Yesterday I felt off… all day.

Kind of like the black clouds of doom hiding the most brilliant sunset ever.

 

Dramatic October Sunset over Lake Michigan - How to live a Joy-filled Life - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

My neck didn’t feel right, my head didn’t feel right.  When I went to the store I felt like I was going disappear into thin air, I was tired from doing little, and doing the things I love to do left me empty.

And it didn’t help that the sun has refused to shine for more days than I can count and though it’s fall, when I walk outside it feels more like winter.

Maybe you’ve had days or weeks like that?

 

Dramatic dark clouds with sunset over Lake Michigan - Lost your Joy - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

This morning as I was having tea and looking out my window in the quiet, I realized something.

Somewhere along the way, I allowed my circumstances to steal my joy.

It’s such an easy thing to happen.

Without realizing it I started to focus on what was bothering me and not all the good things that fill my days.

When we don’t feel well or we have a “situation,” it’s easy to become self-focused.

I confess I had an awareness of it, but I wasn’t aware that I wasn’t looking for the beauty in the day with a heart of gratitude until we made a quick trip to see the sunset the other night.

 

Stunning sunset under snow clouds on Lake Michigan - Thoughts on discovering lost joy - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

These photos cannot even begin to capture the drama of color and contrast that we saw… and experienced.

As we turned into the park we were blown away by the intense deep pink infused into the heavy gray clouds.  I got out of the van and took snapshots to document it.  And yes I was amazed.  But, Tim did something I didn’t… he thanked God for the beauty and the experience.  It never crossed my mind.

The next morning, I took some photos of the trees across the road from me that were pretending to be flickering flames of blood orange and firecracker crimson… because that is what I do.  Later that evening, I went to dinner and did a little shopping with a good friend, but it felt routine and seemed to rob me of my energy.

I stopped my daily journaling of the gifts and joys and didn’t even notice until this morning.

Somewhere along the line, I disengaged from living fully, gratefully, and joyfully.

 

How does this kind of thing happen?

I guess the how doesn’t really matter… what matters more… is deciding to get back on track.

Living the abundant life Jesus came and died to give us is a choice we have to make… daily.

 

Are you living the joy-filled life that God has planned for you to live?

 

Bible Verse - I have told you this so your will be joyful - dramatic Lake MI sunset - AnExtraordinaryDay.netI have told you this so that you will be as joyful as I am, and your joy will be complete.
John 15:11

 

Today is a good time to sit in the quiet and do a little self-evaluation.

Maybe you’re like me and have allowed (you fill in the blank) ___________ to steal your joy.

What have you allowed to take center stage?

My joy-stealers were health-related issues.  Yours might be busyness… trying to keep all the plates spinning without an ugly crash.  Or… you may be overwhelmed with work. Or… being a caregiver. Or… it might be doing ALL the good things that fill your days with happiness.

For me… I have allowed myself and my concerns to take center stage. UGH.

The best way I know to get off center stage is to mentally and prayerfully put God on center stage.

It helps to visualize laying my day with all the good, bad, and ugly at the feet of Jesus.  The things that seem good that I exchange for the better he has for me.  The worries that I keep praying about throughout the day rather than leaving them with him.  And… setting down my fears and one by one and turning my back on them and walking into the arms of Jesus, who is always ready and waiting for me.  And YOU.

These verses have helped me get my bearings, so I can live that abundant life of JOY that Jesus destined me to have.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

The Lord will always guide you and provide good things to eat when you are in the desert. He will make you healthy. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water or like a stream that never runs dry.
Isaiah 58:11

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Matthew 6:33

My God will use his glorious riches to give you everything you need. He will do this through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

 

Sometimes it’s helpful to write these verses into a journal, or on notecards.  There’s something about scratching the words on paper that makes them adhere to the memory.

Meditating on a verse a day is good.

Personalize a verse, visualize yourself living out that verse and interacting with the Lord.  Going beyond just reading Bible verses to infusing them into your days so that they help you change how you think and live and help you move into full-on joyful living.

I’m glad I had the big revelation this morning.

Unknowingly we can slip out of that place of joy without even realizing it.

Hopefully, my realization is helpful to you, too.Pin It to remember for Later because it's so good - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

5 Bible Verses to Help You Find Your Joy Again - Devotional - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

JoyDay! - Clouds at sunset on Lake Michigan - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Joy Day!

