Surround Yourself with Joy!


By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

I received a note from a friend the other day. Part of it said, “Surround yourself with what you love.”

Sometimes I do this without thinking about it, haphazardly scattering colors or keepsakes that appeal to me. Without serious consideration, I simply like the feel or look of particular designs and styles.

At other times, I deliberately choose the imagery and symbolism of my environment because of how it speaks to me. Lately, these choices have become more important, and I’ve found myself looking purposefully for that which leads to joy.

Why make such a big deal out of it?

Because everything speaks to us whether we are actively listening or not, and much of what our world has to say is deceptive and depressing.

In our easily connected, technological age, we receive countless messages daily. Those messages can be overwhelming—from news of natural disasters and crumbling governments, infrastructures, and families to cynicism of the media and subtle references to an inactive, disinterested God. After awhile I’m depressed, and discouraged, and wondering why.

Therefore, I choose to surround myself with what is uplifting. For me, this involves active choices of the music I listen to, the books I read, the movies/television I watch, even the amount of news I ingest.

It all affects me to some degree.

Since there is so very much nonjoy in the world, I choose joy and the things that bring it.

Not long ago, I watched a movie during which an adult daughter brought her mother a potted, flowering plant. The mother said, “Flowers die. They’re a waste of money.”

What died was a little piece of the daughter who made the overture.

Yes, flowers fade and pass. So will we. Does that mean we quit living?

Flowers may not appeal to everyone, but they do to many. Depending on their form, they can evoke a sense of elegance, cheerfulness, or celebration. Even if only for a moment, they have the power to uplift and encourage.

Why do you suppose God made flowers of such varied color and fragrance? And what about food? Why so many different types with such rich flavors and textures?

The same consideration can be made of trees, wildlife, even geological formations. The point is, creation could have been purely functional. But instead, it’s filled with beauty and blessing, reflecting who God is. It reveals His love and care, the delight and joy of His presence.

Within the freewill we’ve been given lie everyday choices of simple preferences. What an exciting gift!

I choose joy.

What do you choose?

The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)


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ALT="Cover of The Miracle Tree"A wide window above the table revealed a grassy yard that sloped toward Campbell Creek. A fallen cottonwood, whitened with age, lay across the creek bed like an invitation.

“You have a lovely place,” Laura said.

Mary set a cardinal-red mug before her and took a seat across the table. “I’ve come to really enjoy it.” She looked out the window. “Deer often drink at the stream, but in the spring they also help themselves to the bulbs in my garden. I don’t enjoy that so much.”     ~The Miracle Tree




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(c) 2018 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.

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6 thoughts on “Surround Yourself with Joy!

  1. Barbara Raymond

    Thank you for this. It is sometimes we all should choose. Joy, love, and friendship are the ones I like to choose.

    1. davalynn

      Good choices, Barbara. We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can certainly choose our responses!

  2. Phylis Moore

    Amen Davalynn! I LOVE the variety of trees around me here, not to mention flowers. Every tree has a distinct and unique type of bark!!! Have you noticed? (no doubt you have!) Thank God for the choices He’s given us!!!

    1. davalynn

      Phylis – yes! I remember the wonderful smells of trees where you live – like the eucalyptus and the pines. Heavenly.

  3. Nancy Crowley

    I go to a woman’s work out environment and we are always given positive reinforcement for ourselves in speech, ‘Love notes’ to us on sticky notes around the room, to keep us thinking positive for ourself and one another. One of them this week was “Carry JOY with YOU”. Sometimes we need to be the one to bring JOY to others.

    I also like the acronym of JOY from Sunday School Class…… Jesus, Others, Yourself.
    Jesus wants us to Love ourselves so we can Love others.

    Nancy from Colorado Springs
    I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart, repeat, …..down in my heart to stay!

    1. davalynn

      Love this, Nancy!


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