What brings me joy?

Yesterday was stressful – wrestling with tough decisions, questioning compassion fatigue. In the midst of it all, I was challenged by this question, “What brings you joy, Mac?”

Silence for a second. Have you ever been asked that question? Without giving it much though, I tossed back a quick answer. In my heart I knew it was a cop-out.

Arsenio Hall (dating myself here) used to say, “Things that make you go hmmmm.” For me, it’s a ‘ping’ moment – something hits me, goes deep and keeps surfacing until I find the answer.

As I settled into bed last night, the question surfaced again. By now I’m pretty sure that Papa was the initiator of this query.

Being my usual inquisitive self, I looked up the definition of joy: “The passion or emotion excited by acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotion caused by success, good fortune, and the life, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight” (Brainyquote.com).

It struck me. Does success, good fortune or possessing what I love or desire bring me joy? Nope. For me, it’s much simpler…

Someone gets ‘it’. A spark. Eyes light up. A ‘shift’ begins to take place.

Teeny birds – soaring eagles!

“I love you Nana.”

“Thank you NightShift. You saved my life.”sunset joy

Spring buds on trees – tulips poking noses upwards.

Sharing NightShift’s story and somebody leaning forward.

My puppies’ thumping tails as I come through the door.

Running along the water’s edge, wind in my hair, alone with Papa.


Stolen, still moments with Papa.

So, I toss the same question to you today: what brings you joy?

5 thoughts on “What brings me joy?

  1. Pingback: What Brings You Joy?

  2. wally unger

    My life is full of joy. Every morning I sit on my terrace and watch the sun rise over the South China Sea in Vung Tau Vietnam. Sipping on an iced Vietnamese coffee, thinking of what new thrills lie ahead of me in this new day. The joy of seeing a persons face light up as they learn new English words in my English school. The joy I see on an old ladies face as she winds up a day of working twelve hours and coming home with three dollars, which is enough to feed her family that she loves so much. The joy is there even with the knowledge that she will have to do this everyday, seven days a week with never a day off. Never having a holiday. Never a complaint. My mind goes back to Canada where I witnessed people complaining because the government wasn’t giving them enough money. Here there is no welfare, no disability pension for the the man who had his legs blown off in the war. No seniors pension for the ninety year old grandmother who has to sell lottery tickets all day long to survive. There are no Medicare benefits when you get sick. But everyday I see genuine joy. Real joy. Everyday a see joy on a street vendors face as I give them a few cents more than they asked for. I see such joy on the children’s faces as they head for school at six in the morning. I feel such love here. A real love that I have never felt before. How can I not be joyful when I witness so much joy all around me. I love these people. I never dreamt that life could be this much fun. So that’s what gives me joy MAC. I love you and what you do everyday for those less fortunate and may God bless you with a real joy that is unexplainable….wally

    1. Mac Post author

      Hi Wally,

      It was so great hearing about what you’re doing in Vietnam. What a God-assignment! Isn’t it a wonder to experience Joy in the midst of poverty? I see this operating on our own streets in our affluent city where people are struggling in poverty. But even in the midst of their having very little, there is a willingness to share with others who have less. I see this in our dinner line-up often where people will share their bowl of soup or sandwich when someone arrives late and there’s nothing left for us to serve. That’s a profound outpouring of generousity in the midst of poverty. Sounds like the early church in the book of Acts – don’t you think? We are blessed with the revelation that Joy flows when we give out of our own poverty. It’s impossible to ‘out give’ our Papa! I want to sing that song, “There is joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!” Ok – I won’t sing out loud as Papa didn’t gift me with a singing voice like He has you!

      Please keep in touch. I’d love to hear more of your stories.

      Love back to you!


  3. judy

    Maryanne, l love your stories maybe because l was there and found my way out. What l always say where there is a way in there is a way out. l’m proof l found it thanks to u Mac xo

    1. Mac Post author

      God bless you Judy. You are such an inspiration to others who struggle with addictions without hope and purpose. You made it. You found a way out through Jesus! May our Lord bless you with more than you can ever imagine or hope for!xx


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