You don’t have to wait to get out your journal to start counting your thanks… just scroll below and share your highs and lows.  We count ‘seven’ because God asks us to give thanks in ALL things and when we do, something wonderful happens.  Just watch… your joy meter will rise… trust me. 😉

Won’t you join me in counting just seven from the past week?

I’ll start…

Thank you, God for…

  1. Your reminder today that woke me up to what I’ve been missing.
  2. bittersweet berries waiting for the picking. I love how they are hard and yellow and overnight pop open to reveal their soft red berries.
  3. reminding me how to get that stain out of my new chair.
  4. a friend who lent me her tween boy’s boots so I could pick winterberries and keep my feet dry.
  5. the work that you’ve given Tim.
  6. that magnificent sunset and the HUGE waves this weekend.
  7. Your love that is constant, unconditional, and never-ending

Now it’s your turn!

List your ‘seven’ in the share your extraordinary thoughts section below.

You’ll be glad you did… I dare you!

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.May your week overflow with unimaginable Joy! Signature - AnExtraordinaryDay.netReceive FREE inspiration like this in your inbox!
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Comments

  1. Happy Joy Day!
    Awww, my sweet friend. You are human. And sometimes that happens to us. And I am sorry you having difficult times. But I am thankful that you and I have a loving, forgiving and caring God, Savior and Father.
    Overall I’m a happy little camper. I find beauty where others can’t see it. I’m always working on a project. I have a loving husband and family. I love being busy and always am.
    BUT sometimes my joy is swiped away by fear. Never in my life have I had fear like I do now.
    Lord I thank you for,
    1. Last Friday. Thank you!
    2. And the fact that husband was also able to attend.
    3. Today my husband said to me something that was so sweet it just about knocked me over.
    4. The fact that you understand me.
    5. Husband getting a little relief.
    6. The relaxing comfort of a hot shower. And of course all the pretty smelling girly stuff that goes along with that.
    7. All the wonderful blogs and bloggers that let us know we are not alone as Christians. We all have struggles and weaknesses at times and we all need to know we are not the only ones.
    Lifting you up in prayer Diane!
    And thank you for all you do and share.
    Blessings to you!
    Minnie

    • You made me chuckle! Yes, Minnie, I must admit I’m human. LOL So difficult for a perfectionist to do! {wink wink}
      I’m so sorry for the fears you are facing… but standing with you and believing that God has already demolished those fears and praying you can step forth in faith and victory to walk… FEARLESS!! {{BIG HUGS}}

  2. These are great verses to meditate on!

  3. How do you always seem to blog about exactly what I need to hear? You certainly have a gift. And of course, your photos are amazing! My seven:
    1. the joy of getting to see both my boys marching in the band at the same time
    2. sunny days to get some flower bulbs planted
    3. the kindness of amazing co-workers
    4. spending time with great friends
    5. my teenagers (especially the h.s. senior) wanting to spend time with us and share things he’s seen and heard
    6. the love of brothers toward each other
    7. my husband always remembering trash day
    Hope you have an amazing week filled with wonderful things!

    • Somehow I missed this Jean, I’m so sorry!
      Isn’t it incredible how God works? I love how he nudges me to write on a topic and it blesses you. Only he can do that.
      May your week be filled with more of God’s little gifts! xoxo

  4. I had this waiting to write my 7. A bit late. The week went so quickly.
    It’s easy to have joy robbed when I have these daily bursts of unexpected can’t plan for them deep crying sessions. But I’m so grateful they don’t last too long and I kind of forget why. A blessing.
    Joy Day
    61. Some work for your husband. I’ve prayed this week.
    2. In the past week I got to see all three of my grandsons. It had been sooo long. They were all happy here.
    3. I did have so much fun at my class reunion! What a fun night.
    4. Trusting the Lord in many situations.
    5. I’m thankful I can rest when I’m weary.
    6. Thank you Lord for Your Word. It speaks to me.
    7. For a caring husband.

    • Gwen, I’m so sorry that those crying sessions haven’t ceased. I know you would like to be free of them, but what a blessing that their reason doesn’t stick with you.
      Thanks for your prayers for Tim. That blesses me so much! Please keep me up to date on Curt and what’s ahead for his surgery. Your week had some lovely highs! So happy for you to have that time with your grandsons and your classmates. You are blessed and you are a wonderful blessing. xoxo

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