Cultivating Joy

I’m a small town farm girl at heart.  And literally too… I grew up on a small farm in southern Colorado.  My dad would cultivate the fields before planting, or by definition he would “till up the soil” in preparation for planting.  Getting the soil prepared can involve plowing and/or disking it.  This gets the soil soft and broken up, ready for the seeds.  After the soil is ready and the planting and first watering is complete, the crops begin to grow.  When they get to a certain maturity dad would cultivate the soil between the rows again.  This time he was tilling up the weeds that had come in, trying to the choke out the crop.  It also aerates the soil so the crops  can get fresh oxygen to their roots, also promoting growth.

Cultivate… how do we cultivate the hard soil, the hard places, so that we can get some air?  How do we get those dark branches, those weeds pulled up or tilled under?  We start with what we have.  We start with the Light of Jesus and what we have.  We must cultivate joy into our lives day by day.  What brings a smile to your lips?  Makes your eyes brighten?  Makes your soul sing?  We all have things we enjoy, gifts that God has given us that help to fill up our souls.  A few of mine are writing, taking pictures, reading, painting, and running.  I love art in various forms and love to create art, whether that is painting furniture, taking artistic photographs, or coloring pictures with my boys!  I have come to find that art makes me smile, it makes my eyes brighten, and it fills my soul.

We must take time to participate in cultivating joy in our lives.  One thing that I have learned is that it doesn’t just happen on its own.  I have to participate, I must cultivate it with what I have.  Over the past few months I lost that… I felt the weight of responsibility dragging me down.  And I stopped cultivating joy.  And those dark branches started consuming my eyes and my heart.  (check out my last blog post if you missed it!!)  Even though I was in God’s word and studying and going to bible study…. I lost sight of the Light. I was going through all of the right motions, but there was no joy.  We must participate in cultivating joy… 

When is the last time you made time to enjoy something that God has given you?  Today is a great day to take some time, remember what makes you tick on the inside, write them down and start by making some time for them.  Maybe its as simple as watching a sunrise, grabbing coffee with a friend, taking time for a bath and a good book, or digging into the Word and reading about how much HE LOVES YOU.   Whatever it is that makes your lips smile, your eyes brighten, and your soul sing…make time for them sweet girl.

~You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  Psalm 16:11 



P.S.  My four-year olds came up with a whole list of ways this morning to cultivate joy!!  Here are a few of there suggestions:

  • love Christmas! (lol only Qwade… that sweet boys wishes it was Christmas everyday)
  • play in the snow
  • playing tractor
  • be kind to each other
  • play with our kitty
  • dancing and singing
  • reading books
  • playing games

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