joy in developing happiness habits



An open cup greets me from this proteus flower. It’s a reminder to be just as open and aware, as receptive to God’s light, love mercy and grace in life’s daily spaces. I long to be alert and open to joy in my daily grind, to awaken to wonder, look for the soul sustenance it provides while I seek to offer hope and encouragement to others.

It’s not always easy, is it? Joy may be like a fragrant bouquet blooming in our hearts and homes but we need eyes to see it and a disposition of openness to receive it. Clenched fists, sour thoughts and ungrateful hearts are not well placed to receive such a  gift.

The poem below grew out of a hunger to live with open hands, mind and heart…


Good morning, new day

I want to welcome you

with arms wide open

I long to make room

in every receptive way

for your ordinary wonder

and let hope bloom strong

within by gift of grace


It takes grace to even begin to see the gift of joy seeping into our days. We remain blind to these things without a holy opening.

But there are ways to help ourselves, to train eye and soul in the pursuit of joy. It takes a deliberate desire, a willing spirit and an ability to be patient while we nurture the seed of joy within.

“You prepare for the journey to a happier life by nourishing your heart with truth, beauty and love, by filling your soul with forgiveness and letting go, by changing to become the authentic person you were created to be” ~ Daniel O’Leary  ‘The Happiness Habit’

Maybe it also includes these 4 ‘A’s to finding deeper joy:

  • Acceptance instead of resistance – to God’s will and work in us
  • Adaptation rather than consternation – when life hits hard
  • Awareness more than ignorant bliss – by searching the Scriptures for God’s take on this
  • Appreciation over resignation – having an attitude of gratitude in all things

“I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart” ~ Psalms 40:8 NLT

The longer we linger in God’s presence, the more joy filled and joyful we will become.

“Splendour and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place” ~ 1 Chronicles 16:27 NIV

We can rejoice in God’s daily help, strength and protection.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield: my heart trusts in him and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him” ~ Psalm 28:7 NIV

Praise and worship lend themselves to another blog post for another day, such is their effect on maintaining joy. But I hope and pray you will be blessed by today’s reflection.


Welcome to #day22 of #write31days of journeying into joy! Thank you for keeping me company here.

Please feel free to share your own happiness habits in the comments below. 


8 thoughts on “joy in developing happiness habits

  1. Dear Joy, Oh this thought is so much where God keeps leading me: “Adaptation rather than consternation – when life hits hard.” It seems so often that just when I think I’ve made some progress, a new ripple in the sea hits me, and I find myself trying to keep that consternation away! Thank you for these thoughts that express so well where the true JOY from God is waiting: HE brings the gift of receiving His help to adapt, if I will open myself to Him! And I love the blooms of those open-cup flowers! –Blessings and Hugs to you dear friend!

    • Dear Bettie, the words God gives me to share are invariably ones I need to pay attention to as well! I frequently get stuck where you do, too. Life is fond of reminding us of our fragility and great need of God. Thankfully, these responses are a grace gift, not something achievable by human effort alone. It’s the oil of Holy Spirit joy which helps ease the reactions we have to things over time. I’m married to a very patient man (he’s had to be!), but it’s a fruit of the Spirit which is low in me. Yet I can see how God is refining my automatic impatient reactions, because feelings may flare as before but conviction follows hot on their heels! I’m slowly becoming more attuned to inner promptings and quicker to repent rather than allow myself to become so overwhelmed. God delights in us seeking out His help. He knows our frame all too well and is infinitely patient with us as we learn and grow. Glad you like the flowers! May your weekend be full of good things, rest, ease and peace. xox ❤

  2. THIS: “Joy may be like a fragrant bouquet blooming in our hearts and homes but we need eyes to see it and a disposition of openness to receive it. Clenched fists, sour thoughts and ungrateful hearts are not well placed to receive such a gift.”

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