I'm Feeling the Joy of Life... And I Don't Plan on Stopping

Hello there, beautiful people! 

  Within the next couple of days, it'll be the one year anniversary since we moved back to Massachusetts from Indiana last year. It's been a crazy year, but it's been blessed. I've had some of the most amazing experiences this past year and had we not come back, I would probably still be the extremely shy, safe, sheltered girl I let myself be for so long. I wasn't sheltered by my parents or something like that, I allowed myself to become sheltered. I let me shelter me, if that makes any sense. 

  This past year has definitely been challenging, crazy, tough at times, and it's definitely made me want to just bawl my eyes out a time or two. But I've also experienced more joy in the last year than I have in a truly long time. 

  Just yesterday, my Mom, brothers, and I went hiking. It was amazing! We had so much fun and there's just something so calming about hiking through the woods. 

  Sure, life has a lot of ups and downs, but I think the problem with being unhappy lies n the lack of finding the happy. Because joy is something you have to chase after, grab with both hands, and hold onto until your knuckles turn white. Because life won't be happy all of the time unless you find the joy in the little places. 

  I've discovered that over the past year. If you want joy you have to seek it. Because it's not just going to be handed to you on a silver platter. Quite the opposite actually. It's like this world is just going to keep handing you more and more negativity and more and more pain and more and more hardship, and God is whispering in your ear, reminding you that you can find joy in Him. You can find joy in his creation, in friends, in family. Wherever you need to find it, find it. I promise it'll be worth it.

  Once you feel that deep, solid joy, you'll just crave more. And you have to find the thing that keeps you full of it, the person that encourages it, whatever it may be that causes you the most joy. Because life can try and bring you down, but I'm a firm believer that God wants to raise you up. I've been clinging to the verse in Nehemiah that says, "the joy of the Lord is my strength," for a long time now. Because even if you feel like you can't find that joy, you can find your strength in his joy. And that's what I like to hold on to. 

                                           Kelsey :)

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