A joyful heart – a satisfied confidence and/or an unrestrained expression of enthusiasm or delight!
We strive for it, cultivate it, anticipate it, benefit from it, laugh with it, cry with it, have fun with it, radiate it, simply enjoy it – joyfulness is God’s design for us!
As I was preparing for this year of writing, I looked up some Bible verses which have (or could be translated) the word “joyful” in them. That little study, while scrawled on a couple of papers at my desk, is to be shared on this post or ones that follow through this year. (My plan is to just keep adding to this page below, at least for a season, before beginning another post on this topic for the next season.)
January – Laughter – it IS good to laugh, isn’t it?! While laughter must be only at things which are truly funny (i.e. not ridicule or derogatory comments), there is much around us to tickle at least a smile to two. Sometimes repetitive routines or difficult circumstances take so much time in our lives so I think we especially in those days, we need to endeavor to take time to laugh and share those lighter times with others. These are sort of the thoughts behind why our new Facebook page sprinkles in a few opportunities each month to laugh at ourselves, share some lighter moments, and simply, have some fun as homeschooling moms!
The verses to read this month about joyfulness:
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Eccl. 3:1, 4
- Our youngest daughter especially loves watching the DVD with “the bones” on it – where Steve Green sings the words from Proverbs 17:22 (Hide ‘Em In Your Heart Volume 2). 🙂
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 (NASB)
- Back in the days when graphics were not able to be sent across e-mail like they are today, Rob and I would occasionally add a graphic (or pass along one from a Christian group of students at university) in our e-mails to each other. Here is one of the first e-mails I received from Rob (shortly before we began dating). (He didn’t draw this one but instead had got it sent to him from someone else, sort of like a graphic going viral.)
The caption said, “I’m outta here!” (referring to the beginning of a school break) and the “good-bye message” continued to direct recipients – “Now send it along to everyone you don’t hate that could use a smile.”
The verse on the graphic (not shown here) referred to Proverbs 15:13:
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:13 (NIV)
The NASB translation is similar but perhaps more easily understood – “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.”
Emojis sure have changed! 🙂 Those graphics took a lot of time to “draw” directly into the e-mail itself. Because we’re on this sideline, I’ll also show you one of my first attempts at “computer graphics” which was eventually sent back to Rob months later (with the Bible verses). Yes, I tried to draw him! 🙂 It was a little harder than drawing people with a pencil in church services though. (Oops – should I have mentioned that?!)
Try keeping a collection of funny things (e.g. a scrapbook of clippings from magazines, a file folder on a computer, social media, laughable sayings your family members end up saying intentionally or not) that you can show your kids occasionally – perhaps even for practicing “reading comprehension” skills! It’s fun to look back on things like this! 🙂
One winter, when our recent experiences had included a new baby, construction, trying to find things to unpack from our move, among other things (plus homeschooling of course), I ended up taking a break to listen to another homeschool mom speak online. (Her dry humor reminded me very much of a close friend of mine (a young mom) who had suddenly went home to heaven the previous summer.) Anyways, I continued online to see the site where this speaker had posted up some of the funny things she had found relating to parenting and/or homeschooling and I have to tell you, I found myself, for the first time in months of facing serious stuff so often, laughing until I was crying so hard. Sure, I had laughed and chuckled at things in our family during those months, but this was the “gasping-for-breath” kind of laughing. Of course, I showed the avalanche of new funny posts to a few others and they laughed too. Laughter – don’t diminish the importance of it. We all need to laugh regularly! 😀
A cheerful heart? I hope you have one today! ♥