TGIF

JOY IS A HABIT

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Joy is a Habit
(Episode 1)

Friyay!
Don’t you just love August!

It’s my birthday in a few days, however, for almost two decades, I slip into depression a few weeks before my birthday. It usually lasts from June-October and I am generally somewhat lacklustre for almost 5 months.

Nothing is exempt- Everything suffers from my work, to my faith, to my creativity, finances, academics, all my relationships including the fellowship I have with God.

This year, I was confident that I would not have it but I knew the signs and kept pushing myself because I had competing demands especially academically and I was on a short leash.

However, as soon as my exams were over, I knew that it was only a short while before I caved in because I was literally spent, I had gastric ulcer flare-ups, and I just generally didn’t have any fight left in me.

I was in some sort of pain I couldn’t explain and I just fell into this black hole. I would sleep, wake up, cry, binge, watch movies (which is completely unusual behaviour for me) and repeat the cycle.

By the beginning of the third week, I was calm enough to read one of my books on Apologetics that attempts to answer the question of God and human suffering and it cut me like a light saber (lol) – Jesus was not called the Man of Sorrows for nothing.

It was as if I time travelled and my mind was filled with imagery of how Jesus had his fill of the pain of human experience; β€œfrom being a baby refugee with migrant parents (imagine the instability they must have felt) to being a virile single man who felt lonely at times, to being misunderstood by those he loved that he had to find a company of disciples, to moving everywhere and not having a home to himself, to being falsely accused, to losing his cousin and the one person who understood his ministry from the beginning, the total grief!”

He understood and felt what I felt- the entire range of emotions. I saw that I had His attention and He was with me.

In that moment, it was like the warmth of fire on a cold night- the kind of fire that brings a soft glow that sends darkness to the fringes; That’s exactly how I felt.

Immediately I picked up the Psalms and slowly recited it to myself and I felt reprieve like soothing balm over a wound. I had a warm quiet delight slowly bubble up that had nothing to do with any improvement of my current circumstances. My heart started to burn again with thoughts, images, and visions of hope, meaning, and a preferred future.

I knew this was God at work giving me a priceless gift and gratitude surged through my being. I knew what I needed was a rebirth experience and I am currently on that journey.

One of the most important elements of this rebirth is to build a culture of Joy in my life.

Then, He started to teach about the fruits of the Spirit being character traits of the Spirit that become our character when we consistently submit ourselves to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The building blocks of Character are Habits; this implies that to develop the character of Joy, I need to cultivate Joy Habits.

Joy Habits are activities or events that can be incorporated into our daily routines, and regimen to help us build a culture of Joy for the long term.

I told the story above to show that I am also a newbie student in the school of Joy and as an invitation to walk this journey of Joy with me.
For the next couple of weeks, I will share specific Joy Habits I am cultivating, how it works, and what it does for/in me.

Joy Habit No. 1.

Shouting/ Screaming without any apparent or obvious reason.

So you feel out of sorts; having a bad day, in a frenzied gridlock, feeling like you do not know what to do, maybe you are quietly battling self-doubt, or even at an impasse with a loved one or experiencing some sort of friction in your relationships…

Go to the bathroom …anywhere…fill your lungs with air, and let out the largest and longest scream/shout ever!

Follow it up with shouts of praise- (Phrases like Glory to God, Praise the Lord, Hallelujah, or even ABBA apply).

If you can, scream out a one line affirmation (I usually do “I am empowered to succeed, I am loved, or I know what to do” depends on what’s coming at me that day)

In fact, I think we should have specialized soundproof shouting cubicles in offices.

You will first feel a surge of anger, followed quickly by either laughter, smile, or sob, which all turn out to be relieving, energizing, and exhilarating.

Is shouting the new fancy cure all- NO!
Will it get you to Joy- YES!

Remember Joy is the Goal!

Going forward, I do not wait for pressure, pain, or a bad experience to choose Joy- I choose to choose Joy always!

In personal practice, I have dedicated screaming timeslot every six hours where whether I feel outta sorts or not, I Just Scream!

What I love the most is how it immediately clears out a certain mental fog, lifts my perspective, renews my courage, announces to the universe that I am a fighter and I ain’t backing down, aids catharsis, and most importantly reminds me that I am alive so I’ve got a purpose that fills my heart with hope.

Caveat; You may be perceived as a nut case for screaming without purpose or any apparent collective reason but feel free to give them a mental health education- also invite them to try it too.

So let me know in the comment section:
Have you tried this before?
Did it work?
Are you going to try this?
How was your experience?
What safe place do you suggest people can scream?

What are you waiting for- Go on this week and be a JOY “Nut-case”!

P.s: This is the shortest depression episode I have ever had in my life- It lasted less than 3 weeks and I am well on my way to a rebirth and having the “EPIC-est” year yet!

With Love, Joy, and Peace,
Ariel Qu.

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TGIF CAKE IS BAE

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July will end soon – it’s halftime already but no worries I am having cake for lunch. Cakes make me happy. 😊 😊 😊

Like really, genuinely happy on such a primal level. It’s not the squeal of delight or the flutter of excitement kind of happiness. It’s the quiet kind of happiness that permeates your soul like the warmth of alcohol spreads through your veins.

I don’t even have to eat it, I just need to see it around me. It warms my heart. I think the idea of making cakes is a gift from God to foster human happiness. And the creative craftsmanship is just an icing on the cake…pun intended. From plain cakes to chocolate to cheese cake to red velvet….cake is bae.

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To all the cake makers and cake craftsmen (tag as many as you can find). Thank you for filling our lives with genuine happiness. I pray the next time you make your cakes, you do not see it as just another job, another deliverable, or inventory, or even a creative opportunity. I hope you see it as a chance to make another human being happy, to be a subtle but cornerstone part of our most significant experiences in life, and to fill our hope tanks for the humdrum days.

