Lately, life has thrown us some punches. Nothing traumatic, no loved ones lost, or hurdles too big to climb over. It just seems like a lot of financial blows, you know? The trust building kind. Our lifestyle already requires a good deal of trust. Trusting Father to protect us, to provide for us, to guide us. We learned trust at a deep level when we went through a hard time about nine years ago and it comes easier now. In the midst of financial hardships, I feel like the length of time it takes me to place that concern in the hands of my Father, is pretty quick. That being said, Father has been showing me lately that trust and joy, should really be more intertwined than I have realized. My recovery time for trusting Him after a financial blow might be pretty good, but how is my joy? I have to admit, my joy doesn’t immediately follow my choice to trust, it drags behind a little farther. You know what else kills my joy? Being at odds with someone I love, or a short night’s sleep. I don’t know what does it for you, but those are my joy thieves. And so, lately, I have been meditating on joy. The idea that His joy is our strength, that our joy is complete in Him, that His joy is mine to be had. It belongs to me. I own it. No one can take it from me and nothing can steal it. Unless… I allow it. Ouch! We all know happiness and joy are different. Happiness tends to be more circumstantial. Coffee makes me happy. Adventure makes me happy. My kids getting along makes me happy. But what happens when I run out of coffee, have no plans to go camping, and my always delightful kids are making me crazy? Does my joy diminish? I hate to say it, but yeah, sometimes it does. Thankfully, I have a good good Father, who reminds me that His joy, my joy, is mine to keep. Not only that, but being in a place where I am needing to trust in Him, should actually bring me more joy, because I know His goodness is unending and his faithfulness unfailing! So, wherever you are this week, don’t let life steal your joy, own it. And enjoy it.