project joy in every day life

Project Joy

What does joy mean to you? Is it project joy or project joy? A project of finding/making joy or a living joy in that others see it oozing out of your every day life? It’s both. For me, it all started with the title for the anthology devotional book I am coordinating, The True Meaning of Joy. Truthfully, I thought it would be an easy devotional to write. It wasn’t. I hit a creative roadblock almost instantly. It wasn’t just me. Other contributors expressed the same frustration. That’s when I made a decision to study joy from a Biblical perspective.

First, I looked in the back of my Bible in the concordance area and started reading a scripture a day that had the word joy or joyful in it. Then, I meditated on the scripture and prayed for God to give me insight on how to apply that scripture to my every day life.

That’s when God started peeling away the layers of understanding.

The Source of Joy

Joy comes from within. Joy is influenced by the external. You feel joy. You live joy. Joy has depth and heights.
Since joy is affected by action, I decided to do little things daily that brought me joy and to be very mindful of the experience. I know that even in my simple life, I still get in a hurry and rush through some of the pleasures I know God sends my way. Below is an excerpt from my diary…

Joy in Nature

One thing that brings me joy is sitting outside in the morning, after my daily visit to check on my parents. I learned last year that the hip name is “forest bathing.” I call it watching and listening to nature. I can learn a lot about nature and myself when I take time be still.

The cicadas aren’t as close this year. Usually we have them in a tree in the front yard. This year they are more distant. I miss their loud raucous song. But, I still hear it. Isn’t that how I should be? My song of joy heard near and far?

As the sycamore tree bark peels away and falls through the branches it is loud. How can something so thin make some much noise? Again, I think about myself. A lady I knew used to say, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot to get something going.

I lone honey bee dashes into the rotted end of one of the limbs. If it’s a hive the only creatures who will be able to enjoy it are the raccoons. Sometimes the smallest things we do seem to go unnoticed. But, God sees. His delight...

There is a slight coolness in breeze this morning. It will soon be replaced with heat and humidity. Mornings like this remind me why farmers get up at the break of dawn to get chores done. I’m learning to get up and get things done in the cool as well. It’s so hot. Do the tasks early, and the rest of the day I can enjoy the “fun” things of life.

Through the gap in the trees the pale blue sky is dotted with transient visitors. An airplane makes its way destination unknown. If my husband were here he would know – he has an app for that. A flock of egrets makes their way to their daily spot. From where they came and where the go, I don’t know. But they make their passage every day. I am making my passage through life. I know where I’ve been, but I don’t know where I’m going during the transient time, but I know my heavenly destination.

A fly has adopted me as her companion. Denver and I gave up shooing her away. She sits and watches with us. Sometimes you just need someone to sit with you. No words. Just their presence.

The variety of birds join in a morning chorus. I recognize the mockingbird, the woodpecker, the titmouse, the chickadee, the cardinal, morning doves, and the distant song of the Mississippi whistler as she hunts for dragonflies. God cares about each of them. I can rest assured that he cares for me.

A quiet pause in the morning to appreciate God’s creation. Each minute is different and each element brings a unique addition to the canvas.

If you want to contemplate further about your joy, I invite you to read my blog post about a Summer journal and prayer prompts – insert the word joy as you write and meditate. I know God will speak to you!

Hugs and joy to you!


  • Beth Jones

    You are a good writer, Kim. Joy was my one word several years ago. I discovered it is truly different from happiness. We have to intentionally choose and look for the joy each day. Not easy. But the joy of the Lord iS strength. I enjoyed hearing about you and your dog watching nature early.

  • Kim Steadman

    Hey Beth! Thank you so much for popping over! Yes, the revelations about Joy has been eye-opening. I’ve always felt to me that joy and happiness were two different things. It’s been a wonderful time studying the word more in depth.

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