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As you do your mid-year appraisals and evaluations, remember to take a break and eat a piece of cake.

Random Thoughts from ArielQu

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TOTAL KNOCKOUT

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Yippee!!! T.G.I.F πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

Of all the workdays in the week, Friday comes with a sense of great relief because it’s the last day of work. For most people, the next two days would be about many activities other than work. As you look forward to the weekend, let’s address your mind status and your joy level. Your mind, being the breeding ground for thoughts that either bring joy or sadness is the devil’s main target anytime he wants to get you. And you know your mind condition has its own influence on your environment, endeavors and your beloved ones. So this article is about KNOCKING OUT the devil and his accomplice out of your life, your space and be joyful all the time.

See, there may be many reasons why you should be all gloomy this weekend; it may be your finances, health, marriage, children, career, business, disappointment, let-downs etc.; I also know you have many reasons to be joyful and all radiant as well. If you can’t easily name one, the fact that you have life, the ability to read and process this article should help you start building the list.

The enemy is all out to make you sad every second of the day and you know, your sadness is his joy. What a game!!! It has never so happened that you and the enemy are both joyful at the same time, never! It is a game of who can stay joyful by all means.
The enemy is in this game for as long as he succeeds, as long as you let him fix your mind on what is not working, what is not right and the temporary unpleasant issues.

Today, like the winner of a boxing game knocks out his contender, we admonish you to KNOCK OUT the devil out of your personal space and all that concerns you, so you can retain your joy. Give him a finishing and a final blow so that he is defeated forever. He will try even harder but you’ve got an advantage in Christ to defeat him. Nothing is as blissful as staying joyful regardless. Below, we give some guides on how you can knock the devil out:
β€’ Remember God’s promises and let it radiate your heart.
β€’ Practice the art of His presence – In God’s presence, there’s fullness of JOY. How liberating is it to know that we are ever with the Father and He is EMMANUEL.
β€’ Put it to the devil as Jesus did and let him know “It is written” concerning you, your health, your marriage, your children, finances, business, etc.
β€’ Make a list of your blessings, count them and let your heart constantly rejoice over them.
β€’ Thank God in advance for His promises, sing and dance joyfully as you worship Him.
β€’ Bring your request to the Father with thanksgiving in confidence and with the assurance that He hears and He will answer.
Beloved, always remember that JOY is the answer in every situation. We pray that you remain JOYful!
Writer: Adenike Leke-Akinbode

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LET JOY MOVE YOU FORWARD

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As we journey on through life, it is critical to be joyful women, because women carry a powerful deposit of emotion beyond logic and if your emotion is untouched by joy, your life may lack motivation. Joy gives the soul a reason to go on and it is the best makeover the spirit can get.

While humans were busy discovering cars that run on water, and other interesting things in life, we stumbled on some timeless truths and fun facts about joy and the believing woman and thought to share with you.

Did you know that:

Joy is a spiritual force field that is beyond an emotion. It is a spiritual impartation that can radiate from our spirits into our souls and find expression in our daily living.

Joy is the outward expression of our inward experience, it is the lifestyle of the believer. It is Faith smiling or maybe more aptly, laughing Faith.

Joy is a secret God shares with you. Sometimes, you don’t even understand what’s up with you but you can’t help the taste of delight in your spirit.

Joy finds you; it is mostly not a place you go, it’s a cloud that comes to you. It’s a powerful cloud that moves over your spirit and propels you.

Joy births God’s glory and allows you experience God!

Depression is like a dark cloak over the spirit. Joy is like the veils are lifted and revelation comes to you!

Faith is a place, if you stay there, Joy will find you. If we leave the place called faith, Joy will come to that place and not find us at home. Joy doesn’t come and go, we come and go.

Faith is sighting the future…Joy is experiencing that future first hand before getting into it materially.

Joy is the emotion that faith creates.

Joy is the tickle of the Spirit! It is a fragment of eternity’s excitement.

Joy is that moment when God causes you to share in His laughter by dropping Himself into your spirit!

Joy is predominantly a victor’s delight about the future God has created which makes you enjoy the future before others!

Joy is an outward expression of an inward experience. So, if your heart is full of faith, it will overflow in joy.

Joy isn’t always loud, sometimes it’s quiet.

Joy is a bandwidth all the way from quiet delight to extravagant rejoicing.

Joy births meditation, it can be quiet.

Joy can make your heart tender, and it can make it soar.

Joy is an outflow of depths and dimensions.

Joy is a permanent response to an obtained inheritance.

We don’t create Joy. We receive it.

Joy is an abstraction of eternity.

Joy is one of the most powerful ways to remain consistent in life. It grounds you, solidifies you and makes you positively predictable.

Joy is a constant line drawing a continuum in your journey, untouched by circumstances.

Joy gives you victory over grumbling and complaining.

Joy is not make believe.

Joy is reckless abandon.

Joy is how we can express the best of our womanhood. It is how we stay at peace in storms, submit in spite of our spouses’ failings, remain beautiful women even with a slim budget for our wardrobe, make the best of meals in spite of management of resources.

Joy is how we build a home everyone runs back to come into no matter what side of town we live; it is how we build a life that is beautiful to God and enjoyed by us.

Joy creates a force field so sweet!

Joy amplifies the goodness in our lives
And even helps us make fun of the odds. Because we truly feel above them

Receive Joy today. The Holy Spirit is a dispenser of Joy, come to Him today, He is a free flowing fountain.

 

Article by Funmi Owo (Culled from DDK’s teachings on Joy)

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