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musings from linda 12/15/23

Have you ever watched a child jump in a puddle?  It is like watching PURE UNADULTERATED JOY!!!


When we were little, the simplest thing could send our spirits soaring.  But as we grow older, too often we tend to “outgrow” the ability to be moved by the simpler things and it seems to take more and more to produce happiness — or what sometimes passes for “happiness”  — a newer car, better job, bigger house, signature clothes,  more money etc. etc. 



Happiness and Joy are not the same. Happiness brings pleasure for a time, but is dependent upon external circumstances…  JOY involves transcendence of the “self” and instead comes from within one’s spirit.  It is the feeling of deep contentment, cultivated by extending oneself to others and allowing love to grow and grow within you until LOVE becomes WHO YOU ARE…

Back in 1513, Fra (monastic term meaning “brother”) Giovanni wrote:


“There is nothing I can give you which you have not, 

        But there is much that you can take…

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it TODAY.


No peace can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.


THE gloom of the world is but a shadow, behind it — yet within our reach — is JOY.  

      TAKE  JOY! 

Happiness is an outward expression — but JOY is an inner reality!  As Frederick Buechner said, “ we need to be reminded that at its heart Christianity IS Joy — and that laughter and freedom and the reaching out of arms are the essence of it…”  JOY endures hardship, trials and sadnesses and connects with meaning and purpose… emanating from being a beloved child of God.  A person PURSUES happiness — but one CHOOSES to live from a place of JOY. 




At Christmastime, we celebrate once again the birth of Jesus into our individual lives — providing him a “manger” within ourselves where his love and joy can take root in us…

As you listen to a choral anthem based arranged by John Rutter based upon the carol JOY TO THE WORLD (click on this link), consider this excerpt written by Beverly Eanes which I just re-discovered taped to the door of my refrigerator…

“May you appreciate the unfolding of your creative JOY as your imagination soars…

May you leap for joy with faith in God’s timing…

May you let go of bitterness and allow forgiveness to fill your life graciously 

May you experience JOY in the moment and move forth with God

May playfulness infuse the serious purpose of your life…

And may you share the JOY of that play and laughter so that others too might find JOY  — that deep gladness one carries when we know with confidence that God’s peace will keep our hearts and our minds safe…” 

Wishing you all a deep sense of JOY this Christmas — and in the new year to come!

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