She had grown up in the same orphanage where she was stilling living, looking after its children in the same way older women had once looked after her. It was miles and miles from the nearest market or town. She slept on the floor in a tiny room with four other women. She had lost a leg to a landmine. But she could still ride her bike in the stifling humidity to wherever she wanted to go, looking gorgeous and hardly breaking a sweat at the same time.

She loved her home. She loved her friends and the fact she lived and worked with so many children. She loved the moment -- despite its fragility and the fact further conflict in the region at the time seemed imminent. She told me she was happy. (Source: Women's agenda)

What makes women happy — well, that depends very much on who you ask. 
  • Some women are not happy unless they have an exciting job outside the home running about closing deals and living the high life. 
  • Some women are very happy with remaining in the home and would never dream of any other career.
  • Some women are only happy if surrounded by “things” that are purchased with money. 
  • Some women are very happy to be surrounded by family and procession don't matter.

For me, happiness can be found with a comfy chair (slightly worn), cup of tea and a good book. Well, a few others things as well, such as my family and cats!

The Bible does not promise us happiness. Instead we are reminded many time to be joyful which is quite different to being happy.  However, joyfulness will bring about the feeling of happiness as we do work for the Lord. To be joyful is to be glad - to be glad when faced with life's many trials, be glad when not feeling well, be glad at all times of the day or night.  Gladness and joy can be found even at the saddest of moments.

Count it all joy when you fall into various trails 
(James 1:2)

Whilst happiness can be fleeting, our joy comes from the Lord, doing His work and is based on our relationship with Jesus Christ, which is why it is an everlasting source of joy.  

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

Joy has nothing to do with the number of new shoes you own.  You may get happiness from your collection, however, as soon as they get old and have lost their gloss, your happiness will have gone and to gain more happiness you will need to buy more. Joy is not fleeting like happiness. We won't find joy in a shop, look for joy in the Word of God and with joy will come contentment and happiness in knowing the love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart.  (Psalms 37:4)



  1. Joy is so important! "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). Having joy in Him gives us strength and the ability to go on without fear. :)

    1. :)) I read in an article today about a challenge that is going around - 100 days of happiness - and how it is unachievable as no one is ever happy for 100 days straight and most people never reach their 100 days as something always comes along and disrupts "happiness". I thought that was interesting as it shows that joy is quite different to happiness.

    2. People are very fickle, aren't they?!

  2. Wonderful read! Sharing! Hopping over from the Modest mom blog

  3. I love that you have pointed out the difference between joy & happiness as I really feel like there is but many others I know don't. Perhaps it is a Christian thing?!?!?
    Joy is so much deeper than just what our feeling of the day is, happy or sad!
    I have to agree with Nigella Lawson's statement that "when i'm in the kitchen, I'm happy" - hehe that's me!!!!
    I chuckled at your shoe comment because there is a sign in our local shopping centre that says "i love shoes, so what I'm superficial"!!!!!

  4. Thank you for this post. I'm sure at times we all get happiness and joy mixed up in our thinking in some way. I remember during a time when I was struggling with anxiety and depression an older woman in Christ said to me that she didn't understand how we could have the joy of the Lord and be depressed at the same time. I had a hard time explaining to her, but I think it might have been partly because she was confusing happiness with joy. :-/ Later I read something that really cleared up the difficulty for me. It came from a Jungle Doctor story. One young character in the book who had suffered great loss said that he had the joy of the Lord in the deep layers of his heart, but the top ones were sad. That is so succinct and simple, and yet it explains something that so many find hard to understand - how a Christian can be sad or depressed or "unhappy" and yet still rest in the Lord and have the joy of His salvation in their heart. There are so many things that are not essentially connected to happiness, and yet so many get them confused and can't understand the difference. Just some I can think of - thankfulness, gratefulness, joy, peace, comfort, worship, etc. One might receive some happiness from any of these, but they do not mean that you will automatically be happy.

    1. I love the Jungle Doctor story. I only wish my mother could see it that way - when she is badly down in the dumps she can't find any joy at all. She loves the Lord dearly but something is blocking her from seeing the joy and that God is looking after her. I think this is when depression goes one step further than ordinary depression. She will listen to what you have to say and 2 seconds later back being negative, its very difficult.

      I have been putting together a heap of verses that will provide me with comfort when I get stressed or anxious and I have found so many that are such a great comfort. Its hard to fight anxiety as a parent of a troubled child, but I am learning slow and steady.


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