Joie de vivre!

I’m a Francophile. I love all things French. It’s my mother’s fault … my first alphabet book was in French. I learned l’arbre before I learned tree. 

This week is the week of J. As in Joshua (my youngest child), and Jesus (my Savior and Lord), and jelly beans (my favorite candy). All three have crossed my mind as subjects for my J post, but I’ve opted to go French instead.

Joie de vivre is translated “joy of life” or “joy of living.” I believe it’s the way God intended us to live our lives – discovering joy in every aspect of life, however small, however insignificant, however mundane.

photo by polandeze via PhotoRee

Mere natural people (separated from the spirit of life) view joy as the result of a particular conglomeration of circumstances. As believers, we have a nasty tendency to think of “joy” as one of those things that will fall upon us in a church service, or in a time of intense personal prayer. That’s fine, but don’t limit your joy! Jesus prayed for us in John 17 that our joy would be complete! Joy in every area, every aspect of life.

Monday evening I got home from work and prepared to cook supper. I made spaghetti. Simple spaghetti, with meat and canned sauce. No flair, no creativity, no pleasure in the process. It was a chore, a duty, a task. But the French find joie de vivre in cooking … even the simplest meal is accompanied by a passion for flavor, for presentation, for LIFE.

What can we learn from this? (Besides how to cook really yummy food?)

It’s not about the task, 
it’s the attitude we apply to the task. 

I had this conversation with my youngest this morning about schoolwork. As long as his attitude is bad, he’ll find no enjoyment in learning (and neither will I, since he’s homeschooled). When we have a negative attitude, whether it’s about housework, taxes, or cooking, we lock ourselves out of joie de vivre.

I’m endeavoring to adjust my attitude about those tasks I dislike … because the Bible says “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Finding the joie de vivre  in whatever we set our hands to will strengthen us in spirit, soul, and body.

I dare you to find ONE task today that you generally dislike or resent or avoid and find for the joie de vivre in it!

For more “J” posts, check out From A2Z4U and Me!

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