Happiness is. . . not joy?

Happiness comes from the simple things.  Every day life.  The mundane turned like magic.  Realizations that life holds some morsels of gold albeit does not always feel good.

Startling awareness of joy nestled in with the pain.

Not everyone understands how good can be mixed with bad.  How can there be joy among the pain in a situation?  I did not always understand and still at times don’t get it.  I remember me and a close friend having a conversation about joy mixed with pain and just really feeling perplexed about the reality of it.  Because in my mind it (you know, life scenes) were either all good or all bad.  Black and white.  One or the other.  But both?

What do you think?  Have things ever happened to you that caused to you feel like life is all bad?  Or that life right now is bad?  Or have you felt like the situation your in is hopeless and there is nothing good about it?  Do you find yourself (like me) wishing it away?  Pretending it’s not there.  Pushing it far, far from your mind and worries?

Can there be joy found in that particular pain that you find yourself in today?

I don’t mean ‘ha, ha!’ laughing, silly kind of joy.  That is more happiness.  Let me define my terms.

Happy: immediate response to a stimulus; short lived.

Joy: the peace that passes all understanding and I can still smile in my storm for days to come.

Joy produces a real genuine smile.  A gut smile in the security that God has his hand in my life.  And even though it feels bad and it really hurts sometimes, but I remember that God is with me and wants above all else my neediness for Him in my pain.

Along this train of thought, I am reminded that while finding joy it’s important not to stay there.  It’s good to find that joy God shuffles into my life but if I remain floating on that joy and ignoring the tough stuff, I really am not growing.  I kinda have my head in the sand.  Life is hard!  Darn it!  We need joy to help us through it, kind of like hope but we must not forget reality and where the pain is.  I can have joy partnered with pain.

This is hard to define because life as a Christian can not be defined or managed by steps.  It comes down to living in dependency on the holy spirit – something I have not yet figured out. 🙂  So I can’t tell you how you must live because God is working in your life on his own time table.  I don’t know what he wants you to discover through your pain today.

Cry out to God.  Be needy before him.  Feel his joy.  Know his love.

Just some thoughts.  🙂  I’d love to hear some of your thoughts & experiences.  I don’t obviously have all the answers.  I’m not looking for answers, anyway but there is comfort in knowing I am not alone.  (But maybe alone is where God wants me?…)  Ok, that can be another post for another day!

But, sometimes sharing how God worked in my life is like pounding a stake in my heart for God.  Talking about stories helps me grasp God’s hand in my life and allows it stick more.


If you ask the girls I work with, who are starting to know me quite well… they would say it does not take much to get me excited.

Here is my happy list for this week (and yes, it’s short lived):


Our new rug.

 Jason and I are both smitten with it.  This one might not be short lived because we needed it.  Maybe the more correct term would be thankful.


Sewing project

– turned boring, plain sweater into somewhat vintage fashion by adding garage sale lace.



 Sorry no picture, but I think you get the picture.

I’ve been skying my family back home.  My little brother who is off to big, scary college.  My brother in law and his wife (or do I say one of my besties and her husband?)  And my friend from church who moved far, far away to Kuwait.  I miss her dearly.  She is always so inspiring and challenging and honest and a whole lot’a other good stuff!


Making tomato soup out of my left over chopped up tomatoes from church fellowship meal (and I had a lot left over!).  Here’s the recipe I used.  I’ve never had tomato soup with noodles in it.  Jay and I both found it deliciously different.  🙂  Oh, and with my chopped tomatoes, I simply put them in the blender and woo-la!  Tomato Juice!


Friesen Family Camping.  

Actually, we are not camping by true definition of the word.  We will be at a campground, yes.  But not in tents, campers or whatever else.  We will be in rooms/cabins/houses etc…  Needless to say, I am so very looking forward to family time together.  Mostly everyone will be present.  This marks hubby’s parent’s 50th anniversary even though his mother passed away this past May.  She had previously mentioned she would like to go camping in celebration of their 50th and so in honor of ‘mom’ we are.    I’m not sure what all this wknd holds, maybe laughter, recollections of mom, games, of course food!, & hopefully close conversations.  Now that I listed off my expectations, I better be ok with whatever happens!  I’m looking forward to it very much!


Working on my honeymoon book.

With persistence I might have it done before a years up – 10.02.11!


. . . By the way, do any of you know if you can get books printed off of the Creative Memories Digital program elsewhere besides through Creative Memories?


7 thoughts on “Happiness is. . . not joy?

  1. Hey, Jolynn!

    Good thoughts…I know the feeling of experiencing both pain and joy in situations. . .but I also know the feeling of wondering what-in-the-world the “good” is in certain situations. Have you read the book “1000 Gifts”? Your post reminded me of that book…I just started it this week. Good stuff.



    1. Hi Carita! No, I have not read that book but I’d heard lots of good about it. When Anita King was down here she was reading and I think that’s what has peeked my interest in getting a copy someday.
      I agree about being able to even find good but can it be that the bad – as painful as it is – is the good? Just recently I was in a situation and found myself telling me that, “this awkward, twinge of pain is good I’m feeling presently is good for me.” I just clinched my jaw and smiled to myself. 🙂
      -Blessings today to you!


      1. Yes, sometimes the pain probably is the good…strange as that may sound and hard as that may be to deal with. Not sure I’ve had much success in accepting that fact yet! 🙂 😦

        You should e-mail/message me your SKype info. 🙂



  2. Wow!! I’ve been thinking alot about joy & pain lately and have been pondering writing about it… then I come here & read your post!! Thanks for sharing – definitely needed to hear that tonight. Blessings to you!!


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