This is the next instalment in a year of guest posts on Joy as part of my year of focussing on joy (my word for the year). This month we have a post from Jacqueline Peart who I met when we both did the Woman to Woman show on Premier Radio earlier this year.
What Joy Means to Me!
It’s a real joy (no pun intended 🙂 to be sharing a guest blog on Apples of Gold. Jules and I met at Premier Christian Radio where we were both guests on the Woman to Woman Show with Maria Rodrigues. Within a short time, it was clear that both Jules and I (and Maria of course 🙂 were real ‘joy carriers’. During the show, we discussed some sober topics and yet there was still room for laughter as genuine warmth filled the air.
So, the question I was asked to address today is, what does joy mean to me?
Joy is a fruit of the spirit, as found in Galatians 5:22, and if I could capture its essence, I would say it comes from within; it is a gladness and a warmth; joy is alive and I believe it is a strength and a choice.
I decided to start writing this blog right after unexpectedly receiving some sad news because I wanted to be sure that what I was getting ready to write was authentic and achievable.
Can I tell you? It is and it was!
You see, happiness is dependent on things that ‘happen’ to us or around us, but joy is resident, it doesn’t go and come depending on our emotions or circumstances. Joy is alive irrespective of life’s up’s or down’s; and despite receiving sad news – as I write – I still choose joy; and in choosing joy there is hope.
I write poetry and inspirational thoughts and several years ago I wrote a piece called, ‘Are you a joy carrier or a joy quencher?’
Joy carriers have the ability to transform an atmosphere or a situation. They can see the glass as half full and they transfer the joy they carry to those around them. Joy is and should be contagious. Those who come into your presence weighed down with the issues of life should be able to draw from that ‘joy-well’ and leave carrying their own joy.
However, ‘joy quenchers’ have the distinct ability to sap your energy and joy. They see only half empty glasses and, equally, they have the ability to change an atmosphere that was once joyful to one stifled by ‘sorrow’, the antonym of joy.
The bible says in Nehemiah 8: 10 that, “The joy of the Lord is your strength”, and I can say I am living proof of this truth. The Joy that comes from the Lord continues to by my strength!
So, what does joy mean to me? In a nutshell it means carrying something that has the ability to ignite, lift, encourage and build up self first and then others.
If you’ve identified yourself as a ‘joy quencher’, get around some ‘joy carriers’ and allow their joy to impact you. Read books about joy, find scriptures on joy and find what makes you smile.
You’ll be glad you did!
About Jacqueline Peart
Jacqueline is the founder and CEO of Jacqueline Peart International Ministries a charity birthed with a mission to ‘transform lives through wholeness.’ She is an ordained minister, inspirational speaker, poet, mentor, entrepreneur and author, who is known, loved and respected for her honesty, openness and ability to ‘keep it real,’ as she teaches and ministers.
Jacqueline is the author of a number of books including the book series ‘Inspirations for…’ a collection of inspirational thoughts and poetry, ‘Will the Real Women of Destiny Please Stand UP? Study book on the life of Rahab and the ‘Wholeness Equation’.
As well as speaking nationally and internationally, she runs a training and development business, ‘Training With Purpose International Ltd’ (TWPI), offering high quality training and development solutions to church and secular organisations alike.
You can find her on Twitter @jacquelinepeart