Growing up as oldest in a single parent family, my childhood was more practical than carefree. I walked my little sister from school and helped her with homework. When mom got home, I’d wash the vegetables, prep for dinner and cook rice on the stove. When grocery shopping, my sister, five years younger than me, often asked to buy candy at the checkout line. But, since I knew we only had money for the essentials, I never asked.
I confess that “delight” wasn’t part of my vocabulary growing up. But, God gave me a love for His Word early on. I’d read the Bible as a love letter, and as I did, I felt God’s nearness. I felt loved.
I didn’t have someone to show me practical ways of choosing joy. But God’s Word is guiding me even now to delight myself in Him in new ways, so I can write a new story with my children, by choosing joy.
The truth is a well-loved woman who chooses joy will naturally bless others, like a river being filled by refreshing spring rain.
Are you looking to focus on delighting in the Lord and in the little blessings that He has given you in the new year?
Today, God invites you to quietly lay down the things we do out of performance and busyness and instead, open the gift He’s placed in each of us: delight.
How do you best experience God’s delight? Would you be surprised if I were to tell you that God’s biggest delight, his greatest joy is – you?
Here are 4 action steps to incorporate God’s delight in everyday life:
1. If you’re good at taking care of others, feel God’s delight by prioritizing your well-being.
Why are we so hard on ourselves, when God’s love is gentle? How can you fill other’s needs, if your tank is empty?
Delight Tip: Prioritize enjoying what brings you joy. Take a walk outside today. Let God touch you.
Studies show just 10 minutes outside refreshes and helps with anxiety — depression in school, work and everyday life. Put on your shoes and go. You’ll return refreshed! We may feel selfish prioritizing filling our tanks. Yet, God says we can only comfort others, with the comfort we first receive ourselves!
2. Contentment is nurtured with love, not guilt. Feel God’s delight by being gentle with yourself.
Most problems that stress us can’t solved in a day. We are such strong thinkers, but it leads us to easily ruminate, which means to obsess and worry. One way to reduce rumination is by enjoying activities that foster positive thoughts about God’s care for you.
Delight Tip: Listen to a worship song.
Music is used in therapy to help us express hidden emotions. It calms and alleviates pain. When you feel too stressed to pray, put on a worship song and let God love you.
3. You are good at listening to others, but may find it hard to share your hardships. Feel God’s delight through a real person.
We don’t want to bother others. But, ever notice how you feel better after talking to someone about your troubles — even if the problem hasn’t been fixed?
Delight Tip: Call a grace-filled friend to have coffee/dinner.
Research shows stress and anxiety are reduced and people bounce back sooner (resiliency) when people share their stories and talk about how they feel when events impact them (rather than just describing what happens).
4. Give yourself grace. Feel God’s delight with rest and refresh your soul.
“...Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” Elijah did everything he knew to do—even defeating the prophets of Baal. Yet, his problems got worse. Stress broke Elijah’s spirit. Yet, Elijah fell asleep and woke up to find fresh bread baking on hot stones and water—left just for him. Not only that. God sent an angel—to touch him—twice.
God knew Elijah needed physical rejuvenation – sleep, eating well, getting away – and emotional safety – to be touched, heard and understand – first, in order to experience the delight of hearing God’s whisper in a gentle breeze.
Delight Tip: Prioritize an activity that helps you uniquely rest and refresh. To hear God’s voice, first give yourself the permission to unplug and do what gives you joy.
Help me embrace new ways to delight in You
and start to live them out.
Help me grow in this word DELIGHT
and seek out your purpose for my path this year.
Thank you for your love.
In Jesus’ name,