Today, I am not talking about branding or business. Today, I am sharing about something personal. The state of our hearts and the pursuit of joy. To be a good business owner, spouse, parent, or anything really, you need to be a good YOU. At the end of the day, clients are gone, social media followers are gone, competition is gone, and you are left with yourself and your heart. It is our own responsibility to cater to the state of our heart.
It feels like it’s been a hard week already, although it’s only Tuesday. It might be because last week never truly ended for me, and seemed to have merged into this one. Or, it might be because my heart is struggling and everything feels hard right now. Reverie Lane Designs is more successful and busier than ever before, my kids have been sick and/or teething, I threw a birthday party for my son on Sunday, but mostly what’s making me struggle is that I felt hurt and rebuked on a personal aspect of life by people around me. Separately, I can deal with each one of these things, but put together I felt defeated and allowed the offense to make a big bruise on my heart and threaten my joy.
Now, I am the mellow artist type, and wild joyful expressions don’t happen naturally for me anyways. Because of that I have almost come to convince myself that not everybody should be joyful all the time – ugly excuses, right? This year, in my personal relationship with God, I have been brought to realize and acknowledge that joy is a command, it is not an option. It is so necessary to fully and intentionally live your life, to pursue joy, and I know I need to accept that truth. Even if you are not a believer, cultivating a joyful heart should be a priority of yours. I am all about living intentionally, as you may be starting to understand, and pursuing joy is one of the best ways to do so, I believe.
I love this John Piper quote and it couldn’t illustrate my point any better:
“The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an “extra” that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. It is not simply a way to “enhance” your walk with the Lord. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your “faith” cannot please God. It is not saving faith. Saving faith is the confidence that if you sell all you have and forsake all sinful pleasures, the hidden treasure of holy joy will satisfy your deepest desires. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.”
– John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
Pursuing joy is absolutely a challenge at times for me. Oddly enough I find comfort in being melancholic sometimes, as it doesn’t build expectations that can then bring disappointments. I also allow myself to ‘care too much’ about others’ opinions. In light of that reality, I choose to believe that Christ is my joy and that He will come through for me. I choose to make joy a priority instead of an option.
My friend, keep pursuing joy. Don’t give up on the idea of joy for you. Cater to the state of your heart, pursue joy! Even, or should I say especially, if like me you are the ‘lock me in the attic with paint supply and I’ll be fine’ artist type.
REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT PRACTICAL WAYS DO YOU HAVE TO CATER TO YOUR HEART? HOW DO YOU PURSUE JOY WHEN YOU FEEL SADDENED?