Cultivate Joy

It is fall. Lovely fall, when the ground is ripe with the harvest and ready for cultivation all at the same time. My fingers can hardly wait to get into the dirt. I would like nothing more than to add a few shrubs and fruit trees to our new property before cold weather sets in.

My husband drove me to a garden center yesterday. It was my birthday, and we were on one of my favorite islands to celebrate. The last time we drove past this particular shop it was closed. I had been so disappointed.

But today, the shop was open! My daughter and I began to eagerly look around before glancing at a price tag. Our eyes widened and a gasp blew through my lips. I couldn’t help but smile, since the price was almost comical.

Needless to say, once again I left empty handed. I was very tempted to sow the seeds of discouragement and disappointment into our day, but I stopped myself.

Everyday, we have a choice to make. We can choose to cultivate joy, or to cultivate discouragement into our family culture. As moms, we largely set the tone in our homes.

While an overpriced garden center is a silly example, no matter where we are, we can live life abundantly. There were times in my life where I felt like I could hardly breath, but God’s grace pulled me out of each pit I had fallen into and set my feet on solid ground. That is reason enough to cultivate joy!

Joy cultivation must be intentional. Joy overlooks wrongs and sees the good. True joy can come from nothing less than a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I would love to encourage you to spend time with God through prayer and reading His Word. Look for the simple joys that surround us daily. This is often enough to really “cultivate” an attitude of thankfulness inside of me, which leads to joy.

Take note of the lovely things around you. Laughing children. Dainty flowers. Soft pillows. Precious hymns. Long walks. Gracious words.

I had many other reasons to be joyous on that day, and found joy in…

A newly painted door. Butterflies. Tiny sea shells. An amazing BBQ sandwich. My Geneva Bible. Boardwalks. Handwritten cards. A pretty mug. Baby hugs.

And then dear sister, cultivate those things into your family life. Take the time to really nourish your newfound joy, and to give it life inside of your home.

I oftentimes realize that my joy has been shaken. The first step to get back to a joyful place is to evaluate our walk with the Lord. If the joy-stealer can be eliminated, than do it! Otherwise, let’s strive to maintain our joy no matter what we may face. This is a great testimony for our children to see. Our children are often the ones to reap our harvest, and then one day, they will plant the seeds of joy into their own families. While I fail at this often, my prayer is that my family will see a pattern in me that seeks after the Lord and His ways.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, and to my Mary & Martha website. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

9 thoughts on “Cultivate Joy

  1. deborahhaddix says:

    Your title grabbed me, Nicole. My daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in early June. It has turned out to be a much uglier and more complicated strain than originally anticipated. From the onset she determined not to be robbed of her joy and set out on a #joyjourney. Traveling along with her on the journey, I am drawn to all things “joy,” such as a blog entitled “Cultivate Joy!” Your words are so true, “Joy cultivation must be intentional…. True joy can come from nothing less than a relationship with Jesus Christ.” Thank you for the reminder and the encouragement.

  2. April J Harris (@apriljharris) says:

    I loved this post – it is such a timely reminder of the many blessings that surround us, even in very troubled times. Thank you so much for sharing this encouraging post with us at the Hearth and Soul Link Party, Nicole. I hope you will visit and share again this week.

  3. Debra says:

    What a great and yet simple example! Happy Birthday! Sounds to me like you made it great! Good luck on your moving sites, and your new home state.

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