This is the third week of Advent and the focus is on the gift of Joy. Most people want to feel joyful this time of year, don’t you think? But sometimes, joy is elusive. The pressures of the season, the job, the economy, relationship struggles, can all contribute to losing our joy. But let me tell you what I have discovered…

It all depends on where my focus lies. Am I focused on external circumstances? Other people or things that are out of my control? Or am I focused on who dwells within me? That, dear friends, is the key: who dwells within me.

One of the names for God is Emmanuel which means “God with us”. If we remember this magnificent promise, we can maintain a joyful heart and attitude. God is with us and He is particularly close to those who are broken-hearted and crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18).

What is your focus on this week, dear one? Is it the cares of this world or the Light of the world? If you want more joy in your life, I encourage you to ponder in your heart, as Mary did so long ago, the wonder and majesty of the precious gift God gave us and welcome Him into your heart this season. Until next time, keep looking up and be of good cheer!

2 thoughts on “Joy to the World

  1. Amen Pattie…I so agree that the true joy lies in the manger.
    I believe we MUST simplify our holidays, especially for those who are already stretched beyone measure.
    I wish I had learned the meaning of the word SIMPLIFY years ago. Here are some changes I've made in the recent years.
    I no longer do many of the rituals I did in the past. For example, I only write cards to those I will not see or don't regularly speak with during the year. I no longer bake 10 different types of cookies and my decorations are fewer and more simplistic. I bring some greenery into my home even if just incorporating it an artificial centerpiece (semi homemade).
    My family no longer exchange gifts but we make the effort to gift time to one another and so some fun activites during the season.
    After all…none of us needs a thing. Oh yes, and one more suggestion, declutter your home. You'll be amazed how shedding ancilary and useless items can be catartic and promotes better focus for what's truly important. I beleive that's time with our Lord each day in prayer and/or worship and time with family and good friends and last but not least, those less fortunate. They're just a few changes I've made over the last few years and have really worked to promote more joy thoughout the holiday season and well after.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Barbie. I agree. Simplify, do less and enjoy more. One thing I can't part with though, is the Xmas tree. I gave in and bought an artificial one this year and it came with 800 lights already on it, so that was a big help. As my youngest said, the tree symbolizes Jesus and he truly is the Light of the World and a glory to behold. Blessings to you and yours, Ariel.

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