Joy Challenge #6: Make a list of things that bring you joy
Are you relieved? Today’s challenge might be a little easier to pull off than the last few – you’re welcome! But I think it’s really important. One of the things I find myself doing when I’m in the midst of a cycle of jealousy is trying to keep up with all the popular things. I’m usually trying to follow the right people on social media, post the right things at the right times, say “yes” to all the opportunities, write my story in a specific way and share it in the most popular places, and wrap it all up tight with a pretty bow.
And sometimes those things bring me joy. But not usually. Usually, the things I do when I’m trying to claim my own spotlight are things that have brought someone else fame, not things that God built in me to bring Him glory. So I’ve found that it’s important to stop and take stock of the things I’m doing, and compare them to the things that bring me joy. It helps me to figure out where the problem areas are so I can make a plan to eliminate or adjust them. It also helps me figure out where I’m missing something I love that could breath new life into my creativity or passion.
Today, take a piece of paper and write down at least 10 things that bring you joy. Not 10 things you think you should like, or 10 things you’ve seen on Pinterest that other people love, but 10 things that make your heart full to bursting. For me, that list might include working out, reading a great book, or treating myself to a fancy cup of over-priced seasonal coffee. For you, it might include going to see a movie, buying a new notebook, or surprising your spouse with their favorite dinner. However God created you, whatever it is that brings your heart joy, no matter how small or silly or unimportant it might seem – write it down. And then maybe take some time to compare it against how you’ve been spending your time lately, to see where the things that bring you joy have been replaced by things that cause jealousy.
- How easy or hard is it for you to come up with a list like this?
- Are there any items on your list that surprised you?
- How could keeping this list nearby help you protect your heart from jealousy?
Just getting around to catching up on all the reading of the blogs I meant to read this month and yours is fantastic! Jealously isn’t something I normally struggle with but my mother, who made it the theme of her life, died recently and it is sad to look back over how she spent her time and see the results. The choices and effects played out over decades and literally kept her from contentment up until the day she died. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom about combating this problem that we often don’t see in ourselves and yet can produce the devastating, joy stealing, low grade unhappiness that keeps us trapped in discontent.