Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Full of Joy

"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, 
and that your joy may be full."  John 15:11

I'm all done with my Christmas shopping! Woo hoo!!! In truth, I don't really have much to do. My family has a bit of a pact. We don't buy for each other if we won't see each other. So that makes it easier.

I don't get out much to shop at Christmas. I do almost all my shopping online with just a small handful of sites. In fact, I intentionally stay away from crowded places. I'm not a fan. However, I've taken a few days off from work to use up some extra time I accumulated, and yesterday, I ventured out.

I have a last minute guest coming in this weekend. The rule at my house is, "if you're at my house at Christmastime, you get a gift." So out I went to find a gift for my overnight guest. 

Seriously! If you're coming over for a visit, you get a gift. If a neighbor drops by, they get a gift. We may be sitting around having coffee, but by the time you leave, you'll have a batch of warm cookies or something out my gift closet, to take home with you. It's my love language. I love to give! It's not out of obligation or duty, and I don't give to people simply because they've given to me. Y'all, please set people free from that! Obligated gifts are the worst. They mean absolutely nothing. Bless someone just because. 

Okay. Some things just need to be said. Now back to my story! 

As I was in the store, I let out a sigh, frustrated because of my extreme lack choices. A lady was standing next to me and instantly she said, "Now don't let it steal your joy!" 

Instantly, I perked up and we started chatting about who we were both shopping for, and what gift ideas we had, and the problems we were experiencing finding those gifts. We became instant friends, helping each other look and chatting about life and important shopping matters. She helped turn a disappointing trip into a joyful one, and yes, I found a gift!

So I would like to ask you a question based on my shopping experience from yesterday. Did you bring your joy with you today? Where you are right now - is your joy with you? My new friend sure had hers and the joy that was in her, pulled mine to the forefront.

We are to be joy carriers at Christmas and always. My experience reminded me that this joy we possess is not just for ourselves. We are to give it away to others. Strangers need to be reminded, or they need to experience the joy only Christ can give. It's a gift he has given to those who believe - one of the many (John 17:13).

If you're having trouble finding your joy, take some time today to rediscover it. Think on things that bring you joy. Do something that brings you joy. Spend time with someone who is full of joy. 

What's the one song you can think of that ends most services at Christmas? For me it's, Joy to The World! Let's be that today. Share your joy with someone else and bring some joy to your little piece of the world, even if you're reluctantly out Christmas shopping.  

Read another one of my posts about joy, here on Esther & Friends.