To me, joy shouldn't be something that is a side effect of our circumstances, but a habitual state of presence that results from Thanksgiving.
I've always thought of joy as some complex state of being that only came from boisterous amounts of success or recognition from people. I always thought that if everything in my life was going the way I wanted it to, then at that moment, I would experience blissful joy. If I got an A on that exam.... got noticed by that one boy... or even got a certain number of Instagram likes, that I would really, TRULY experience joy.
In the midst of it all, this is where my breakthrough came through. I realized that regardless of my circumstances, regardless of the grade on that test, or what some guy thought of me, I was going to CHOOSE joy and I really mean choose it.. not just attempt to experience it.
Joy doesn't have to come from monumental breakthrough points in your life when prince charming comes and the sky opens itself to you, it comes when you choose it; when you decide that regardless of what blows your way, that your state of mind enables joy to inhabit every corner of your innermost being.
Its simple really, if you choose every day to get out of bed and tell yourself that today is going to be a day, then it is. The power of your words and thoughts in your mind are what enable you to be able to experience raw, blissful joy.
To you, joy might come from grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend, walking to your hideout spot in the midst of a stressful week, or even just vegging out on the couch for a night with your girls.
Whatever it might be, we must realize that joy isn't as complex as we all try to make it out to be. I find simple and true joy in the morning when I choose to make it a point to crack open my devotional and have my quiet time with the Lord. In those small moments, I realize that they are big parts of my days that allow my innermost being to experience the simple joys in life.
Whatever it is, take the time to really truly CHOOSE joy. Don't wake up in the hopes that you'll have a better day, create it. Voice it. Use the power of your state of mind and words to make it a priority each and every day to CHOOSE joy. It is at that exact moment that we realize that the little things are really, really big things.