Amazing Property in Lakeville! 5707 Big Tree Rd
Joy – that elusive emotion we all search for in our daily lives. I have always loved the word that somehow seems deeper and more meaningful than happiness. The two words are often used synonymously but, upon further research, there are subtle differences. Happiness is often derived from earthly experiences, material objects, success, good fortune, and centers around the individual but joy may be about the success and contentment of others. Can you honestly not feel better when hearing a baby’s laughter? Years ago I cut three large wooden letters (J-O-Y) and hang them outside every Christmas. A few weeks ago, a friend politely said, “Time to take down the Christmas decorations.” I reluctantly agreed and replaced them with a garland of flowers. Sigh. Joy seems to be derived from an inner peace and spiritual experiences. Happiness may be temporary while joy is lasting. One may feel joy in the midst of turmoil. Adela Rogers St. Johns from the book Some Are Born Great, states, “Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness – happiness is the sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you’re lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.” According to an article by John Piper, “Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.” “Happiness brings pleasure, but joy brings true contentment to one’s heart.”
We have all had a rough year and there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, but we have not quite reached it yet. Staying vigilant is important which may require us to search inside ourselves to find the joy around us. Distancing has created hardened hearts and finding a new normal is both necessary and difficult. Seeing plastic between tables in restaurants may be necessary for protection but also sad that it creates barriers. Differences in the way people accept various restrictions has created anger and misunderstandings. Hearts need to be opened, empathy increased, and acceptance felt. It helps to look back on those joyous moments such as holding a new baby, watching your “baby” graduate from college, the softness of a wiggling new puppy, a phone call from an old friend not seen in years, seeing the thrilled expression on the face of someone opening a meaningful gift, and so much more that can never be forgotten and will always warm the heart and bring a smile.
I have certainly learned the importance of hugs and do not think that I realized the true meaning until I hugged my family after so much time. It was actually surprising that a quick embrace could feel so good, and I did not want to let go. And whoever dreamed that going shopping after staying out of stores for a year could be so marvelous? There are so many things taken for granted that are unknowingly missed. Hopefully, we have learned from the experience and there will be benefits not yet realized. Each day brings changes we need to be aware of and new growth. With opened hearts and remembering to notice the miracles surrounding us, may we all find the joy buried deep within, no matter what else is happening.