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  • Sometimes we’ve got joy, but it’s bottled up! In this day and age of fast-moving days that tick away with lightning-speed, it’s easy to get bogged down and forget that we were created to enjoy this life, regardless of the circumstances around us.

    Having an 8 1/2 month old in the house has me truly appreciating the little things in life. Miss Minnie is particularly obsessed with buttons these days, there is one specific button on my husbands sweater that she particularly fond of. There is such wonder in that button for her and I love to watch her play with it, observe it and even try to taste it! I find myself thinking if Little Miss Minnie can find joy in a button, what little things can I find joy in? Watching her discover and explore on a daily basis is most definitely a joy for me.

    There are times that I find myself feeling like I have no joy. In these times I have to work to get myself out of that negative thinking and, first of all, remember that Jesus has saved me and ultimately, because of that, I have joy in knowing that I have a place in heaven! So that’s step one… but I started thinking of other ways we can find joy when the worries and difficulties of this life become overwhelming.

    So today I am sharing 12 ways that you can create some more joy in your life.

    It's easy to get caught up with worries during difficult times. You may even think that finding joy involves a great deal of work or money. This isn't true at all - there are plenty of ways to create joy in your life right now! 

    Here are some ideas to help you enjoy more happiness every day:

    1. Turn off the news, TV, and computer. While theses things can be helpful to keep you informed and entertained, it's important to remember life without them. You'll be amazed at how many projects you can complete without these distractions!

      For example, instead of mindlessly watching another rerun of Seinfeld, complete a photo album or redecorate a room.

    2. Take a class. Almost everyone has a hobby they've been meaning to try for a long time. It's time to actually do it. Take the plunge and take a class! 

      Most communities have a mail-out or website that lists their class schedule. You'll find that they're affordable too!

    3. Get in touch with a friend. The Internet has made it easier than ever to reconnect with people from your past. Whether you last spoke to your friend last month or decades ago, it can be a joyful activity. Reflect on your friendship and discuss the good times you've had.

    4. Start a garden. There are many plants and herbs that you can grow both indoors and outdoors. Experiment with different plants or grow some vegetables that you'll enjoy later on, too. There's nothing like the taste of homegrown vegetables! 

    5. Dabble in arts and crafts. There are so many fun activities that involve arts and crafts. Just take a trip down the aisle of your local craft store to get some ideas. For low cost alternatives, go to your nearest dollar store. You'll be amazed at your new treasures! 

    6. Go for a walk or a nature hike. Take your family or go alone. Walking and hiking can be a great break in your day. You'll be able to reflect, relax, and enjoy the fresh air.

    7. Organize a sports night. Get some of your friends together for a game every once in awhile. It's always beneficial to get a little exercise and it will be fun to socialize, too.

    8. Start stargazing. On a peaceful, clear night, get in touch with nature in a different way. Enjoy the stars! Pick up an astronomy guide and learn to identify the planets and constellations.

    9. Try journaling. One great way to reflect on your day and get to know yourself is by journaling. For additional fun, pretend you're writing to a long lost friend or write a letter to yourself in the future. 

    10. Learn to cook something new. It's always a good idea to add exciting new meals to your repertoire. Find a recipe website or a cookbook and try something you've never tried before.

    11. Have a game night. Gather your family together for some fun and games. Invite friends over to add to the fun. If you're feeling especially creative, try designing your very own board game and play that one.

    12. Be a tourist. You can become a tourist without ever leaving your hometown. It's likely that you haven't been everywhere in your town. Pretend you're on vacation and try all the tourist attractions. You'll learn something new and may even discover places you'll enjoy visiting often! 

    You'll soon find that opportunities for joy in your life are around every corner. With a little creative thinking, you can have a great time every day, and you don't have to spend a lot of money to do it, either. 

    Are there some ways that you can share below that you add joy to your life? Let me know!