Keep the Joy

JOY signThe post-holiday blues always seem to get me the day after Christmas. Obviously this isn’t a new problem, because this year I decided to search for some quick cures for these temporary blues on my computer—and what popped up was a newspaper column I wrote twenty years ago! What was my own advice to myself? Count your blessings. So I did, and I felt better immediately.

Both of the churches we regularly attend (long story) focused on the gift of joy this Christmas season, with the JOY candle shining brightly in their advent wreathes. In my son Tim’s church, the whole advent theme was Time for Joy, and they even had a red tractor in the entryway of the church to represent the fact that abiding joy in Christ can be cultivated through all of life’s seasons.

First Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs, CO.

First Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs, CO.

That’s another great cure for the post-holiday blues, remembering that joy isn’t only a gift at Christmas time, but can be ours all year long when we know where to search for it.

Chuck Swindoll knows. He had this to say about post-holiday blues in his book Come Before Winter: “When the wrappings and ribbons are in the trash, the manger scene is back in the attic, the friends and family have said good-bye, and the house feels empty and so do you—there is One who waits to fill your heart and renew your hope.”

Joy candlesThe same One will restore your joy, and those who may have had much more than temporary blues throughout this Christmas season could need restoration. Even if we are in a good place emotionally, physically, and spiritually when the holiday season rolls around, we can still find it challenging. The busier schedule, the memories of people we have lost, the nostalgia, the unreasonable expectations, can all take a toll on our peace of mind and well-being. When someone is actively grieving the loss of someone they loved, or life has delivered a significant blow of any kind, it can be especially difficult to get through the holiday season feeling joy-filled.

Joy OrnamentSo we all have to hold fast to whatever joy we can muster—and remember that it can be ours every day of the new year, not just when we are singing “Joy to the World.” We need to “repeat the sounding joy.” We need to seek it out and hold fast to it. And whenever we find we are running low on joy, we need to turn to the Lord and ask Him to fill us up from His infinite supply. (Nehemiah 8:10–“For the joy of the Lord is your strength.”)

Don’t pack away your joy with the Christmas decorations. Keep the joy. When necessary, seek the joy. And have a wonderful New Year!

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  1. Ruth Axtell says:

    Yes, the joy of the Lord is our strength. If we do not have joy, we have nothing to give thanks for. Even through my sorrow of a death in the family, I have joy because I know this person is now with the Lord. He has wanted to go Home for so long and now he is happy.

  2. Happy new year!!

  3. Thank you, Nancy! Joy (and miracles) are out there every day of the year!

  4. Elizabeth H. Van Liere says:

    Lovely thoughts. Lovely reminders…. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, at Christmas and every day thereafter! The room that held the now-gone Christmas tree may look lonely, but our hearts still hold Him near.

  5. Kay Walker says:

    Reading your blog is such a joy! Happy New Year to you and Jim!

  6. Your Huzzband says:

    You bring me joy every day!

  7. Joy … just the word seems a bit too ‘happy’ when life seems to be a struggle. A friend of mine uses the word ‘peaceable’ … and when life gets bumpy, perhaps ‘peaceable’ is ENOUGH. Otherwise, go for ‘JOY’!

  8. Happy New Year Nancy!
    I have read and been a receiver of your gift of inspiration for many years now.
    I fell in love with the “Best to You” inspirational newsletters and that is how I found you.
    Thank you for continuing to send the monthly roses of encouragement to me via E-mail.
    One of your most heartfelt blogs was posted 02/14/2012, when we lost Whitney Houston.
    I thank God for you.
    Your Sister Servant,

    • Thank you so much, Diane. You may find that I still “mine” those Best to You newsletters for material to use in my blogs from time to time. Your encouragement inspires me to keep writing. Bless you.

  9. Thank for this poignant reminder, Nancy. And hey, that’s no ordinary tractor at the church. That’s an IH Farmall. We still have my dad’s old one. Grew up riding on that tractor. Love this reminder to cultivate joy.

  10. This reminds me of my verse for 2018:
    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

    Not just “some” joy but all!!! But I love that Beth used the word cultivate, we must choose joy and do our part to rest in the joy only He can provide.

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