In a world of negativity and unkind words, it’s easy to veer off a positive path. I recently got to thinking of all the beautiful four-letter words we could choose from to cultivate a joyful life. Enjoy.
When I move, I feel happier. Whether I walk, hike, or swim (all four letters), I always feel better after having done so. It’s some magic blend of being outside and using my body well. We have four seasons where I live. I love them all. Walk in the snow, hike a trail through autumn leaves, or swim in the clear, cool water of a lake in summer. It’s good for your body, mind, and soul.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1, NIV)
I spend a bit of time every morning reading from the Bible and praying. It’s a habit I developed nearly a dozen years ago when my son was an infant. It has become permanently etched into my morning routine. I rely on it to get my day started on a positive note. Throughout the day, I whisper prayers of both need and thanks to God to steady my spirit and remember where my true help and strength come from.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, NIV)
There’s a special feeling we get when he help others. I especially love to surprise people or remain anonymous when helping them. Baking peach cobbler, dragging the trashcan back for a neighbor, giving a friend’s child a ride to baseball — all of them feel good. When we do good for others, we feel good as well. Part of living a joyful life is pouring into the lives of others. The best part is that we honor God in doing so.
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16, NIV)
Loving the loveable people in our lives is easy. It feels good and makes us happy. Loving the unloveable is much more challenging. It’s an act of the will that often falls outside what we are feeling. Thankfully, we have a God who enables us to love others through His power, not our own. Loving those who have not showed the same to us is difficult but fulfilling. In doing so, we are learning to be obedient to God’s will.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43–45, NIV)
It’s possible to get older but not grow. When we push to learn more and discover new things, it enriches us. Learning a new skill or trying a new activity not only helps us grow but satisfies us too. Above all else, we should seek to grow in the faith. Pressing in and growing in our walk with Jesus is the most important growth of all.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18, NIV)
I’ve never met anyone who said they didn’t like music. Listening to music and singing along are fun. Sometimes we may even throw in a little dancing too. I love music from the 1980s. Of course, I love worship music too. When we make a joyful noise and lift our voices in song, it is good for us. Many studies on the impact of music on the brain show its benefits. In fact, it can even strengthen the brain and activate the motor system! So turn up the volume and sing a few bars.
“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” (Psalm 96:1–2, NIV)
The noise of the world’s distractions can pull us in many directions, leaving us exhausted and uncertain. These simple words can help us focus on what is good and true. This will glorify God, which is the aim of the Christian walk. Let’s pursue the joyful life God has promised.
With Love and Gratitude,
Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.