Somehow, you’ve began to find yourself in a place where you lack joy. You just cannot figure out how to get out of that spot. Maybe you’ve experience a season where things just don’t feel the same or maybe it’s just a day where you feel down and really want to add some joy to your day. It happens. But I know it’s not a “place” where you want to stay. So what do you do? I too have times when I feel like I lack joy (the joy that the LORD gives).
Reasons for Feeling Down and Joy-Less
Last Semester, we’d moved into a new state and into neighborhood far different than our previous. One day (among many others) I was feeling so down about it all. In addition to that, my husband had been out of town all week on a business trip in Oregon. We had some very raining months and that week, rainstorms had kept the kids and me inside most days which we didn’t mind at all. We truly enjoyed the cozy feeling of the rain and storms. But when the sun came out a bit again on a Friday, instead of feeling joyful I began to feel down and a lack of joy. So I’d decided I would steer away from the schedule and have a lighter day with less chores. The girls wanted to do extra school video lessons during what would be our normal rest time period and our little boy was playing. I sat down to type a post with the TV on and just couldn’t find the words to type. It just felt like I was going around in circles.
Thriving to Feel Better
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
So I decided to organize my messy homemaking binder and then made some new printables to organize my blogging. That seemed to help clear up my mental clutter a lot. After this, I took the kids to the park because after all, we’d been indoors all week due to the rainstorms. While they played at the park, I just relaxed. We came home, took baths, put on jammies and made a new recipe that we’ve not tried before. I had some bananas that were brown and I wanted to use them. Our 8 year old suggested trying a Banana Pound Cake. The idea sounded good to me. So we Googled a recipe and it tried something new! The other kids don’t like banana baked stuff so they had other teats. Then we cleaned up the kitchen and went upstairs, brushed our teeth and hung out (the kids did art papers, drawing, sticker books and played with toys. These little activities seemed to have made a difference in how I felt earlier that day.No longer did I feel lonely and joy-less.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones (Proverbs 17:22).
10 Ways to Spark Joy in Your Home and Family
If you feel a lack of joy and motivation and are looking for simple ways to spark some joy in your home and family, here are a few ideas I hope will help you. We’ve done all of these and they have helped us so much. But above all these, know that true Joy comes from the Lord.
- Walks – Go for a little refreshing walk outside with the family. Just taking a walk outside and feeling the fresh air could really help refresh your mind.
- Play Outside – Take your kids to the park or outside to play. If you have kids and a nearby park, take them to play. If they are old enough to play on their own, you can sit and watch them or walk, run a little around the park while they play. It doesn’t matter what you do, just enjoy being out there.
- Bake – Bake something (try a new recipe or an old favourite). The excitement of how the recipe would take your mind off the “joy-less” feeling. Not to mention, there’s something so warm and inviting about the smell of goodies baking in the oven. Everyone at home will be oozing at the aroma and anxiously be waiting for something delicious from the oven.
- Tub Soak & Essential Oil Diffusing – Take a tub soak with all your favorite natural essential oils and bubbles. Kids enjoy a good soak, too. Fill their tub, add bubbles and toys and let them soak and play a little. Then diffuse a little relaxing or joyful oilrelaxing or joyful oil afterwards.
- Try a New Activity or New Skill – Do a new activity or learn something new. Consider trying something you haven’t done before. It doesn’t have to be complicated. As an example, when we moved I was anxious about driving in the new area. One day my husband was out of town and the kids had a swim lesson. I thought it would be a good idea to drive the kids to their class. As nervous as I was, I drove to class but only by the Grace of God. (I even let them have unplanned extra swim-time after their swim lessons, despite my anxious thoughts about getting back home as early as possible since I didn’t know the area well). You can learn to paint art, play a new instrument, or some other skill you have not tried before.
- Dinner with Others – Invite a family or friend over for a meal and conversation. Serving others is such a big way to not only encourage them but to encourage us also. Both you and your family will feel blessed that you have blessed someone else. And that is exactly what God desires for us, to put others first. If they have kids, your kids could play with them and keep them entertained.
- Chat with a friend – Chatting with good friends is like a balm. The Bible talks about how “friends sharpen the countenance of friends” (Proverbs 27:17). It’s like they build each other up. Chatting with, having a laugh with, or encouraging a friend can help change your mood. It will encourage you just as they will be encouraged too. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17).
- Rest – Take time to rest. Rest is good for the entire family. Feeling overwhelmed as a mom? Are your kids starting to get a little emotional from “too many” activities? You and the family may need to slow down and take time off to rest. Sometimes when we have too much on our “plates” taking time to rest helps us from feeling overwhelmed. Take an afternoon off from doing chores or from the activity that tends to overwhelm you and the rest of the family most. Just take a break. Read a book. Take a little nap. Have the kids play “quietly” at home. Just relax and just be.
- Get Away – Try taking a little unplanned family get-away some place close and maybe even overnight. When the pressures of home builds up, the noise, the “crowd” of projects, etc. sometimes it helps the family to step away for a moment. You’ll feel energized and motivated to create home again. As we read in the New Testament, Jesus took frequent breaks away from crowds of people who followed him. He went into the mountains and wilderness to pray (Examples in Matthew 5:1, 8:18 and Luke 5:16). That brings us to the next point. Prayer.
- Pray – Pray, my friends. It’s not a last resort to the other nine ways (like when all else fails). It should always come first as much as possible. I’m assuming we all fall short of that at some point. But you can pray for joy. You may not always feel like your prayers are doing anything but we are called to pray. 2 Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us to pray without ceasing.
Do you often find yourself feeling a lack of joy? How are you adding joy to your family and home today? Would love your thoughts in the comments.