Even if the economy has capsized our savings, we can continue to build an investment in Everyday Joy.
In the mornings, I rummage through the top headlines to see what’s grabbing the national interest. Without fail, there will be a new poll or survey to tell me how we’re doing financially. Every one has a best guess on whether the tide has turned yet. Or not.
One thing’s happening for sure. According to the latest poll taken by Associated Press-GfK, we Americans are cutting down our debt — some by more than one-half — and even boosting our savings — the highest increase since 1998.
But, guess what?
Our stress from debt hasn’t eased any. The Debt Stress Index hasn’t budged one bit.
In our stalled economy, many of us still experience the stress of worry, uncertainty, and a lack of confidence in what the future holds.
What’s the antidote?
No matter what shape we are in financially, we can continue to build our investment in experiencing joy.
If we already have joy, put in more. It’s important to save for a rainy day. And share with others.
If we are lacking joy, we don’t have to borrow. God is giving joy away.
If we are in joy debt so deep — that we can’t even find it — spend time with a friend who has plenty. I’m sure she can spare more than a few and have more than enough, left over.
Make A Joy Investment Today
Today, I’d like to share —
6 Ways to Make An Investment In Joy
1. Do that one thing you’ve been nudged to do for a friend, neighbor, co-worker or stranger.
It’s never too late to be thoughtful or generous with your smile, time or words.
It’s amazing to experience the joy of blessing another person’s day. Even if it’s as simple opening the door for someone, making eye contact and smiling.
I sent a thank you note to someone, even though it was late, after the fact. I felt joy following the nudge, regardless of the imperfection of my execution.
2. Take an hour, a morning, or an evening off. Free Time.
What you do in that time must meet the following criteria:
1) The activity cannot be goal oriented or productivity related.
2) Free from the expectations of others.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Cor 3:16
I rotate between reading, walking, hanging out with friends, and writing. Of course, all accompanied with c-o-f-f-e-e. Oh, don’t forget Netflix!
3. Think of something you used to enjoy, but haven’t done in a while. Go and do it.
One question I’m going to ask Jesus when I see Him, is what life was like before his 33rd birthday. What did Jesus enjoy doing when He wasn’t in the woodshop? What did He like to eat?
It’s been a long time since I visited my childhood bakery, bought a spongecake muffin and ate it warm, while standing outside the storefront. As you’re reading this, I am taking a day out in San Francisco, to do just that!
4. What is one simple thing you have always wanted to try, but never have? Go and do it.
This is something I love imagining — how crazy, amazing it must have been to follow Jesus as His disciples. To wake up everyday and have no idea what new thing I will see, hear or try with Him.
Then I realize, Jesus is here, sharing each day with me. Literally.
This doesn’t have to be big. One I tried a few weeks ago was Peppermint Tea (guys, I hope I haven’t lost you, yet…).
5. When you feel stressed in the moment, what would give you joy or peace? Do that.
I’m passing this one onto you, compliments of one of my mentors, Betty. It seemed so simple, I seriously doubted her advice. But, she reminded me that joy and peace are fruits of the Spirit. Why would a decision in line with either of these be wrong?
When I’m stressed, I tend to over think. Somehow, giving myself the permission to pick the more joyful and peaceful option frees me up to experience it!
6. Develop friendships with one or more spiritual mentors.
These friends don’t necessarily have “official” titles as mentors. This is someone you feel comfortable emailing or calling, who has walked a lot of miles in trusting God and has that twinkle in their eye.
I always keep an eye out for the opportunity to have coffee or breakfast with those who walk by faith. Learning about them and listening to their experiences freshens my perspective. Which frees me up for joy.
I have a longer list.. but, here are some for starters.
Are your brainstorming juices flowin’ now?
Of course, there are days that I find it hard to scrape up much.
But, you know what?
Even a little bit can do wonders.
After all Jesus fed 5,000 with just two fish and fives loaves.
How much are you investing in your joy account?
Share a joy investment you’ve made recently or hope to make soon.
Philip answered, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!…”
Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish…
When they had all had enough to eat... they gathered them and filled twelve baskets.”
Photo courtesy of Photobucket.
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I love all of these suggestions!! Great post Bonnie and great reminder!
.-= Kristine McGuire´s last blog ..Not So Much Opposites as Complements! =-.
Thanks, Kristen — I’ve been enjoying taking myself up on these!
I make the daily heart choice to …choose joy!
I love to sit on the patio listening to the birds chirping and the bunnies hopping along. It brings a smile to my face and joy in my heart.
I love to speak Scriptures aloud. When I consider Zephaniah 3:17 ” …He will rejoice over you with singing.” I cannot help but have joy.
Keep these posts coming Bonnie. I’m loving it.
.-= Debbie´s last blog ..Friday Funnies ~ Aging Ladies =-.
I’m so happy to hearing you are enjoying that view in right outside your home. It’s a gift that you can sit there and see them. Thanks for the encouragement, Debbie!
I invest in joy on Saturday mornings. It really is one of my favorite times of the week where I get up before my wife and just enjoy the morning with a cup of coffee, typically outside, with the dog, God, and my thoughts.
For me, it’s way more refreshing to do this instead of sleeping in the extra hour.
.-= Brett Barner´s last blog ..Q&A Friday =-.
That’s a good point – that things that refresh our souls may be more needful than that extra hr of sleep. I’m not surprised that’s part of where your writing springs from.
Great thoughts! Joy is so about making choices (isn’t life that way?) that affect our attitude. I find that the time I take (choose) to sit and listen (meditate on) to the Father’s words is when I feel the most joy.
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16: 11
.-= Jay Cookingham´s last blog ..Beach Musings – Joy =-.
Perfectly apt verse to share here. Thanks, Jay!
Thank you so much for your posts. I am so glad I found you online. The Lord frequently speaks to my heart through your words. Joy is a choice!
.-= Dawn´s last blog ..Wisdom Comes With Age =-.
I’m so glad we are connected and through the Lord who speaks online! 🙂
Thank you for this post. I read it and had a hectic day planned out for today (Sat). Some thing got cancelled. I finished the other things relatively early. I asked myself what I needed to do next – have fun and find some joy out of the day. I sat down and read a book and went to lunch with a friend. It was the reminder I needed.
.-= Katie´s last blog ..Katie’s World =-.
I loved this post.
Yesterday, I took an hour outta my day just to read. Then I biked over to our neighbor’s to help her in her yard. It was the best day ever!
Your methods are proven fact that they work. 🙂
.-= Duane Scott´s last blog ..free your imagination (book giveaway) =-.
Loved this post!! Thank you for the beautiful reminder to pursue joy in my life all the time!!! There are so many little things we can do each to keep that Joy Cup full 🙂 Love your writing!!!
.-= Charissa Steyn´s last blog ..He Loves Me and I Know It. =-.
I am so thankful to have a good friend who took the time to turn me toward you…I seek joy everyday in little things. I have begun to donate my time as a baby Cuddler in a hospital near my home…I find “JOY” in praying for these wee babies just hours old as they lay in my arms…praise be to God for this blessing to me…LIN