How To Be Generous and Joyful Even Though You’re Miserable

I’m an emotional person; I cry easily (thanks Mom!).

In fact, after I hit send on a short email recently, I began to weep. No, it wasn’t a sad or difficult email. Really, it just said “You’re welcome. :)”

So why the tears? Because I began to reflect on how I would like to be thought of by the person receiving the email.

I want to be known as a generous and upbeat person. Someone whose joy radiates.


Yet too often, I let my miserable self get in the way of living in such a way.

The Possibility

But in that moment, I felt it! The possibility and incredible blessing of an unshakable, unerodable joy. An enduring joy that permeates all of life.

This joy: it’s about knowing and embracing that the Lord is in and through all. That there is hope in everything.

Lasting joy is about knowing and embracing that the Lord is in and through all. That there is hope in everything. Click To Tweet

So although sorrow and difficulties will come from time to time, we can still exude joy in Jesus. Because the Savior never leaves.

It doesn’t make sense really, but it doesn’t have to. All we need to know is that joy in Christ is real and it is there for each of us. 

Joyful … but for the Flesh

I want to be that generous and joyful person to all I come in contact with.

I get in my own way. I squash my joy for the sake of bitterness, anger, frustrations, sadness, even boredom.

I kill my joy because of misguided and misdirected expectations.

Joyful … because of Christ

Jesus Christ has set me free from the miserable person I am. I can exude joy in the unexpected and undesirable because He’s overcome it all.

This is such a great season to be reminded:

I am free from the miserable me! You are too. What can possibly be a more fitting reason for joy!

I am free from the miserable me! You are too. What can possibly be a more fitting reason for joy! Click To Tweet

So raise your voice in joyful song, dear friends. We are free, no matter what our circumstances may be!

Let the world know it!

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

“And my soul shall be joyful in the LordIt shall rejoice in His salvation.” Psalm 35:9, NKJV

Reflections: How do you want to be thought of by others? Are you tapping into the joy of the Lord? 

More than 4 years of counting and I’ve surpassed 4,500 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,558–4,578. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • A short morning walk with the dog; Relearning the blessing of respectful dialogue; An amazing group of ministry friends who inspire me and offer me guidance
  • Many sounds of nature heard on my walk: birds chirping, water rushing, leaves rustling; Being “captured” by a book; Expectancy of the Advent season
  • Gifts to buy, money to buy them, and places to go to get them; Snuggling with one sweet baby; Later snuggling with one sweet girl
  • Christmas tree lights; Engaging Advent devotional in Ann Voskamp‘s ‪#‎UnwrappingTheGreatestGift‬; Enough quesadillas to serve again tomorrow
  • Helping a coworker grow his skills; Inspiration that often comes while doing the mundane chores; The opportunity and capability to bathe my daughter
  • Road tripping to Minnesota; Amazing teamwork to find Rachel a dress in an hour; Niece’s wedding
  • Unexpected reminder of the things in life that really matter: much of what we make a big deal about doesn’t; Loving on precious babies; Safe trip home

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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