Hey, I’m Kim. I hope to meet you soon. But let’s let this be our pre-introduction. If you’re going to stick around, you want to know who’s behind the words on these pages, right? So let me tell you a little about myself. Like you, I wear lots of hats. Some of my hats bear labels like wife, mom, friend, daughter, teacher, house cleaner, food maker, kid toter, appointment handler. Maybe you have similar hats as well, or maybe your hats are pretty different. One thing I’m sure that we have in common is that we want to experience a joyful life. Not just momentary fleeting happiness, but day-in-day-out joy. Often we use those words interchangeably. The dictionary even uses one to define the other. But I believe there is a distinct difference between them that lies at the heart of all we desire in life.
Happiness is great, right? Think about those things that make you happy. For me, it’s a baby’s belly laugh. The smell of fresh baked bread. S’mores by a campfire. Holding my husband’s hand. Tucking my kids in at night. Gathering with family and friends at the holidays. These things make me truly happy! And that feeling is often my biggest motivation to plan the holiday get-together, (tell my husband to) build the campfire, mix and knead the dough. But when those moments are over, the happiness is sometimes replaced with other feelings – like sadness from saying goodbye, exhaustion from staying up too late, or guilt after I’ve eaten all the fresh baked bread.
I’ve come to realize that when I spend my time chasing happiness, I am really chasing something that cannot last long in this life. Happiness is good and important and a gift from God as well. But there is something we are offered that is even greater than happiness, something we don’t have to chase, something we can find only through our relationship with Christ.
Joy is a word our culture so often brings up only at Christmas. While it’s true Christmas is a great time to be reminded of what joy really is, joy is not something that’s available only during December. Joy can be ours to have every moment of every day. Joy is not affected by emotions. Joy is not stomped out by sickness, job loss, divorce, or pandemic. Joy lives hand-in-hand with peace. Joy abides deep in our souls. Joy is a gift that remains.
I hope this blog is a reminder to us both what joy really is…
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.