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.