09/06/2021 There is joy in the journey. – By Shannon Anderson

The other day, I was reading something online and I saw the phrase, “There is joy in the journey.”  It got me thinking.  Where am I seeing JOY in the midst of a time of busyness with fall planning, still dealing with a world-wide pandemic, sometimes loneliness, sometimes being overwhelmed and a time of living in the unknown?  (You will learn, if you haven’t already – I like to know what’s next, where things are going, and what to expect.)  I decided that I needed to not only look around for myself, but also find out where others are finding joy.   
 
I posted this question on my Facebook page – “I’m working on writing something and I’m focusing on the phrase “There’s joy in the journey.” I’d love your help. Where do you see JOY in your journey?
If you’d be willing to share with me your thoughts, your children’s thoughts, and/or your friend’s thoughts on joy, I would LOVE to brighten the day with lots of real moments of happiness and joy!”
 
I honestly wasn’t sure if I would get any responses from my Facebook crew.  But, then a few responses came.  
 
    • “Joy to me is sitting on a bench at the state fair reading your post, Shannon.”
    • “Joy is starting the day grounded – with meditation and fresh coffee.”
    • “I find joy in watching my family’s laughter.  I find joy in immersing myself in a good book.” 
    • “Joy is a fresh cup of hot coffee, my grandson’s smile, my son that asks for random hugs, my son doing a little 
       dance on the football field because he’s just that goofy, when my husband fills my gas tank, a beautiful sunrise,
       the perfect cheeseburger, laying down under warm blankets after a day well lived, all laundry washed, dried,
       folded and put away – if only for a moment.  And also, sitting back and listening to my children converse
       amongst themselves.  Best thing ever.”
    • “For me the joy in the journey starts with planning and the anticipation of the people around me and their
        reaction and the plans unfold.  The heart happiness as it comes together and all the little details.  Memories
        made!”
    • “Joy is sharing a cup of coffee, a laugh or even a quiet moment with those I love the most!” 
    • “There’s a little song we used to sing in Sunday school, “Joy is the flag flown high from the castle of my heart
       when the king is in residence there.”  Many things make me happy, but joy is in knowing Jesus.  It’s all about the
       relationship.”
    • “Watching my children interact with each other.  The laughter that comes with it.  When my children call out to
       me and forget what they were going to say, so they just say, “I love you, mom.”  Those “ah huh” moments when a
       child, at school, gets it.” 
    • “To me joy is found at unexpected times; it happens when you realize in a moment that your heart is full. It is
       spontaneous rather than having planned to seek it out. For example, like being with friends or family and having
       the realization of how grateful you are to be present with them. Or times when you get a good surprise. That’s
       where I find joy in life.”
    • “I just asked Harry (age 4) when he has joy and he said, “I have joy every day, mom! Especially when I wake up.
       I’m always happy and never cry…. (Big pause) And also especially at playgrounds!!!”
 
Reading these responses made me think – God is definitely at work in this time and place! 
Because of faith, I can have hope.  Faith leads to hope and I can think of nothing more that our worlds needs right now. 

Faith is the cause…JOY is the effect.  Through faith – there is JOY, even if I am a crazy, mixed-up, human being with doubts and fears.  God is bigger than me.  And for that, I am extremely JOY-full!   

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