Unbreakable Joy

I’m a few days late writing a post on the fourth and fifth habits from The 5 Habits of the Girl Who Won’t Give Up, but better late than never I suppose.

Below are the habits I focused on last Thursday and Friday:

4. She chooses to infect the world with joy.

Though life seems to frequently dump on her, she chooses to not dump on others. In fact, she thrives on being emotionally generous towards others. The spirit of generosity that oozes through her infects joy into a seemingly miserable world. As a result, when darkness seems to gloom over her she can easily shoo it away by giving joy.

5. She has a spirit of unbreakable determination.

Though she may feel a little [or a lot] bent many days, she never lets her bending turn to a broken dream. She refuses to break her perseverance towards the things God has placed her on this earth to do. In the midst of her rejection that attempts to break her she thrives by standing firm on this verse: “Create in me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
–Psalm 51:10

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Sometimes it’s really hard to have joy. In fact, I felt the complete opposite of joyful last week.

Thursday’s habit couldn’t have come at a better time. It literally turned my entire week around. I went from sulking in my self-pity to remembering why I was put on Earth in the first place.

A friend once told me about an exercise that not only helped to improve a person’s mood, but also forced people out of their comfort zones. The exercise was to find 10 people that I didn’t know, look them in the eyes with a big smile and say “hello, how are you today?” This exercise was a lot harder than I thought it would be! You don’t realize how vulnerable you make yourself until you say hello to the first person and all you get in return is a weird look. After the fifth person I started to feel better. Forcing myself to smile and be happy actually enhanced my mood.

So I tried this again on Thursday. My goal was to find those 10 random people, as well as to smile and say hello to each and every person that I already knew. As soon as I said hello to the first stranger, I personally decided that it was going to be a good day. I came in my office, turned on the reggae music, and wrote myself a sticky note that is still taped to my computer. It says “you decide how this day will go.”

The older I get the more I realize that being joyful is a choice and having an attitude of gratitude can change everything. Our purpose, as Christians, is far greater than our circumstances and having a spirit of unbreakable determination reminds us that these struggles are only temporary.

So I started this week off right by going to a yoga class this morning. If you’ve never done yoga before I highly recommend it! I felt so connected and in tune with my body and with God. The instructor said something during the class that really stuck with me.

She said, “be your own best teacher today.”

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