One of my groups that I co-own on CafeMom is a Christian group. It has the coolest name - Not a Normal Christian. Too many times, we had been put down by the Holier Than Thou Society on this site and told that we weren't "true" Christians because of such silly things - like reading Harry Potter or simply having a different stance than they do regarding any topic in the universe. I love this group and it holds some of the sweetest women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
We are doing a group study - I say we but it is really just myself and another lady at the moment - and it is around Galatians 5:22-23 regarding Joy and Gladness. Our assignment this week was to be the total embodiment of joy and what we learned... the definition and execution so to speak. Y'all know that I am a super nerd and love to do stuff like this so I wanted to share that journey with you.
Joy, to me at least, is when your heart takes wings and just soars. You are so full of love, peace and happiness that you feel you could explode. Complete and utter joy brings those smiles that make your cheeks ache and those tears you don't mind crying.. joy is just beautiful. As far as what it means to in relation to God, I think Psalm 51 is perfect.
Joy is definitely contagious. Have you ever been in a cantankerous mood and then heard the sound of children laughing... all of a sudden your spirit lifts and you smile in spite of yourself? That is joy being contagious.
I kept the concept of Joy and Gladness in the front of my mind the other day when I was going to meet Tracy. I approached everything with a positive light, even my running late which is very difficult for me. Instead of getting frustrated (and I really was starting to), I kept smiling and reminding myself to be joyful and share that joy with my new friend... and it worked! Our joy even spread to the others sitting near us, as they came and joined our little group. We lost track of time and spent almost 7 hours together before we had to part. My new friend and I even made plans to get together again soon.
By my keeping joy in the front of my mind, I kept what could have been a very stressful experience into something that was relaxed and enjoyable. Everyone involved, even the complete strangers, was smiling and enjoying themselves in our presence. Just goes to show that a little joy can go a long way.