before others so that they may know Christ.

    3. Which session on Joy has had the most impact for you: Jesus, Man of Joy, Joy is a Conviction of My Mind, Joy is a Condition of my heart, or Joy is a Choice of My Behavior?

    “Joy Is the Condition of My Heart” really spoke to me mainly because my eyes were really opened to how nurturing joy in others can bring joy to us as well. I learned a lot about my attitude and have made some adjustments. Also, each section of nurturing joy in myself gave me some important thoughts to ponder and put into practice in my life.

    4. Find one Bible verse on JOY from this study or one you discover on your own, write the verse on a card and carry it with you until you memorize it. Share your verse with us if you want.

    “The joy of the Lord is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10b. Maybe I should include the first part also that says to enjoy choice food and sweet drinks!

    5. Would you recommend the book Choose Joy to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, I would. I know too many women who overlook joy in their busy lives and really miss out on some blessings. Joy is our inheritance, and Jesus came to give us life to the fullest, or abundant life as Scripture is also translated. It is God’s will for us to full of joy, but too many people don’t know how to find it or practice it in their lives. Joy and happiness are also too easily confused, leaving some disillusioned. Kay gives good Scriptural foundations and practical guidance to live the life that Jesus paid the ultimate price to give us. I also love her transparency in sharing her personal experiences that were very meaningful to me. Others will be blessed by that aspect.

    Initially, some were uncomfortable with her joyful description of Jesus as if it were a bit too casual and lacking some in respect. However, upon careful reading, I felt that every sentence in this book was Biblically sound and helpful for women who want to live a Godly and joyful life in front of others. I also recommend the videos. They were such a blessing!

    • Christine Smith says:

      I enjoyed reading your response because it reminds me of the important details of the study. Your answer to the simple pleasures also reminds me of the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. In the book see challenges the reader to give thanks for everyday things. Its one of my favorite books!

  • tcavey says:

    Wonderful, Wonderful lessons!
    Great job.
    The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy everything good in our lives. He will take our joy if we let him. But we don’t have to let him. Jesus promises us an abundant life. That doesn’t mean earthy riches, it means eternal ones!

  • Laverne (Missy) says:

    I am gleaning so much from this lesson that I feel like I might lose it all if I don’t take it slow, you know like cooking in a crock pot……….Slow, simmering and in the end excellent seasonings and blended well…those are the end result I want and prayerfully I am maintiaining it that way.

    I plan to ask our Center for African Biblical Study at church to look at adding this book about “Joy” it was a much needed journey for me, not so much about chooing Joy but the aspects surrounding joy when we choose it and when we don’t.

    I’ve decided to use this study as a share for our annual retreat with my book club, as simple as the message is “Choose Joy” the follow up and meat surrounding it is tricky and that is what I would like to share with my book club…

    1.Looking at the list above, what one thing will you choose to do this week to add JOY to your life?
    Many time in life I struggle with leaving the person’s behavior and just loving them. Like Kay I will knit pick until I have plucked so manhy pieces of that persons heart that it begins to wear on our relationship. This study OPENED my eyes to this behavior and how to turn it around, and I am looking forward to putting it into action…

    • Christine Smith says:

      I really enjoyed this book too Missy. It opened my eyes to a biblical view of JOY rather than a world view that I carried inside me for so long. Now I realize that JOY is within my reach at all times, and in all situations, as I stay in relationship with Christ.

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