Managing Joy

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It’s hard to come to work after a great family holiday. Easter this year was one of the best I can remember. While we had some of the stress associated for preparing for a holiday with four kids under the age of 8, as well as getting ready for church, creating a meal for immediate and extended family and kids running around hopped up on chocolate bunnies, I felt relaxed and was able to live in the moment – a moment that was full of joy.

As someone who suffers from, at times, debilitating clinical depression as well as mild ADD (no, this isn’t a post about that, but I’m happy to talk about my experiences if anyone wants – although I promise I have little insight), finding the joy in the moment can be a daunting task. For the first time in a while, I was able to channel my thoughts and realize – this is a good time in your life, right now. You are experiencing joy, right now. And good joy, not the “fast food” joy that comes from a good meal, an alcoholic buzz or even somwright-family-easter-2014eone liking your post on Facebook. Too many times, I look for the ephemeral Joy that comes from those easy things. It’s un-fullfilling and short-lived.

The type of Joy I need to seek comes from items that aren’t so easy to obtain – the joy of raising my children and watching them grow. The Joy of knowing that I have a loving wife that is truly out for my best interests and loves me regardless of my flaws. And knowing that no matter what horrible things I’ve done in the past, Jesus died for my sins and God has forgiven me. But to experience this joy, I need to forgive myself. I need to stop always moving so fast to the next thing that I forget the thing right in front of my face. And to just be, instead of thinking about what i “could” be. This post is a reminder to myself – keep pushing forward, but remember to make time for the joy in the now. That joy never comes back, but lasts forever through memories and the grace of Jesus Christ.

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