On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and they went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.
1 Kings 8:66
1 Kings 8:66
This verse is basically talking about the end of the celebration after the first temple was built. What is that linked with the word "joyful?" ...glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done... What I get from that is THANKFULNESS. And there, I think, is a big key of finding joy. Thankfulness leads to joy. If you can find a way to always be thankful, you will always be joyful. How appropriate for the season that's ahead of us, yet this is NOT the only time of year we should be practicing being thankful...this should be something that happens 24/7/365.
If you have to, make a list. I am working on being INTENTIONALLY thankful. I'm doing this because, while I'm certainly thankful for all I have been given, I am bad about *expressing* thankfulness for all those little things. Obviously, I express thankfulness and gratitude when someone gives me something, but I'm ashamed to say I rarely just stop and say "Thank You, God, for..." I'm also working on thanking my hubby for things he does for us, those things that are ongoing and I may have thanked him at first, but he does need reminders that I am so thankful even now. Such as, how hard he works so that I can stay home. Or, for being my "dragon slayer." A really good thing to do is make sure your being thankful not only TO, but also IN FRONT OF, your kids. A wise saying that I heard from the Pearl's is "More is caught than taught." Oh, how true that is. I'm learning that now that I'm coming out of my grumpiness (praise God!), and I'm seeing how I used to act manifest in my oldest toward his younger brother. Ouch! What a wake-up call! I can keep telling him to knock it off, but nothing's going to help him learn more than watching it in action. Anyway, I have a thankful list going, and I hope to share some points of it here sometime.
Go ahead and make a list of what you're thankful for. It doesn't matter how big or small or "silly" the thing seems. If you're thankful for it, write it down. Then, when you start feeling not-so-joyful, take out that list and really reflect on it, and you will have joy in no time!